Sony Cy­ber-shot DSC-HX60V

City break­ers’ pal of­fers man­ual op­tions and ease of use

Australian T3 - - RATED -

$499, Sony.com.au

This travel com­pact is very sim­i­lar in many ways to the Canon Powershot op­po­site: 30x op­ti­cal zoom, a 921K-dot, three-inch screen and Full-HD video cap­ture, al­beit at a slightly re­duced 24 frames per sec­ond. It’s the sen­sor that sets this cam­era apart, though, a qual­ity, Sony-made Ex­mor R CMOS num­ber with 20.4 megapix­els. It de­liv­ers sharply de­tailed and colour-rich re­sults even at max­i­mum tele­photo set­tings, with plenty of con­trast that re­quires no ad­di­tional tweak­ing.

Fur­ther en­tice­ments come in the form of a Bionz X pro­ces­sor, as utilised by the more pro mod­els in Sony’s range, in­clud­ing the A7. The max­i­mum lens aper­ture is a so-so f/3.5, which is un­der­qual­i­fied com­pared with the f/1.4 or f/1.8 of some other pre­mium com­pacts. Yet with an ex­tended reach of 24-720mm in 25mm terms, it still puts in a good per­for­mance de­spite the slight fish-eye ef­fect when shoot­ing in por­trait at max­i­mum wide an­gle.

Photo en­thu­si­asts seek­ing a snap­shot for which there is lim­ited de­gree of hand­son con­trol will de­light in the HX60V’s two rangefinder-like top plate di­als: one for the usual mix of auto and man­ual shoot­ing modes, in­clud­ing the self-ad­just­ing Su­pe­rior Auto and Panoramic op­tions. For those wish­ing to get more in­volved, there’s also the op­tion to tweak the ex­po­sure be­tween +/- 2EV . As with the Canon, you also get a pop-up flash hid­den neatly in the top plate, plus the ex­tra use­ful­ness of a va­cant hot­shoe to add a viewfinder or boom mic. The op­tions are plen­ti­ful.

As with its ri­vals, the full reach of the 30x zoom lens can be used when shoot­ing video, too. Add in stereo sound, a rapid frame rate, smooth au­to­matic fo­cus ad­just­ment, built-in geo­tag­ging via GPS and con­nec­tiv­ity via Wi-Fi, or to your phone and tablet via NFC, and you have a very ca­pa­ble com­pact. How­ever, it is one, un­like oth­ers on test, that never at­tempts DS LR-like de­tail. Love Ex­ten­sive zoom op­tions. Richly de­tailed im­ages. Rock solid but still pocket-sized build Hate Lim­ited aper­ture T3 Says Clear, de­tailed pic­tures from a small but per­fectly formed com­pact cam

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