My new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V camera

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V
Although I am not a real photographer, I have always liked making photos. And I like cameras as gadgets. The best camera is the one you have with you .... and that is were my previous camera failed. So in the past years I made most photos with my phone. But in some situations I was missing opportunities. Then I always thought "I should always have my SP550 with me". But I did not.

And then there was Spike with his review of the Sony RX100 IV. What a nice camera. Great lens, smallish size, wonderful technic, etc. But that all of course comes at a price. With unlimited resources of course I would just have bought the RX100 IV. But ......

I went to an official Sony shop at Emporium Shopping Mall in Bangkok and saw a few other look-alike models of the RX100 IV. First of all the RX100 III (a bit cheaper as the IV) but also the HX90V (about half of the price as the RX100 IV). And what more it has a much bigger zoon as the RX100 IV (or III). My personal reason for choosing the HX90V over the RX100 is very simple ... the price. My personal reason for choosing this type of camera are Small Size, Big Zoom, GPS, Wifi, View-finder, Good Quality Zeiss lens. Of course there are few drawbacks ....

The Con's

  • Smaller sensor as the RX100
  • Aperture of 3.5 - 6.4 (instead of 1.7 - 2.8 on the RX100 IV)
  • (but the lens is 4.1 - 123 instead of 8.8 - 25.7 on the RX100 IV)
  • No RAW (but that seems senseless for the kind of photos I make)
  • At high ISO a bit noisy (this is the only thing that disappoints me a bit)

The pro's

  • Great zoom .... 4.1 - 123 (yes that is 24 - 720 mm in 35mm standard)
  • GPS (a bit slow)
  • Wifi (even connecting to my Apple Macbook)
  • 5-ax stabilisation
  • Stunning software (but weird settings system)
But the best ..... it is small ..... very small .... but yet it has great software & hardware features like tilting screen, view-finder, Wifi, etc. I will not bother to write a real review ... just do a google and I am sure you will find a great review of this little beast. The last photo illustrates best what I did mean with small .... very small (sorry Spike's photo was better but that is a RX100)

Short Review

As for Connectivity the little beast comes with ...
  • GPS, that at first was a bit slow and not so sensitive. That problem seems to be fixed by loading "GPS assistance data".
  • USB connection and that works very easy & fast to my Macbook.
  • Wifi that connects again easy & fast to my Macbook or Samsung phone.
  • Wifi is used to transfer photos to Phone or Macbook. And to remote control the camera.
  • NFC but I did not use or test that yet
  • HDMI but I did not use or test that yet
To make this all work I had to install some software on my Macbook (Wireless Auto Import and PlayMemories Home) and on my Samsung phone (PlayMemories Mobile and Sony SmartCam Remote). Update of software of the camera can all be done straight from the camera.

The camera has View finder that can be adjusted for your eyes. And it can be set to switch off the camera. When used it will switch off the LCD screen. All works fine for me.

The LCD screen can be tilted and the screen can be automatically rotated or adjusted for making portret photos. The screen has a bit of flare in the bright light.

Shoot mode are Superior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority
Manual, Memory recall (3 sets), Movie, iSweep Panorama and Scene Selection. Until now I use Intelligent Auto, Aperture Priority and Manual.

Charging can be done with standard USB cable to any charging device. I love that!

Most functions of buttons on the camera can be changed. Two very handig "buttons" are the front-ring and the back-side ring (can not be changed).

I love the sensors on the camera. They make this an intelligent little beast! And it really works.

Although the settings are a bit "typically Sony" (that means I do not understand the logic) but there is one great button "Fn" what gives you the option to change settings directly. And the changeable settings to choose from can be changed in the settings. I love that and use it a lot.

My camera came with a SDHC 8GB card, I might upgrade that someday to a SDXC 32GB card.
My camera also came with an original Sony soft bag. For me totally useless, although I now use it for the charger that came with the camera. I have the camera in a small bag on my belt and carry it almost always with me. I bought my camera at an official Sony Center in Thailand.

Update October 2016
It is still a great camera due its size and the relatively nice photos. But I am a bit disappointed in the noise. For what I blame the small sensor and in a certain way the lens. But the latter is something I did realise already when I bought the camera.

Update July 2019
I dropped the camera from 4 meter high and the lens is broken. Camera declared dead!

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