(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.
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.
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.