Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Black) (2012 Model)

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  1. 515 of 533 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Big improvement from HX9V, but compared to Canon PowerShot SX260HS.., May 17, 2012
    By 
    E. Tam (Antioch, CA) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Black) (2012 Model) (Electronics)

    First, I didn’t buy this from Amazon. I was walking around my local electronics store and played with it and bought it. Overall this is a good improvement from the HX9V. Few months ago, I purchased a Canon PowerShot SX260HS for $349.00 (you can get it for $299 now) and it’s one of my favorites. How does the SX260 compare to this camera?

    Resolution:
    The Sony is an 18MP camera, Canon is 12MP.. besides the bigger JPG size, can’t tell the difference both look decent when printing on 11×17..

    Size/Weight:
    Both are nearly identical. The Canon weigh 8.5oz, the Sony 8.8oz

    Zoom:
    Both have 20x optical zoom, but in comparing pictures, it looks like the Canon’s optical “zoom” is closer. Canon has a combined 81x digital zoom, Sony’s 40x. Canon’s 81x combined digital zoom sounds nice, but there’s so much noise that it may not be worth using. With the Sony, even at 40x the picture is still acceptable.

    Flash Control:
    With the Canon, you can adjust the flash power, with this, you can’t….major disappointment especially for a camera that cost $399.00

    Menu/Navigation/Ease of use:
    This is more of a preference. I used Canon and I used Sony; personally I like the Canon because I think it’s more logically ordered

    Flash position:
    Both are pop up flash. I know it’s going to require people to change their grip but I kind of like the pop up flash.

    AWB (Auto White Balance)
    This is one area that I think Sony made a big improvement with this camera. The AWB on the HX9V was terrible and required manual tweaking. The Canon does a very good job with the AWB. I used this Sony for about a week and went through about 500 shots. The AWB has NOT missed it’s mark; not even taking photos indoor with florescent lighting that can cause yellow tinting with improper AWB.

    Speed:
    One of the reasons why I got rid of the HX9V was because of the slow processing speed. This camera, the image processor performance has improved quite a bit. With the HX9V, it would take up to 6 seconds to save/process images. With this, I think the longest was 3 seconds. The speed is on par with the SX260.

    Picture Quality:
    In auto mode, the Sony does an excellent job reproducing accurate colors. The colors are more natural looking, but on occasion (especially in landscape mode) the blue and red looks amplified.

    Manual Controls:
    This camera DOES NOT have a “Shutter Priority” and DOES NOT have a “Aperture Priority” mode! The Sony’s manual mode is practically useless. Sony what were you thinking!!! Canon has the Aperture and Shutter mode, and the Canon’s manual mode give you more control although it doesn’t compare it with a DSLR

    ISO Speed:
    This Sony goes up to 12800 AMAZING!!!… the Canon comes no where near this..

    3D Feature:
    I don’t have a 3D TV so can’t comment on it. I did try to take some 3D pictures (supposedly you can now view 3D pictures on the LCD screen; something the HX9V was not able to do) but I don’t think it’s working correctly, or maybe I just can’t tell the difference. The Canon has no such feature.

    Video Quality:
    Sony’s video quality hands down. This beast is fast capturing full HD. One of the thing I loved about the HX9V was the video quality. It was perfect for those quick moment. This Sony looks just as good if not better.

    Memory Card:
    The Sony has built in memory, it’s not much but better than nothing. I used a Patriot SDXC and a SanDisk SDXC, performance identical. The SanDisk cost twice as much as the Patriot because it’s suppose to be faster. I can’t tell the difference, and neither can my cameras. Both camera recommends Class 6 of higher, but if you plan to record video, go for the Class 10. A 64GB card can capture close to 10,000 picture.

    Battery Life/Charge:
    With the Canon, I got about 250 shots before the battery indicator started flashing. The Sony was about the same based on mixed use. One thing about the Sony is that it DOES NOT come with a battery charger. But, you can charge it with a micro USB able. Call me old fashion but if you’re going to charge $399 for a camera give me a battery charger! The Micro USB charge may not be a bad thing if they didn’t put the port on the bottom of the camera. So when you’re charging the camera has to lay on it’s side. As others have commented, you can buy a decent aftermarket charger for under $5.00.

    Live Mode:
    The Canon has a dedicated “live mode” that allows you to adjust the color on the LCD screen before snapping a shot; kind of like a “what you see is what you get”. Sony has this built into their auto mode. Press the down navigation wheel to activate this feature.

    Scene Modes:
    With the HX9V, the scene modes were terrible; the difference were so subtle. This Sony is a HUGE improvement. With the Sony, you can see there IS a difference…

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  2. Geoffrey A. Erickson says:
    99 of 103 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Wonderful Travel Zoom, April 27, 2012
    By 

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Black) (2012 Model) (Electronics)

    Okay, this is going to be a multiple day review over a period of time.

    Day 1 – First impressions. I am upgrading from a much loved Panasonic TZ3. I have thoroughly enjoyed this 10X travel zoom since the day I bought it and the travel zoom style definitely fit my needs. I was less interested in upgrade for the zoom than I was the low light. I had always been disappointed with the Panasonic low light which seemed to fall to pieces above ISO 800 and not look that great at 400.
    Enter the HX20V. Like some of you, I had read and read and read reviews and everything seemed to indicate that this Sony camera had the answer to my low light issues. When I read all the other amazing aspects of this camera, I decided to try it out. The reviews were right. This thing takes amazing low light photos. With IA+ I have seen photos at ISO’s I wouldn’t have dared come out looking quite nice on my 52 inch screen. I have taken many shots in total darkness in IA+ mode and had the multi-shot process make it look almost like a normal daytime photo. Yes, if you zoom a lot you can see both softness and noise when you pixel peep, but bottom line, I don’t believe there is a point and shoot this small that does better.

    Other first impressions. It’s not as pretty as the Panasonic line. I don’t know, something about the Pana black and steel look that I just love. This Sony is pure black and a little ugly in its indistinctness. It looks all muscle and business, but I am starting to get used to it. And it’s what’s on the inside I bought it for anyway. The look of the Pana was just a bonus.

    I will say that the build quality does not feel as solid as my old TZ3 or even the new ZS19/20/TZ30. Still it seems to be of high enough quality it will last. Just a little less solid and more plastic feeling than the Panasonic.

    The pop up flash is as annoying as people have described. In fact, I thought I would have to take it back since I REALLY like the stability keeping my finger their gives me. Still, the photo quality in low light, the video, and the zoom have convinced me to recondition myself on how to hold my camera. It’s totally worth it.

    The menu system took some getting used to, especially after the Panasonic menu I was used to. Now I am starting to love it. Things seem pretty organized and easy to see on the LCD (which is vibrant). I have to say, some of the Panasonic quick menus were more intuitive and easy to get to than the Sony, but I can definitely see getting used to the Sony menu system and some things are placed better on the Sony.

    I like most the buttons on the Sony compared to the Panasonic approach. Particularly, I like the movie button on the Sony. The dial on the HX20V is bigger and less stiff than the ZS19 out of the box. The onboard help is actually, pretty helpful!

    In addition to being a little uglier, it’s a tad heavier and larger than my old TZ3, which was a bitter pill seeing Panasonic reduce size on the ZS20. I would have liked a smaller camera, though truthfully the TZ was never a problem and this one is only a fraction bigger and heavier. It fits in the same camera case I am used to, so it really makes no difference to me.

    I will post more as I use this wonderful device and try to get some sample photos to you as I get used to it. I have to say, I am glad I got it so far and think I will enjoy it for many years. 4 Stars only for the popup flash positioning and the bulkier, more plastic build. Everything else is fantastic!

    Finally, Amazon and JR Music World got it to me in record time, well packed, in good working order, without any hitches. Thank you both for excellent service.

    Update 05/05/2012

    I have been putting this camera through its paces for a couple of weeks now and can say I absolutely love it. I am actually finding this is the first time I can treat a travel zoom as a true point and shoot. I am coming to trust the IA+ mode pretty thoroughly. Even on other more manual settings I let it auto select the ISO. Something I didn’t dare do with my TZ3. Part of the reason is that the higher ISO settings do SO well on this camera, the other part is the Sony firmware does a really good job at selecting the best settings for a given situation. I have also used digital zoom for the first time on a camera…and while I still think it may be better to limit yourself to just optical zoom, for now I am enjoying trying it out and getting some decent photos. As far as my cons, I am still getting used to the pop up flash and yes I still block it accidentally, but then I need the flash so rarely it doesn’t matter. The other annoyance is the movie button because I keep hitting the shutter button to start it and it reminds you that you need the other button. I know they had to do it in order to allow the photo capture during movie record (what a handy feature at sporting events btw.) But they could…

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  3. 68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Another Gem by Sony!, April 27, 2012
    By 
    P. Baek (Chicago, Illinois United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Black) (2012 Model) (Electronics)

    Overall, this is a terrific, feature-laden compact camera. I have a Sony HX9V also and this is a nice, although small upgrade. The still photo quality isn’t that much improved from the previous HX9V even though the pixel count is now at 18.2MP(as a matter of fact, most of the time, you can hardly see any difference at all, esp. when you print the photos). The video portion (now w/AVCHD 2.0) now has 1080p at 60fps which is very nice and looks amazing on a big HDTV (24p recording is also available). One of the biggest improvements seems to be the increase in zoom range–now at 20X. You can also view 3D images on the lcd screen now (without 3D glasses) which is cool. Build quality seems to have gone down a little bit….when compared to the HX9V….it’s lighter and there’s no chrome or metal trim…making it look “cheaper” and less elegant. However, overall, I’d say this is probably one of the best compact cameras in the market right now. If you already have a HX9V, it might not be worth the money to upgrade (esp. if your priority is still photo capability). However, if you need longer zoom and better video, it should definately be worth checking it out.

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