The chunky yet compact flagship model in Sony's High Performance Cyber-Shot series, the new HX200V superzoom succeeds the HX100V, in the process boosting the headline resolution from 16.2 megapixels to 18.2 effective megapixels from an Exmor R CMOS sensor.

Remaining a constant is its most obvious selling point: a whopping 30x optical zoom. Great in theory for photographing wildlife and sports, and not bad at all in practice, this in part dictates its 'DSLR lite' dimensions.

This also helps set it apart from the equally new 20x HX20V model.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V at a glance
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch (7.76mm) Exmor R CMOS sensor
Lens: 30x (27-810mm in 35mm terms)
LCD Screen: 3-inch, 921,600 dots
ISO range: ISO 100-12800
Dimensions: 121.6 x 86.6 x 93.3mm, 531g

Should users want to digitally extend the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V's lens reach it can be pushed to the equivalent of 60x. Sony claims that the fantastically christened Pixel Super Resolution technology enhances imagery to avoid the usual blocky appearance of conventional digital zooms.

While this is the case, on close inspection results can look a little painterly.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V review

Naturally the lens, offering an equivalent focal range of a generous 27mm to 810mm in 35mm terms, is supported by an optical image stabiliser, which Sony says now features a refined gyro sensor.

This too delivers the goods, and enabled us to achieve sharp results shooting handheld at the telephoto end of the zoom - in daylight at least.

For those looking to shoot in low light, the HX200V's maximum light sensitivity now stands at ISO 12800, similar to a mid-range DSLR, while auto focus in dimmer conditions is claimed to be significantly quicker at 0.2 seconds at 3EV.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V review

Otherwise AF speed is 0.13 seconds in the daylight conditions we were generally using it in.

At the other end of the scale, the Sony HX200V offers the ability to achieve macro close ups just 1cm from a subject, while the maximum lens aperture is a reasonably bright f/2.8.

Automatically stitched panoramas, 3D shooting and Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels video with 50 frames per second progressive capture (and with stereo sound) also feature, alongside built-in GPS - making this an option for amateur travel photographers.

Add the above together and the Sony Cyber-Shot HX200V appears to have a lot going for it.

Yet there is stiff competition out there from the Nikon Coolpix P510, Fuji FinePix HS30, Fuji X-S1, and Canon Powershot SX40 HS to name a mere handful.

Can the Sony HX200V really claim to be the superzoom that has it all and justify a price tag of £480 in the UK and $480 in the US?