Sony Cybershot HX7v

sony-cyber-shot-hx7v

A super zoom compact camera

The best advantages of the new HX7v made by Sony are the very good features and the correct price. However, this digital camera must be reviewed if you want to see its full capabilities. Let’s see the review.

Expectations

After the launch of the WX1 model, the Exmor-R sensor made by Sony is ready for a comeback into the digital world photography. Anyway, after this first successful implementation of the new sensor, the Japanese brand decided to launch another model, called CyberShot HX5V. This seems to be the first compact ultra zoom able to fight with the Panasonic models (in fact the inventor of the genre) on sale these days. However, the new Sony CyberShot HX7v uses a new version of the Exmor-R sensor, the one with more pixels. This seems to be a risky business because it is the low light sensor that has built its reputation, Has Sony been able to maintain the same level of quality despite a higher definition in the low light ? Let’s see the test performed !

Reality

sony-cyber-shot-hx7vAt first look you can see that Sony has learned from its mistakes: the HX5V had a screen of 230 000 pixels, which was not very good for its time. However, the new gadget has a display with an amount of 460 000 pixels. The screen is able to provide deep blacks and amazing colors. It’s a very good step forward. The Cybershot HX7v is made from very good materials, even if the battery cover, designed in flexible plastic, can appear sort of scary at first look. This model still has a 25-250 mm zoom, a very wide angle and a 10x optical range more than comfortable if you are a traveler, for example.

Great pictures in our test

To add another six megapixel on the same sensor while maintaining its quality in low light was a challenge for Sony. However, this challenge was met successfully by engineers from this company. In our tests, the digital noise was very well controlled and kept at ISO values of up to 1600.

If you zoom in on background images, you’ll see the contours drawn and a slight flattening effect on homogeneous areas. As much as this accent is present, it is kept under control thanks to the software. This does not affect the quality of the image at all and it allows you to take 16 Mpix prints (or cropping), which are better than on previous models. We’ve seen in our test that the optical stabilization was very powerful. That meant that the camera took very sharp photos indoors. The colors are, as usual for the Sony producer, very good and natural.

Very good loading speed

The CyberShot HX7v needs just half a second to focus and shoot, even in low light. This is a good value for a compact with such a zoom range. In normal mode for viewing a picture, we have to wait between one to two seconds between two views. We would have liked it to be a little more aggressive, but this value is still in good parameters.
The Exmor-R sensor used by the HX7v still has a burst mode at 10 frames per second, very convenient to take photos of moving subjects, and the great panorama mode scanning remains very simple to use on a daily basis.

Impressive video mode

If you look at the video side of the story, Sony was the first producer to be able to implement Full HD 1080i (1920 x 1080 pixels) in a compact digital camera. And it feels very good in reality. Even if it does not reach the finesse of camcorders, the AVCHD video mode of the HX7v is on top of what a compact digital camera does. If you want to track moving subjects – cars, bikes, people, sports events -, the video mode still works fine and we appreciate the benefit of optical zoom while the device is running.
The GPS is not very pleasant because you must wait longer to catch a satellite signal, unless the signal is easily detected by other devices. Its only problem is the high battery consumption in the GPS mode.

Review conclusion

After our analysis we can say that the only problem with the HX7v is the GPS module. It sicks a lot of energy and is totally inefficient. The rest of the features are good: the images and videos are impressive, the optical range is very powerful, the performance (in low light, panorama, burst) is good and the price level is very fit for its range. Undoubtedly, the Sony Cybershot HX7v is the star of the class.

Technical specifications

Resolution16 MP
Viewfinder TypeLCD Monitor
Sensor TypeCMOS
AFYes
FlashYes
Optical Zoom10 x
Digital Zoom4 x
Image StabilizerOptical Stabilizer
Battery TypeSony NP-BG1
Total weight178 g

  1. Ion Georgiadis at 9:38 pm

    The smile function does not work, it will shoot whether the subject smiles or not.
    The portrait function does not work, it requires that you take the portrait at a distance closer than 30 cm which greatly distorts the face. Even so it works 50% of the time but the distorted portraits are useless!
    Otherwise a great camera.

    • gokul at 3:25 am

      hey ION GEORGIADIS:

      you have to turn on the smile shutter then select the recognition, that’s it works….