Sony HX7V / HX9V analyzing the 16MP sensor pictures - Part 2

The truth about the Sony HX7V and HX9V image quality.

If you want to see some early pre-production HX100V shots head here, but be warned, some are worse than the CES ones from the HX7V.

I just got a link to a Polish Sony forum posted here and it seems we have access to the first pre-production samples of the HX9V.
Thank you Chris for sharing.

ISO comparison pre-production HX7V

We take the picture above in ISO 100, 400 and 1600 then take a lossless crop from the original.
Sony HX7V pre-production ISO 100

Sony HX7V pre-production ISO 400

Sony HX7V pre-production ISO 1600

Now we resize to 4MP and do the same as above.
Sony HX7V pre-production ISO 100 resized to 4MP

Sony HX7V pre-production ISO 400 resized to 4MP

Sony HX7V pre-production ISO 1600 resized to 4MP

Background defocus
The objects are pretty close together, so defocussing might not work that well in these samples.

Sony HX9V pre-production original

Sony HX9V pre-production defocussed

Sony HX9V pre-production original

Sony HX9V pre-production defocussed
Sony HX9V zoom
Sony HX9V pre-production 1x zoom original size lossless crop

Sony HX9V pre-production 5x zoom original size lossless crop

Sony HX9V pre-production 10x zoom original size lossless crop
Sony HX9V pre-production 20x zoom original size lossless crop
Since the resolution of a zoom lens drops significantly at the long end, the amount of fine detail captured here is quite good.

Sony HX9V pre-production 20x zoom original size lossless crop


Thanks to the guys from sonyshop-satouchi.blog.so-net.ne.jp Osaka Japan we all can now have a closer look at 10 real life results from 25mm to 250mm and from ISO 125 to ISO 2500.

Let´s see how good Sony´s Bionz processor handles the 16MP sensor output, shall we?

Mid ISO bright scene

Sony HX7V 3x 1/30 sec ISO 800 no flash

Sony HX7V 3x 1/30 sec ISO 800 no flash original size lossless crop
The noise in the dark areas is very well handled the color and details are quite good.
For an ISO 800 on a tiny 16MP sensor Sony did a very good job here. 

As most of you know from my Sony HX5 blog I do most my post processing in the versatile and free Faststone viewer. If you want to retrace my steps, get a copy here , download the 10 images and play around with them. I use Auto Adjust Colors and USM sharpen at 15 for this set of images.

Sony HX7V 3x 1/30 sec ISO 800 no flash  resized to 8MP color and sharpness adjusted
Sony HX7V 3x 1/30 sec ISO 800 no flash  resized to 4MP color and sharpness adjusted

When I was working on this post I did that in bright sunlight, the colors looked good and there was no visible noise to see in the last 2 pictures. Now in the middle of the night by reviewing my post agin they look awful. Sorry about that.
Here is how they should have looked.

Only resized and sharpness added

Background defocus

"Create professional-looking images with a crisp foreground subject against a smoothly blurred background, just like a DSLR camera"

original size lossless crop
This first sample of the background defocus function looks promising.
So far I see no wrong parts defocused, also the purple fringing is very well controlled here.
It would be nice to have a choice here how strong the defocus is applied.

Details in the shadows
 there is also still a good amount of detail in the shadow.
shadows extreme brightened - this is much brighter than I would normally go, but just to show you the amount of detail what is captured

10x zoom

HX7V 16MP 1/250 sec ISO 200 original size lossless crop

resized to 4MP shadows,color and sharpness adjusted original size crop

picture from above highlights -50 shadows 20

playing with the highlights
Sony HX7V 1/640 sec ISO 125 10 x zoom
original size lossless crop

resized to 4MP to show a certain area

highlights -75
see how much better the white area and the golden parts look

Mid ISO dark scene

Sony HX7V 3x 1/25 sec ISO 800

original size lossless crop
quite impressive

Handheld Night Scene
HX7V 16MP 1/8 sec ISO 2500 Handheld Night Scene

original size lossless crop
where is all the noise? and there is still a good amount of detail in the shadows (black triangles at the top)
resized to 4MP shadows,color and sharpness adjusted original size crop
I brightened the shadows extreme 50 points to see what is under the bridge

just resized and slightly sharpened

The problem with large grey areas and noise

Sony HX7V 3x 1/30 sec ISO 125

original size lossless crop
the Bionz processor works hard to keep the noise to a minimum

Chrystal Tower Osaka Japan

Sony HX7V 1/500 sec ISO 125 ND filter F8

shadows 100, highlights -100, contrast 100, saturation 100
thanks to the GPS coordinates embedded in the EXIF we can visit the point where the picture was taken on Google Earth by just clicking on the Earth symbol in Faststone

+ + +
After seeing the pictures taken with a Sony HX7V in Las Vegas at the CES I felt that my worst fears regarding the 16MP sensor have come true.
HX7V ISO 200

Now after seeing and working with the pictures from Osaka and Warszawa I am very impressed. When the future samples from the HX7V and the HX9V are in the same ball park than I will gladly upgrade my HX5 to an HX9.

Take a close look at the pictures and then tell me what YOU think about it.
No need to sign up or log in to use the comments and don´t worry if English is not your first language, just write in your native language use a translator to English and post it here.


  1. Hi, I've been following your site since the HX9 was announced :) Thank you for collecting all information about HX9 and putting it in one place. I wanted to get the HX5 back in august, but because I could manage without it for few months I thought I will wait for the updated version.

    The photos look great, and even if other cameras from other manufacturers (with same/similar price tag) produce slightly better pictures (due to less mega-pixel or what ever reason), HX9 will still be the winner in my opinion due to other features it has.

    When I get the HX9, the only problem I can see is every time I transfer photos to computer I have to resize and apply a small amount of sharpness. I've been using a canon 4mp camera for over 4 years and I never needed more than 4mp pictures.

    Looking at the pictures above, and after resizing/sharpening, I think it looks amazing!


  2. Hi there. First of all I want to thank you for maintaining this blog (which I've subscribed to as you can obviously see). I'm planning to buy a camera (for 99% it's going to be a super zoom) because I love to take photos and at the moment the only camera which I posses is built in my Sony Ericsson C702 phone (in fact it's able to produce quite good photos, some of them I upload to my Picasa album which can be found here). I'm watching closely to every news about new camera models which have been announced this year and your blog is a great source of information about Sony HX7V and HX9V. Keep up this wonderful work!
    I've looked at the pictures from Osaka thoroughly and I agree with you, they look very promising. When I first read about 16.2 Mpix sensor I feared the worst. If these pictures from Osaka represent the final quality which HX7/9V will offer, then HX9V will end up in my pocket. Most of all I was pleased with the level of quality of the photos taken at night. I tried to find there a noise, but without a success. And we're talking about ISO 2500, Sony did great job with noise reduction. Also background defocus looks nice.
    I hope that in next two weeks some full reviews will emerge over the Internet and we'll finally get to know how good or (hopefully not) bad HX7V and HX9V are. Wish you the best and again keep up this great work!

  3. Wow, those look pretty good! It looks like iso 400 will actually be usable, iso 16000 could be alright if cleaned up in post, and background defocus actually works! I'm really looking forward to this camera.

    Has anyone else had any trouble with the scroll wheel like the guys who did the first preview did?

  4. Oops, I mean iso 1600... now 16000, THAT would be amazing...

  5. so far no one else mentioned any trouble with the wheel and yes, the results are promising

  6. Here's to crossing fingers that the guy who did the first preview had big, clumsy thumbs. This camera really looks like its gonna be the best of the pocket superzooms.

  7. i'm a girl with pretty small hands and i've had the HX7 for about 6 months now and I can say it does have problems with the wheels. My first HX7 had difficulties with the mode wheel. I returned it and got another one but this time the scrolling wheel has a problem. otherwise I love my camera


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