Product Listing

Sony Cyber-shot HX60V - Compact camera for travelers

By Katrina Canlas & Hafeez Sim - 13 Jan 2015

Introduction, Design and Handling

Introduction

With prosumer/ premium digital compact cameras getting all the attention, there’s actually another compact camera category that’s still doing well despite the onslaught from ever-improving smartphones - the superzoom compact.

If you want a digital compact that lets you shoot both far and wide, the Sony Cyber-shot HX60V might be the camera for you. But with minimal changes compared to last year’s Cyber-shot HX50V, can the Cyber-shot HX60V be able to hold its own against the competition, especially Panasonic’s impressive Lumix DMC-TZ60? In fact, apart from NFC and a new Function button, the only major change is the inclusion of a new Sony Bionz X imaging processor. For those who've not been initiated with this series of cameras, we'll run you through what the the Cyber-shot HX60V offers in full before assessing its shooting performance.

Specifications of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX60V vs. DSC-HX50V
  Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX60V Sony Cyber-shot HX50V
  Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX60V Sony Cyber-shot HX50V
Effective pixels
  • 20.4MP
  • 20.4MP
Sensor
  • 1/2.3-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 1/2.3-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor
Focal Length Multiplier
  • 24–720 mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Focal Length (35mm equivalent): 24-720mm
ISO rating
  • Auto
  • ISO80-3200
  • 80 - 12800
Zoom ratio
  • 30x optical zoom
  • 30x optical zoom
Image Stabilization
  • Yes
  • Yes
Aperture range
  • F3.5 (W) - 6.3 (T)
Shutter speed
  • 1 - 1/1600
  • 30 sec - 1/4000 sec
Exposure Compensation
  • +/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV step
  • ±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Flash Modes
  • Flash Off
  • Autoflash
  • Fill-flash
  • Slow Sync.
  • Advanced Flash
  • Rear Sync./Wireless(with optional compliant flash)
Display
  • 3-inch 921,600 dots TFT LCD
  • 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD
Storage type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • Memory Stick Duo
  • Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • Memory Stick Duo
  • Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • Micro-HDMI
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Micro-HDMI
Battery
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1
  • Lithium-Ion NP-BX1 battery
Dimensions
  • 108.1 x 63.6 x 38.3 mm
  • 108 x 64 x 38 mm
Weight
  • Approx. 272g (with battery and memory stick)
  • 272g (including batteries)
Auto Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Metering
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot

 

Design and Handling

The Cyber-shot HX60V looks exactly like its predecessor, with the same generous handgrip on the front and a small thumb rest on the rear. While the hand grip does help with handling the camera, the thumb rest on the rear is too small and smooth to be of much help. It’s still a reasonably compact camera considering the fact that it’s 38.3mm thick and is capable of 30x optical zoom, with a focal length of 24mm to 720mm (35mm equivalent). However, Panasonic and Canon have also stepped up their game with Lumix TZ60, which is 34mm think, and the PowerShot SX700 HS, which is 35mm thick - both cameras also boast 30x optical zoom.

The grip on the front does help you to handle the camera confidently, but the back thumb rest could have been improved upon.

The same 3-inch, 921,600-dot LCD dominates the rear of the camera, and it’s pretty sharp. Unfortunately visibility suffers in sunlight, so we often had to bump up the screen brightness to the maximum when shooting outdoors in the day. The display on the Cyber-shot HX60V isn’t a touchscreen, though Panasonic has also dropped the touchscreen found on the Lumix TZ40 in favor of an electronic viewfinder on its latest model, the TZ60.

The rear display is pretty sharp, though it's a pity it's not a touchscreen.

Next to the display is the NFC logo, which indicates that you can tap an NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet in that area to connect it with the camera. As with all current digital compacts, the Cyber-shot HX60V also comes with built-in Wi-Fi as well, so don’t worry if your smartphone does not have NFC functionality.

While the NFC logo is beside the rear display, we found out that you will have to tap your smartphone on the camera's side to start up the connection.

Unlike the other superzoom compacts, the Cyber-shot HX60V comes with a dedicated exposure compensation dial. It sits beside the mode dial and serves as a quick way of setting exposure without having to access the camera’s menu system. There’s a risk of forgetting to set the exposure compensation back to zero before you start shooting your next round, so you might have to develop the habit of always checking the exposure compensation dial.

The HX60V comes with a dedicated exposure compensation dial. Just don't forget to set it back to 'zero' when you're done.

The Cyber-shot HX60V also comes with a hot shoe, so you can mount accessories like external flashes or electronic viewfinders.  

The HX60V comes with a hot shoe so you can mount an external flash.

Besides the mode dial and hot shoe, there’s also the zoom lever. Zooming in and out with the Cyber-shot HX60V is a smooth affair, which is an important quality to consider in a superzoom compact. The controls on the rear are all pretty standard for a digital compact, though Sony has added a new Function button, which we will touch on later. One thing we noticed though, was that the control ring/ D-pad was not only small, but also too sensitive, which is a drawback when you need to rely on it heavily to set aperture or shutter speed in the manual shooting modes.

The control wheel/ D-pad is very sensitive.