Sony Cyber-shot HX200V Ken McMahon, Sept 2012
 
 

Sony Cyber-shot HX200V vs Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62 vs Fujifilm FinePix HS30 EXR noise

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  Sony Cyber-shot HX200V results
1 Sony HX200V Quality
2 Sony HX200V Noise
3 Sony HX200V Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions I shot this scene with the Sony Cyber-shot HX200V, Panasonic Lumix FZ60 / FZ62, and the Fujifilm FinePix HS30 EXR, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

The zoom on all three cameras was set to produce an approximately equal field of view and, where possible, image stabilisation was disabled for this tripod-mounted test; sadly this isn't possible on the HX200V.


The above shot was taken with the Sony Cyber-shot HX200V. The camera was placed on a tripod, SteadyShot image stabilisation was active as it can't be disabled on the HX200V. F4 was selected in Aperture priority exposure mode and the metering chose a shutter speed of 0.6s at 100 ISO.

At the 100 ISO base sensitivity the Cyber-shot HX200V crop looks similar to the outdoor crops in terms of processing. There's evidence of some noise, but it's fairly minimal. At 200 ISO there's a significant deterioration with the text looking much less legible and the left edge of the memorial looking distinctly clumpier. There's deterioration of a similar magnitude from 200 to 400 ISO and by the 800 ISO mark, the noise is so severe that no amount of processing can keep it in check. The text in this crop is well beyond any attempt at readability, the edges are indistinct and even the larger image detail is beginning to suffer.

Beyond 800 ISO, as you'd expect, things get progressively worse and from 1600 ISO upwards you'd be well advised to make use of the HX200V's Hand-held Twilight stacking mode. This sets the ISO sensitivity automatically and is a marked improvement on the single shot ISO equivalent.

The speed with which noise increases and image quality deteriorates as you move up the ISO range on the Cyber-shot HX200V is really quite sobering. By comparison with its predecessor, the 16 Megapixel HX100V, the HX200V's high ISO performance is, to say the least disappointing. I doubt whether many people will think it's a worthwhile compromise for the additional 2 Megapixel resolution provided by the new sensor.

Compared with the Sony CyberShot HX200V the Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62 crops look pretty impressive. The FZ60 / FZ62 has an 16.1 Megapixel sensor which is why the crops show a larger area with smaller detail. At the base 100 ISO setting there isn't much to choose between them, but the Sony crops deteriorate at a much more rapid rate than the FZ60 / FZ62 with the result that by 400 ISO the latter has a clear lead. By 1600 ISO I'd say the FZ60 / FZ62 is a full stop ahead of the HX200V.

In terms of noise performance I'd say the FinePix HS30 EXR also outperforms the Cyber-shot HX200V. Although the FinePix HS30 EXR hasn't resolved the text as well in the 100 ISO crop, in terms of noise I'd say it's cleaner than the HX200V crop. This advantage is maintained up the sensitivity range to 400 ISO, but after that the gap closes so that by 1600 ISO there's not much in it. At the lower ISO sensitivities though the Finepix HS300 EXR wins out over the HX200V.

Now head over to my Sony HX200V sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.


Cyber-shot HX200V
 
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
 
Finepix HS30 EXR
100 ISO
100 ISO
100 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
200 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
800 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
1600 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
3200 ISO
6400 ISO
6400 ISO Not available
6400 ISO
12800 ISO
12800 ISO Not available
12800 ISO
Hand-held Twilight 800 ISO +1EV
Handheld Nite Shot 400 ISO
Pro Low Light 3200 ISO

Sony Cyber-shot HX200V results : Quality / Noise / Sample images



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