Features-packed Compact Superzoom
June 2010
  • features-packed
  • quick, easy to use
  • very good image quality
  • solidly built

  • very wide 25-250mm zoom lens
  • effective optical image stabilization
  • good 3" LCD
  • 1080 HD video with optical zoom
  • HDMI, USB, AV output adapters
  • sweep panorama mode
  • hand-held twilight mode
  • smile-detection
  • built-in GPS and compass
  • manual exposure mode



  • no black and white mode

  • this is a nomad's favorite: great value, well-rounded, excellent compact-travel camera

We have been a big fan of the recent generation of Sony Cyber-shot compact cameras, which come packed with great features such as sweep panorama, wide angle zoom lens, hand-held twilight mode and HD video. The latest Cyber-shot HX5V tops it with a built-in GPS and compass that can record the position where a picture is taken and the direction where the camera points to. For a camera with an amazing 10x zoom range from 25mm wide to 250mm telephoto, the HX5V is relatively compact and pocketable, making it a great camera for travel.


We made a road trip from Northern to Southern California taking pictures all along the way with a HX5V, which we found fun and quick to use. The location of each picture is recorded by the GPS and can be displayed using Sony's Map View software on Windows. On Macs, iPhoto seamlessly uses the recorded location with its Places feature, therefore no additional software is required. Here's a screen shot of Map View showing the location of a photo along the road trip:


We love the sweep panorama feature and notice some improvement in the performance and quality of the panoramas. The only complain we have with this camera, and other recent Sony's compacts, is the lack of black and white mode. We are not sure why Sony decided to drop this mode from its compact cameras.


Overall, the Sony Cyber-shot HX5V sets a new standard of features for deluxe compact-superzoom cameras.


>> california pch photo gallery

  • deluxe compact superzoom camera
  • price when tested: $349
  • June 2010 street price: $329
  • image stabilized zoom lens 25-250mm
  • multi-format: 4:3, 16:9
  • 3" LCD (230K pixels)
  • 1080 HD video
  • SD/SDHC & Memory Stick cards
  • rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • 10 megapixels
  • dimension: 4.2" x 2.4" x 1.2"
  • weight: 7.1 oz
  • Cyber-shot HX5V info @ SonyStyle.com