Customer Review

246 of 253 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly high performance compact camera crammed to the rafters with features..., 22 Jun 2012
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?)
Length:: 4:26 Mins

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V is a high performance compact camera that is designed to excel in all expectations of a general compact camera, without pushing the price tag and advanced features into the field of a camera geared for much more professional use.

So what have you got? Well, the first thing that is instantly noticeable about the camera is the hefty weight of the beast. For an (almost everyday) compact camera, this certainly is a heavy one to lug around. Weighing in at 222g, the weight of the camera is something to bear in mind if planning on taking this around with you on an extensive trip.

However, it's certainly a sturdy and solidly built piece of equipment. The main rubber grip located on the right-hand side of the camera feels comfortable and secure in the user's grip. The additional thumb grip on the reverse of the camera shows clear ergonomic designing at work, and really makes the camera feel snug in your hand during use.

The pop-out flash located on the left-hand side of the camera is something to get used to if you haven't used a camera of this style before. Quite often a user will try holding the camera with two hands, with the left hand supporting the camera with a finger placed along its top. However, doing this will prevent the flash from popping-up when required. This is just something that you need to get used to. And after using the camera for a couple of days on our holiday, I soon became accustomed to holding the camera in just my right hand.

Now on to the main part of the review - the camera's performance. We've had the camera now for just over a month. During which time we took the camera away with us on a ten-day holiday to Scotland. During this period I hoped to become properly accustomed to the various ins-and-outs of the camera, putting me in a good position to review it. Already owning the Sony DSC-WX50 Compact Digital Camera helped enormously, due to the vast majority of the on-screen function displays and menu's being pretty much identical.

Like with the DSC-WX50, the simple user-friendly aspect and overall ease of use of the camera is one of the undoubted principal points. Yes there are plenty of additional and more advanced features included on the camera. But these can be explored and played around with once the user has become more familiar with the camera. For the basic use of the camera, say for everyday shots and video footage, this really is a simple case of learn as you go (and it'll probably only be a few minutes before you're snapping away with absolute ease).

The zoom is more than impressive - it's possibly the strongest feature on the camera. We're talking 20x zoom with up to 102x digital zoom. And the detail on the screen / photos is quite frankly awesome.

The picture quality produced by the camera is like nothing that my wife or I have previously experienced. It's just so simple to take stunning photos, seemingly always with perfect light along with sharp, crisp colours. After uploading the pictures on to the computer, the end results are incredible. The photos are also goliath in size, allowing you to zoom in without any loss of quality resulting in blurred pixelisation.

The HD video footage is equally as mind-blowing. Expect to be bowled over by video footage that looks so perfectly clear that it's almost as if you're viewing real life. I'm in no way exaggerating here, the end results are beyond anything that my wife or I have previously expected.

The large 3 inch LCD viewing screen reproduces the images in rich and incredibly detailed HD that shows the user exactly what the photo / video footage will be like. Zooming into the pictures 'on screen' is a doddle, with the menu dial allowing the user to easily move around the image whilst zoomed-in in order to see exactly what they've captured.

The panoramic function is as unbelievably breath-taking as with the previously mentioned DSC-WX50. Expect absolutely stunning panoramic shots that are produced with such ease, by simply selecting the panoramic setting and sweeping the camera in a fluid clockwise motion. A couple of examples of these panoramic shots using this camera are included in the video.

As for the GPS malarkey and all those monstrously impressive additional features. Well, they're there, on the camera, and I've fumbled around with them for a few minutes, but to be honest, those advanced features are something that will undoubtedly take a lot more time to get used to.

However, all in all this camera has proved to perform way beyond our expectations. The picture quality is absolutely breath-taking. The video footage is incredible. The general ease of use, for an everyday layman (like myself) is a definite bonus. The camera is strong, sturdy, ergonomically designed and packed with more features to gradually become acquainted with than you can shake a stick at. Quite frankly, for a compact camera of this sort, this really is the bee's knees.
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jul 2012 11:33:48 BDT
David says:
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to produce such a terrific video review and I would appreciate some tips on how to get sent one of these for free... Some voiceover would have been welcome, but I accept that it is difficult to do when salivating and repeating "shiny thing, shiny thing..." So you have me wanting this little beauty. My only defence against purchase is to keep repeating "but do you NEED it?" Surely there will be a better Panasonic, with a Leica lens around the corner... Tell your mates at Vine I'd be prepared to do a video review with a voiceover and captions. I am prepared to wait for a whole week...

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jul 2012 09:56:18 BDT
Chris Hall says:
Hi David, I must say that your comment made me chuckle. Firstly, thanks for the kind words. Regarding your point on doing a voiceover, I would, but unfortunately I sound like an absolute plum on recordings. I dabbled a year or two back...and it really is cringeworthy. So I haven't added any voiceover since.

On joinging Vine - I can't say that I know of any magic forumla. I've been revieweing on here since March 2003, so quite a long old time now. And it was a number of years before I had my invite. So my recommendation to you would be to keep on reviewing, and the invite might suddenly appear one day.

And btw - none of us Viners have any sway whatsoever with who's invited onto the programme I'm afraid.

Hope that helps. And good luck with the reviewing!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jul 2012 12:30:49 BDT
David says:
Practice makes perfect, Chris, and developing clearer diction is not only good for your vids but good for your kids. (Good communicators get better jobs). Get a Zoom H1 with a Neewer 2pcs 3.5mm Hands Free Computer Clip on Mini Lapel Microphone, practice reciting the words to "Hard Day's Night" (pretend to be Richard III) and end up sounding like Richard Burton. He was from Neath, y'know. Put the Voice into Vine Voice and enjoy graduating to "talkies". All the Best !

Posted on 31 Jul 2012 20:34:16 BDT
camerasam says:
Hi Chris love the helpful review, I have one question for you about the large 3inc lcd screen, Im sure its fantastic in the shade, But what about the sunshine. The way I see it. If you cant see what your trying to photograph How can you get A good photograph. So how does this lovely screen fair out in bright sun shine,
Thanks Sam

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Aug 2012 08:39:44 BDT
Chris Hall says:
Hi Sam,

Thanks for the kind words. Well, I've had the camera now for a couple of months and used it out on the (admittedly few) sunny days we've had this year. The large LCD screen doesn't really reflect any of the sunshine or have any glare when hit directly with bright light. Don't ask me why this is, must be some fancy non-reflective material used or something. But I've used the camera out on the beach when the sun's really been out, and I've had absolutely no problems seeing what I'm trying to capture on camera.

Hope that helps.


In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2013 14:12:13 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2013 20:01:42 GMT
Chris Hall says:
Hi M Barraclough. Thanks for the comment - however I'm somewhat baffled to say the least. The DSC-HX20V does have GPS functionality on it. I've got the camera in my hands as I write this and can enable it in the menu screen on it!!! I've also used it numerous time since writing the review. It's also detailed in the instruction manual (which you can view online) and on the Amazon product listing page (see under the 'Tracks Your Adventures' heading). I have no idea why you think it does not have this capability....but I'd be very interested to know why you claim it doesn't!!!

Sorry, but I fear your comment does not render my review as a bit dodgy, however I might suggest that it perhaps does render your knowledge on this particular camera as a bit dodgy!!!

All the best,


Posted on 23 Mar 2013 14:28:42 GMT
The camera I have at the moment is a Fuji fine pix, and I'm not that happy with it, the prints could be clearer, and when I take a pic of for example my granddaughter, I click what I see, but when I see the pic, she's moved in it, it delays in taking the photo, does this camera do this? or does it take what you see? Thanks Val.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Mar 2013 10:01:44 GMT
Chris Hall says:
Hi Mrs V. J. Tomkins.

Thanks for the comment.

In my experience, the Sony DSC-HX20V is very fast in taking the picture from the instant when you 'click' to take the photo. You will also want to perhaps adjust the shutter speed to best suit your needs. However, the 'out-of-the-box' standard setting on this camera should be pretty much what you're after.

Would be interested to hear how you get on if you do decide to give the Sony DSC-HX20V a go.

All the best.


In reply to an earlier post on 25 Mar 2013 10:42:40 GMT
Thanks I will let you know if I decide to buy it.
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Location: Cardiff, Wales

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