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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)

by Sony
245 customer reviews
| 39 answered questions

Price: $439.99 + $5.02 shipping
Only 2 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by M-X-C Tech.

From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 74%
See review summary and sample images
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Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.

  • 18.2 megapixels "Exmor R" CMOS sensor for superior low-light performance
  • 20X optical zoom,3.0-inch LCD
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
  • GPS and Compass record shot location & direction
  • Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with 3-way Active Mode,1-Year Limited Parts & 90-Day Labor Warranty
3 new from $399.00 9 used from $188.94 1 refurbished from $165.00

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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) + Transcend 32 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card (TS32GSDHC10E)
Price for both: $453.93

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Technical Details

Compare to Similar Items

This item: 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)
Customer Rating (245) (348) (316) (35)
Price $ 439.99 $ 398.00 $ 329.99 $ 428.00
Shipping $ 5.02 FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By M-X-C Tech Green's Camera World Amazon.com Amazon.com
Color Black Black Black Black
Optical Zoom 20 x 30 x 20 x 30 x
Viewfinder None Electronic (optional) None LCD
Max Resolution 18.2 MP 20.4 MP 18.2 MP 18.2 MP
Video Capture Resolution 1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps) 1920 x 1080 (60fps), 1440 x 1080 (30fps), 1280 x 720 (30fps), 640 x 480 (30fps) 1920 x 1080 (60, 50 fps) 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (30p)
Image Stabilization Optical Optical Optical Optical
Battery Description Lithium-Ion NP-BG1 battery and charger Lithium-Ion NP-BX1 battery and charger NP-BX1 NP-BX1 lithium-ion battery & charger
Display Size 3 inches 3 inches 3 inches 3 inches
Flash Memory SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Duo/Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo
Dimensions 2.44 inches x 4.21 inches x 1.38 inches 2.52 inches x 4.25 inches x 1.5 inches 2.16 inches x 3.78 inches x 0.98 inches 2.28 inches x 4.02 inches x 1.42 inches
Optical Sensor Resolution 18.2 MP 20.4 MP 18.2 MP 18.2 MP
Optical Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS CMOS CMOS
Add to Cart Add to Cart Add to Cart Add to Cart

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Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Tested July 2012
It's a responsive, fun-to-use camera with some genuinely useful extra features, a decent set of manual controls, and a top-notch movie mode.
Jeff Keller Jeff Keller


The Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V features great automatic shooting modes (plus limited manual controls), several gimmicky-sounding features that are actually useful, a GPS that works quietly in the background, and 1080/60p movie mode. Image quality isn't class leading when viewed full size, but the HX20V's target audience probably won't be doing much of that.

Reasons to buy

  • Good photo quality for target audience
  • Packs a 20X zoom lens into a compact body
  • Optical image stabilization, with 3-way 'active mode' for movies
  • Very snappy performance, especially autofocus
  • Good set of manual controls; includes white balance fine-tuning and bracketing
  • Built-in GPS with compass

Things to consider

  • Lots of detail smudging, even at ISO 100
  • Tends to underexpose; highlight clipping can be an issue at times
  • Redeye a problem, though it can be removed in playback mode
  • Only two apertures to choose from at any one time; no shutter or aperture priority modes
  • No manual controls in movie mode
  • Ten shot limit in burst mode, even at 2 frames/sec

Suggested for

Photographers who want a big lens in a small package, with useful features like HDR, Anti Motion Blur, and Sweep Panorama that make your pictures a lot more interesting. Movie lovers will also enjoy the HX20V's impressive video specification.

Not suggested for

Those planning on making large prints or inspecting images at 100% on their computer screen. Manual control and burst mode enthusiasts may also find the HX20V a bit lacking.
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Exposure & focus accuracy
Image quality (JPEG)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Movie / video mode
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Product Description

Get extremely close with the ultra-stabilized 20X optical/40X Clear Image zoom on the Sony DSC-HX20V, and capture detailed pictures and Full HD 1080/60p videos with its 18.2MP sensor. Picture Effects, Photo Creativity, 3D Still Image, and 3D Sweep Panorama modes expand creative options, and a built-in GPS lets you share your journeys.

From the Manufacturer

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V 18.2 MP Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD

  • Capture 18.2 MP ultra-high definition images
  • High speed AF improves focus speed
  • Get up close with 20x optical/40x Clear Image zoom
  • Full HD 1080/60p with dual record of stills and movies1
  • Active 3-Way stabilization improves video stability4
  • GPS and Compass record shot location & direction
  • 3D still image and 3D Sweep Panorama mode3
  • Picture Effect for more expressive photos
  • Photo Creativity allows easy photo adjustments
  • Capture the decisive moment with up to 10fps

Capture extremely close shots with the 20x optical/40x Clear Image zoom on the Sony DSC-HX20V. With it's 18.2MP sensor, you can take detailed pictures and Full HD 1080/60p videos. High speed AF captures the action, while the built-in GPS lets you share your journeys. Enjoy features such as Picture Effects and Photo Creativity that allow you to expand creative options.

Key Features


18.2 Megapixel Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor

The 18.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor captures ultra-high definition images that take full advantage of the camera’s sharp Sony G lens. The sensor enables advanced processing that reduces noise levels, resulting in stunning low light images with incredible details.

High speed AF

To improve focusing speed and sensitivity, the Exmor R CMOS sensor uses its rapid throughput to deliver high-quality image signals to the camera’s BIONZ processor. The result is fast, DSLR-like focusing speeds, even in low light.

Optical zoom plus Clear image zoom

Most digital zooms use electronic cropping to get closer to the subject, resulting in unsharp images. With Clear Image Zoom the powerful processor compares patterns found in adjacent pixels and creates new pixels to match selected patterns, resulting in more realistic, higher-quality images. Clear Image Zoom doubles optical zoom for closer photos.

Full HD 1080/60p

Record crystal clear movies at the highest resolution available with capabilities for 60p in 1080 AVCHD video.1 This provides stunning, fast motion video with less distortion for playback on your HD TV.2 With dual record of stills and movies, you can shoot both at the same time.

Capture the decisive moment with up to 10fps

Capture full 18.2 megapixel resolution images at up to 10 frames per second, helping to ensure that the decisive moment is captured such as the soccer ball flying into the goal. In addition, a mechanical shutter helps reduce distortion when continuously shooting moving subjects.


Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with 3-way Active Mode

Optical SteadyShot image stabilization reduces shake and blur by countering camera movements in both horizontal and vertical directions. Active 3-Way stabilization adds digital rolling control that counters clockwise and anti-clockwise rotation, resulting in more stable videos even at long focal lengths.

3D still image and 3D Sweep Panorama mode3

Produce awe-inspiring images with 3D still image and 3D Sweep Panorama capabilities.3 Photos will take on a new dimension of creative capabilities for viewing the world in a whole new way.


Background Defocus

DSLR photographs are often beautiful because they blur the background, putting the emphasis on the subject. Now our point-and-shoot cameras can deliver this signature DSLR benefit. The system takes two shots, identifies the background and applies a defocused background keeping the subject crisp and clear.

Picture Effect for more expressive photos

Picture Effect adds a new level of expression to photos, making ordinary landscapes and portraits come to life by heightening mood and emphasizing certain attributes. Select camera models have up to nine different effects.

Photo Creativity

Photo Creativity allows you to fine-tune your exposure settings, such as brightness, color, and vividness, and quickly choose the right enhancement for your subject. Now you can view Picture Effects and Photo Creativity effects in real time on the camera’s monitor or in the viewfinder before shooting.


Superior Auto mode

Get cleaner, more dynamic pictures and fewer missed shots. The DSC-HX20V automatically recognizes the correct scene mode, then quickly shoots and combines up to six shots to produce images with greater clarity, optimum dynamic range using backlight correction HDR technology and lower image noise using 6 shots layering technology. Superior Auto intelligently detects 33 scenes for still images and 44 scenes for movies, making it easy to get the best shot. 


Face Detection technology

Face Detection technology detects up to eight individual faces and adjusts focus, exposure, and white balance to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends.

Smile Shutter technology


Smile Shutter technology captures a smile the moment it happens. Simply press the Smile Shutter button and the camera does the rest. You can also select adult and child priority andindicate the degree of Smile Detection sensitivity. Intelligent Scene Recognition can now be used together with Smile Shutter mode when the Intelligent Auto mode is on. This means that beautiful smiles can be captured with settings optimized for the particular scene, even in difficult conditions such as twilight and backlighting.

GPS and Compass

GPS and compass record location data and camera direction as you shoot movies and photos. GPS Log lets users track a photographic journey and later view the path and images on a map. Map View in “PlayMemories Home” software, allows users to view images on a map showing where they were taken. The logged path and images can also be displayed on Google Earth.

Anti-blink Function

It’s frustrating to capture the perfect shot, only to review it later and discover subjects blinked during the photo. The Anti-blink function works to help counter blinking and squinting. When the camera is set to Soft Snap, the Anti-blink function captures two images, recording only the photo with less squinting. If a blink is detected in other shooting modes, a warning will be displayed after you take the shot.


Soft Skin mode

Portrait subjects will love the results. Soft Skin mode recognizes skin tones and reduces the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles without affecting the rest of the shot.

Intelligent Scene Recognition (iSCN) Mode

Intelligent Scene Recognition (iSCN) Mode automatically detects 33 different types of scenes and, within just 1/30th of a second, selects the appropriate camera settings. iSCN has two modes: Auto and Advanced. In Auto Mode, the camera takes a single shot using the optimal settings. In Advanced Mode, the camera takes a photo with the optimal settings and, if in difficult lighting (low light or back light) immediately takes a second photo with another optimized setting so you can choose which to keep.


Natural Flash

Conventional point-and-shoot camera flash shots just don't capture colors the way the eye sees them. Natural Flash mode takes a reference shot without flash and then uses that reference to correct the color, for far more lifelike images.

Motion Detection

Motion Detection, along with Face Motion Detection adjusts ISO sensitivity and increases the shutter speed when movement is detected, reducing blur in moving subjects and faces.

Sweep Multi Angle mode

In Sweep Multi Angle mode, the DSC-HX20V takes 15 images at different angles as it sweeps across the scene. By tilting the camera during playback, the camera’s Gyro Sensor detects motion and displays the image in a 3D-like view on the camera’s LCD.

What's in the box

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V Digital Camera, NP-BG1 Battery, ACUB10 AC Adapter, Micro USB Cable, Wrist Strap, Instruction Manual and 1-Year Limited Warranty.
1. Records in 29 minute segments
2. Requires HDTV and HDMI cable sold separately
3. Requires 3D HDTV, HDMI cable (at least 10.2 Gbps) and active 3D glasses sold separately.
4. Combined with electronic stabilization

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 2.4 inches ; 9 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B006K551WQ
  • Item model number: DSCHX20V/BC
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,666 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: February 27, 2012

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

548 of 568 people found the following review helpful By Eric T. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 17, 2012
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?

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 11x17..

Both are nearly identical. The Canon weigh 8.5oz, the Sony 8.8oz

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.
Read more ›
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105 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey A. Erickson on April 27, 2012
Verified Purchase
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.
Read more ›
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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful By PB2 on April 27, 2012
Verified Purchase
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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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Turiya on May 4, 2012
Verified Purchase
Check my uploads on the 'View and share related images' link below the main pic, for some reason they are not showing up on the 'See all the images' link. Just got this camera and its amazing. Casually snapped some pictures of the moon last night and was shocked to see moon craters in the image! This 18.2MP 20xZoom is ASTOUNDING! On the other end of the spectrum I did some macro photography and the level of detail is equally astounding. Check out my uploaded images of grains of sand, the end of a screwdriver and a faucet. Keep in mind I had to greatly crop these images and size to upload to Amazon, the part showing is just a small section of a huge picture. the real full pictures are the best I've ever achieved with any camera. There are so many other great features, like night time shooting, etc that I may review later. For now I will let the images speak for themselves. I LOVE THIS CAMERA!


for only $4, I recommend this battery charger for the cameras battery, includes car charger, works great:
SONY NP-BG1, NP-FG1, NPBG1 NPFG1 Battery Charger for Sony DSC-W Series Camera Models

For an extra Battery I recommend the NP-FG1 battery - it shows the remaining minutes on your camera display, the camera comes with an NP-BG1, the NP-FG1 is a new model of the battery.
Sony NP-FG1 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack for Select Digital Cameras
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