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  • Superseded the Sony HX10V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
Portability
90
Imaging
44
Features
50
Overall
46

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 #52 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and all round #477 out of 1422 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
24-1200mm
F2.8-6.3
20MP1/2.3"2016
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX80 front thumbnailSony HX80
HX20V vs HX80
24-720mm
F3.5-6.4
18MP1/2.3"2016
Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX90V front thumbnailSony HX90V
HX20V vs HX90V
24-720mm
F3.5-6.4
18MP1/2.3"2015
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H300 front thumbnailSony H300
HX20V vs H300
25-875mm
F3-5.9
20MP1/2.3"2014
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H400 front thumbnailSony H400
HX20V vs H400
25-1550mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2014
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX400V front thumbnailSony HX400V
HX20V vs HX400V
24-1200mm
F2.8-6.3
20MP1/2.3"2014
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX50V front thumbnailSony HX50V
HX20V vs HX50V
24-720mm
F3.5 - 6.3
20MP1/2.3"2013
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX300 front thumbnailSony HX300
HX20V vs HX300
24-1200mm
F2.8-6.3
20MP1/2.3"2013
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H200 front thumbnailSony H200
HX20V vs H200
24-633mm
F3.1-5.9
20MP1/2.3"2013
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX20V front thumbnailSony HX20V25-500mm
F3.2-5.8
18MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX200V front thumbnailSony HX200V
HX20V vs HX200V
27-810mm
F2.8-5.6
18MP1/2.3"2012
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX10V front thumbnailSony HX10V
HX20V vs HX10V
24-400mm
F3.3-5.9
18MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H90 front thumbnailSony H90
HX20V vs H90
24-384mm
F3.3-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX30V front thumbnailSony HX30V
HX20V vs HX30V
25-500mm
F3.2-5.8
18MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX100V front thumbnailSony HX100V
HX20V vs HX100V
27-810mm
F2.8-5.6
16MP1/2.3"2011
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX7V front thumbnailSony HX7V
HX20V vs HX7V
25-250mm
F3.5-5.5
16MP1/2.3"2011
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-HX9V front thumbnailSony HX9V
HX20V vs HX9V
24-384mm
F3.3-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2011
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H70 front thumbnailSony H70
HX20V vs H70
25-250mm
F3.5-5.5
16MP1/2.3"2011
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H55 front thumbnailSony H55
HX20V vs H55
25-250mm
F3.5-5.5
14MP1/2.3"2010
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H20 front thumbnailSony H20
HX20V vs H20
38-380mm
F3.5-4.4
10MP1/2.3"2009
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-H50 front thumbnailSony H50
HX20V vs H50
31-465mm
F2.7-4.5
9MP1/2.3"2009

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)
Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

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.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

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 Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

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.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

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.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

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.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

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 Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

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.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

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.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

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 46 which is moderate, meaning that it is somewhat suitable to use for portrait photography. Photographing portraits favors heavily to sensor dimensions, RAW support and capability to utilize off-camera lighting.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
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 62, 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.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
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 50 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.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
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.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
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 51 as a landscape camera is fairly adequate amongst it's rivals.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
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.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
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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Specifications

General Information
Company
Sony
Model type
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V
Class
Small Sensor Superzoom
Introduced
2012-07-20
Physical type
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
BSI-CMOS
Powered by
BIONZ
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
18 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Full resolution
4896 x 3672
RAW photos
Max native ISO
12800
Min native ISO
100
Autofocusing
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
9
Lens
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
25-500mm (20.0x)
Max aperture
f/3.2-5.8
Macro focusing range
1cm
Crop factor
5.8
Screen
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
3 inch
Resolution of screen
922 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch operation
Screen tech
XtraFine TruBlack TFT LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
None
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
Features
Slowest shutter speed
30s
Maximum shutter speed
1/1600s
Continuous shooting rate
10.0fps
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Yes
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
Exposure
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
1920x1080
Video file format
MPEG-4, AVCHD
Microphone support
Headphone support
Connectivity
Wireless
Eye-Fi Connected
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
BuiltIn
Physical
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
254 grams (0.56 pounds)
Dimensions
107 x 62 x 35mm (4.2" x 2.4" x 1.4")
Other
Battery life
320 photographs
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
NP-BG1
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
1
Price at launch
$397