Sony HX90 (DSCHX90V/B) Brief Review



  • 18.2 megapixel 1/2.3” CMOS sensor
  • Maximum aperture f/3.5-6.4
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/2000
  • Maximum ISO 12800
  • 30x optical zoom
  • BIONZ X image processor
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Contrast detection autofocus
  • Manual modes
  • Scene modes including panorama
  • 10 fps burst speed (up to 10 frames)
  • Retractable electronic viewfinder
  • Tilting LCD screen
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Li-ion battery rated at 390 shots
  • Weighs 245g
  • Release Date: 2015-04-13
  • Final Grade: 89 4.45 Star Rating: Recommended

The Sony HX90 wraps up several big features in a small camera
Compact, yet still full of features including a viewfinder and a 30x optical zoom, the Sony HX90 is an intriguing camera.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 6/8/2015

Viewfinders have long been sacrificed for the sake of space--not so with the Sony HX90. Sony is claiming yet another the "smallest" title, this time for the smallest compact 30x zoom with a viewfinder. That's a lot of qualifiers to claim a title, but the Sony HX90 seems like it's worthy of a little nudge. If a viewfinder doesn't sound like a dig deal to you, just wait until bright sunlight makes it impossible to read your LCD screen.

While the viewfinder may be the most exciting feature compared with Sony's earlier compact zoom models, there's still quite a bit of imaging power packed into such a small camera. The sensor is still the expected 1/2.3" standard for point-and-shoots, but that is paired with a 30x optical zoom lens. The maximum f/3.5-6.4 is also a bit expected.

What's not expected is the inclusion of manual modes and a design that may even perk the interest of casual enthusiasts. Like Sony's advanced compacts, there's a control ring around the lens for easy adjustments. Enthusiasts might be disappointed though that there's no RAW shooting. Despite having such a big zoom and a handful of advanced features, the Sony HX90 is quite small, weighing less than nine ounces, and could even slip into a pocket.

The burst speed is also excellent at 10 fps. That's limited to just ten shots, but should still allow users to capture the right moment. Paired with the 30x zoom, it could even handle a t-ball game.

The Sony HX90 looks like a solid all-around camera, good for a variety of uses from traveling to sports. Sony generally has pretty good image quality coming from their compacts. At nearly $500 though, it's a bit pricey. We'd like to see a bit larger sensor at that price, or a bit smaller price for a compact camera. It does include quite a few advanced features, but we'll wait for a hands-on test to decide if it's really worth the price tag.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

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