This subject seems to have got mixed up with others posts, highlighting similar problems.
However, I would just like to echo the comments made by other contributors, regarding the the compression and noise reduction applied to Still photos. I think the fact that Jpeg file sizes are only around 3.5 to 5 meg, proves that the compression is very much overdone.
The amount of noise reduction applied, also obliterates fine detail, particularly in dark areas of the picture.
Just why Sony have chosen to go down this route, I just don't know.
Certainly with the high capacity SD cards available nowadays, high compression is just not necessary.
I would much rather do my own post processing via Photoshop et al. RAW would be very nice, but not really necessary, if the quality of the Jpegs was up to scratch.
On the other hand, I think video quality is superb for a camera in this price bracket.
However, If I had particularly wanted a good Video camera, I would have brought a dedicated one.
As it is I am stuck with superb Video and a mediocre Stills camera, which is really not what I wanted!
SONY, Please listen to the comments made on this and other forums and come up with an appropriate firmware update ASAP.
Virtually all my current electronic equipment is Sony and I have been a loyal customer for many years, right from the days of your first 18" colour TV in a wooden case and in Hi-Fi terms, probably earlier.
It would be disappointing, if I had to move to a competitors products to get satisfaction.
Merry Xmas to all our readers.
I am also waiting for HX9V firmware upgrade, today bought and very sad with jpeg quality/compression (colors is not right too!) and no raw support.
STOP DRINK BEER, RELEASE NEW FIRMWARE PLEASE!
I have just bought this camera. Literally yesterday. I am in a state of shock. The downloaded pictures are awful. Just awful. I can't believe how poor they are. Jpegs 159KB. Using PMB, the supplied software that came with the camera. They look like something I could have taken with a £10 camera from the market. I can take better photos with an Apple iPhone for goodness sake.
Kenneve, please can you tell me how you managed to download the photos with 3 to 5MB per photo rather than the , no joke, 159Kb per picture I have managed thus far?
How do I get the pictures to even download with iPhone quality (around 2 to 3 MB per picture, let alone the quality I would have expected from an apparently 16MP camera?
And no RAW capability? In a camera that costs over £300 with all the bits and bobs? A complete ripoff. Thank goodness there is a cooling off period and I can return it.
As for it being a "good video camera". If I had wanted a great video camera, I wouldn't have bought a camera for still shots.
I think the jpeg compression is much to high and the camera should support to save in Raw. Please Firmware Update. Sony please do something, don't let us alone.
I download to the PC by inserting the SD card directly into the PC slot and use Windows Explorer to send the files to the directory where I want them.
I have just copied some 40 odd photos taken over the Xmas period and the file sizes range from 2,894Kb to 6,044Kb. It's interesting to note that the lowest file is an indoor portrait, with flash, whereas the higher one is an outdoor group, shot in full sun.
However, I don't think using the PMB software will make any difference to the file size, I just use my method to ensure that the photos end up on the hard-drive where I want them.
I assume that you are using the highest resolution setting possible, as 159Kb suggests that you may be set to 640 x 480 res, which of course produces rubbish.
Prior to purchase, I did roadtest the camera at a well known multiple store, using my own memory card and when analysing the results, I did find the the camera was indeed, set to the lowest resolution, hardly a good sales ploy!
I have had some impressive results from this camera and I tried to upload and example, (but the system wouldn't let me) which shows the top of the Stratford Shakespeare Theatre tower, taken from about 200 metres at full 16x zoom and the individual bricks are dead sharp! (file size 5,890Kb)
Nevertheless I agree that the performance of this camera could be vastly improved with a relatively minor firmware upgrade, which could make a good compact camera into a really great compact camera.
Unfortunately, I am now past the cooling off period, so I am stuck with it and just hope that SONY get their finger out and respond to the concerns voiced on this and other forums ASAP.
Have just seen the following comment from 'blaireau_photo' relating to problems with a TX10 camera.
'Finally, the nature of the electronics industry usually means that a firmware update is only released to fix a fault with a device as opposed to offer improvements'.
As I assume that the writer has some connection with SONY, does this mean that all the forum members interested in this post are wasting their time, asking for a firmware update for the HX9V.?
In my opinion the shortcomings relating to this camera are faults and should be attended to ASAP.
If SONY regard them as improvements, then they should say so, so that the longstanding and loyal customers of SONY can draw their own conclusions, and move on!!!
Sony, you really need to listen to your customers. There is a lot of negative chatter on the internet regardig the noise reduction and compression issues with pictures from the HX9V.
The camera and its technology is very good, however the achillies heal is the picture quality when viewing closely. The level of noise reduction being used on the pictures is simply too much, it ruins what otherwise would be excellent pictures.
You really must release a firmware update to correct this. I totally understand the concept of the auto modes on the camera, however selectable controls in "P" mode to adjust the level of noise reduction and compression used on the images would be an excellent addition to the camera.
I am a few days into owning a HX9V, I can still return this for another model (and am seriously considering this), so please listen to your customers, post a firmware update, and make us all happy!!!!
I too have recently purchased the HX9V only to find the levels of compression on the images to be too high and loosing detail on the pictures I have taken.
I was directed to this thread from a Google search regarding the issue and have noticed that a few review sites have started to pick up on this.
I'm tempted to return this camera as I believe that this is unacceptable on a camera of this price range,
although would like to think that Sony will be addressing the issues raised in a firmware update.
Here is hoping that Sony are actually listening to us !
This item was first posted 30th Sept 2011 and some 3 months on, there have been 23 replies to date, all agreeing with the original subject. Added to this, are other similar posts on this forum, with basically the same subject, plus many from other photographic forums around the world.
One can deduce from this, that there must be hundreds of dissatisfied customers, all asking for a firmware update for the DSC-HX9V camera.
I just can't understand Sony's reluctance to reply to these concerns, if only to say that they will or won't issue an update, within a specified date, which would put right, what could be a truly great camera.
It seems to me that the required Firmware modifications, are only a matter of tweaking compression and noise reduction values, similar to what one would do, in photographic editing programs, like Photoshop et al.
How hard can it be??
Same thing here in France.
My old DSC-P200 produced better pictures.
Please Sony, give us a clear answer : will you or not update the firmware ?
If not, I'll sell my HX9V and will never buy Sony again.
JPEG compression is too high and pictures are awful. Let us know if you are planning release new FW or not. I believe many people is waiting for this answer.
My friends laugh me that I spent so much money for this camera when see my photos. Unfortunately it is true - they have much more better pictures using their "cheap" not Sony cameras. These complains certainly will not increase reputation of your company. This camera is my first product from you and probably the last. Unfortunately I can not recommend your products to other based on this experience... Hopefully the new firmware will be released to fix this issue and give people to choose jpeg pictures quality...
NOTE: I usualy do not write to forums but I had to register and let you know I am very unhappy as many others users who spent money for your product!!!
I don't know why some people complain about the high compression here. This is completely unsubstantiated. I have the HX9V for about 6 weeks now, and I have not noted any compression artifacts. My file sizes are about 3-6 mb depending on the scene, and that is consistent with a quality setting of the JPEG compression of 97% (one can estimate the quality factor by re-compressing the image; if the file size stays the same, then this is the factor the original file was saved with in the camera). I have never seen any image deterioration for a JPEG quality factor below 85%; and only if one goes below 50%, will the artifacts be a serious issue.
It is also incorrect to draw conclusions here from compression factors in cameras with a much lower pixel count: if one has twice the number of pixels in an image, then there is also twice the probability that two pixels are the same, so the image can be compressed more without losing any information (just create a 1000x1000 image with a uniform colour in your photo editor, if you save this as a JPEG, it will result in a 6KB file regardless of the JPEG quality chosen; this compression is thus lossless, as is a large amount in a normal photo where many pixels will be identical).
If you want to have reliable test shots to compare with different cameras, just go to http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM . I made my decision to buy the HX9V on the basis of this, as the image quality outperforms all other compact cameras I compared it with. It even can compete with some entry level DSLR's like the EOS1100D as far as the image quality is concerned.