Review: Sony Cybershot HX30v

Just a short review to get our reviews going here at Banff Photography.

Today we’re reviewing the Sony HX30v, the successor to the very successful HX5, 9 and 10. Like the previous 3 models, the “v” designation means it has GPS on board for those that like to geo-tag their pics.

So what do you get for the extra $100 from last year’s HX10v, for starters 20x optical zoom vs. the 16x of the HX10, not too shabby. Not to mention that the HX30 takes advantage of the same “clear-zoom” technology of the HX10, allowing that 20x zoom to stretch to 40x zoom with very little image quality loss. Clear-zoom is kind of like the 2nd generation of digital zoom, normally I wouldn’t even mention it in a review but the clear-zoom of the sony cameras is so usable that it’s worth mentioning.

Another welcome improvement is the minimum focusing distance of the HX30v, it claims a 1cm minimum distance, allowing for some amazingly close macro shots. Always remember macro works best if you get physically close to the subject rather than using zoom.

The last major improvement to the HX30v is built-in WiFi. With everyone and their mothers owning smartphones these days we feel it only makes sense to give you a method of communicating between camera and phone to upload your photos to facebook, flickr, etc. The HX30v is able to connect directly to your phone by forming its own mini-network and it worked well enough when we tested it, allowing the phone to take care of the uploading and editing.

Although the screen size and resolution is the same between the two models it seems to me that Sony did some tweaks on the HX30 as far as colour reproduction and refresh rate, it just seemed snappier. One concern, as with all cameras, the screen was a little difficult to see in direct sunlight, and was prone to smudging from finger prints and such.

The image quality was top notch, from 25mm to 500mm and beyond with “clear-zoom” it delivers. The low light performance is very good but higher ISOs do get a little “painterly” with noise reduction, but very few cameras compete with it at the end of the day. The camera has many built in “creative” modes including in-camera HDR (colour and B&W), miniature, illustration and more. 

Overall, we highly recommend the Sony Cybershot HX30v, with built-in GPS, WiFi and a powerful 20x zoom range, it really delivers and fits in your pocket to boot.

Full 40x "clear-zoom"

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed,

Mitch Hamilton of Banff Photography 

A gray day in Canmore from Graham Twomey on Vimeo.

"Canmore is a beautiful mountain town nestled in the Canadian Rockies. I was looking forward to shooting some time lapse of the mountains on my day off. The day was over cast and no mountains could be seen. I was disappointed. At about 4PM I decided to take my dog for a walk (or he decided) and brought my camera. I keep telling people its a lot of fun finding the beauty in the mundane. I thought I would put my imagination and camera to the test."

Video by Graham Twomey

This is a photo that was taken in the summer and transformed into an HDR work of art. HDR fun is all over Banff Photography right now! Be sure to keep an eye out for our new upcoming photo classes. We have one dedicated to shooting HDR so you can have a photo just like this one! Keep an eye on our website for updates about our exciting new photo classes! Visit

Photo by Kristina Mogensen