Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:10 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: HX9V - 1st impressions
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:55 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8053
Location: UK
Yup, I'm back in this subforum as I couldn't help from picking up a HX9V while out today. It has been on my wish list for a while but the general availability and price on the internet held me back. So imagine my surprise on an unplanned trip to a Sony store I happened to be passing that not only did they have it in stock, it was much cheaper than the usual internet suspects too! Sold!

It does mean I didn't have much of a play with it yet, as I've done more than my share of travel this week and only just got home.

The unit size was a bit bigger than I was expecting. I knew it was quite thick to accommodate the 16x zoom, but it does make it look rather chunky. Still far smaller than any mirrorless system even with pancake.

I did try the AF speed in the shop before I bought, as that is always a concern. It uses a similar style to my Panasonic FX33, where it continuously focuses even without half-press of the shutter. It is usually ready when you hit the shutter button keeping lag to a minimum. There seems to be a tracking option too I'll need to play with later.

The zoom control is a little slower than I'd like, but then again if it was faster I'd probably say it was too sensitive.

Big picture image quality in low light surprised me. They really have done well there even in conditions that'll make a DSLR hesitate. That's in normal shooting, I haven't really played with the fancy multi-shot stuff yet.

Pixel peeping is a weak point compared to a DSLR, but that's not really a surprise. Even at ISO100 you don't really get pixel level detail. You get funny digital artefacts which look like noise reduction working overtime.

The battery is charged in camera. You get a mains adapter which goes to USB socket. You then have to use what looks like a propriety USB cable to the body with battery in it. So even if you get a spare battery, you can't charge one while using the other for example. On the plus side, with the USB charger you can top up easily on the go than only looking for mains sockets.

I'll have to give it the duck test tomorrow. I'd sell the FX33 it will be replacing assuming it is still worth anything...

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:30 am 
popo how much did the Sony shop asked for the HX9V?


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:03 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8053
Location: UK
I got change from £300. I notice today Amazon UK are also sub-£300 now, but they were listing about £315 just a couple days ago. Most other places are still around £340.

Finally the rain has stopped, so I'm about to take it out for my first serious outdoor shoot. I'm still impressed from the low light indoors messing around I've done so far.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:07 am
Posts: 1012
Location: North of the 49th parallel
Looking forward to your thoughts on how that 16.2 mp sensor complements the 16x G lens or vice versa.
Could be the ultimate "affordable" street camera.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8053
Location: UK
Picasa are playing up on me at the moment so I can't put up samples just yet.

I did take it out for a quick run today. The 16x zoom was certainly useful, but I felt like wanting a bit more on the long end as always when it comes to wildlife. How I'm home and looking at it, the shots at 16x were softer than those at less zoom, even with the sensor limits.

Lens seems to either have low aberrations or they're well corrected in software. I didn't do any formal tests but there's no obvious distortion or lateral CA. If you look for it you can find hints of longitudinal CA but it is of low enough level it doesn't intrude in practice.

The output as said before looks great big picture, but doesn't stand up to pixel peeping. You can reduce it to 50% linear scale or about 4MP effective and not really lose useful detail. At pixel level, it looks more like the output of one of the "artistic" filters in photoshop.

The response is generally pretty good. It can take a moment to adjust if you have a big focus change, but most times if you push the shutter it'll get that shot out with minimal delay. Rarely it'll seem to give up on focusing and you get a way out of focus image.

The camera likes to beep at you every chance it gets, but you can turn off all the noises including the fake shutter. However that did leave me feeling a little disoriented as I wasn't sure any more if it took a photo! I could tell anyway since a half-press doesn't bring up the photo review afterwards.

Macro is reasonable, although in indoor tests the best I could get was an output area some 4.5cm across. I still need to play about with it some more to see if there is some combination of zoom and focus distance that gets me more overall magnification.

That was also when I tried the tracking AF, which largely does what it says. Set a point and as you move it will try to keep focus on the target. Snag in my macro case was the ladybrids I was trying to focus on a leaf moving wildly in the wind so it didn't manage to do so well there.

Battery lasted well. It was still indicating all bars after my trip out, taking around 300 shots over 90 minutes with GPS on most of that time.

GPS unit is rather slow locking, even with the assist data you can download for it which covers one month from date of download. Accuracy looks good in the quick look I had so far.

I need to do more controlled tests to work out how to reliably use the various modes to enhance low light or backlit shots. I did twiddle between the various iAuto settings and while they did seem to behave differently, in all but one case there wasn't really any difference in it. That one case was of a church tower with bright cloudy sky behind it, and in one shot it was washed out, the other the detail was bought back. But in another case of some backlit figures inside a church, it didn't seem to do anything.

While inside the church I was tempted to do an ISO series test like that used in the Cameralabs reviews, but I found ISO100 and 1 second shutter durations weren't compatible with my hand holding it! Even propping it against a pew didn't help so I had to skip that.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8053
Location: UK
Picasa doesn't seem to want to play with full resolution uploads and I'm not going to fight it. Here's the tiny versions which have exif intact. I will do selected full size uploads elsewhere and/or 100% crops later. Shots were resized only, no cropping or any other editing after coming out of the camera. In case you want to work out the equivalent focal lengths, the crop factor of this camera sensor is about 5.6x. Actually I'll put the 35mm format equivalent in here too...

Image
(24mm) And example of the 16x zoom, at the wide end.

Image
(384mm) And example of the 16x zoom, at the 16x end.

Image
(24mm) Another example of the 16x zoom, at the wide end.

Image
(384mm) Another example of the 16x zoom, at the 16x end.

Image
(164mm) Getting close to a swan.

Image
(384mm) Getting closer to a swan.

Image
(384mm)

Image
(381mm)

Image
(384mm)

Image
(344mm) Download here.

Image
(56.5mm)

Image
(55.2mm) Download here

Image
(55.2mm) Download here

Image
(55.2mm)

Image
(111mm) Download here.

Image
(72mm)

Image
(132mm)

Image
(24mm)

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


Last edited by popo on Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:07 am
Posts: 1012
Location: North of the 49th parallel
Looks pretty decent across the range.
Anytime you can see individual feather points on a bird at that distance, that's pretty good.
Since most people add a little contrast and sharpness to all their photos, the out-of-camera jpeg looks above average I would think.
The Swan at 111mm is impressive.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:20 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8053
Location: UK
Note I've edited in links on some of the uploads where you can get the full size version on dA.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:07 am
Posts: 1012
Location: North of the 49th parallel
The Thistle close-up looks good with decent bokeh. Will have a look at these tonight again when it's dark, as right now it's pretty bright in my PC room.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8053
Location: UK
A few more observations... I think I need to rewrite this thread in some kind of order...

The USB socket and flap hiding the battery and memory card are close to the tripod mount, so that if the camera is on tripod, you can not access any of those. On the positive side, the camera does detect when it is on a tripod shown by an icon on screen, and I guess sets stabilisation accordingly.

The stabilisation at 16x, or lack thereof, makes it a little tricky to hand hold. I'm not sure if there's any IS going on in there during composition but the images it gives are sharp enough.

On my earlier complaint of in-body charging, I have since found out there is a stand alone charger that can be obtained. A little disappointing it is not included as standard, but then again I'm getting sick of the pile of them gathering on the floor. I currently have 7 different chargers for cameras alone, before I even start counting ones for other devices. I'm also concerned I'd lose the related USB cable which would render me unable to charge the camera.

Operationally, while the camera is generally responsive there are short lags here and there. From switching on you get the display up in a short time, but it takes a bit longer before the zoom control works for example.

The panorama sweep I found a bit tricky to get working well. While at pixel peeping level it can look as good as normal shots, it complains if you don't sweep fast enough, and there is an ambiguous time between starting the sweep and it actually starting to log data. If you don't hold it straight I suspect there is some quality impact. It seems to work better on a tripod.

Edit: just been playing with a diffraction limiting calculator... confirms my suspicions. This camera is always diffraction limited. The sensor resolution doesn't directly matter, as the effective MP limiting for the lens aperture range of f/3.3-f/4.28 is 6.7MP to 4MP using some commonly used assumptions. That may further contribute to my observation that the long end is noticeably softer, although it is not uncommon for zoom lenses to be like so anyway. Maybe I should switch to the 10MP output setting as in theory I wouldn't be losing useful output resolution. Note my previous desires for ever increasing MP counts is just for this reason, as I believe that resampling down would generally give better results than sampling at the lower rate in the first place. We're looking at up to a linear factor of two here which is starting to get into the interesting zone.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:10 pm 
popo the sweet spot for super macro is in the 2.4x area as with the hx5
also the confirmation of your 4MP real data in the 16mp images suspicion...
you find that info and more at my hx9v blog.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8053
Location: UK
I just did a quick measurement test for macro mode on this camera.

Image

I only tested from 1x to 3x zoom in steps of 0.5 unit. It was obvious things were going downhill rapidly past 3x so didn't seem to be much point. I measured the imaged width when a half-press of a shutter button would still give the green box focus confirmation. From that I could calculate the equivalent magnification, here using 23mm (approx. APS-C) as reference. The sweet spot seems to be around 2x to 2.5x giving equivalent magnification of up to 0.7x. Not bad...

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8053
Location: UK
Sharpness test anyone? I did a longer version in Photozone forum but following is the important bit as my setup had some weaknesses I'm not going to redo. Lossless crops from camera jpeg in both cases. This is best case for the HX9V due to good lighting. Note the Canon was taken under worse lighting but compensated for by longer exposure.

Image
HX9V, P, ISO100, standard sharpness

Image
HX9V, P, ISO100, sharper

Image
Canon 600D Zeiss 50mm makro, ISO100

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group