Sony H20

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 front
  • 10MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 38-380mm (F3.5-4.4) lens
  • 250g - 107 x 69 x 47mm
  • Announced May 2009
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony H20 overview

Sony H20 is Sony's Small Sensor Compact digital camera originally revealed on May of 2009. The camera uses a 10MP, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 3648 x 2736.

The H20 ranks at #165 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras & all around #1092 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. Remember to try our Advanced camera finder to see camera ratings based on your custom factors.

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Below is a diagram of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony H20 history

The Sony H20 has a history of related cameras. Here, you can see all older and latest models along with main specs.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX80 front thumbnailSony HX80
H20 vs HX80
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX90V front thumbnailSony HX90V
H20 vs HX90V
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX50V front thumbnailSony HX50V
H20 vs HX50V
F3.5 - 6.3
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX20V front thumbnailSony HX20V
H20 vs HX20V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX10V front thumbnailSony HX10V
H20 vs HX10V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX30V front thumbnailSony HX30V
H20 vs HX30V
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H90 front thumbnailSony H90
H20 vs H90
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX7V front thumbnailSony HX7V
H20 vs HX7V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX9V front thumbnailSony HX9V
H20 vs HX9V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H70 front thumbnailSony H70
H20 vs H70
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H55 front thumbnailSony H55
H20 vs H55
Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H20 front thumbnailSony H2038-380mm
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H50 front thumbnailSony H50
H20 vs H50

Sony H20 Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of upsides and downsides of the Sony H20 based on factors that are usually viewed as crucial in a digital camera.

above average min ISO (100)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
built in lens has zoom (38-380mm 10.0 x zoom)
focusing manually
has built in flash
has HDMI socket
screen size is decent (3 inches)
very long reach (380mm)
heavier than competitors (250 grams)
lacks phase detect auto focus
lacks RAW format
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
low resolution screen (230 k dots)
max zoom aperture not good (f4.4)
megapixel count low (10MP)
no external flash support
no external mic socket
no headphone socket
no moving screen
no Time Lapse function
screen is not selfie friendly
slow fps (2.0 frames per second)
slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
video resolution low (1280 x 720 pixels)
wide angle not the best (38mm)
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Sony H20 Sensor specifications

The sensor measurement in the Sony H20 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can resolve 3648 x 2736 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera comes with Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization as the latter can produce cropping.

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The CCD sensor has 10MP and supports a standard ISO range of 100 - 3200. Sadly, RAW photos are not supported which means that the user has less room to maneuver in post.

The image below illustrates the H20's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The H20 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is shown in green.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 sensor size Photography Glossary

To get an idea of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony H20 dimensions

Sony H20 has a weight of 0.55 lbs (250g or 8.82 ounces) & has outer proportions of 107mm x 69mm x 47mm (4.2" x 2.7" x 1.9"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Compact camera is 174g so the Sony H20 is heavier when compared to other competitors.

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Below is a photo of the Sony H20 with a soda to help you to get a sense of its scale.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 dimensions scale

The top view directly below will show the button arrangement on the H20.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 topview buttons dials

Sony H20 Lens specifications

The H20 houses an inbuilt lens featuring a focal range of 38-380mm giving it a 10.0 x zoom which is definitely not significant however it will definitely be handy in some cases.

At the widest 38mm, the lens comes with an aperture of f3.5 and that's rather slow and not the best for low light events and you will struggle to get a shallow depth of field. You will likely also have to raise the ISO setting resulting in noisy shots. At the tele end, 380mm is fantastic zoom and comes with f4.4 which is fairly slow and you might need to set slower shutter speeds.

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Sony H20 Connectivity

The H20 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that include NFC or Bluetooth compatibility are able to be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to transfer images and usually change settings without the hassle of connecting directly to the camera.

Several applications even allow a Liveview and click the shutter in case you aren't near the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI port, it can easily be connected to an external monitor. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery with the USB port.

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Sony H20 Video specifications

The maximum video quality in the Sony H20 is 1280 x 720 and you can shoot in file format. 720p is terrible for today's standards. You should really go for a minimum FUll HD quality for video. The camera doesn't feature a microphone or headphone jack which means you have little control over the sound. It is perhaps a better idea to order a different camera if you need better sound for your videos.

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Sony H20 Weather Sealing

Sony H20 doesn't include weather sealing so wet conditions might ruin the camera.

Sony H20 Screen and Viewfinder

The Sony H20 houses a 3" fixed display screen supporting a resolution of 230k dots.

Please be aware that the display has no touch support.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 screen and viewfinder Sora from OpenAI releases its first ever music video

The ViewFinder specs for Sony H20 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be rather beneficial for bright outdoor conditions which might make the camera screen washed out and difficult to see.

Sony H20 Shutter specifications

Sony H20 can shoot continuously at 2.0 frames per second. The max shutter speed is 1/2000s.

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Sony H20 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Sony H20 comes with only built-in flash without external flash ability.

Sony H20 Autofocusing specifications

Sony H20 comes with just Contrast Based Autofocus & lacks Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more snappier and precise when compared to Contrast Based focusing.

The AF system boasts 9 focus points to pick from. Sony H20 supports manual focusing if needed for low light conditions or you need to have more accurate focusing control.

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Sony H20 Battery life

The general Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 has the highest possible (470) battery life for this category of cameras.

Underneath is a listing of Small Sensor Compact cameras having the highest battery life:

Sony H20 for varying styles of photography

The following bar chart indicates a analysis of the Sony H20 for varying styles of photography. To learn more, go to the specific paragraph below.

Sony H20 Portrait photography information

The Sony H20 gets a points tally of 27 which is really bad, meaning that it is just not good for portraits. Photographing portrait photos leans heavily to sensor specs, support for RAW photos and ability to work with external lighting.

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manual focus
no external flash support
resolution not great (10MP)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
has no RAW files

Sony H20 as a Street photography camera

Having a decent points tally of 51, the Sony H20 is somewhat adequate to use in street photography. A very good street photography camera features a fine balance of picture quality and portability.

Photography Glossary
has image stabilization (Optical)
fixed screen
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files
heavier than average in class (250 grams)

Sony H20 as a Sports photography camera

A really bad sports photography points tally of 26 indicates the Sony H20 is just not good for shooting sports. A camera needs to have excellent autofocus plus shutter speeds for sports photography.

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built in image stabilization (Optical)
slow continuous shooting (2.0 frames/s)
low megapixels (10 megapixels)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
does not have phase detect AF

Sony H20 as a Travel photography camera

Size is extremely critical in choosing a camera for travel. Over-all, the Sony H20 gets a decent 51 for a travel camera which makes it fairly appropriate to purchase for your vacations.

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built-in flash
very long zoom (380mm)
lack of Time Lapse function
heavier than competition in class (250g)
MP count low (10MP)
display isn't selfie friendly
wide angle not good (38mm)
slow max aperture (f3.5)

Sony H20 Landscape photography info

For anyone who is looking to purchase a camera for landscape photographs, the most critical aspect will be image quality. The Sony H20 at it's really bad rating of 36 as a landscape camera is just not good in the current market.

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focusing manually
good sized screen (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Optical)
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
wide angle not good (38mm)
slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
MP count low (10 megapixels)
small sensor (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files
no Time Lapse function

Vlogging with Sony H20

A vlogging camera ought to come with a articulating screen, microphone port and if possible image stabilization. Taking everything into account, the Sony H20 is just not good for vlogging as it comes to a really bad score of 23.

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built in image stabilization (Optical)
wide angle not the best (38mm)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.5)
display is not selfie friendly
low quality video (1280 x 720 pixels)
missing external mic jack
heavier than competition (250g)

Sony H20 Alternatives

If you need alternatives to the H20, here is a list of the highest placed cameras that fall under the family of Small Sensor Compact.

The chart followed below will give you an overview of the H20 vs it's top scoring rivals shown earlier.

Here are a handful of other cameras you may check out as alternatives. To check out a detailed comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Brand Name
Model type
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20
Small Sensor Compact
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
10 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
3648 x 2736
RAW photos
Maximum native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focusing
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Autofocus tracking
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Total focus points
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
38-380mm (10.0x)
Highest aperture
Macro focusing distance
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
3 inches
Screen resolution
230k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
30 secs
Maximum shutter speed
1/2000 secs
Continuous shooting rate
2.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
7.10 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync, Front Curtain, Rear Curtain
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Mic port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
250g (0.55 pounds)
Physical dimensions
107 x 69 x 47mm (4.2" x 2.7" x 1.9")
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo, Internal
Card slots
Launch pricing