22 Feb Just How Good It Looks – Sony Superzoom
I’ll confess to a degree of longing to be an artist*. The heading image pleases me in a sort of impressionistic fashion, even though it was crafted with one press of a the shutter button on the Sony DSC-HX400V. The fact that I was at the top of the Wireless Hill observation tower and the camera was on full tele and stabiliser mode is beside the point – it looks good. indeed the fact that it is as defined as it is speaks volumes.
It looks as though the Zeiss plate on the side of the lens housing and the vaunted stabiliser system might be more than just advertising – look at the detail on the bird shot in the other direction. 500 yards if it was an inch, and no tripod. I do admit to rifleman’s breath control, but the rest of it is down to the Sony circuits and the Zeiss glass. Birdtographers, please note.
Architecture shooters, as well. The LCD screen was a godsend to shoot upwards like this. Tip ‘o the week for LCD screens outdoors is to do as I do – wear a broad-brimmed straw hat and shade the screen as you use it. And don’t forget to capture the little details – the texture this Zeiss lens is capable of resolving is mind-boggling.
How about quick reaction? The other photographer up on the observation platform was using a drone and as soon as I heard the whir I put the Sony up for a snap shot. Then a quick twist of the zoom ring to the max and another quick snap – I am delighted with both shots. Imagine this same quickness of reaction on a safari or a bear hunt.
Finally, it wouldn’t be an Australian amateur photographic column without a bare tree in stark sunshine. I’m sorry I couldn’t complete the cliché with the 1937 Ford pickup rusting away or the white cockatoos circling…the cockies are in the dry cleaners and hot rodders have collected the Ford relic.
The Sony is light enough to be taken around hot sweaty places and good enough to bring back files that can stand a great deal of enlargement. I should take the extra batteries, charger, and cards that any prudent photographer needs, and I think some time spent programming the video and the various complexities inside the menu would also be well-spent. There seem to be two intelligent auto settings plus a scene position as well as standard PASM so there will be something in there that pleases you. If you are determined to force your will on the camera there are two custom setting positions.
The result you see in the viewfinder will not assist you in assessing your files – it holds a different colour setting to the LCD screen and is not all that detailed. As I mentioned before, use it as a sighting device. But you can rest assured that when you do have a scene inside on the card, it will be a worthwhile image when you later spread it out on your computer.
* Paint you like one of the French girls? Okay. A solid foundation and two top coats of Duco. Plus sanding down between.