Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Ken McMahon, August 2011
 
 

Sony Cyber-shot HX9V vs Canon PowerShot SX230 HS vs Panasonic Lumix TZ20 / ZS10 Resolution

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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V, Canon PowerShot SX230 HS and Panasonic Lumix TZ20 / ZS10 within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

The lenses on each camera were set to approximately the same field of view and all three cameras were set to Program auto exposure mode.

The ISO sensitivity was manually set to the lowest available setting 100 ISO - on each camera.

  Sony Cyber-shot HX9V results
1 Sony Cyber-shot HX9V Resolution
2 Sony Cyber-shot HX9V Noise
3 Sony Cyber-shot HX9V Sample images

The image above was taken with the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V with its lens zoomed to 5mm (28mm equivalent), just inside its maximum wide angle setting of 4.28mm (24mm equivalent) setting, to provide a comparable field of view with the Canon PowerShot SX230 HS. The camera metered 1/320 at f8 and 100 ISO. The original image file was 5.31MB. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red rectangles and presented here at 100%.

Overall the Cyber-shot HX9V image looks very good. It's well exposed, nice and contrasty with a histogram that shows a tiny bit of clipping at the highlight end, the colours are nicely saturated and the auto white balance has done an excellent job.

What about the detailed view? The first crop holds no surprises, as you might have expected, the Cyber-shot HX9V's 16.2 Megapixel sensor doesn't capture the same degree of detail as we've seen from lower resolution Cyber-shots. The detail in the grass and rocks looks a little fuzzy and there's a faint light halo around the chapel and wall which extends along the horizon.

Moving down to the second crop, the detail here is holding up well despite the slight graininess. The lighthouse is a well-defined white column and you can see the detail in the island on which it stands. In the foreground of this crop the edge detail in the windows is, though not pristine, reasonably crisp.

The crop from the edge of the frame looks a little clumpy, but there's no fringing and back in the centre on the last crop there's dood detail everywhere and the lettering on the banners is perfectly legible. This is an excellent result for the Cyber-shot HX9V. The level of detail in these crops proves that it is possible to produce a 16 Megapixel sensor that's capable of the same kind of detail resolution as 14 and even 12 Megapixel sensors, quite an achievement.

Compared with the Canon PowerShot SX230 HS I was quite surprised to see less of a quality difference than I would have expected between 12.1 and 16.2 Megapixel models. Because of the Cyber-shot HX9V's higher resolution the crops actually show larger image detail despite the matching focal length at which these images were shot (the Sony was zoomed in slightly to match the PowerShot SX230 HS's 5mm maximum wide angle). In the first crop the Cyber-shot HX9V doesn't pick out the detail as clearly as the PowerShot SX230 HS, but compare the second row and there really isn't a great deal in it. The Cyber-shot doesn't suffer from chromatic aberration to anything like the same degree as the PowersShot SX230 HS and again in the fourth crop it's a very close call.

Compared with the Panasonic Lumix TZ20 / ZS10 the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V comes out clearly in front. From the first crop the TZ20 / ZS10 is looking a great deal grainier overall and in subsequent crops the Lumix TZ20 suffers from a quite unpleasant and visually intrusive clumping of pixels which, along with the noise, reduces the amount of fine detail you can see and gives the image a very processed look. By the final crop things are looking a little more balanced but, overall, the crops from the 14.1 Megapixel Lumix TZ20 / ZS10 can't match those from either the 12.1 Megapixel Canon PowerShot SX230 HS or the 16.2 Megapixel Sony Cyber-shot HX9V.

Now let's see how they compare at higher sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results.

 


Sony Cyber-shot HX9V
 
Canon PowerShot SX230 HS
 
Panasonic Lumix TZ20
f8, 100 ISO
f4 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f4 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f4 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f4 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO


Sony Cyber-shot HX9V results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise




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