Sony Cyber-shot HX300 at a glance:

  • 20.4-million-pixel, 1/2.3in (6.17×4.55mm) Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 4.3-215mm (24-1200mm equivalent) f/2.8-6.3 Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens
  • 10fps burst mode
  • 1.44-million-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 920,000-dot tilt LCD screen
  • Around £420

Sony Cyber-shot HX300 review – Introduction

In light of the danger to the compact camera market posed by the rise of smartphones, Sony is concentrating on two key areas where dedicated compact cameras still have the advantage: image quality and zoom range. In fact, 80% of Sony’s compact cameras in 2013 will be ‘high-zoom’ types. New models, the HX300 and WX300, both feature new sensors and improved optical zooms over their predecessors. The HX300, on test here, offers the widest zoom in Sony’s range.

The Sony Cyber-shot HX300 is Sony’s flagship bridge (super-zoom) camera, offering a mammoth 50x optical zoom. Its equivalent focal range is 24-1200mm, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8-6.3. This zoom range is matched only by Canon’s PowerShot SX50 HS and the Fujifilm FinePix SL1000, while Fuji’s FinePix HS50EXR and Nikon’s Coolpix P520 both have 42x zooms. The main question regarding Sony’s HX300 – or indeed any of these models – is how far a camera’s zoom lens can be pushed before image quality is compromised? In this test we go one further, and assess the impact that the HX300’s high pixel count has on its image quality.

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