I had some quality hands-on time with the Sony DSC-HX80 digital camera. With improvements in smart phone cameras, manufacturers have been trying to differentiate between them. In this case, Sony has a tiny camera that has an EVF, huge zoom range, and a flip-up screen. The camera has a small 1/2.3″ sensor but they try to make up for that in features.
Features of note:
- This is a compact 1/2.3 inch sensor camera with a 24-720mm equivalent lens with an 18.2mp lens.
- It’s solid in the hands, very compact for what it includes.
- A flip-up screen for selfie photos and videos.
- The battery is a NP-BX1 X-Type rated at 1240 mAh. Not too bad for a small camera like this with an estimated ~390 photos per charge.
- It has optical stabilization.
- WIFI and NFC for connection to phones with their PlayMemories app.
- It has a small pop-up electronic viewfinder.
Features I’d like to see improved on:
- The maximum aperture range of f3.5-6.4 isn’t ideal. That means less light will get to the sensor than a lens that starts at something like f2.8 and ends at f5.6.
- Contrast detection AF only, so no phase detection pixels.
- I’d personally prefer at least 20mm on the wide end.
- The pop-up viewfinder is very small. If this is a key feature for you then you might want to look into a larger camera.
- Video recording goes up to 1080p only.
It gives you features you won’t get on a smart phone such as the 24-270mm zoom lens and various dedicated camera specific control options. Smaller and with better build quality than the Nikon A900, but includes features such as the electronic viewfinder. Though, it doesn’t have the extreme range of the A900 (24-480mm) or the 4k video.
All of the cameras I’ve done hands-on videos about are also available in this kit.co list.
Thanks to Camera Craft in Rockford, Illinois, USA for allowing me to film there: http://cameracraftinc.com/
Hey, this is Scott of Photography Banzai. In this video I'll be doing a hands-on with the Sony DSC-HX80. A neat little digital camera. Thanks to Camera Craft in Rockford Illinois for allowing me to film there. This HX-80 is a very small digital camera. Of course they're having a lot of challenges with great cameras in phones these days. They're trying to differentiate and this camera definitely has some features you won't find on a phone. It does have a standard 1/2.3 inch sensor. That is pretty much the smallest sensor that most digital cameras have these days. Has a viewfinder. Has a nice lens attached. You know you're not going to get that with a phone. I do feel there are definitely still uses and reasons to have a small digital camera. Something like this... This is a 24 to 720mm equivalent lens on it, so there's an extreme amount of zoom range on it, but the equivalent focal length of 24mm is pretty decently wide. This camera does have a nice large battery in it, and an estimated 390 shots per charge. As I mentioned the lens is 24 to 720mm equivalent, so it's a very very big range. The potential drawback is the aperture. You've got f3.5 to f6.4 throughout that zoom range. I would have liked to see something faster, but it is a relatively inexpensive camera for what it is... so I do understand the apertures are not as large as something a little more expensive. The lens itself also has some type of stabilization. I do record a little video you can check out. It appears to work relatively well. I didn't do any extensive testing, but it does have that stabilization, which is very nice to have. And especially a camera like this with those smaller apertures. Of course, a cool feature of this camera is that flip up screen. It's kind of designed to do the selfie videography and things of that nature. Taking photos of yourself and a few other people. Flip up that screen. Actually, when you press the shutter button.. when the screen is flipped up it'll give you a countdown, which is really nice to have in that situation. So you can see here I'm doing a selfie with the screen flipped up. Press the button, get the few second countdown, takes a photo pretty much as easy as it can get with that selfie stuff... Standard USB port on the camera covered by a little plastic cover. Here's the lens in a little bit of detail.. When you turn it on It extends quite a bit, even when you zoom in and out there's even more further extension to that lens, so it gets very far from the camera. Of course, you really need that extension for such a huge zoom range on it. You can tell this camera is designed to be used handheld. It does have a tripod mount, but it's not in-line with the lens. It also has an HDMI connection, but it's on the bottom of the camera.. which is a little interesting. The battery door seems decent quality. It has a switch on it, which is pretty solid. The battery itself is a NPB-X1 x-type battery. 1240 mAh like I said 390 potential shots on it, which is not bad for a camera like this. Of course one SD card slot, but it does take those memory stick Sony specific cards, which I'm surprised still exist. But that is an option if you have those instead of SD cards for whatever reason. The camera surprisingly does have the electronic viewfinder in it. You have a little switch that you hold down it will turn on the camera if you pop up the viewfinder when the camera is not on which is nice. The EVF is very tiny. It took me a little effort to figure out how to use it properly to get a decent look through it. Taking off my glasses worked relatively well. I did figure out how to get a decent view with glasses on. Has that diopter on the top. Very easy to change which is nice. When you do extend the viewfinder you have to pull it out by hand so it extends back towards the user and then it'll work as you expect pretty neat little viewfinder. Of course it is very very small. Just consider that if it's a key feature for you. It looks nice when you can get a view in there, but it is very tiny. The camera also has a flash.. A nice little pop-up flash. Nothing to complain about with that. I did test out the zoom range. You can see in this clip. Extreme zoom range, especially for such a tiny camera. I think the best situation to use that would be of course outdoors in broad daylight.. Nice bright situation. You do have to consider the aperture gets quite a bit smaller at the extended zoom. I did try this camera out with selfie video mode. Took a short clip. Also, I used my action camera to film myself doing a selfie, so a double selfie. I think it turned out alright. You can see how it looks. Actually works pretty decently well at the 24mm equivalent. The fully wide-angle of that lens. I think they did a very nice job with the intended purpose for that selfie stuff and you also have the shake reduction, which can help. I think this camera will work decently well in that vlogging situation. Of course you do have to consider quality will not be amazing. It's 1080p, also the sensor inside is small. You just definitely want to try it out for yourself if you can before you go out and buy it. Because image quality will not be something like one inch sensor cameras so the RX100 series from Sony. Those will definitely have higher quality than this, but I do think this is a nice option. Especially if you can get it at a decent price. There's a lot of unique features you won't find in a phone. The EVF the super long-range zoom. It does have a flash of course. That probably works decently well, I didn't do too much with it. I took one or two photos with the flash, but it is in there and it's nice to have. Of course the screen.. you can use it fully extended back towards the user if you have the lens face towards you for the selfie stuff, but you can also use it kinda from the hip as they say. Where it's halfway extended get some nice stabilization in the way that you're holding it. You can do some panning shots. You have a nice camera maybe on your phone, but it won't do everything this can do. You do have more control in this case.. a lot of menu options.. very very few phones have a lot of manual control to them. So that was a Sony DSC HX-80. A neat little camera. Glad that I had some time to check it out. So I'm Scott from Photography Banzai. I hope you found this video interesting. Again, thanks to Camera Craft in Rockford Illinois. Definitely check them out if you're in the area. Thanks again!