tips on how to use DSC-HX1 for newbies

These are the few tips for the very newbies, written by me, also a newbie.
Honestly I myself haven’t discovered the full potential of my DSC-HX1.

It doesn’t make things better when I start to long for an SLR instead, and get myself demotivated. Especially when I start to spend hours browsing the internet and look at the catalogue pictures of Nikon D90, Canon 50D, Nikon D5000, Canon 1000D…

Not a good space to come from.

Of course, we always want something better everytime.
When we stop being grateful of whatever we have, we just lose the joy of it.

I’ve found this good article on the net, discussing about expensive cameras vs. affordable ones.

It says here-
“Your equipment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image. The less time and effort you spend worrying about your equipment the more time and effort you can spend creating great images. The right equipment just makes it easier, faster or more convenient for you to get the results you need.”

Point is; it’s up to the photographer to hone his capabilities to get a great image.
Use whatever you have right now to the max until you become so skillful with it. Then it’s worth it. That is a reminder for myself too, because, yeah, sometimes I do have the thought that a Nikon D90 is still a perfect gift for me hahahaha-thank-you-very-much.

So now, as a newbie, let me tell you a bit deeper of what I discovered with the DSC-HX1. Take note that phrases inside quotation marks eg: “Portrait Mode” can be referred inside the official manual book.

So here we go.


Night clubs, karaoke rooms, or a random shot in a bedroom when the light is not yet turned on.
Once you have to squint your eyes to read with this limited light, you definitely need to turn the flash mode on. It is not recommended that you use the automatic Portrait mode in dark rooms and turn off the flash, because the camera will push up to higher ISO sensitivity (to ‘absorb’ more light) and because of that, the picture will become very noisy (grainy).

To compensate on that, the camera will apply noise reduction to reduce the grainy effect. However, because of the noise reduction system, the image will become blur, like a painting instead of looking like an actual photograph. My experience is that it might look nice and clear on the LCD screen, but when you copy it to your PC, the image is actually blotchy. There goes the hope for a nice picture of a karaoke yelling session. You’ve been warned.

Therefore, in very dark rooms, you may use the “Portrait mode” plus “flash turned on”. If the flash is too strong, you can actually “adjust the flash brightness”, as directed inside the manual book.


City skyline at night, Christmas tree lights at night, scenery of a house with yellow bright windows at night coming from the light indoors, street lights at night.

There are a few different ways to get wonderful shots for above scenes. It is most important that you use the tripod for a crisp image.

Only a few days ago I discovered a new technique (new for ME actually), which is the “aperture priority mode” (the A mode on the dial). “Adjust the EV” to values more than 0 (you can experiment up to +2.0). Make sure you “set the timer to 2 seconds”, so that the camera won't start taking the photo immediately when you press the shutter button (to avoid blur). It will take some time for the camera to snap once you release the shutter button. Pictures will become very clear and the color is smooth.

For an easier approach, use the automatic mode “Shoot Low Light Scene using a Tripod”. After placing it on a tripod, “set the timer” to 2 seconds, press and release the shutter, and let it snap.

The third method, is when you are really desperate to take a nice night city scene but you don’t have a tripod with you. Select the Twilight mode and snap the picture. The camera will take six frames and combine them to get the best image with the least noise and blur. Result is not bad.

And if you’re not sure, use the iAuto mode. The camera will decide on what is the best mode to capture the image. The best is, take with Twilight mode first, and take another shot with iAuto mode.


For this kind of scene, it’s a little bit tricky and you will need to experiment.

Using a tripod is useless because the performers are not statues, of course they will move.

Using the Portrait mode without flash will have the risk of the camera getting confused on what to focus at because everyone is moving here and there. The whole image will turn out blurry because of the constant movement.

Normally I will use the iAuto mode with the flash turned off,
Or I will select either the Twilight mode or the Anti Motion Blur on the selection dial above the camera.


Before you press the shutter button to record the video, aim the zoom lens to a distant object not obstructed by the fence. Go back to your actual subject and start recording. Or else, your camera will get confused and will focus on the fence instead.

The findings above are just based on my try out with my camera.
If you have other helpful sites with more descriptive techniques on how to take great shots with the camera, please leave the links at the comment section here. I really appreciate that.

You can click here if you wanna check out my shots using the camera. ^_^

You can also check at and type in DSC-HX1 in the search box. You will be surprised when you see the great shots these proud camera owners posted there.


Steve Walker said...

Great tips. Thanks for sharing. I have had my DSC-HX1 for a few weeks and love it. The only thing I haven't had a ton of success with is Action Shots. Any tips?

::airswift:: said...

Thanks for visiting, Steve!

I myself haven't tried shooting on people doing sports and such.

Once I get to experiment that, I'll share it on my future post one day.

Thanks again! ^_^