Sony H300 Camera – Is The Performance Good In The Price Range?

The Sony H300 camera, which is in Sony’s lower price range, has strong close-up zoom capabilities without distorting or blurring the image. Also, the machine has a look that is very reminiscent of DSLR cameras, giving off an exceptionally cozy and sturdy vibe.


The new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 super-zoom camera has a 50x, 24–1200mm zoom lens, a 20.4 megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, 19201080 50p Full HD video recording with stereo sound and HDMI output, as well as sweep panoramas and 3D Still Pictures. The Sony HX300 also has high-speed autofocusing, a tilting 3-inch LCD screen with 921,000 dots, 10 frames per second burst shooting mode, ISO range of 100-12,800, enhanced Optical SteadyShot with 3-way Active Mode, Intelligent Auto Plus, Superior Auto, Program and full Manual shooting modes, a variety of Picture Effects, and support for Memory Stick PRO Duo and Secure Digital cards, among other notable features. At £419.00 / $449.99, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is offered in black.

Use Ease

The new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 is nearly identical to the HX200 model it replaces, thus the criticisms we made of that camera still hold true for the new HX300. The HX300 is definitely inspired by a budget DSLR camera in terms of style. It can be thrown over the shoulder, wrapped around the neck, or tucked inside a compatible camera bag using the included strap. The optical zoom of the HX300 has increased from 30x to a whopping 50x, while the 1/2.3-inch Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor’s effective resolution has increased from 18.2 million to 20.4 million pixels.

When shooting near the extreme telephoto end of the zoom, the HX300’s huge, chunky handgrip, which can fit three fingers easily around it, helps to provide a steadier grasp. Sony also offers optical “SteadyShot” image stabilization, which is now improved by a second group of lens elements that shift quickly to correct for minute hand tremors, reducing the shake visible on the LCD screen and making it simpler to frame the shot. This helps prevent blurred shots in such situations and in low light.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 has a high-quality build and finish. Its all-black matte finish and several DSLR-like dials and buttons, in addition to its angle-adjustable LCD and built-in electronic viewfinder, give the impression that it is a model for “serious” aficionados. Because to its small size, finding the appropriate control never requires stretching out the fingers or thumb. The majority of the things you wish to use are practically at your fingertips, which naturally speeds up functioning as a whole. With overall measurements of 129.6×93.2×1.03.2mm and a weight of 623g, the HX300 is both larger and heavier than its predecessor and the majority of the super-zoom competitors.

The Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens dominates the front of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300. It has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at the widest setting and a focal range equivalent to an ultra-wide-angle 24mm to 1200mm on 35mm film. This suggests real ‘poke’ at the telephoto end and real suitability for those candid paparazzi portraits at full zoom, as well as landscapes and group portraits at the wider

Cyber-shot by Sony DSC-HX300 the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-front HX300’s and back

When looking at the camera front on, we also see an AF assist/self time lamp on top left of the lens. If you don’t want to use the compact camera-style lever that alternatively surrounds the shutter release button, the lens ring on the barrel itself will hold real appeal for photographers who prefer to use their hands. It can also be used to focus by switching the switch on the side of the lens to “MF” mode.

The HX300’s top plate continues its upscale appearance and feel, with a stereo microphone located immediately beneath the elevated flash that is normally hidden. While gazing down at the camera while holding it in both hands, there is a little button to the right of this that allows you to switch between using the LCD and EVF. Contrary to its predecessor, the HX300 no longer features an eye sensor, which we sadly missed throughout testing.

The on/off switch with an inbuilt lamp that illuminates green when the camera is turned on or orange when the battery is low and the device is being recharged is the next control along. Interestingly, there isn’t a separate mains charger included. Instead, we receive a mains lead, adaptor, and plug, indicating that the battery is charged inside the camera. Hence, when your battery is low, so is the camera.

The Cyber-shot HX300 turns on in around two seconds, the lens stretching slightly outside its protective casing to reach its widest setting while the back LCD illuminates with a picture. Even if it’s slower than a real DSLR, that’s still respectable for this type of bridge camera.

The camera responds admirably quickly to changes in exposure and focus; the green AF point or points are highlighted on the screen as soon as your finger presses down on the shutter release button and locates the halfway point. A full definition 20 megapixel JPEG is committed to removable media card in slightly over two seconds after you completely press the shutter, which is respectably quick. The unmarked button in the middle of the Sony’s backplate command pad can be pressed to activate or deactivate the normal features of face detection/selection and tracking focus.

Cyber-shot by Sony DSC-HX300 Top View of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300

The HX300 can go from wide angle to telephoto in around 4 seconds if you keep your forefinger on the zoom lever that surrounds the shutter release button. The manual zoom ring is another option, as was already indicated, however it responds more slowly than using the zoom lever. The net result is that more exact framing is a little bit simpler to achieve.

A raised, ridged-edged shooting mode button that is adjacent to the power button has a strong enough action to avoid accidental setting changes when the user is in the middle of a situation. This dial has eleven choices. In addition to Sony’s now-famous Sweep Panorama function, which requires the user to pan through an arc as indicated by the on-screen arrows, we also get the creative foursome of program, shutter priority, aperture priority, and manual mode settings. The resulting elongated shot is then automatically stitched together in camera. It is quite simple to use and incredibly effective.

The memory recall mode, which the camera describes as recalling registered settings and continuing shooting, is located right next to this setting. This seems a little unnecessary, as we discovered that the camera retained its original settings even after being turned off and back on.

Together with the dedicated video record button on the top right of the backplate, the dial also has a specific High Definition video mode for up to 1920×1080 pixels clips at 50 frames per second progressive capture. While pressing the latter starts a recording even if the dial is now set to a stills shooting mode, pressing the Menu button while in video mode gives you access to a number of menu settings. In this case, in addition to changing the frame rate and video resolution, we may also apply a specific scene mode instead of switching to intelligent auto video recording, as we more frequently do with still photography. Also, full use of the optical zoom is available in movie mode, along with automatic focus adjustment if you change the frame or switch subjects in the middle of a sequence. There is also the option to filter out external wind noise.

Being a Sony camera, we also expected to find a 3D mode on the device. You can either use Sony’s Sweep Multi Angle mode, which provides a lenticular print type view on the camera’s LCD screen, to at least get a 3D effect in situ, or you can take 3D stills or Sweep Panoramas as MPO files only viewable in the stereoscopic glory on a suitably equipped TV.


Cyber-shot by Sony DSC-HX300 Cyber-shot by Sony The DSC-HX300 Front Tilting LCD Screen Scene modes are next, and there are 16 user selectable options on the HX300, covering everything from the customary portraits – including a separate DSLR-style “background defocus” option – to shooting nighttime landscapes and even handheld; pet, beach, snow, and fireworks mode round out the more customary suspects.

The scene and subject recognition and automatic mode adjustments in Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto round out the shooting mode choices. The latter, which makes image adjustments instantly, is, if you will, your in-camera Photoshop. Thus, it takes longer to transfer an image from capture to card when shooting in this mode than when shooting, for example, in Program mode. Yet, it is a helpful tool in more challenging situations, such low light, and does let the user to point and shoot rather than having to locate and manually modify the ISO level.


The sensitivity range, incidentally, is wide and extends from ISO to ISO12,800 with numerous incremental points in between. Our only complaint is that there should have been a special ISO button that was clearly labeled. Just behind the shutter release on the top plate, there is a “custom” button next to one for “focus.” You can choose to use this button for auto exposure lock (AEL), white balance, metering mode, or activating the grin shutter feature. The top plate of the HX300 consists just of the shutter release button and the zoom lever that conveniently slopes forward toward the top of the handgrip.

The 3-inch, 921k-dot LCD screen on the back of the HX300 dominates the space there. It can be tilted up or down but cannot be rotated through 180 degrees, allowing it to either sit next to the body like a camcorder or turn inward to face the body. Despite being extremely helpful in and of itself when compared to a fixed monitor, this means that rather than using it for anything more ambitious, it is best suited for obtaining those uncomfortable low or high angle views. As an alternative, you can utilize the EVF mounted just above the LCD, but since it’s smaller and has a lower resolution (202k dots), we found it to be simple to ignore.

The camera’s rear appears to have less controls than it actually does because of how small the buttons are, yet all of the necessary controls are located here. To the right of the viewfinder is a dedicated movie button, and a DSLR-style jog dial is placed next to it, where it naturally rests beneath the thumb of the right hand when the camera is held in that position. If you’re shooting in Program mode, pressing this gives you access to settings like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture value on the screen. However, we had to press this button firmly and repeatedly to reach the necessary settings, each of which was highlighted in turn. From there, you can make adjustments by spinning the same dial. It is more difficult to use and takes some getting used to than simply choosing ISO speeds from a menu or toolbar on the screen.

Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 from Sony

Battery compartment for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 with a memory card slot
Speaking of toolbars, on the back of the camera, there is a button with the label “Menu” that, when pressed, displays a toolbar. Something can be seen in the distance on the left side of the screen. Even though a separate button denoted by a question mark is also offered for such a purpose, we have access to the camera’s setup folders and the in-camera assistance manual here. The toolbar also includes options for saving customized settings to the Memory Recall mode available on the top plate shooting dial, selecting between the weaker “Active” and “standard” Steadyshot options when recording video, adjusting movie quality, implementing noise reduction, individually controlling sharpness, contrast, and color saturation (with “standard” being the default setting), and switching between the default “standard” color mode and vivid, “real,” sepia, or black-and-white.

Additionally, the sensitivity of the “smile shutter” feature may be adjusted to detect a tiny up-turn of the mouth or alternatively a wide silly grin, or the automatic feature can be completely disabled. The flash’s intensity can also be scaled up or down. Moreover, there are choices for three exposure and one white balance bracketing, continuous burst photography at 10 or 2 frames per second for up to 10 consecutive shots, and a choice of metering modes (multi segment, centre weighted or spot). Naturally, the same toolbar on the left side of the screen may also be used to change the size of still images; the highest setting is 20 megapixels with a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Finally, near the bottom of this lengthy list, there are a few enjoyable picture effect choices. Here, they include a painterly High Dynamic Range option, a chrome-like rich-tone monochrome, the common toy camera and miniature effects, pop art, soft high key, watercolour, and a playful illustration effect that emphasizes subject outlines while smoothing out the detail within them.

The HX300’s backplate has a familiar four-way control pad at the bottom right that offers controls for the rear display, flash settings (with red eye reduction turned on or off via the menu screens), self timer (two or 10 seconds), and, more atypically, bringing up some on-screen “photo creativity” options if the user is shooting in one of the auto modes. By choosing this option on the pad, for instance, users can adjust the image’s brightness or darkness by moving the jog dial to the left or right. Moreover, color can be changed in the same way, and a virtual mode dial can be used to cycle through the previously described visual effect possibilities. It is very reminiscent of the Live Guide function on Olympus Pen cameras in that it enables beginners to exert some personal control over the results of their shots without having any prior knowledge of exposure values, aperture settings, and other settings. Adjustments are displayed on the screen live and in real time before the shutter release button has even been depressed.

The camera has two ports that are protected by a flip-open cover on the left side, and it has metal lugs on either side for connecting the included shoulder strap. The new Multi Terminal Interface port, which enables the attachment of an expanding range of accessories, and the HDMI output are also included here. The lithium ion cell installed in the handgrip’s base has a battery life of about 300 shots, which is significantly less than the 450+ shots of its predecessor. A metal screw thread, the battery compartment, and a slot for either Memory Stick PRO Duo or Secure Digital cards are all positioned on the bottom of the HX300.

Picture Highness

The 20.4 megapixel JPEG option, which results in an average image size of about 6Mb, was used to capture all of the sample images included in this study.

During the testing period, the Sony CyberShot DSC-HX300 delivered photographs of good quality. It managed noise reasonably well, with some noise showing up at the relatively slow ISO 400 and getting progressively worse at the faster ISO 800 and 1600 levels. We wouldn’t use any of the fastest ISO3200-12,8000 levels unless absolutely necessary because they all suffer from a loss of fine detail.

Chromatic aberrations were present but well-controlled, and in circumstances with strong contrast, a small amount of purple fringing effects appeared. The 20 megapixel photographs needed additional sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop or you could turn up the in-camera sharpness level because they were a little soft right out of the camera at the default sharpen setting.


Excellent macro performance enables you to focus as closely as 1 cm from the subject. With the very adaptable 50x zoom lens, barrel distortion is admirably well-controlled even at the 24mm wide-angle focal length. With no red-eye and a sufficient overall exposure, the built-in flash performed nicely indoors. The cameras can capture adequate light for the majority of nighttime conditions with a maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds.

Although we miss being able to control exactly how much correction is made, the Backlight Correction HDR feature significantly boosts the detail in the shadow and highlight areas. A broad variety of Color Modes and Image Effects are available, and the Sweep Panorama mode makes it simple to capture expansive views.


The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 has 8 different ISO settings. The noise levels for each ISO setting are shown in the following 100% crops.


As a result, those who are new to cameras, interested in photography, but on a short budget, should have no trouble using this camera. If everything listed above satisfies your requirements, why not purchase this camera? This is unquestionably a solid option for the budget camera market.

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