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Sony HX200V experiences?

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Old Thursday 17th May 2012, 16:00   #1
sross
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Sony HX200V experiences?

After some experience with the Canon SX40 and the Nikon P510, I'm now curious about the Sony HX200V, particularly in the areas of digital zoom and the "manual" focus ring.

I purchased the Canon SX40 in March and was VERY pleased with the results. I anticipated using maximum digital zoom (140x on the SX40) mostly for identification purposes, but was pleased when many of the photos taken at that zoom level were really very good.

This month I switched to the Nikon P510, lured by its 42x optical zoom and higher megapixels (16 vs. the Canon's 12). I was sorely disappointed. Not only does the Nikon's digital zoom fall far short of the Canon's (I think its only about 84x?), but the autofocus just seems to not like birds very much. More pixels don't necessarily help the enlarging and cropping process if they're not in sharp focus ....

I'm curious to hear about others' experience with the Sony's digital zoom (HX100v as well as the newer HX200v) and whether the focusing ring is as useful as I think it might be.

The Sony's autofocus seems to be very fast in the store, but does it like birds? (that seems like a really dumb question, but one I have to ask after my Nikon P510 experience).

Trying to decide whether to give the Sony a shot or just go back to the SX40 ...
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2012, 11:54   #2
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Scott Hi,

I've had my Sony HX 100V since May '11...I generally use the ''Idiot'' mode (the gold camera icon on the selector mode), and have not been disappointed (all shots at 30x Optical...and mostly in poor light! NB image 3 is a ''grab'' from the 1080p video).

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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2012, 13:30   #3
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Scott

I have a HX100V and also use the idiot modes. If something is in undergrowth I pre focuse on something else the same distance away. I use the Manual focus/zoom in the zoom mode as its faster to manual zoom out to max optical zoom ( 810mm ) than using the lever. 140x is meaningless unless you know the minium zoom figures.
I do like this camera, the video function is very,very good, I'd buy it purely for the video, compared to camcorders its very cheap and the 810mm is great. The downside is switching from viewing mode ( looking at what you have just taken ) to getting ready to shoot again seems slow as does time between shots.
All in all its a very good camera, but like all camera's it works better in good light!
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Old Monday 20th August 2012, 07:46   #4
Aloof1
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I use the 200 for my back yard feeders and post videos online at youtube. I don't mess with any of the settings just use it with auto settings.

the zoom is amazing with birds in photo or video that are far away. if you're trying to get detail from a close up bird and go into the digital zoom levels the quality is junk, but if you stay in the optical levels with a bird that close anyway then you're good.

burst mode is amazing for flying birds but the processing time it takes for 10 photos afterwards is a few seconds wait.

zoom test

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcRHGPGmHYA&feature=plcp


also look on my channel for lots of other videos of the backyard feeder from the sony 200.

the focus is useless in manual mode, at least to me it is but i'm not much into cameras. the auto focus loves birds but likes the glass blocks across my alley a bit more. if it focus on them i just tilt it down to get the fence on which the bird is standing on then it works.
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Old Monday 20th August 2012, 14:04   #5
Neil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sross View Post
After some experience with the Canon SX40 and the Nikon P510, I'm now curious about the Sony HX200V, particularly in the areas of digital zoom and the "manual" focus ring.

I purchased the Canon SX40 in March and was VERY pleased with the results. I anticipated using maximum digital zoom (140x on the SX40) mostly for identification purposes, but was pleased when many of the photos taken at that zoom level were really very good.

This month I switched to the Nikon P510, lured by its 42x optical zoom and higher megapixels (16 vs. the Canon's 12). I was sorely disappointed. Not only does the Nikon's digital zoom fall far short of the Canon's (I think its only about 84x?), but the autofocus just seems to not like birds very much. More pixels don't necessarily help the enlarging and cropping process if they're not in sharp focus ....

I'm curious to hear about others' experience with the Sony's digital zoom (HX100v as well as the newer HX200v) and whether the focusing ring is as useful as I think it might be.

The Sony's autofocus seems to be very fast in the store, but does it like birds? (that seems like a really dumb question, but one I have to ask after my Nikon P510 experience).

Trying to decide whether to give the Sony a shot or just go back to the SX40 ...
I've just been to Oman with the Canon SX40HS and it didn't like "birds" very much either. At full zoom there was too much dust in the air for the AF to lock on. I travel with this camera all the time now and had no trouble in Barcelona and LA but of course the light was much better.
I tested the P510 in the store and it looks ok ( I have the P500 ) but I expect at 1000 mm it won't "cut the mustard" for birds.
How do you find it if you back off the zoom to about 800 mm?
I think you'll find the Sony is better for video than stills.
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Old Wednesday 26th September 2012, 12:20   #6
Steve McDonald
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HX200V Recommendations

I've had a Sony HX200V for 6 months and it's great for 60p video, with as much as 1,250mm of lens reach in Active stabilization mode. I can also get good photos with it, but it takes some work in learning the best settings. I always lock the ISO on 100, unless the light is dim. I usually use P mode, with center metering and spot focus.

I also have an HX100V and an HX1. I've liked them all, but if you are considering this type of camera, I recommend you also check out the Panasonic FZ200. It has more manual video controls and a mike input.

My photos can be seen here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
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Old Saturday 8th December 2012, 00:13   #7
vamsi457
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Hi All,
I bought Sony HX200V few days back. I was new to photography, but learned few tips from my brother. I am unable to reduce the focus manually after zooming to a distance. Is there any setting in HX200V for complete manual focus control or is it just that we can only reduce focus to a particular limit after zooming. Please note that I am trying to use manual focus with modes P, A, S ,M having set option Manual focus. The focus label(Yellow hand symbol with 'F' on it) is blinking.

Thanks,
Vamsi
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Old Saturday 8th December 2012, 03:10   #8
Steve McDonald
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vamsi457 View Post
Hi All,
I bought Sony HX200V few days back. I was new to photography, but learned few tips from my brother. I am unable to reduce the focus manually after zooming to a distance. Is there any setting in HX200V for complete manual focus control or is it just that we can only reduce focus to a particular limit after zooming. Please note that I am trying to use manual focus with modes P, A, S ,M having set option Manual focus. The focus label(Yellow hand symbol with 'F' on it) is blinking.

Thanks,
Vamsi
The manual focus control on the HX200V is not fully manual. It is electronically activated and skips between indexed points of adjustment. It is not as precisely accurate as would be necessary, when the depth-of-focus is shallow, such as in high-zoom or dim light situations. The autofocus is not limited to these indexed skips and is very accurate and quick. I always use autofocus with this model and get very good results. The tracking focus feature is amazing with this camera and the two earlier HX-Series models.

The Active Stabilization mode for Video in the Menu is very good and gives you 1,250mm in focal-length, with no loss of image quality. If you use the 60p or FS video mode, there is no fluttering with moving subjects and it produces better still-capture photos.

Another issue is the noise-reduction (NR) level setting. Don't use the low setting, as there's an error in the firmware that raises the level to the same as the high setting. The middle setting will give the best results and show the least NR artifacts. Don't expect Sony to issue a firmware upgrade, as they almost never do this for their fixed-lens cameras.

Forget the favorable remark I made about the Panasonic FZ200 in an earlier message. I've determined that like all the earlier FZ models, it has a bad video autofocusing flaw. When panning or zooming, it's liable to lose its focus for a few moments or longer. It isn't nearly as quick or stable in this respect as the Sony models. After looking at thousands of still photos from this model, I'm not impressed. The HX200V does better, despite the claims of the Panasonic fanboyz.

Last edited by Steve McDonald : Saturday 8th December 2012 at 03:21.
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Old Monday 11th March 2013, 21:24   #9
Al_Menk
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New Sony HX200V Images are not sharp

I've had the Sony HX200V for a couple weeks and I'm some what disappointed in the image quality when shooting birds with the telephoto lens extended in optical zoom. The images look ok on the view finder, but when downloaded to the computer using Picasa, at 100% most are blured.

I've been shooting at ISO 100 in good light. P mode with Spot focus. I bought the camera to replace a 300mm and DSLR combo. Liked the telephoto cababilities and easy of carry. Thought it would be good to take on trips.

The camera has a lot of capabilities, but without being able to provide sharp images, what good is it?

I'd consider myself as a semi-pro and use good techniques. I use the eye viewfinder, not the screen when taking images. I also have a Sony DSC-H9 camera.

Do others experience these symptoms or could I be doing something wrong or have the settings messed up. I don't recall changing any the the factory set settings.
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Old Monday 11th March 2013, 22:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_Menk View Post
I've had the Sony HX200V for a couple weeks and I'm some what disappointed in the image quality when shooting birds with the telephoto lens extended in optical zoom. The images look ok on the view finder, but when downloaded to the computer using Picasa, at 100% most are blured.

I've been shooting at ISO 100 in good light. P mode with Spot focus. I bought the camera to replace a 300mm and DSLR combo. Liked the telephoto cababilities and easy of carry. Thought it would be good to take on trips.

The camera has a lot of capabilities, but without being able to provide sharp images, what good is it?

I'd consider myself as a semi-pro and use good techniques. I use the eye viewfinder, not the screen when taking images. I also have a Sony DSC-H9 camera.

Do others experience these symptoms or could I be doing something wrong or have the settings messed up. I don't recall changing any the the factory set settings.
Try Aperture Priority and a higher iso to get the Shutter speeds up but this camera is not that good for photos ( I have the 9v and it has the same problem ). It's mainly for good HD video.
Have a look at the Canon SX50HS which is the best super zoom out there at the moment.
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Old Tuesday 12th March 2013, 09:40   #11
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...Or Fuji HS50EXR - it has manual zoom (and focus) ring, 42x optical zoom and AFAIK the fastest autofocus among superzooms. Not sure how it compares to Canon SX50 image quality wise, there's only few pics on the web so far.
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Old Tuesday 12th March 2013, 10:45   #12
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The Sony HX300 has been announced and has a 50x optical zoom (24-1200mm).

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/02...ompact-cameras
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Old Tuesday 12th March 2013, 13:08   #13
Al_Menk
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If the Sony HX200V has problems with producing a clear image at 30X, I'd be very leary of their HX300V at 50X.

There's plenty of nice features with the HX200V and it's a combo camera for still images and video. But not producing reasonably sharp images in the still image mode is a downfall that can't be accepted.

I plan on returning mine and see if an exchange is possible for a Cannon SX50.
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Old Tuesday 12th March 2013, 13:45   #14
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Al - the key with these super-high-zoom cameras is going to be shutter speed. Despite stabilization, pushing out to well over 1,000mm equivalent and trying to be steady enough to keep a small bird that's nearly filling the frame will be eminently difficult - the old rule of thumb in the film camera days was 1 over focal length - in other words, at 500mm, you needed a bare-bones minimum of 1/500 to get a steady shot, and even then, it was dependent on the stance and stability of the photographer. With these new cameras shooting at 1,200mm to 1,500mm, you're looking at needing shutter speeds of 1/1500 to 1/2000 - since they do have optical stabilization that might buy you a stop or two of shutter speed - but you're still going to want to be 1/800 or so at the slowest. Look back on your blurry photos and see what shutter speed you had - it's quite possible with the ISO set manually to 100, and that much zoom, you had too slow shutter speeds which caused your blurriness. Going to Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, etc won't solve the problem - it's likely going to be a factor of needing a much faster shutter speed when shooting at over 1,000mm focal equivalents!

(BTW - I occasionally shoot with a 500mm lens, using a 2x teleconverter, on my DSLR, which has a 1.5x crop factor - so I'm shooting at an equivalent focal length of 1,500mm - similar to what these newer 50x superzooms are producing...believe me, the most microscopic and infantesimal amount of shake or vibration at those focal lengths result in blurry subjects...often the photo looks good when small or from a distance, then when you look at it blown up, you realize that everything got a little blurry or fuzzy and just doesn't have the sharp details and crispness. In every case I've looked at, it wasn't the lens or camera's fault, but the result of too slow shutter speed at too long a focal length.
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Old Tuesday 12th March 2013, 16:40   #15
Al_Menk
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Thanks Justin, your response makes perfect sense. I reviewed some of the images and the fastest shutter speed was 800, some slower than that. I agree that the shutter speed should be at the same or faster than the mm length of the lens. Was hoping that the image stabilization would be of some benefit.

With my DSLR, Nikon D90, or my Sony DSC9, I would increase the ISO up to 400. But with the Sony HX200V, the image starts to pickup noise throughout the frame at that ISO level or above.

I was also thinking the 18 Megapixels would help in providing a sharper image.

Maybe no good decision here with these super telephoto type cameras.
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Old Wednesday 13th March 2013, 18:09   #16
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As with any camera, they involve some compromise...indeed, the small sensors needed to get such awesome focal length out of a tiny package means you lose the ability to crank up the ISO sensitivity without getting lots of noise - perhaps using ISO200 or 400 in some situations might be a suitable compromise - accept a little more noise to get faster shutter speeds so at least the subject is sharp - a little post processing to reduce the noise might present better results overall. But superzooms in general will all suffer from similar issues - they use sensors that are 1/2.5", which is super-tiny - about 1/12th the size of an APS-C DSLR sensor! There's only so much you can do with that size of sensor - these types of cameras respond particularly well in very good, bright sunlight, so they can get nice fast shutter speeds at the lowest ISO.

Another workaround that might help would be to use a monopod with them when shooting at the maximum focal range - that, combined with the stabilization, might be enough to allow a good, sharp, vibration free shot at 1/800 shutter speed.

My last experience with superzoom cameras was a Sony H5, which I used in combination with a 1.7x teleextender, for an equivalent reach of 720mm - a lot, but short of today's mega-super-zooms. I often shot that combo with a monopod, and was able to get pretty sharp results of birds at max telephoto even with shutter speeds down to 1/500, definitely slower than the focal length shutter rule...the monopod and stabilization together seemed to give me at least 2 stops advantage over the 1/focal rule.

They have their advantages as well as compromises - having over 1,000mm in a less-than-1-Lb camera fitting in the palm of your hand is an amazing thing, even with the other compromises considered! When I want 1,500mm on my DSLR, it's a rig that runs 4-feet-long, weighs over 10Lbs, pretty much mandatory tripod mounted, and is manual-focus only. :)
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Old Friday 22nd March 2013, 16:30   #17
Al_Menk
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Recieved Cannon SX50HS

Received and tested a Cannon SX50HS and found it to be much improved from the problems I was experiencing with the Sony HX200V reported previously. I don't know if I had just a bad camera or all the Sony HX200V's have similar characteristics.

Tested both full telephoto, 50X optical, and macro while hand holding. Click image for larger version

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ID:	433537 Shutter Speed 1/1000, F6.5, ISO 160. Camera was on Auto mode at max zoom.

Also the Cannon SX50HS came with a battery charger verses the Sony which it was a add on accessory. Also noticeable, there was not a shutter delay when the shutter button was pushed with the Cannon SX50HS.

So I'm happy I returned the Sony and exchanged it for the Cannon SX50HS.

Al Menk

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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 23:46   #18
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This was taken with a 1/2000 shutter speed in early morning with the new Sony 300. ISO and oev are set to auto, tripod was used also. zoom was close to full 50x i think. Love shooting the birds fast as possible, still a beginner though so i dont know where to put my oev or iso at yet.
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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 23:57   #19
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I think the 300 is a big improvement over the 200v, but it takes time to get used to. Best thing is you have a longer zoom range so you can still have a great picture without going to the focal ends and loosing some quality, where the 200v has a small range and you find yourself using it more towards the max focal zoom. When you try to crop a maxed out 200v picture is looks like crap compared to a 300 75% zoom cropped photo.

The new antishake is goofy but helps better if you have a bit of tripod movement. Tried the Canon sx50 for a week but returned it as the video quality was nowhere near the sony 200v or the new 300. Also the early morning lighting pictures didnt show up as good as on the two Sonys. Both 50x cameras need a tripod and not to be touched if you want the best photo, i'm and ordering the Sony remote control to see if that helps much.
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Old Saturday 20th April 2013, 22:34   #20
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I picked up a HX200V today , mainly for the 1080/50p video quality. It will compliment the 9V and the Canon SX40HS which I have been using for the last year to record the action out on the mudflats. I shot 100 gigs of video last Thursday which I'm still plowing through looking for a Spoon-billed Sandpiper so I guess the 200V will only add more.
I'll need more hard drives.
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Old Wednesday 15th May 2013, 09:56   #21
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I've been a bit tardy in uploading some photos from the 200v that I've had for about 3 weeks. I have been taking it out every day and shooting video and the occasional photo.
It's rained almost every day since I bought it but here are a few.
Neil
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Old Tuesday 28th May 2013, 14:38   #22
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I had a bit of fun with the Minature Effect Mode today.
Neil

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China
May 2013
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Old Monday 17th June 2013, 01:44   #23
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Just got back from a week in New York. Weather was all over the place with heat,rain,floods and cold. Managed to have a nice morning out in New Jersey with a birding mate and saw some nice birds. I needed a bit more length than the 200v but got some nice record photos and a couple of "lifers".
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Old Saturday 23rd November 2013, 07:34   #24
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I'm still using the DSC HX200v almost every day and took it on a trip to Botswana in the middle of the year.
This is a video showing the incredible zoom range of the camera and how useful it is for Africa.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/11005480916/
I am looking for an upgrade though.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2014, 07:40   #25
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Another zooming in and out test with the 200v on my recent trip to Europe. Light was good despite the clouds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYW9V...ature=youtu.be

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