Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V at a glance:

  • 16.2-million-pixel, 1/2.3in Exmor R sensor
  • 16x zoom (24-384mm equivalent)
  • 3in, 921,600-dot LCD
  • Superior Auto
  • 3D shooting
  • Built-in GPS
  • Street price around £310

Travel compacts have become an important sector of the market for most manufacturers. Their size provides a portability that can’t be matched by compact system cameras, while still offering a degree of creative control. They also boast extensive zoom lenses, which make them suitable for a wide range of subjects from landscape to macro, or picking out distant details.

The Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V is Sony’s current flagship model to occupy this niche, taking over from last year’s HX5V, and sits within the company’s high-performance range of compacts. The camera includes a wealth of recent Sony technologies, including Intelligent Sweep Panorama, Superior Auto and 3D shooting, as well as GPS and HD movie capture. It is both higher resolution and features a longer zoom than its predecessor, but it is against its current rivals from Canon, Panasonic and Samsung that it will really be judged.

Image: By holding down the shutter and panning across the scene in Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode, the HX9V produces a seamless 270° panorama

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