Sony HX300 review: Feature-packed 50x superzoom lets you capture images most cameras can’t


posted Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM EST


As we similarly concluded with its predecessor, the Sony HX200V, we think the Sony HX300's strengths far outweigh its limitations, making this all-in-one superzoom a solid option for anyone who wants a camera to do a little bit of everything. The HX300's 50x optical zoom lens is a huge upgrade and an incredible tool, offering 24-1,200mm equivalent coverage. It's extremely versatile, allowing users to photograph a wide range of subjects, from close-ups of people riding a faraway zip-line to wide-angle shots of cityscapes. The HX300 handled these photo tasks smoothly and efficiently. Unless you're willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for DSLR lenses, there are few alternatives that can do what the Sony HX300 can do, especially for such a relatively low pricetag.

About those limitations: Though the added resolution from the HX300's 20.3-megapixel CMOS sensor gives you a lot of digital image info to work with, the chip itself is the same size that you'd find in many point-and-shoot cameras. Time and again, when we looked closely at shots we captured with HX300's 1/2.3-inch sensor, details looked fuzzy and soft. This was particularly true of higher ISO images, which demonstrated considerable noise. Feature-wise, Sony has also removed a few functions with this camera that were available on the previous model, such as built-in GPS and the electronic viewfinder's eye-detect function. And we were a bit disappointed that the 3-inch, fold-out LCD screen and small EVF weren't upgraded from the previous model.

Having said all that, we still found the Sony HX300 a ton of fun to use; it even helped our reviewer capture some of his favorite images of the year -- some he couldn't have captured with many other cameras.

What's our final verdict on the camera? Read our Sony HX300 review and find out!