Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V - Quality

Quality

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V vs Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR vs Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Resolution

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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, we shot this scene with the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V, the Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS 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 Aperture priority mode.

The ISO sensitivity was manually set to the lowest available setting 100 ISO – on the Cyber-shot HX100V and FinePix HS20 EXR and 80 ISO on the PowerShot SX30 IS.

  Sony Cyber-shot HX100V results
1 Sony Cyber-shot HX100V Resolution
2 Sony Cyber-shot HX100V Noise
3 Sony Cyber-shot HX100V Sample images

The image above was taken with the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V with its lens at its maximum wide angle setting of 4.8mm (27mm equivalent). In Program auto mode the camera metered 1/2000th at f3.5, however, because the aperture settings of the three cameras on test varied I used Aperture priority exposure mode so as to be able to compare results shot at the same aperture. In Aperture priority mode I chose f4 (to avoid diffraction and maximise detail), for which the Cyber-shot HX100V metered a shutter speed of 1/1600. The original image file was 4.96MB. The crops are taken from the areas marked with red rectangles and presented here at 100%.

Overall the Cyber-shot HX9V image looks pretty good. It’s well exposed, with good detail throughout the tonal range and no clipping of the highlights or shadows. The white balance is a little on the cool side for my taste, but well within acceptable limits. Moving on to the crops, the level of detail is generally good, but you don’t have to look all that hard to find evidence of softness and lack of edge definition. In the first crop you can’t quite make out the crosses on the chapel roof and the rocks in the foreground look a little indistinct. In the second crop you can make out the vertical white column of the lighthouse and the island on which it stands but again, it’s a little blurry. The window frames of the houses in the foreground of this crop are quite well defined though.

What’s interesting is that the detail in the next crop, from the edge of the frame looks almost as sharp as the last one from the centre and there’s no evidence of chromatic aberration, on a lens with a 30x optical zoom range that’s impressive, so we suspect some image processing is reducing the effect. Before we go to compare the Cyber-shot HX100V crops with those from the Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS it’s worth noting that these crops don’t look quite as clean and detailed as those from the Cyber-shot HX9V which shares the same 16.2 Megapixel Exmor-R sensor. Nonetheless, an overall excellent result from the Cyber-shot HX100V

Compared with the Fujufilm FinePix HS20, the crops from the Cyber-shot HX100V look quite clearly better. It’s not that apparent in the first crop, though detail in the FinePix HS20 EXR looks a little fuzzier. In the lighthouse crop the Cyber-shot HX100V has captured sharper edge detail in the windows and roofs in the foreground and the same goes for the brick work in the third crop. The final crop makes for an interesting comparison; in this crop from close to the centre of the frame there’s very little in it, if anything, the detail in the FinePix HS20 crop looks a little sharper. This suggests that it’s the lens on the Finepix HS20 EXR that’s the limiting factor rather than the sensor.

Compared with the 14.1 Megapixel Canon PowerShot SX30 IS the Cyber-shot HX100V crops stand up extremely well. In the first three crops fine and edge detail is better resolved on the Cyber-shot HX100V, the crops looks cleaner and sharper and are unaffected by the chromatic aberration that afflicts the PowerShot SX30 IS’s lens at the edges.

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

 
Sony Cyber-shot HX100V
 
Fujifilm Finepix HS20 EXR
 
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 80 ISO


Sony Cyber-shot HX100V results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V vs Fujfilm FinePix HS20 EXR vs Canon PowerShot SX30 IS Noise

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  Sony Cyber-shot HX100V results
1 Cyber-shot HX100V Resolution
2 Cyber-shot HX100V Noise
3 Cyber-shot HX100V Sample images

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions we shot this scene with the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V, the Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR and the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings at each of their ISO sensitivity settings.

All three cameras were set to Program auto exposure mode and the lenses were set to approximately the same field of view, around 4.8mm to match the widest available focal length on the Cyber-shot HX100V. The ISO sensitivity was set manually.

The above shot was taken with the the Sony Cyber-shot HX100V in Program auto mode. The lens was set to its widest angle focal length of 4.8mm (27mm equivalent), the sensitivity was set to 100 ISO and the exposure was 1/6th of a second at f2.8. The crops are taken from the area marked with the red square and presented below at 100%.

At 100 ISO the Cyber-shot HX100V crop looks good, though it’s by no means perfect. There’s plenty of detail in the the stone column on the left and the wood panelling. There’s a small engraved brass plate on the panelling and you can just about make out the detail here. Generally though, the detail in the crop looks just the tiniest bit smeared. Move up to 200 ISO and things are still looking pretty good, though there’s now a little noise starting to appear in the wood panelling and the detail in the stonework has taken on a slightly blocky appearance.

At 400 ISO, as you’d expect, the noise gets worse and the detail suffers a little as a consequence, however, this is still a relatively clean crop and I’d have no hesitation in using the Cyber-shot HX100V’s 400 ISO sensitivity for everyday shots, we’re not yet in ‘only for special circumstances’ territory. At 800 ISO we have however crossed that boundary, the noise is gaining the upper hand and the edge of the column is no longer an edge. It’s worth bearing in mind though, that although this looks very grainy at 100 percent, at smaller magnifications 800 ISO shots look quite respectable, check out the gallery for a better idea.

At 1600 ISO the noise has obscured all but the crudest details, and while it’s great to have a 3200 ISO option for capturing action, say, under street lighting, image quality is not going to be top of your priority list. An all-round excellent performance from the Cyber-shot HX100V’s new 16.2 Exmor-R sensor.

Compared with the FinePix HS20 EXR the Cyber-shot HX100V crops look even better than when you view them in isolation. Close up, the Finepix HS20 crops hold up well in terms of degradation as the ISO sensitivity increases, but they start well behind the Cyber-shot HX100V crops at the 100 ISO base sensitivity setting. The FinePix HS20 EXR 100 ISO crop looks quite heavily processed, there’s a quite a high degree of pixel clumping visible as well as, despite the processing, noisy pixels. It’s also unusual to see the edge definition of the stone column, which is in focus, fragmenting at such a low ISO sensitivity setting. As the FinePix HS20 EXR progresses up the ISO scale both the processing artefacts and the noise get progressively worse. Once again though, it’s worth stating that these differences, which look huge at 100 percent, are much less relevant at smaller sizes, it’s only if you’re making big prints or cropping that these quality differences will come into play.

Compared with the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS the qaulity margin is much narrower. The 80 ISO PowerShot SX30 IS crop looks to have a little more detail than the 100 ISO crop from the Cyber-shot HX100V and the same goes for the 100 and 200 ISO crops. Compare the detail in the stone column and the brass plate at the top of the wood panelling. From 400 ISO up, though there are qualitative differences in the way both cameras deal with the increasing noise, you’d be hard pressed to say one was better than the other.

Both the Cyber-shot HX100V and FinePix HS20 EXR have low light composite modes which I’ve compared in the final row of the table alongside the PowerShot SX30 IS’s (single shot) Low light scene mode. Though the Cyber-shot HX100V’s Anti Motion Blur doesn’t look as clean as the Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR’s Pro Low-light mode, it is at least a full 16 Megapixel shot compared with the Finepix’s 8 Megapixels.

Now head over to our Sony Cyber-shot HX100V sample images to see some more real-life shots in a variety of conditions.

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V
 
Fujifilm Finepix HS20 EXR
 
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
80 ISO Not available
80 ISO Not available
80 ISO
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 Not available
6400 ISO Not available
6400 ISO
6400 ISO Not available
12800 ISO Not available
12800 ISO
12800 ISO Not available
Anti Motion Blur 3200 ISO
Pro Low-light mode 2500 ISO
Low Light mode 2000 ISO

Sony Cyber-shot HX100V results : Real-life resolution / High ISO Noise

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