Sony DSC-HX1 review by malaysian blogger

My title above is actually a Google search made by someone anonymous, who landed on my blogspot. Yes, my camera is Sony DSC-HX1, but I haven't reviewed it yet.

So this is my personal review.

Sony DSC-HX1 : the best point and shoot camera.

My initial and main intention of purchasing a new camera is to overcome the disadvantage of my previous digital camera. I wanted a camera which is less noisy especially when I need to take photos with limited lighting. And in fact, most of my shots are indoors- gatherings, concerts, moments with family and friends.

I’ve been surveying a few cameras and so far based on the online reviews, DSC-HX1 has the best value and quality in performance and design. I almost bought Sony beginner SLR Alpha 200 with telephoto and kit lens, however, the sales assistant recommended me to stay with my consideration with DSC-HX1 because:

-it is more convenient: smaller in size and has a built in telephoto lens with image stabilizer;
-it has a lot of shooting features including HD video recording;
-it has Life View which Alpha 200 doesn’t have. Life View means that you can view your subject via the LCD screen. Some SLR has its screen dedicated only for manual setup purposes.

During the first month I used this camera, I was a bit disappointed. I put expectation that this camera should act like an SLR in manual mode, with almost no noise problem and should deliver sparkling amazing pictures.

In my dreams.

Only when you start to invest at minimum RM5k for a good SLR camera like Nikon D90 (amazing soothing natural colors) or Canon 50D (vibrant dramatic colors), then you will get astounding pictures.

After a while using my Sony camera, I realized that it’s not worth taking pictures only at Manual mode. Sony DSC-HX1 is not an SLR. Instead, it is a high grade automatic camera, or a semi pro camera for the enthusiasts.

When I started to accept that fact, I had myself trying out all the features embedded in this gadget. I tried experimenting with different preset modes (INCLUDING the manual mode), and the results were surprising. I’ve got the most that is offered by DSC-HX1.

Below are the best photos taken using different modes, with minimum editing.

This musician was on a dark stage, waiting for his cue, with spotlight focusing only on him. I used Portrait Mode with flash.

This pretty young lady was about to order food, in a dimly lit café. I used Twilight mode, and the camera decides which exposure is the best. Six frames were taken in a second and all frames were processed into one to produce the best photo image.

This shot was taken indoors at night, with limited lighting. At a closer range, I used Portrait mode with flash.

This was taken at the same event, in manual mode with flash.

I had no time to adjust my camera and I snapped this cake with Portrait mode without flash. The camera is clever enough to adjust.

I took this at a stall at night. There was sufficient light so I used Portrait mode without flash.

Taking advantage with the extensive telephoto zoom, I took this concert photo with i-Auto mode. This mode is the intelligent version of auto mode, where the camera could check for the correct exposure needed.

This picture of mom’s new cabinet was taken indoors and I used manual mode.

Picture of my stuff that I carry all the time with me. I used manual mode, a little bit overexposed, but I like the effect though.

Using manual mode to lessen the light sensitivity (I wanted to get most of the sky blue color and clouds), I took this picture obviously outdoors.

Photo of my brother by the beach, taken using Portrait mode to focus on his face.

Photo of Batu Caves, taken using manual mode. I also used the DRO+ (dynamic range optimization) so that I can capture the texture of the deity statue and the hills behind it.

I am still learning to use this wonderful DSC-HX1. For me to be safe than sorry, I experimented by taking few shots using different modes. At least if some photos are worth to be deleted, there a lot of other nice photos of the same occasion left in the camera.

As far as I’ve experienced, this camera usually takes clean and clear “raw” shots for me, only in JPEG format. It is up to me to do post processing to make them even nicer.

Sony DSC-HX1 also takes clear HD video with good sound, the only drawback is that you will need to have at least Quicktime player and large RAM capacity for smooth playback on your PC. Perhaps you can also find a better software to play them in future.

You can also browse my blog to see other photos that I’ve taken with this DSC-HX1 camera.

My advice?
If you are tired with your average digital camera and you want to get a great semi-pro / high grade automatic camera, this should be the one.

Of course SLR cameras could produce more crisp photos with almost no noise, but you've got to invest double the money on one.

You may click here for a later discovery on this camera. Surpisingly, as I got to know more about it, this camera can really take nice photos!


neil said...

This camera is fantastic. I have had it for about almost a week and I can honestly say, it takes beautiful photos. The zoom really gets out there, and even the smart zoom works well.

r4i software

::airswift:: said...

yes, you can also check out at flickr and type "DSC-HX1", they can show you amazing SLR-like photos of this camera. even i was amazed.

chau said...


I was browsing for tips and tricks for my cam Sony DSC-HX1 on the inet and saw your blog. My boyfriend and I visit KL two years ago ( he had lived there for 2.5 months, he had an internship) and i loved it!
Seeing your pictures really makes me want to go back! Thnx for the wonderfull tips and the photos under it. Its clear and gives me an idea how to use my cam the fullest.

Greets from Holland

::airswift:: said...

hi chau,

glad that you got something from the review.. ;)