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3 people found this helpful
A deceptively tough all round performer
on 16 January 2013
I got the Sony DSC-TX20 camera when my TX10 broke after one too many drops. Many people have questioned the sturdiness of this camera and may see this as vindication. I will admit that this didn't last as long (Sep 2010-Dec 2012) than previous shock/waterproof cameras I've had (Olympus & Fuji) but I have put it through A LOT.
It is waterproof, with only a temporary glitch occurring after using it in Budapest's thermal baths, including one 40 degree bath that is at the edge of advised parameters. This resulted in unclear pictures for the next day, due to condensation in the camera. Fortunately it recovered with some care and was fine by the end of the day, for normal use and even some submerged shots in Croatia's Plitvice National lakes the day after. I have used this on nights out; in fresh water; sea water and pools. The only scenario I haven't used this in is for scuba diving as I don't have a 40m housing for this model. Down to shallow depths (around 5m) it appears to be fine.
The camera itself takes great pictures for a handheld digital camera, let alone an extreme one. The design is great and easily fits in one's pocket, making it easy to carry around. It has a great selection of options that automatically adjust the settings to various light and motion conditions. It also has the option for a degree of manual adjustment or tweaking of existing settings and some software gizmo's allowing you to play around with effects. There doesn't appear to be any hardware difference between the TX10 and TX20, so I wouldn't suggest buying this if you already have the TX10. However, for me, it seems to be the best camera available in this area of the market...it would be interesting to see what they do with the next model though.
I personally love the touch-screen but it isn't for everyone, so this should be considered when deciding whether to buy this particular camera. Fortunately it has a few buttons for the power: shutter button; one touch movie recording button; and a zoom paddle, which makes point & shoot photos easy to take. They particularly come into play when water is involved and the screen cannot be used as easily.
This is fantastic for taking decent shots when you're on the go and don't want a bulky camera. The menus are easy to use and have explanations for the various settings, of which there are a variety to cover most situations. If you are more erudite in photography you may want to get an DSLR. The optical zoom is limited and not so good at low light (photos look great at normal size but lose crispness when blown up) and the flexibility for manual adjustments is limited when comparing the TX20 to a decent DSLR. But if you want something that you can take anywhere, fits easily in your pocket and takes a decent photo in a wide variety of situations and environments, changing the settings for you, this is a good camera to use. I plan on having both the TX20 and a DSLR (probably a Nikon D3200 or D5100) but this came first as it's the most flexible.