Sony HX20V

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V front
  • 18MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 12800
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 25-500mm (F3.2-5.8) lens
  • 254g - 107 x 62 x 35mm
  • Introduced July 2012
  • Superseded the Sony HX10V
  • Replacement is Sony HX30V
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Sony HX20V overview

Sony HX20V is Sony's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera first launched on July of 2012. It has a 18 MegaPixel, BSI-CMOS 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 4896 x 3672.

Sony launched this model in order to improve the older Sony HX10V (Read Full Comparison) and afterwards brought out the more recent Sony HX30V (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to improve this camera.

The HX20V is scored #60 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and all round #530 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. Remember to check out our Smart camera filter to see camera listings based on your personal requirements.

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Here is a chart of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony HX20V history

The Sony HX20V is part of a family of products. You can view the complete range below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX350 front thumbnailSony HX350
HX20V vs HX350
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX80 front thumbnailSony HX80
HX20V vs HX80
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX90V front thumbnailSony HX90V
HX20V vs HX90V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H300 front thumbnailSony H300
HX20V vs H300
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H400 front thumbnailSony H400
HX20V vs H400
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX400V front thumbnailSony HX400V
HX20V vs HX400V
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX50V front thumbnailSony HX50V
HX20V vs HX50V
F3.5 - 6.3
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX300 front thumbnailSony HX300
HX20V vs HX300
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H200 front thumbnailSony H200
HX20V vs H200
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX20V front thumbnailSony HX20V25-500mm
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX200V front thumbnailSony HX200V
HX20V vs HX200V
Photography Glossary
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX10V front thumbnailSony HX10V
HX20V vs HX10V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H90 front thumbnailSony H90
HX20V vs H90
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX30V front thumbnailSony HX30V
HX20V vs HX30V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX100V front thumbnailSony HX100V
HX20V vs HX100V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX7V front thumbnailSony HX7V
HX20V vs HX7V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX9V front thumbnailSony HX9V
HX20V vs HX9V
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H70 front thumbnailSony H70
HX20V vs H70
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H55 front thumbnailSony H55
HX20V vs H55
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H20 front thumbnailSony H20
HX20V vs H20
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H50 front thumbnailSony H50
HX20V vs H50

Sony HX20V Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of advantages and disadvantages of the Sony HX20V based on factors that are normally viewed as essential in a digital camera.

built in image stabilization (Optical)
comes with HDMI out
decent sized screen (3 inch)
flash built-in
good video quality (1920 x 1080 pxls)
great min ISO (100)
has face detection autofocus
has tracking autofocus
incredible zoom range (25-500mm 20.0 x zoom)
lighter than competitors in class (254g)
manual focus
megapixel count decent (18 megapixels)
really wide (25mm)
screen has good resolution (922 thousand dots)
very long reach (500mm)
cannot use external flash
fixed screen
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
missing external microphone support
missing headphone support
missing Timelapse mode
no aperture priority mode
no phase detect autofocus
no RAW format
no shutter priority
screen is not selfie friendly
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
slow at tele end (f5.8)
slow max aperture (f3.2)
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Sony HX20V Sensor info

The Sony HX20V is powered by the BIONZ processor. The sensor spec in the Sony HX20V is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to resolve 4896 x 3672 pixels at aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is better than digital stabilization as the latter can easily cause cropping.

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The BSI-CMOS sensor boasts 18 megapixels and has a standard ISO range of 100 - 12800. Unfortunately, RAW files are not supported which means that you have less room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below shows the HX20V's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The HX20V sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is presented in green.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V sensor size Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

To get an understanding of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony HX20V dimensions

Sony HX20V has a weight of 0.56 pounds (254 gr / 8.96 ounces) and features external measurements of 107mm x 62mm x 35mm (4.2" x 2.4" x 1.4"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 gr so the Sony HX20V is lighter when compared with various rivals.

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Listed below is a pic of the Sony HX20V alongside a softdrink so you can have a feel for its scale.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V dimensions scale

The top view below will highlight the button arrangement on the HX20V.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V topview buttons dials

Sony HX20V Lens info

The HX20V is equipped with a built-in lens providing a focal range of 25-500mm giving it a 20.0 x zoom which is very good and is going to let you zoom right in.

At the widest 25mm, the lens will have an aperture of f3.2 which will be kind of slow and not very good in low light events and you will find it difficult to capture good bokeh. You will also have to up the ISO setting producing noisy shots. With the tele end, 500mm is superb zoom and comes with f5.8 making it fairly sluggish and you may need to apply slower shutter speeds.

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Sony HX20V Connectivity

The HX20V has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras that contain NFC and Bluetooth support can be used wirelessly through smartphones. You can send files and sometimes change camera settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.

Many applications even provide a Liveview and click the shutter whenever you aren't close to the camera. If the camera features a HDMI out, it can be connected to an external monitor. Almost all cameras will allow you to charge the battery with the USB port.

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Sony HX20V Video info

The maximum video resolution in the Sony HX20V is 1920 x 1080 and it can capture in MPEG-4 and AVCHD file format. 1080p resolution gives a great balance for video quality and file sizes but FULL HD won't give you much room to downsample. The camera doesn't feature a mic and headphone port which means you have got no control over your sound. It is probably best to find a different camera if you want good sound in your videos.

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Sony HX20V Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing on the Sony HX20V so you need to be cautious in rainy or dusty situations.

Sony HX20V Screen and Viewfinder

The Sony HX20V has a 3 inch fixed screen boasting a resolution of 922 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the screen isn't a touch screen.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V screen and viewfinder Photobucket discusses licensing 13 billion images with AI firms

The View Finder details regarding Sony HX20V are below:

  • ViewFinder None

In those bright outdoor situations which make the camera screens washed out and tough to view, viewfinders will be particularly valuable.

Sony HX20V Shutter info

Sony HX20V continuous shooting speed is 10.0 fps. The highest shutter speed is 1/1600s.

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Sony HX20V Flash and Hot shoe info

Sony HX20V boasts only in-built flash lacking external flash ability.

Sony HX20V Autofocusing info

Sony HX20V boasts just Contrast Based Autofocus and doesn't have Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot quicker & precise when compared with Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera has Face detection which can be handy for taking portraits of people.

The AF system has 9 focus points to select from. It also features Tracking Autofocus for moving things. Sony HX20V comes with manual focusing if needed for low light conditions or you want more exact control on focusing.

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Sony HX20V Battery life

The battery (NP-BG1) on the Sony HX20V is fashioned to last for 320 images based on the CIPA standards making it similar to its competitors. The general Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR offers the highest possible (600) battery life for this group of cameras.

Underneath is a number of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras with the best battery life:

Sony HX20V for varying types of photography

The following graph shows a overview of the Sony HX20V for varying types of photography. To check out more, go to the specific paragraph below.

Sony HX20V Portrait photography advice

The Sony HX20V gets a points total of 45 which is horrible, meaning that it is not really appropriate to use for portrait photography. Photographing portraits favors heavily to sensor dimensions, RAW support and capability to utilize off-camera lighting.

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has manual focus
decent megapixels (18 megapixels)
includes face detect autofocus
external flash not possible
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW files

Street photography with Sony HX20V

With a above average score of 61, the Sony HX20V is a fine choice to buy for street photography. A decent street photography camera has a perfect balance of image quality plus portability.

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image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competition in class (254 grams)
screen is fixed
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
lacks RAW files

Sony HX20V Sports photography info

A average sports photography points total of 49 means the Sony HX20V is reasonably adequate for taking pictures of sports. A camera really should have fantastic autofocus plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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excellent zoom range (25-500mm 20.0 x zoom)
has image stabilization (Optical)
decent megapixels (18MP)
includes tracking autofocus
no shutter priority mode
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
lacks phase detect autofocus

Sony HX20V Travel photography highlights

Weight is really important in buying a travel camera. Over-all, the Sony HX20V gets a above average 69 for a travel camera which makes it a fine choice to buy for your journeys.

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lighter than others (254g)
megapixel count decent (18MP)
flash built-in
reasonably wide (25mm)
very long zoom (500mm)
no Time Lapse recording
screen isn't selfie friendly
slow max aperture (f3.2)

Sony HX20V Landscape photography advice

When you're planning to choose a digital camera for landscape photos, the most vital factor is going to be image quality. The Sony HX20V at it's decent grade of 50 as a landscape camera is fairly adequate amongst it's rivals.

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has manual focus
reasonably wide (25mm)
screen is a decent size (3")
has image stabilization (Optical)
decent megapixels (18MP)
cannot change lenses (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.2)
sensor is small (1/2.3")
lack of RAW support
no Timelapse recording

Vlogging with Sony HX20V

A camera for vlogging should really posses a moving display, mic input and ideally image stabilization. Taking everything in to account, the Sony HX20V is not really appropriate as a vlog camera as it delivers a horrible rating of 34.

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rather wide (25mm)
image stabilization (Optical)
comes with face detect autofocus
high res video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
lighter than competitors in class (254g)
sluggish max aperture (f3.2)
screen is not selfie friendly
doesn't have mic support

Sony HX20V Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the HX20V, below is a collection of the highest ranked cameras that fall within the family of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The line chart here provides you an overview of the HX20V compared to it's highest ranked rivals mentioned earlier.

Following are additional cameras you may look into as alternatives. To read through a comprehensive comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V
Small Sensor Superzoom
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Powered by
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
18 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Full resolution
4896 x 3672
RAW photos
Max native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
Touch to focus
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Total focus points
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
25-500mm (20.0x)
Max aperture
Macro focusing range
Crop factor
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
3 inch
Resolution of screen
922 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch operation
Screen tech
XtraFine TruBlack TFT LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
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
Maximum shutter speed
Continuous shooting rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
7.10 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Slow Sync
External flash
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max video resolution
Video file format
Microphone support
Headphone support
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
254 grams (0.56 pounds)
107 x 62 x 35mm (4.2" x 2.4" x 1.4")
Battery life
320 photographs
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Portrait 1/2)
Time lapse shooting
Storage type
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
Card slots
Price at launch