My New Camera: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Review

For those interested in travel photography, I thought I’d offer a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V review to spill the details about my awesome new camera.  I bought it on Amazon for $298 a few weeks back, and I can’t stop playing with it.

Milwaukee bike route

A close-up of a bike route sign, zoomed in as far as the HX9V will go.


2020 Update: I still use the Sony HX9V!

Just popping in to add an update in February 2020. Although I first bought this camera eight years ago, I still use it as my primary camera! True, I don’t use cameras as often – I often just use my cell phone cam these days. But when I do grab a point-and-shoot, the Sony Cybershot HX9V still works and takes great pictures.

The price has dropped quite a bit on Amazon, since many people are now buying newer, fancier models. So if the HX9V interests you, this is a good time to find a used model and get a nice deal on a solid camera.

My sad history with point and shoot digital cameras

Most of my previous digital cameras have been in the $200 range, and I’ve ended up with mediocre zoom and photo quality. My first digital, probably 7 or 8 years ago, was a Nikon Coolpix 3200 with 3x optical zoom and a tiny 1-inch screen. It was fun for a while, but when I went to concerts and recorded video and then compared them to the other concert videos people were uploading to YouTube, I realized my zoom was just awful.

I later upgraded to a Sony Cybershot DSC-W80. Although this camera had a much bigger viewing screen and more settings and options, it still only had a 3x optical zoom. After several good years of use, this camera broke (in my pants pocket, for crying out loud – all I was doing was riding my bike when apparently I moved my leg too suddenly and the glass shattered.)

Then I thought that I could go the cheap route by purchasing an Olympus VG-120 on Amazon for $88. It was a crazy cheap deal, and the optical zoom was 5x, so I figured it would be an upgrade over the Cyber-shot. How wrong I was! The Olympus was by far the worst camera I’ve ever had. Literally 90% of the photos come out blurry – even on the “steady” shooting mode that’s supposed to compensate for shaking!

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My camera history isn’t entirely bad. I also have a Nikon D40 DSLR, which I’ve used with great success for wildlife photos in Yellowstone and the Everglades. But that’s not practical for everyday use, so I needed another point and shoot.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Review: Finding the right point and shoot camera

At first, I was tempted to buy another mid-priced, mediocre camera in the $200 range, because I usually try to stick to a budget as much as possible. Then, when I realized I could get the Cyber-shot DSC-Hx9V for only $100 more, I started to think that maybe I should actually invest in a really good camera for once. The reviews were good so I took the plunge.

Now, having used the camera on a recent trip to Milwaukee, I could not be happier. The 16x optical zoom on this thing is amazing. I honestly feel like I did way back when I got my first digital camera – I’m running around, taking pictures of everything in sight, just for the fun of it. And just about every photo is sharp and clear – no blur at all, even when zoomed in super close. It takes great HD videos as well.

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum, taken with the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V.


As for negatives, the camera is a bit big for a point and shoot – more than 4 inches wide, so it won’t fit in many carrying cases. And the battery life seems a little low – fortunately, I kept my old Cyber-shot battery, so I was able to use both during a recent all-day photo-taking adventure. Aside from that, my review of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V is nothing but positive. For folks in my boat – non-professionals looking for a really nice point and shoot with no blur and a great zoom – I recommend this Sony camera.

Note: This is an objective, personal review of my camera. I’m excited about the device and want to share my experience. I have not received any sort of compensation from Sony for this review (I wish!)

About Quirky Travel Guy

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based freelance writer & fan of indie rock, road trips, ice cream, squirrels on power lines, runaway shopping carts, and six-way intersections. Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, which may earn me a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.

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  1. I have a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S650 – 3x optical zoom — which I’ve had for several years. It’s taken most of the photos I’ve posted on my blog. A few months ago, I upgraded to a DSLR, still getting accustomed to it but I keep my Sony handy for quick shots.
    I love the photos your Sony took – you’ve got a very good eye.
    Say, I nominated you for My Travel ABCs — Let me know if you’re interested, will send you the questions.

  2. Thats quite a history with camera’s!!
    This one seems great, loved both the pics clicked with it.
    Cant do much about the battery, its good that you have 2 of them.

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