Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V Review
Body & Design
The Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V is a compact ultra zoom camera whose black body is a mixture of metal and plastic. The camera is well put-together, though some of the design decisions are a bit frustrating. The buttons on the back of the camera are very small and tightly packed, while the handy custom button on the top is hard to reach. There's no room for your fingers when the flash is popped up, and Sony's placement of the USB port on the bottom of the camera is bit puzzling. Thankfully, these things were just minor annoyances, and didn't make using the camera more difficult.
As you'd expect for a compact with an 20X optical zoom lens, the HX20V has an optical image stabilization system (which Sony calls Optical SteadyShot), which reduces the risk of blurry photos in low light, or at the telephoto end of the lens. In movie mode, an 'active' IS feature further reduces shake in your videos, with the ability to reduce motion in three directions, including rotational.
Behind the lens is an 18.2 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, which Sony brands 'Exmor R'. This is the highest resolution sensor that you'll find in a compact camera, and we'll see how the image quality looks later in the review.
Now let's take a look at how the HX20V compares to our group of travel zooms in terms of size and weight:
|Camera||Dimensions (W x H x D, excluding protrusions)||Volume (bulk)||Mass (empty)|
|Canon PowerShot SX260 HS||4.2 x 2.4 x 1.3 in.||13.1 cu in.||208 g|
|Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR||4.1 x 2.4 x 1.4 in.||13.8 cu in.||209 g|
|Nikon Coolpix S9300||4.3 x 2.5 x 1.3 in.||14 cu in.||215 g|
|Olympus SZ-31MR iHS||4.2 x 2.7 x 1.6 in.||18.1 cu in.||226 g|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20||4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 in.||12.3 cu in.||185 g|
|Pentax Optio VS20||4.4 x 2.4 x 1.5 in.||15.8 cu in.||213 g|
|Samsung WB850F||4.3 x 2.4 x 1.0 in.||10.3 cu in.||227 g|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V||4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in.||15.1 cu in.||221 g|
The HX20V is one of the larger cameras in our group, but not by much. I found it very easy to carry around, in my jeans pocket or just with the wrist strap.
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