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Sony HX90V Comparison Review

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V is a fixed lens compact camera that was revealed to the public in April 2015 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 18 megapixel.

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Is the Sony HX90V a good camera? The HX90V has a Camera Elo of 2028. This rating puts the HX90V among the top 50 percent of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the HX90V ranks among the top 20 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Sony HX90V
Fixed lens compact camera
24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 80 - 3 200 (80 - 12 800)
Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)
3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
10 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge
102 x 58 x 36 mm, 245 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Sony HX90V relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Sony HX90V vs credit card front
HX90V versus credit card top view
HX90V and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony HX90V alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony HX90V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Kodak AZ901 5.5 in 4.1 in 4.7 in 27.4 oz 400 n Jan 2016 499 i
 
Sony HX99 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i
 
Sony HX95 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
 
Sony RX100 V 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 220 n Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony HX80 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony HX350 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.0 oz 300 n Dec 2016 449 i
 
Sony RX100 IV 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony HX400V 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony HX90V was launched in the US market at a price of $429. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sony HX90V:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Sony HX90V features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony HX90V among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Sony HX90V sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Kodak AZ901 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
 
Sony HX99 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX95 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony RX100 V 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.458670
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony HX350 1/2.3 19.9 5152 38641080/60p........
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The HX90V indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the HX90V can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Sony HX90V along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Kodak AZ901202 n 3.0 920 swivel n 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX99638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX95638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 V2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX350202 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y

One convenient feature of the HX90V is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection comparison

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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Kodak AZ901-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX99-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony HX95-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX350-stereomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the HX90V offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The HX90V has a zoom lens built in (4.1-123mm f/3.5-6.4), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 720mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the HX90V handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Kodak AZ901....3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2016 499 i
 
Sony HX99....4/5..4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i
 
Sony HX95.......... Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
 
Sony RX100 V+ +83/1004/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 999 i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony HX350........4/5 Dec 2016 449 i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony HX90V FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the HX90V.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the HX90V?

The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Sony equipped the HX90V with the BIONZ X image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the HX90V?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the HX90V is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony HX90V?

The HX90V offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Sony HX90V feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Does the Sony HX90V support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the HX90V use?

The camera gets its power from the NP-BX1 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Does the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V support geotagging?

The HX90V has a built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) module and can embed location information in the EXIF data of the captured image.

Where can I find the best deals for the HX90V?

Grey imports from Asia, as found on eBay, are often very attractively priced. However, these cameras come without a warranty from Sony.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with 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.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Sony HX90V
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date April 2015
    Launch Price USD 429
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 18 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 896 x 3 672 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.25 μm
    Pixel Density 64.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3 200 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 12 800 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ X
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 638k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Geotagging GPS built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type NP-BX1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 245 g (8.6 oz)

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