Kodak AZ901 vs Sony HX99
The Kodak PixPro AZ901 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and August 2018. Both the AZ901 and the HX99 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Kodak has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Kodak PixPro AZ901 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Kodak AZ901 and the Sony HX99 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX99 is considerably smaller (59 percent) than the Kodak AZ901. Moreover, the HX99 is substantially lighter (69 percent) than the AZ901. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the AZ901 nor the HX99 are weather-sealed.
The power pack in the HX99 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|Kodak AZ901||139 mm||104 mm||119 mm||777 g||400||n||Jan 2016||499|
|Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Nikon B700||125 mm||85 mm||107 mm||565 g||350||n||Feb 2016||499|
|Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|Panasonic TZ90||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic FZ2000||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|Sony HX350||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||652 g||300||n||Dec 2016||449|
|Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The HX99 was somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the AZ901 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the AZ901 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 18 MP of the HX99. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the AZ901 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.25μm for the HX99). Moreover, it should be noted that the HX99 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 months) than the AZ901, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the HX99 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Kodak AZ901 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the AZ901 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony HX99 are 24.5 x 18.4 inches or 62.2 x 46.6 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 14.7 inches or 49.7 x 37.3 cm for very good quality, and 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Kodak PixPro AZ901 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the HX99 provides a better video resolution than the AZ901. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Kodak is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the HX99 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the AZ901 (638k vs 202k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Kodak AZ901 and Sony HX99 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y|
|Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The HX99 has a touchscreen, while the AZ901 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
Both the AZ901 and the HX99 have zoom lenses built in. The AZ901 has a 22-1980mm f/3.1-6.8 optic and the HX99 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Kodak provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Sony. The AZ901 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The AZ901 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX99 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The HX99 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the AZ901 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Kodak PixPro AZ901 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both the AZ901 and the HX99 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The AZ901 replaced the earlier Kodak AZ651, while the HX99 does not have a direct predecessor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Kodak and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Kodak AZ901 or the Sony HX99 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Kodak PixPro AZ901:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 18MP) with a 6% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.1 vs f/3.5).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2016).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (638k vs 202k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 139x104mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 535g or 69 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the AZ901 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX99 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Kodak AZ901 and the Sony HX99 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the AZ901 or the HX99 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Kodak AZ901||..||..||3.5/5||..||3/5||Jan 2016||499|
|Sony HX99||..||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon G9 X||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|Leica Q Typ 116||..||80/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|Nikon B700||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Feb 2016||499|
|Nikon P900||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|Panasonic TZ90||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic FZ2000||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|Sony HX350||..||..||..||..||4/5||Dec 2016||449|
|Sony HX90V||+ +||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|Sony HX400V||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Kodak AZ901 vs Sony HX99
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Kodak AZ901||Sony HX99|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||22-1980mm f/3.1-6.8||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||January 2016||August 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Kodak AZ901||Sony HX99|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Kodak AZ901||Sony HX99|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Kodak AZ901||Sony HX99|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Kodak AZ901||Sony HX99|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Kodak AZ901||Sony HX99|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
139 x 104 x 119 mm
(5.5 x 4.1 x 4.7 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||777 g (27.4 oz)||242 g (8.5 oz)|
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