Sony Cyber-shot HX300 – Sample Photos and First Impressions

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 - First Impressions and High Res Sample Photos!!

I’ve had the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 for about a week now and my first impressions of this camera are pretty solid!! I’ve taken a ton of sample photos already playing with the mega zoom 50x Zeiss lens, and I must say, the lens is awesome!! Not perfect by any means, but so far the lens is performing better than I anticipated considering the huge range and overall price point of the camera.

The Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 goes for $489 @ BHPhoto >>, but you can pick up the older DSC-HX200v 30X version used for about half price Here >>.

The HX300 has an unbelievable mega zoom lens range of 4.5-215mm!! When you factor in the crop factor of the sensor size (1/2.3″), the 35mm equivalent works out to 24-1200mm!! Oh Yeah, 1200mm is correct. I was so intrigued by this I asked BHPhotovideo to send me one of these guys to review, just to see what it can really do. I mean 1200mm is so much zoom I wasn’t even sure if the camera could do it hand-held or not. Perhaps tri-pod only at those really long zooms? Lets check out some sample photos and remember about the focal length distances as Lightroom uses the actual lens values and not the 35mm equivalent! So 215mm = 1200mm, and 4.5mm = 24mm.

Sony DSC-HX300 High Res Sample Photos

Be sure to click on these photos for the High Resolution version that I exported from Lightroom 4 at 1200px, and 60% quality. The original files were the best quality jpeg images the camera can take which is 20mp pretty much.  A very high pixel density considering the size of the sensor. Please keep that in mind when looking at these images, as the much larger sensor equipped Nex cameras do have much better image quality. They can’t produce a zoom range like this for anywhere near the money though, so the compromise 🙂 The focal length info is just below the images in the caption area.

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the high res 1200px Version!!

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 4.5mm (24mm)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 4.3mm (24mm) Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 4.5mm (24mm)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 4.3mm (24mm) – 100% Crop
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ ~210mm (~1150mm)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ ~210mm (~1150mm) Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ ~210mm (~1150mm) - 100% Crop
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ ~210mm (~1150mm) – 100% Crop
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 4.3mm (24mm) Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 4.3mm (24mm) Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 170mm Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 170mm Hand Held!!

You can get really good separation from the background when using the higher focal length’s at a relatively close distance to your subject!!  In this case,  the truck antenna was only about 15-20 feet away from me when I took the photo at almost 210mm, which is almost the 1200mm equivalent.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 210mm Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 210mm Hand Held!!

Here is a slightly wider view of the same scene (92.7mm), so you can see the base of the antenna and the background a little. The white snow drastically changed the metering though rendering the scene much darker. I was using average metering mode, so this is exactly what the camera is supposed to do 😉

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 97.27mm, Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 97.27mm, Hand Held!!

A 3d kind of looking puddle 😉

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 4.34mm (~24mm), Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 4.34mm (~24mm equivalent), Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 25.06mm, Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 25.06mm, Hand Held!!

Posted taken at the maximum zoom of 215mm or the 50X/ 1200mm equivalent! The Bokeh is great and totally Zeiss rendering in my opinion.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 - First Impressions and High Res Sample Photos!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 – First Impressions and High Res Sample Photos!!

Another scene all hand-held showing off the full zoom capabilities of the DSC-DX300. I started off at the fully wide 4.3mm and then took a few photos in between while going to max 50x zoom. Check out the sequence below and be sure to click on the images for the full res 1200px versions!

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 - First Impressions and High Res Sampl
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 4.3mm, Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 - First Impressions and High Res Sample Photos!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 22.5mm, Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 80.3mm, Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 80.3mm, Hand Held!!

Almost max zoom @ ~210mm

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 210.4mm, Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 210.4mm, Hand Held!!

100x using Clear Image Zoom

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 215mm Plus Clear Image Zoom, Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 215mm Plus Clear Image Zoom, Hand Held!!

And one more from the same scene 😉

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 121mm, Hand Held!!
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 @ 121mm, Hand Held!!

Closing Remarks

That is about it for now with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Sample photos and first impressions, but stay tuned for much more from this mega zoom bridge style camera!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions below if you have any 😉 Also, please consider using BHPhotoVideo (DSC-HX300), if you plan to buy this camera. They are kind enough to let me review it for you, and it also gives me a small credit to insure getting future products to review!! See the sign-off below for more info on that sort of stuff 😉

Thanks again,

  1. Sorry for the offtopic Question but is there any 3D camera that you feel is a good companion to my NEX-6 that is not going to make my eyes hurt with bad quality images compared to the 6? 😀

    1. Hello Gabriel,
      I really don’t know to much about the 3d cameras honestly. I’m not 100% sure what you mean by making your eyes hurt with bad image quality though? You talking about the crappy 3d cameras out there that you already tried? Why does it make your eyes hurt? Poor 3d rendering?
      Basically, what your looking for is 3d Camera that produces Nex-6 image quality correct??

  2. nice review – thanks – I have the NEX7 and 5n and the awesome little RX100 🙂 – just love it – the menu system in it is really nice – hate the NEX7 menu system – but really like the IQ out of the NEX7 and 5n – have quite a few lenses for the NEX bodies – even though as I shoot a lot of landscape etc I find my self using my Tamron 18-200 most of the time – I have Nikon DSLR’s and Fuji X100 and now the Fuji X20 which is as awesome as the RX100 ( RX100 is still smaller and more pocket-able so I take it everywhere – the Fuji X20 looks better 🙂 and does a bit better in low light at zoom in as lens is much faster at F2.0-2.8 – but RX100 is the video King – nothing in that small size that does so well – only the larger LX7 that comes close – ) I also have the Olympus OMD-5 – but I lack a Super Zoom 🙂 – so excited to hear more about the HX300 – I have been close to getting the Panasonic FZ200 – it has a faster lens at F 2.8 through out the focal length but only to 600mm – but I am more of a Sony guy – but I do worry about being fully zoomed at 1200mm at F 6.3 in low light – somehow suspect that I will see lots of grain – I noticed that your shots where taken in good light and with snow which acts like a softbox so light was not an issue – I wonder if you could post some more images in lower light conditions fully zoomed – I expect the IS to be better in this new Sony HX300 over the Panasonic FZ200 as well as a better viewfinder and a better sensor as it should be a newer sensor as the FZ200 has been out for a bit now – price wise they are not to far apart.
    I just need a real insurance that IQ will be as good as the FZ200 – I suppose that I really do not totally need 1200mm but I would prefer the Sony HX300 if IS is good enough at F 6.3 at 1200mm – will have to be really good as it is awfully hard to stay steady for F 6.3 and I hate to have lug a tripod along all the time.
    So look forward to see some more pics so I can see what the HX300 can do in low to poor light at 600mm and at 1200mm

    1. Hi John, what is up!!
      Great questions and man are you packing some serious camera heat!! WOW, I’m jealous, honestly 🙂 The rx100 is a faster f/1.8 wide-open, but much slower f/4.9 at the tele side unfortunately. Other than that the camera is a masterpiece. An unfortunate compromise to the sensor size, camera size, and zoom range. The X20 does have a faster lens, but the sensor is significantly smaller and the camera is much larger as you mentioned. It’s all a compromise in the end. The Fuji has that UN-beatable natural color accuracy and build quality to die for. I’m tempted to start reviewing those as well as the Nex cameras!!
      I’m very surprised to here you say your using the Tamron 18-200mm for Landscapes!! Usually a higher quality wide-angle would be the way to go in these situations, although the versatility of the all-in-one is incredible and super convenient!! Have you considered trying the new 10-18mm I just reviewed Here>>??
      As far as the DSC-HX300 is concerned, it will not be that good in low light at 1200mm. It starts to get grainy when the ISO creeps beyond 400. Once it’s at ISO 1600 the images are clearly degraded as you would expect with a sensor as small as this. However, on a tr-pod with a self timer, you can get anything that is not moving much for sure. Hand held low light shots at 1200mm is next to impossible. As good as the built in Optical Steady Shot is, the hx300 cannot deal with that much focal length induced camera shake and high ISO @ f/6.3. It can do it decent, but the image quality is not going to be that good, and the images will be a tad soft. The 600mm faster lens would be the way to go for low light, but if you need Mega-zoom, the Zeiss lens on the HX300 is awesome!!
      I hope that helps your thought process out a bit on what you may want to get, and stay tuned for much more. I will do some low light testing for you at 1200mm and we shall see how the camera actually does in the real world for certain 😉 I’m just speculating on the little bit of experience I have with the camera so far. Good light is clearly important at 1200mm it seems so far!

    1. Hello Kay,
      No it does not as far as I can tell and per the manual(click Here). The HX-200 did not have that feature either per the manual(Click Here)
      It does have the magnify zoom feature though, that allows you to see if your focus is sharp. Not as good as focus peaking, but it does work!!
      I added a Bald Eagle photo I took today in the forums if you want to check it out here: Bald Eagle Taken with DSC-HX300 @ 1200mm (50X) >>
      Thanks for the great question!!

  3. Great article. Is it possible to get a link to the original images. I am on a tight budget and I’m hanging between SLT A77 and HX300.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Denis and thanks!
      I’m working on finishing up the full DSC-HX300 review now, and I have several high res 100% Crops so you can see the detail ect.. Stay tuned for that later today 😉

  4. Im looking for a (not too expensive) camera to shoot inside pictures (low light) of ceilingpaintings. I was looking at the panasonic fz200, but then this camera arrived. Which camera performs better in low light? Hope someone could help me, thanks.

    1. Hello Tatjana,
      No, this camera is not the best low light shooter. What you want is a large sensor camera with a really fast lens ideally. The best point and shoot style camera for that in my opinion is the Sony DSC-RX100. It has a large 1″ sensor and fast f.1.8 Zeiss lens.
      The Panasonic FZ200 has constant f/2.8 lens and lower pixel dense sensor than the Sony DSC-HX300. So yes, in theory it’s a better low light camera by the numbers to answer your question specifically.

  5. Hello Jay, I have the DSC-HX300 and wondering now since I read Lumix is releasing their 60x model soon, with an optional 1.7x tele conversion lens …… question: would I be able to fix my 1.7 tc lens DH1758 from previous Sony DSC-H1, to my new Sony? I wasn’t sure about the weight fixed to a bridge-camera zoom?? (Maybe not wording this right) but I’m sure you know what I’m trying to say here, hopefully.

    1. I don’t think that will work Carole. The lens does not come off on the HX300, although you may be able to attach something to the front for more zoom magnification.

      1. I don’t think it will either Jay, but I was kind of hoping. The lens didn’t come off of my previous Sony for which I used the t.c. previously,, however I did need to change the setting in the menu to use the t.c.

  6. Hello Jay,
    Using the HX300 can we take background defocus images at medium zoom and in high zoom. And also what will be the clarity we taken at this condition.
    And one more, Can we also take Long exposure photographs.

  7. Hi Jay, thks for all precious sharings! i have just purchased this HX300, read the instructions and was confused about the real image zoom and optical zoom: whether should i turn on real image zoom or optical zoom, or both? or turn them both off? I would like to know the best combinations to achieve the optimum zoom and sharpness! thanks once again and look forward to your reply. cephas

    1. Thanks for the comments Cephas, and be sure to check out the full review here:
      That should answer all your questions, but if not I will be happy to help! Optical zoom is the way to go. Clear image zoom is very good, but not needed for most photography when you have 50x optical already in my opinion. Digital zoom I would leave off! I personally would rarely use clear image zoom and probably would turn it off as well. Be sure to play with it though and see for yourself 😉
      I hope that helps,

  8. Hi jay
    I Hesitate to buy dsc hx 300 or dsc Hx50v.
    Zoom,is not very important because x30 or x50 is the same thing for me.
    My question is important for the quality of the pictures. Real color, luminosity,etc…
    Can you give me your opinion enter the two sony.
    Thanks a lot and sorry for my english but i’m french !!! Lol !!!

    1. Hi Franky,
      They both have the same exact sensor from what I can tell, so it comes down to optics. The HX300 has a better Zeiss lens than the HX50v, but the G lens on the hx50v is also high quality. Bottom line, the image quality will be very close do to the same sensor and high end optics. If I had to pick one it would be the HX300, because it has the Zeiss lens, but I honestly never used the HX50V.
      If you want better image quality, look for a larger sensor camera! The RX100 for example has a 1″ sensor and has incredible image quality. It’s significantly more money though.
      I hope that helps and your English is excellent!

      1. Hi Jay
        Thanks a lot for your advises.
        Finally , I choose the HX300 with a big discount on amazon.
        I am not disappointed by my purchase, the quality is very high and the image quality is very fabulous.
        I put aside my sony alpha 100 with my 18-55 zoom.
        Thanks a lot !!

        1. Excellent Franky 🙂 I’m Very happy to hear and thank you for the update on your purchase and experience with the camera.
          Take care,

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