These are 100-percent crops from our test scene. When viewed at full size, you can see there's little difference from ISO 125 to ISO 400. The only real issue I have is that photos aren't very sharp even at its lowest ISO. Noise reduction kicks in more at ISO 800, which softens details and dulls color. There's a noticeable increase in noise and noise reduction at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200, making colors more washed out and subjects appear painterly; you'll probably want to reserve these two highest sensitivities for emergencies when you need to shoot in low-light conditions or get a faster shutter speed regardless of the results. But, as with all of Sony's cameras with Exmor R sensors, there are shooting options for improving low-light/high ISO shots, so what you see here isn't the whole story.
The 16-megapixel resolution is completely unnecessary and doesn't get you much more room to crop or enlarge. If you're looking at buying this instead of a high-resolution digital SLR, you'll be disappointed--especially at higher ISO sensitivities. That said, prints at 8x10 at ISO 800 with the lens fully extended still looked good, just soft and painterly. Overall, anyone looking for a snapshot camera for regularly making 8x10 prints or smaller or viewing on a TV or computer screen should be more than satisfied with the HX7V.
August 3, 2011 7:32 AM PDT
Photo by: Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
| Caption by: Joshua Goldman
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