I’ve toyed with a number of Sony cameras in the past few months, looking for something that gave good enough results while being easy enough to carry that it doesn’t get left home. So far, the HX80, while not as impressive a camera as any of Sony’s RX series, is filling the bill. Granted the Zeiss lens has a narrow range of f stops (3.5-8.0), but it delivers up to 30x optical zoom (24-720mm equiv) decent low light performance, a pop up viewfinder and tilt lcd display. All for a list price of $369, though I managed to get mine down around 275 thanks to some credits I had at Best Buy. For that price, it’s a great camera that slips comfortably into a pocket.
Just out of the box, I took the HX80 to the Maryland Renaissance Festival, where the long zoom came in handy. if you check out these shots over on Flickr, you’ll see some close ups of faces taken at max zoom, which still came out pretty crisp. MD Ren Faire w HX80