54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
A very impressive snapper from Sony,
This review is from: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V Super-Advanced High Zoom Camera (18.2MP, 20x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)Sony's latest compact powerhouse camera is, no doubt about it, impressive right out of the box. It's easy to use whilst also having an impressive feature set. The 20x optical zoom is fantastic, and with Sony's digital zoom technology added on you are able to get closer to 30-40x without a horrible blown-up grainy effect.
It seems incredible that such a high zoom can be squeezed in to such a small chassis, but Sony have managed it. On top of that, you get GPS, HD video (including stereo sound), 18 megapixels, panoramic mode, 3D, smile detection and more. It's all quite intuitive to use, and the camera's built-in help function fills in some gaps when you aren't too sure what a particular function does.
Just in Intelligent Auto mode, I was getting great pictures straight off the bat. The auto focus and face detection works a treat. But photos alone are not the whole package nowadays. One important feature for me in a camera like this is video, and the HX20 offers full 1080p HD with stereo sound. Again, with just automatic settings switched on, video is great. The auto focus really comes into its own here, keeping up nicely with camera movement. The picture is generally crisp and colourful, and sound is great too.
One feature Sony are clearly proud of is the Exmor R CMOS sensor, for low light photos and video. And it's sensational, especially on video. Prior to this I was using a Pansonic Lumix TZ20, a decent camera but pretty shocking in low light. Not with the Cybershot HX20, it loves it. A dimly lit room holds no fears for this camera.
Loads of great features, easy to use, a fantastic zoom lens, this is a very good package. But it's not without its cost (and I'm not just talking the slightly over-the-odds price tag either). The camera is a bit spartan in the looks department, but it's OK. However, at 250g it's not the lightest in its class, and overall I've found it a little heavy and chunky. It has a pop-up flash, which I'm really not keen on as I keep having to remember not to hold the camera there. And finally, for some reason, the USB connector is on the bottom of the camera, which is also where you charge the battery.
But having said all that, it's a joy to use and takes great photos and video. The weight isn't ideal, but the camera is generally still on the small side so quite pocket friendly. If you're looking for a compact, class-leading camera for your travels, I think the Cybershot HX20 is well worth consideration.