Comparing the Sony HX9V with the HX7V and HX5V at digitalversus and other sources shows the following differences to my eyes:
The HX9V pictures have a bit more detail and seem a tad sharper than the HX7V.
The HX9V pictures have more detail and are sharper than the HX5.
The HX9V and HX7V capture finer details than the HX5.
The indoor white balance of the HC9V is much better than the HX7V or HX5.
The HD video from the HX9V has much more detail than the HX7V or HX5.
The flash from the HX9V seems warmer in the tone than the HX7V or HX5.
The new magnetic focus is 3 to 5 times faster than the one from the HX7V or HX5.
HX7V low light focus and on/off are a bit faster then the HX9V.
HX5 low light focus is a bit faster than the HX9V (I doubt that and will compare myself)
HX9V on/off is a bit faster than the HX5.
HX9V and HX7V faster from photo to photo shooting as the HX5.
I got confirmation the sound from the HX7V and the HX9V has improved.
After finishing the above comparison I just went to my camera guy and ordered a Sony HX9V to replace my Sony HX1 and Sony HX5.
I should have my new HX9V in April for 299 Euro here.
|HX5 Width 103 mm - Height 56 mm - Depth 29 mm - NP-BG1 - 310 shots - 155min - 200g|
Battery Charger, Multi Connector Cable, HDMI dongle
The Sony HX7V has the same dimensions as the Sony HX5V
|Sony HX9V front|
|Sony HX7V front|
|Sony HX5V front|
|Sony HX9V back|
|Sony HX7V back|
|Sony HX5V back|
Sony DSC-WX10 $280
So the Sony HX9V is too big for you, you want something slimmer like the HX7V or even slimmer if possible but with all the features of the HX9V / HX7V.
Well, Sony has you covered, it is called the WX10.
Since it has no V at the end it has no GPS and since you wanted it slimmer, a 10x is not possible here. But if 7x is fine with you, then there is a nice bright wide angle lens with F:2.4 waiting for you.
|Sony WX10 - mostly identical with the HX7V features|
Sony DSC-H70 (H55 replacement) $230
|Sony H70 - 720p mono - 16MP CCD - 10 x|
|Sony H70 - basic 10x travel zoom|
Sony HX7V and Sony HX9VWhat is better compared to the Sony HX5V?
|HX7V top HX5 bottom|
HX9V only: 1080p 50/60 fps at 28 Mps from 1080i 50/60 fps at 17 Mps
HX9V and maybe HX7V: better microphones and better sound
microphones with digital wind filter
HX9V only: 16 x zoom instead of 10 x
take 3 mp pictures while shooting non interrupted video
HX9V only: with 1080p you can capture 2MP pictures at 50/60 fps up to 30 min (motion blur and the actual cutting points will reduce the number of usable frames a good amount but it is still a fantastic option I look forward to explore)
HX9V only: up to 0.1 sec focus lock courtesy of the magnetic coil system - before 0.3 - 0.4
HX9V only: better indoor white balance than HX5 or HX7V
Intelligent Sweep Panorama HR up to 42.9MP 10480x4096 resolution
ISO starts at 100 now (125 before)
DSLR style Background Defocus
the auto mode+ can also select the multi frame modes (HDR, HHT and AMB)
3 image stacking when shooting HDR or against the sun
much better grip thanks to rubbery surface
HX9V only: more pronounced grip
HX9V only: rubber thumb grip
charge direct via Sony multi port USB cable
HDMI port (no more dongle)
better button layout
HX9V only: MR mode and Custom button
Scroll wheel (needs to be tested if it is an improvement)
the metal tripod connector moved from the outside to the center but is still not under the center of the lens
HX9v only: color mode
HX9v only: set level of sharpness
HX9v only: set level of saturation
HX9v only: set level of contrast
the new party-shot works now also with the HX7V and HX9V
then there is also the higher resolution the 16MP sensor offers.
|Sony HX9V (left) vs Sony HX7V (right)|
see for yourself
|Sony HX9V and HX7V - the difference in HDMI doors|
Why Sony, why? You had it right with the HX7V, why change for the worse?
What is worse compared to the Sony HX5V?
The 16 MP on a tiny 1:2.3" sensor. That brings the 37 MP/cm² pixel density from the HX5 up to 57 MP/cm².
But it seems Sony uses some different settings to make the 16MP pictures look not too bad.
There is a bit more contrast and bigger single color areas get more smoothed also a selected sharpening is applied.
After reviewing the ten 16MP HX7V sample pictures from Osaka and the pre-production HX9V samples I am happy to see that they are much better than the pre-production HX7V pictures from the CES.
If the quality stays this way then they are not worse than the pictures from the HX5 up to ISO 400, above that there is a slight decline in quality noticeable because of the less photons what reach each sensor receptor.
Let´s see if Sony really pulled a rabbit out of the hat and tamed the 16MP sensor output.
I bought the HX1 and HX5 also because of the lower megapixels compared to the competition.
But marketing said the customers want high numbers so let´s give it to them until they puke.
I spend some time trying to figure out why I do not see more detail on my more megapixel cameras.
Now I started with a refurbished 1 Mp Nikon for over $400 moved to a Panasonic with 1.3, then a Canon with 2, a Kyocera with 3, the Canon S2 with 5, a Ricoh with 7, the Sony HX1 with 9, HX5 with 10 and the Samsung WP10 with 12Mp.
But the pictures got more soft as the Megapixels rose.
To understand what is going on, visit Petavoxel and read about Diffraction and Fraud in Digicams, How Big Are My Pixels? and the go to Cambridge and check out VISUAL EXAMPLE: APERTURE VS. PIXEL SIZE
click on Canon PowerShot G6
and then on f/2.8
you see the light dot is in the one pixel raster.
now lets look at how that will look on a tiny 16 Mp sensor
we learned that 50 Mp/sq. cm —> 1.4 micron pixels [e.g. 14-megapixel compacts]
so the 16.8 Mp sensor (16.2 used) should be around 1.3 micron.
now put your mouse over f/11 and you have an idea who many pixels are used with f/3.3
now slide over to f/16 and f/22 and you see how many pixels are used at mid range to full tele.
You should understand now why Sony did not put an Aperture mode in the HX5 and why it makes no sense that Panasonic put one in their latest TZ models, also why tele photos are mostly noticeably softer and have less detail.
If you see the Sony HX9V as a 4 Megapixel camera you will not be too disappointed, but if you think that 16 Mp could offer a sharp 16 Mp detail picture you are sadly mistaken.
If you want to have usable 16 Mp think of the Sony A55 and a very expensive no zoom prime lens, you at 4 times the price of the HX9V and even then you will not be able to capture 16 Mp of detail.
I did a lot of reading up when I was on the verge to get me a Sony A55 and learned a lot about lenses and resolutions etc. With the little excurse above you will be on the right track to understand what is going on and why most people are disappointed because of the high Mp and low quality results.
OK so we established that the image quality will suffer, what about video?
On some discussions I read that people assume the video uses the whole sensor and then resize it to HD.
That is wishful thinking because than you would have a 10 or more Mp camera with constant 30 fps. Call me back in some years for that.
4608 pixel wide / 2 = 2304 pixel and we need 1920 for full HD.
So when we just use the center crop to generate our video stream we have the sharpest part of the lens but with a 16 Mp sensor and what we learned above the true resolution will be much lower.
Ever took a 2 MP 1080 full HD recording downsized it to 1 MP 720 HD and tried to see the big difference?
I did and I could not find it.
In my tests with the HX5 I found not more than guessed 20% of more resolution where 100% more should have been.
Now with lots of post processing in the Bionz chip let´s see what the Sony engineers came up to solve the 16 MP madness to make me part with my money.
Here some words from Sony the Tiger:
Sony executive Masashi “Tiger” Imamura was discussing the “megapixel race” in a PMA interview with Imaging Resource.
” …making the pixel smaller on the imager, requires a lot of new technology development. [...] So, as somebody said, the race was not good for the customers, but on the other hand, good for us to develop the technologies. Do you understand?”
Yes, we do!
And since a Sony sensor is in most cameras today we have no choice.
Oh and by the way you still owe me a replacement sensor for my Canon A60 what died the untimely loose wire death.