Sony is bringing some of the aesthetics that made its RX100 such an attractive point-and-shoot and dressing it up into its new HX50V. For $450, the new Cyber-shot is for all intents and purposes a spiritual cousin to last year’s RX100, a cheaper option of sorts more geared toward the average consumer. If you like lots of zoom, definitely take note of the HX50V.
Stuffed with a 20.4-megapixel Exmor R CMOS (1/2.3-inch) sensor, the new compact weighs in at only 9.6 ounces, making it the smallest and lightest camera with 30x zoom capability, Sony said. The camera itself is just 4.4-inch x 2.6-inch x 1.2-inch, giving it a form that you can easily tote around anywhere—stuff it in your pocket or keep it glued to your hand; you won’t even notice it’s there.
“Despite the emergence of smart phone cameras in today’s market, the HX50V model gives photographers plenty of reason to invest in a dedicated pocket camera,” said Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot digital camera business at Sony Electronics. “Its wide-ranging 30x optical zoom gives users more freedom to pick their shooting subject and position, and its extensive, advanced imaging capabilities give shooters the peace of mind that image quality will never be compromised—every scene will be given the color, detail and clarity that it deserves.”
While the optical zoom and attractive build are enough to warrant consideration, it’s worth noting that the HX50V only opens to f/3.5, meaning it won’t have the best low-light performance. However, there’s a built-in flash to combat this issue, and most—if not all—pictures you’re taking on vacation are probably of places outside, in well-lit places. Also: ISO goes up to 3200, giving you an idea that this is best suited to scenes outdoors with plenty of daylight.
Shooting-wise, the HX50V has mode dials for P/A/S/M modes for more advanced options. And, of course, there are plenty of creative modes—Pop Color, Partial Color, Soft High-Key, etc—and the ability to capture HD video.
It won’t give you the quality of the RX100, in terms of image quality and low-light capabilities but, for $450, it’ll give users plenty of options in an attractive build. In such a compact body, you’ll get nice optical zoom and Sony’s typical user-friendly experience. Sony said the HX50V will be out in May.