Sony HX9 Point and Shoot Camera

(above) Just testing out my new Sony HX9 point-and-shoot camera. What an amazing little thing. Besides the ability to capture full 1080 60p at it's highest resolution (much more than Canon DSLRs), there's a plethora of very cool features to make sure your photos come out perfect. Imagine that not very long ago we paid several thousands of dollars for high end video cameras that don't even come a quarter to the quality we have today in a tiny inexpensive point and shoot.

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Remembering the VX2000

The new HX9 has built in HDR mode that will take three pictures and balance out the shadows and highlights. Sure that's something we've seen before. It also has a built in Anti-Shake mode which will take about 6 images together, takes all the best ones, removes all the motion blur and leaving you with one very sharp image. This is especially helpful when going hand held using the full 16x optical zoom. There's also built in image stabilization which keeps both photos and videos incredibly stable.

Sony-HX9-landscape-5

Taking an image in low light and worried about ISO noise? There's a feature for this too. The HX9 will take about 6 images in fast succession, merge them one on top of the other, and apply a very subtle noise reduction. Macro modes, shooting in high key lighting, sports, landscape, and more. The HX9 can make any amateur a seasoned photographer in a few minutes. Of course I believe Sony has 'the best' algorithm for taking panning Panoramic images too. Just sweep your hand across a scene (even in a small room) and the Sony HX9 will automatically stitch it together into one long panoramic. Guess what? You can also do these sweeping Panoramics while the camera is in Portrait position (tall wise), and the camera has a fast enough processor to stitch these 43MP images in about a second. (Yes about 43MP).


(above - My sample slow motion from Sony Vegas when played back at 40%).

Several others have already owned this camera since it's release, and I've only had the camera for the past few hours still learning the features and menu. There has already been some excellent footage shot with this camera like the one below from Vimeo member Jeen de Vos Producties.

I won't say it's better footage than a Canon 5D Mark II, but a fun test from Vimeo member Ryan Czaplinski shows you what it looks like in a side by side comparison. (Below)

The DSC-HX9 can use both Memory stick and SDHC cards, and a few things i'm not a fan of is limited Manual Focus (only in certain modes) and that you need to charge the battery with the camera. This would be just a bit troublesome to carry a spare battery and have it charging on the side. Of course, for the quality that this new camera provides and for the cost, i'm super happy with it. If you're not into interchangeable lenses, the HX9 with it's full 1080 60p features (good for slow motion) are hard to pass up.

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find-price-button Sony DSC-HX9 Digital Camera Full 1080 60p





47 thoughts on “Sony HX9 Point and Shoot Camera

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @M - Capturing in native 24 and conforming to 24 will look different. Some people are very sensitive to this and can tell by watching the video.

  2. M

    Hi Emm,

    Sorry if this is a silly question: but what are disadvantages of transforming 1080p/60fps to 1080p/24fps in scenes where i _don't_ want to slow the motion? In other words, if I want my final output to be 24fps, and given the absent 24fps option on this camera, what would be advantage of having a 24fps option in the camera since you can always convert 60fps to 24fps in post. So, HX9V captures extra information per second, not less. Am i missing something here?

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Paul Hidalgo - 60i, 60p, or 30p are the options. AVCHD or MP4. I would also choose the HX9V over the S95.

  4. Hi there Emm,

    Been googling for the past few hours and can't seem to find out if the HX9 supports native 24p. So my question is... does it?

    Thanks in advance!

    P.S. If you were to choose between an HX9 and a Canon S95 for video use, which would you prefer? I intend to use it as a backup camera on a tripod for events. eg. weddings. While I roam around with my 60D.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Jason Lam - I believe they are the same sensor so there really isn't much difference. The smaller version is stripped down of features though.

  6. You did an awesome job on those videos. I want to get this camera now. But just noticed this new video on Youtube where this guy compares the thinner Sony DSC-TX10 with the HX9V ...and it is really hard to tell the difference. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2fbtr37hqY

    Any one else have any experience with the TX10? It looks like it'll fit my tight jeans better.

  7. jarrett towe

    Which lcdvf should i get for the hx9? I ordered a sweet little pistol grip with a trigger locking bal head tripod mount, and id like to order the eye piece now, but im unsure which one fits best and there are some nice folding ones on ebay now that are pricier, but folding it up looks like it could be useful at times.

  8. Olphus

    @Nico - On the EOShd site Andrew mentions the HX9v's 50p PAL features.
    1440×1080 25p is for MP4 only.
    1920x1080 50p is AVCHD only. Though I'm not sure about 1920x1080 (AVCHD) if it's 50i>25p or just 25p?

    It's very confusing.

  9. Olphus

    @Tony - Thanks for the info about the fit for the VF and the low light test.
    The last part of the lowlight example is definitely a worst case scenario but performed well enough for the cameras price point. I good light though, it can almost compete with the big boys in terms of image quality. Now if it only had manual control...

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @Nico - Sounds like they do because of the difference in framerates. USA has the 60p options.

  11. Nico

    I just checked out the specs of the hx9v on the german sony site, sony.de and there's NO 1920x1080 60p mode mentioned.

    they do mention 1920x1080 but only at 50i with two different bitrates (24m/bit and 17 m/bit) - AVCHD is used.

    the only progressive recording options seem to be:

    1440x1080 at 25 fps and 1280x720 at 25fps.

    http://www.sony.de/product/dsc-h-series/dsc-hx9v#pageType=TechnicalSpecs

    from sony.com:

    Video Format : AVCHD 60i / 60p / MP4 / MPEG-4 AVC(H.264)

    Do these guys release a different camera in germany/europe?

  12. Tony

    @olphus

    Very quick low light example. Everything on auto, most cameras would have a hard time in this lighting. Meant to show worst case scenario...

    http://vimeo.com/25994202

    For the price point, still acceptable to me.

  13. Tony Carretti

    @olphus - the frame for the meike is smaller than the glass on the LCD, but it does NOT crop the actual image at all. I was worried about this until I test fitted the frame. I can confirm that there is no cropping of the video image.

    As far as low light is concerned, you can't expect it to keep up with the
    Larger sensor cameras, but it does a pretty good job as long as you're not asking TOO much from it.

    Under the right circumstances, it's a fantastic find and a great addition to your movie making arsenal.

  14. Eirik

    If this little thing does 1080P 60frames future DSLR`s must be able to do atleast 720P 120frames and 1080P 60 or higher.

  15. Mr.Brown

    Hey Emm i'm considering this as a cost effective alternative to the new Sony CX700 Camcorder as the only reason i wanted it was to shoot 1080 60p. At 399$ (CAN) i'm saving almost 1000$ by going with the HX9.

    I have 1 questions though. In low light comparisons as far as LUX is concerned are there any specs? I'm curious as to how much better the CX700 would be in lowlight in comparison.

    If anyone has any lowlight specs (eg. Lux) please post them here as i'd like to make my decision based on that.

    Thx

  16. ok... I've never seen videos of the 5d THAT soft... what kind of lens were you using? seriously? I'm very tempted by this little sony guy but please do not post videos like that.. or do them right.... I don't know... maybe it wasn't focus right but common.. anyone that owns a 5D (or any other canon video dslr) just scringed at that video...

    But thanks for posting up those other videos. It does look like an amazing point and shoot... I read the focusing is surprisingly fast (0,15 sec) in bright light...

  17. Ryan

    I did a quick and dirty "one-man multicam" test today using my 5D and Sony HX9v today. Not elaborately planned with the best composed shots, but was just to see if I could intercut between the 2 in a run-and-gun situation. Pretty cool little camera!

    http://www.vimeo.com/25955235

  18. Emm

    Post author

    I would love to see someone use Twixtor with the HX9. I'm interested in seeing those results.

  19. Swester

    Could be a fantastic option for slow-motion B-roll to mix in with 1080p DSLR footage...or am I just being silly?

  20. mmgodfrey

    Just found this, and answering my own question here, from EOSHD.com:

    "I recommend Adobe Premiere CS5 for editing AVCHD, it does it natively. Alternatively you’ll need to convert the AVCHD files to ProRes or similar. I don’t recommend iMovie."

    So convert to ProRes via mpeg streamclip, I guess. Anyone here have experience as to how well that works?

  21. mmgodfrey

    Anyone know whether it's possible to edit this camera's output with Final Cut Pro (7 or X)? Love how fast and simple shooting appears to be, but I'm wondering if we Mac/FCP-ers will get bogged down -- or denied entirely -- when it comes to post.

  22. Manuel

    the problem of the HX9V is the very low quality of pictures if seen at 1:1
    that's because of the tiny sensor, 16mp, overprocessing, denoise that means lost details.
    The Canon SX220HS makes much better in this field while the video has not the same faster framerate of the sony (1920@24fps).

    Sony HX9V 1:1 crop
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Nft9FolynZI/TZM4N3BIFPI/AAAAAAAAD0o/ODDEnIJaQR0/s1600/DSC00042_cr1.jpg

    Canon Powershot SX220 HS
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9DcY0CKa5nI/TZM4MYyRWRI/AAAAAAAAD0k/A2buEmxmb_0/s1600/DSC00042c_cr1.jpg

  23. Ryan

    @Emm - Please post pics of your rig when you get it done! I'll be following this!

    Only challenge is mounting a quick release to the hole obstructs the battery/SD card door which makes it difficult for a quick changeout. Perhaps one of my L brackets might work for this, I'll have to see...

  24. Emm

    Post author

    @Joel Ailes - Yes it is. I'm going to build up a small cage or handle with a Zoom H1 and Rode VideoMic Pro. This will be my new super light video setup for event coverage.

  25. Emm

    Post author

    @Videoguy916 - I believe the Smoothee won't handle the weight. You would have to go for something like the IndieHardware or at least Hague MMC.

  26. Videoguy916

    Very interesting little camera!!

    I just brainstormed how I might use it, and think it would be great for some glidecam style shots when I don't want to lug my 7d, tokina, and glidecam just to get 3 minutes of footage.

    Are there any better options than the steadicam smoothee for these small cameras?

  27. Ryan

    @DigitalCyclops - It claims 29 minutes according to the guide. I haven't shot that long consistently yet. Battery appears to be lasting 60-70 minutes in video mode too.

  28. Emm

    Post author

    @Ryan - Well there will be less moire because you're not line skipping. A 16-22 Megapixel Large format chip is just too much for simple HD video. For anyone that used to shoot with older SD cameras like the XL1 or VX2000, it's amazing what this little point and shoot can do. I wish I had this thing years ago, but then again people would look at it funny..

  29. Emm

    Post author

    @Apostolos - Yes Canon DSLRs do not record in 60p at full 1080. It's a fun camera that provides both great wide and zoom features, does well with Macro and has IS. It's faster to shoot on this HX9 than on a GH1, but a hacked GH1 will have better quality.

  30. Emm

    Post author

    @kevin - The S95 can do RAW images, but the video quality on the HX9 is far superior. The HX9 only does JPEG, but does it really well with many tricks to get very clean and sharp images.

  31. Ryan

    Emm-

    HA! I actually JUST got this camera yesterday and I have to say in daylight conditions this little thing is pretty amazing. I own a 5D Mark II and when I told my friend I was getting this as a little B-roll cam to throw in the mix with my other stuff he hadn't seen any footage from it, but was less than enthusiastic about it.

    I know it's a tiny camera, but I'm just floored what it can do for $349. Lowlight is it's weak spot so after a bunch more testing I will know what I can and can't do with it, but I just posted a bit ago a test shot I did between the 5D and this little HX9v. The raw footage shows a much more obvious difference, but off the bat I could see the imagery was sharper and there was FAR less moire than the 5D footage. The noise handling is different on both cameras, but all in all I am amazed how well the color range is.

    http://www.vimeo.com/25913032

    If they could make some manual setting firmware I'm sure the camera would open up even more possibilities!

    I bought the last one at my store and I'm sure once this gets around and more videos are made with this I think people will start opening up more to using them.

    My photographer friend lectured me on chip size differences and DOF and all that, but I know what my eyes have seen and I was impressed. And to have 60fps at 1080p... that's more than what the 60D can resolve (GIVEN THE TINY SIZED CHIP, I KNOW).

    Canon needs to step up their game with their codec. It was kinda disturbing to see a crisper and, from what I saw, no moire from the Sony, and a not so crisp image and much more moire from the 5D. However the noise is a challenge to overcome with the Sony.

  32. I've read about this camera on EOSHD and the guy was raving about it. At first I thought it's $350 and for another 50 you get the GH1. How does the image quality compare to a hacked GH1. But then I didn't realize it does 60p at 1080. You got to get one just so you can get full slo-mo of the bride walking down the aisle! To my knowledge there isn't a DSLR that does 1080 60p yet, correct? They all shoot 60 p at 720. And the AF100 does 60i at 1080 I think.

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