Sony Cyber-shot HX30V Digital Camera Review$369.99
The Sony HX30V is one of the first compact cameras to be AVCHD 2.0 compatible, allowing it to shoot up to 1080/60p. In our bright light motion test the camera didn't disappoint, producing smooth motion with very little ghosting, trailing, or artifacting. It was an impressive display that looked as good as anything we've seen on point and shoots recently. More on how CamcorderInfo tests motion.
The HX30V produced some of the smoothest motion we've seen from a point-and-shoot, easily keeping pace with its competition. The only camera we've seen that's as good recently was the Sony RX100, but that camera features a much larger sensor and costs nearly twice as much.
Bright light sharpness results were quite remarkable, with the HX30V producing around 750 lw/ph of sharpness horizontally and vertically. That's equivalent to what we've seen from entry-level DSLRs like the Canon Rebel T4i. That's discounting the Rebel's obvious benefit in depth of field, but it's impressive nonetheless. Also of note is the general lack of moire, which is an ugly discoloration in really fine patterns that cameras often produce. It's still there, but it's heavily suppressed, moreso than we've seen on many cameras. More on how CamcorderInfo tests video sharpness.
Low light sharpness was another story, however. Where we saw over 700 lw/ph sharpness in bright light, the increased ISO and compression changes caused that to fall to just over 400 lw/ph. It climbed up to around 425 lw/ph sometimes, but it only rarely rose above that.
Low Light Sensitivity
Keeping with the "low light is trouble" theme, the HX30V required about 27 lux of light to produce an image that registered 50 IRE on a wave form monitor (50 IRE is a broadcast standard for a usable image). That's not a phenomenal performance, and it's only slightly better than what we've seen with cheaper compacts like the Canon ELPH 110 HS.