SONY HX5v Highlights

Let me give you an idea what the HX5v will be capable of.
last edit 10-3-13 19:02

How good is the Active Mode?

I asked Tom Hoots to check that for me and he kindly did it:
I walked past a fountain as I pointed the camera towards the fountain, and there was a huge difference for the better with the HX5 as compared to the TX7. The TX7 was almost unwatchably jerky, whereas the HX5 was much smoother. It wasn't exactly creamy-smooth -- there was still a bit of jerkiness -- but it was truly an enormous difference for the better.

So there you have it, Active Mode is a huge plus for people who shoot video while in motion

Tom also answered my bracketing question
"you mentioned the hx5 had exposure bracketing,
does it shoot 3 fotos with - 0 and + in succession?"

Yes, it shoots three shots from brightest to darkest, in that order. Very quickly.


The Samsung TL350 dual shoot mode got me thinking. I know that mode from the Canon SX series and it interrupts the video stream for the time it takes the picture what is very noticeable.
Dual shoot is a great feature if not for that interruption. I do not know how Samsung handles that but I guess it will be the same procedure.
Since most viewing of the pictures will be on the PC or HD TV with a maximal resolution of 1080 so how good is a frame capture from a video stream of the HX5?

I downloaded a few of these from the net and took a couple frame captures.
The I enhanced them to my liking with sharpness, contrast and saturation.
Don´t get me wrong, I would love to have the double shooting feature in the HX5 but to choose any of 30 frames per second might be close enough.


sharpness, contrast and saturation enhanced


sharpness, contrast and saturation enhanced

The closest to the picture quality with the new EXMOR R 10 mp sensor is the SONY WX1.
Same Sensor, same image processor, Lens G standard with super wide angle 24 mm.

If you want to see some nice looking samples go see: SONY Japan, PB , read about the sensor and lens here, see an astounding comparison shot between the Canon G11 and the SONY WX1 here,
And now do yourself a favor and visit dkamera in Germany.
(They mention that the first sample camera had massive problems with picture quality and they asked for another sample what did much better. Seems Sony had some lens problems with the WX1 as Jeff encountered too in his comparison test. Hopefully this will not be the case with the HX5)
Choose Canon G11 and SONY WX1, and compare until ISO 3200.
See how the SONY beats the Canon in clarity but not in color retention in high ISO situations.
And now think that this is just the regular shooting mode and not the low light "handheld twilight" what is so much better in high ISO situations.

start drooling now...

Update: dkamera just put the shots of the bad and the good WX1 on-line, so you can compare them side by side.
Go here and choose WX1 in both top boxes and in the bottom box choose Erste getestete WX1 (first bad model) in the second choose Zweite getestgete WX1 (second much better model)

There is also the brand spanking new (introduced with the HX5 together) TX7
(I know the phantom is from the TX1 but close enough until I can find a phantom from the TX7)
Here is a first user review with some videos and since we are talking the same sensor, image processor and features here, it is a pretty good outlook into the HX5.
When I see how fast the TX7 replaced the TX1 and what abundance on positive correction Sony made (SD card to name just one) to me it looks SONY is set to get a bigger piece of the camera market of 2010. They set the bar pretty high for the competition.

I will use the tests I did with my SONY HX1 and here is why they should be pretty comparable:

- Same manufacturing standard on the lens unit, both are type G
- The lens from the HX5 is a bit slower
Since it does not have an iris to change the aperture it always shoots with the maximum light intake. The only thing you can do in M mode it to add a neutral density filter what reduces the light intake a bit.
- The CMOS sensor from the HX1 has been upgraded from a front illuminated EXMOR to a back illuminated EXMOR R CMOS sensor.

- The BIONZ image processor is updated (see no more ghosting in sweep panorama shots)

From my SONY HX1 blog:

Let´s start with this evening and a nearly missed sunset. Thanks to the Twilight Mode shooting something like that in a near perfect quality is now possible.

I was wondering if the panorama mode would work under these low light conditions.

Here is the cropped, resized and re compressed result. It was shot with ISO 800 and 1/30 sec.
We are talking of a camera movement in a 180 degree circle with all the shake, rattle and roll you get when you do this in a spur of the moment where in time you got the tripod ready the colors were gone. Did it come out perfect?

No, there were some stitching errors. Is that bad? No, I just cut out what I wanted and if it was important to me I could have easily fixed the the crocked phone line.
To have a camera who delivers these low light shots is simply amazing.

Isn´t the ISO 800 noise really bad in a moved around blurred picture?
Not for me when I consider under what circumstances this shot was taken, no Sir, not bad at all.
For your critical eye here a lossless crop of the original, unchanged in any way.

Let me show you what that panorama mode is all about

I am doing panorama shots since I met the Canon A60.
Sadly Canon did not refine the software much, so when I moved to the S2 the stitching mostly still looked - well stitched.
It was very convenient when in the beginning of the new millennium I wanted a memory of one of south Texas biggest RV parks what we called home for that winter.
Anyhow I rediscovered panoramas a couple years ago when the landscape just did not fit on a single foto anymore.
I tried lots of programs but I was happy with Autopano. It took care of ghosting, different exposures and mostly was very forgiving to hand held panorama shots. I got myself a little carry around always camera and that time Ricoh made the best for my purpose with the R6. She is still always with me while rinding my sport utility spider from Malaguti.

So when Sony introduced a camera who did a one stop shoot and stitch and the pictures did not look to bad I wanted to know more about that.
The major drawback with the Sony HX1 is that the panoramas are kind of smallish. My panoramas were mostly in the area of 20.000 pixel or more horizontal. But then just for looking on the screen a smaller size is just fine and if I need bigger I still have Autopano and can do panoramas the old fashion way.
So after the fist shots it is like having a super duper fisheye lens with you and a perfect in camera error adjustment.
Shooting panoramas was never easier and it is so much better to show people what you see and give the feeling of actually being there.

Tip Activate the grid lines and lay the horizon on the upper or lower line.
Let me demonstrate:
Here is a normal foto with a 28mm lens. Look Ma this was that nice beach we meet the Johnses.

Well, not pretty impressive, no? The Sony HX1 has 4 panorama modes long and thin, longer and thin, shorter and tall and not so short and tall. I always go for the super sized.

now this is more like it

or if you prefer it longer and wider...
(The picture are re compressed to a 1/4 of their original size for faster loading.)

So you see when you used your super duper fisheye mode once you are hooked and there is no going back to that sorry normal picture to show somebody how it looks there. People in real estate should just jump onto the camera because of the possibilities it has for them.
I for myself are pretty impressed after working round 10 years with panoramas how simple and fun it is today (if you have the right camera) to get a beautiful panorama in the camera and onto the computer in a jiffy.
Great, after checking my panos I noticed that google reduces the fotos to 1600 pixel maximal.
Well there is always image shack.
So here you go for the full size:

I just found the first foto I shot with my Sony HX1 it was a panorama what I tried in my camera store. It was pretty impressive with just one big flaw the reason a fast moving customer in the right corner of the pano.

and here is the big version on Image shack
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Great, ain´t it?
Well, you haven´t seen nothing yet.
Let me introduce you the devalvr player. Go to http://www.devalvr.com/ and download the plug in and the stand alone version.
Drag a panorama into the stand alone version.
Ctrl and Shift to zoom, cursor keys to move, the little box corner bottom left for more.
Enjoy yourself with a couple panoramas.

The Sony panorama is limited to much less than 360 degrees. So you will see the ends do not match. Google for surround photos 360 panoramas etc to see a full panorama in action.
Now, want to see something really cool? Fit for a King or Queen?
OK let´s get to Buckingham Palace or the Windsor Castle and have a look, shall we?
Good, the Royal.gov Virtual Tours it is. Bring some flowers... After you choose the tour, use devalvr as the viewer of you choice for the best experience.
When you are black from London, leave me a little note in our forum here or use the comments at the end of this posting and tell me what the topless lady did with the dog.

So now you think panoramas and virtual viewer are great and want to explore more?
Welcome to the VRmag
Update 2009.8.15
Here is the difference between the SONY HX1 in camera instant panorama and panorama shooting and stitching the old fashion way.

HX1 panorama

HX1 single shots combined to a 360 degree panorama

100% crop HX1 panorama

100% crop single shot combined panorama.
The setting was more color, contrast, and sharpness.

In Camera Editing

The HX1 has a lot of fun thing you can do to your foto.

original (crop and red eye removal you already know)

sharpen center

blurr around the center

monochrome around the center

fischydude from 1 a bit to 9 extreme (guess what I used)

now no little doggie or pussycat is safe from me and my fisheye

starburst around bright spots (also choose size)

radial blurr

nostalgic effect

and if you object of desire did not smile enough they can be neducated!
The Simpsons already did it in Treehouse of Horror V

original (before the chair)

smile step 2 (after 2 sessions in the chair)

smile step 5 (after 5 sessions in the chair, pretty close to Homer´s grin.)

one click - instant Joker


  1. Joe,...I'd like to read your HX1 blog but there seems to be a problem with it. I can't sign on. Although I think I like the HX5, the lack of any kind of viewfinder probably makes it a no deal for me. I really need the viewfinder for my field shooting with my setters.

    Good work on these blogs!


  2. Hmm check out the Canon S90 at 800 ISO vs Sony WX1. The Sony pictures are noticably worse. Not awful but not quite as good- you can still see writing embossed in the metal top of the lighter in the Canon shots. There is a lot to like about the HX5V, especially now that Sony has been dragged kicking and screaming away from its proprietary memory stick "lock in". The panorama modes, multiple rapid exposures etc seem great. It will be interesting once the camera is out and being reviewed in depth.


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