With a serious matt black finish that denotes a enthusiast-targeted piece of kit without even delving into the riches of its feature set, the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC HX200V is one of the more impressively attired superzoom cameras out there.

Yet even with its manual focus/zoom lens ring combo, for us it can't quite beat the construction and handling of the Fuji HS series and the Fuji X-S1, although the smaller form factor and price difference may have potential users plumping for the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V as a cost-effective alternative.

We liked

Wed a solid-feel construction and rugged finish - that puts the obvious plastic of entry-level Sony Alpha DSLRs to shame - to a whopper of a focal range and a plethora of auto and manual functionality. And if you don't want to bother with changing lenses, the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC HX200V pretty much has it all.

We disliked

A few more dedicated function buttons, particularly controlling the likes of ISO, would have been a welcome addition.

Slightly more flexibility to the rear LCD screen so that it can be flipped out parallel to the body and twisted to face the user for self portrait shots or flipped to face inwards might have been nice too, but this is being picky.

Final verdict

The Sony HX200V costs £479 in the UK or $479.99 in the US, which while not cheap - and a similar price to a starter DSLR with standard lens - nevertheless feels 'wearable' given the considerable lens reach we're getting for our money.

We also got sharp results at maximum zoom from shot to subsequent shot when it was used handheld. That's almost unheard of on rival models.

What the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX200V has going for it are a rugged build, reliability and a price tag that, while not inexpensive and could otherwise buy you a starter DSLR and standard lens kit, nevertheless feels fair when you weigh up the feature and the creative possibilities of an extremely broad focal range on a relatively compact camera body.