Customer Review

545 of 565 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big improvement from HX9V, but compared to Canon PowerShot SX260HS.., May 17, 2012
This review is from: 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) (Electronics)
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. The AWB has NOT missed it's mark; not even taking photos indoor with florescent lighting that can cause yellow tinting with improper AWB.

One of the reasons why I got rid of the HX9V was because of the slow processing speed. This camera, the image processor performance has improved quite a bit. With the HX9V, it would take up to 6 seconds to save/process images. With this, I think the longest was 3 seconds. The speed is on par with the SX260.

Picture Quality:
In auto mode, the Sony does an excellent job reproducing accurate colors. The colors are more natural looking, but on occasion (especially in landscape mode) the blue and red looks amplified.

Manual Controls:
This camera DOES NOT have a "Shutter Priority" and DOES NOT have a "Aperture Priority" mode! The Sony's manual mode is practically useless. Sony what were you thinking!!! Canon has the Aperture and Shutter mode, and the Canon's manual mode give you more control although it doesn't compare it with a DSLR

ISO Speed:
This Sony goes up to 12800 AMAZING!!!... the Canon comes no where near this..

3D Feature:
I don't have a 3D TV so can't comment on it. I did try to take some 3D pictures (supposedly you can now view 3D pictures on the LCD screen; something the HX9V was not able to do) but I don't think it's working correctly, or maybe I just can't tell the difference. The Canon has no such feature.

Video Quality:
Sony's video quality hands down. This beast is fast capturing full HD. One of the thing I loved about the HX9V was the video quality. It was perfect for those quick moment. This Sony looks just as good if not better.

Memory Card:
The Sony has built in memory, it's not much but better than nothing. I used a Patriot SDXC and a SanDisk SDXC, performance identical. The SanDisk cost twice as much as the Patriot because it's suppose to be faster. I can't tell the difference, and neither can my cameras. Both camera recommends Class 6 of higher, but if you plan to record video, go for the Class 10. A 64GB card can capture close to 10,000 picture.

Battery Life/Charge:
With the Canon, I got about 250 shots before the battery indicator started flashing. The Sony was about the same based on mixed use. One thing about the Sony is that it DOES NOT come with a battery charger. But, you can charge it with a micro USB able. Call me old fashion but if you're going to charge $399 for a camera give me a battery charger! The Micro USB charge may not be a bad thing if they didn't put the port on the bottom of the camera. So when you're charging the camera has to lay on it's side. As others have commented, you can buy a decent aftermarket charger for under $5.00.

Live Mode:
The Canon has a dedicated "live mode" that allows you to adjust the color on the LCD screen before snapping a shot; kind of like a "what you see is what you get". Sony has this built into their auto mode. Press the down navigation wheel to activate this feature.

Scene Modes:
With the HX9V, the scene modes were terrible; the difference were so subtle. This Sony is a HUGE improvement. With the Sony, you can see there IS a difference now. I am especially impressed with the "food" scene. With this mode, when you take a picture of food, it's suppose to enhance the color to make it more appealing. With the HX9V, it's a gimmick, but with this it's a 180 degree improvement. My best description of this is when you see those professional pictures of food at restaurants, this Sony can produce that type of quality. Canon does a good job with most of the scenes, but I prefer the Sony now. The Auto and Super Auto mode works great. For the regular outdoor or well lit environment the Super Auto won't be much difference. For those complicated lighting situation, the Super Auto does a better job. But the Super Auto mode will take about three seconds to process the image. With the scene mode, just because its designated as a "food" mode does not mean you just use it to take pictures of food. I used the "food" mode to take other beautiful indoor pictures that are not food (without flash) at fancy steak houses, and they came out beautiful. The difference with this mode (and the ISO mode) is that the food mode enhances the colors a notch making them appear more vibrant.

Defcocus Mode:
One of the feature I like is the defocus feature. This is one feature that distinguish this camera from other Point and Shoot. With the more expensive DSLR camera, you can take a picture where the portrait is in sharp focus but the back landscape is blurred. Sony does a decent job with this (in fact, I haven't seen this feature on any other brand camera). This feature does not work with the flash because what the camera does is take two shots and combine them to create this effect. But do note that when you use this mode, the LCD screen will tell you how far the subject should be and if you ignore it and take a picture, the Defocus will not work (you still get a decent picture though)

LCD Screen:
Both units have a 3-inch LCD screen, but I think the Sony camera has a sharper, clearer display.

Both units have GPS, I haven't used it on either units though.

Camera Body:
The Canon has a more solid feel to it. The HX9V had an "expensive" look and feel. With this Sony, it's just all black and nothing to distinguish this camera for others. The Canon has that expensive camera look and feel, but this Sony does not. It looks plain and boring.

The Sony cost $399, Canon cost $299.00, $100 difference.. Is this camera worth $100 more than the Canon SX260HS? You decide...

Sony, if you want me to rate this 5-Star, please do the following:
1. Put the Shutter and Aperture mode back in this camera
2. Give me flash exposure control
3. Give me a battery charger
4. And, give it to me for no more than $349
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Tracked by 14 customers

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Showing 71-80 of 102 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2012 6:38:03 PM PDT
Eric T. says:
If you own a car and have those clear plastic cleaner/polisher, you can use a little (and really, very little) with a terry cloth and see if it buff out the scratch (if it's not a deep one). - Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 4:57:44 AM PDT
James Li says:
Hi E Tam - I find your review is very helpful. have you compare Canon SX260 vs. Sony DSC-hx10v? Many thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 10:38:17 AM PDT
Eric T. says:
James - I have not.. I'm assuming that the HX10V, HX20V and HX30V have similar spec. I'm not sure what the difference is between the10V and 20V, but I do know the difference between teh 20V and 30V is that the 30V has built in WiFi.

Posted on Sep 11, 2012 4:04:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 11, 2012 4:17:39 PM PDT
Ryan Love says:

Thanks for the awesome review! I know that you are probably tired of talking about this now and that you have pretty much already answered my question but I'm not really camera savvy (or camera term savvy) so I'm not exactly sure. I'm a fire performer and I also use LED lights. I would like good quality pictures and videos for my websites (taken at night or in dark night clubs). Which camera would you recommend for that?

I've heard that the x260 is better with daytime shots and the dschx20v is better with night time shots. Is this true? and if so, are day time shots with the sony so much worse than the canon that it would actually be more worth it for me to get the cannon even though i'm primarily using it at night? or do you think that the difference is only something that a photographer would notice?

last question: by saying that the sony takes longer to process pictures, do you mean that if i wanted to quickly snap a picture of something that was happening at that second would the sony be too slow to get the shot?

overall, which of these do you think would be better for me based on what I've asked?

Thank you so much for the great review and for your time!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 4:42:13 PM PDT
Eric T. says:
Hi there.. both camera does an excellent job with day light pictures. The Canon (and the Sony) takes low light pictures by you pressing and holding down the shutter button, it takes multiple pictures and combine them for the low light effect. Sony does have a fireworks mode that combined with a Tripod may get what you want. The Canon allows you to adjust the flash output power (which I like) while the Sony doesn't. But for taking fire and LED in low light (similar to Fireworks mode) I think you may get better result with the Sony.

But in terms of the long process picture... when you press the shutter button on the camera, it snaps the picture and displays the preview in the LCD window right away. With the Sony, when you press the shutter button, you actually see a progress bar that moves.. this process can take about three seconds. The only silver lining is that when it does take this long, Sony is pretty good with the picture. The problem is when you use this to take a group picture, the three seconds to tell someone to stay still can seem like an eternity...

As for me, although the Sony is a great camera, I carry my Canon..

Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2012 8:41:32 PM PDT
Ryan Love says:
Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 2:07:49 PM PDT
tanyawi says:
It looks to deep, but maybe I'll try it. Thanks

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 11:58:57 AM PDT
Houckster says:
Can anyone provide some comments about the camera's macro ability? The HX9V pushes one further and further back when shooting at higher zoom levels. Has this feature been improved with the HX20V?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2012 1:03:19 PM PDT
Eric T. says:
The macro on the HX20V has not improved much from the HX9V...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2012 7:27:34 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 6, 2012 7:42:16 AM PDT]

Review Details



Eric T.
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Location: Antioch, CA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 605