May 7, 2012
- Compact size for travel use
- Lots of shooting modes
- Good video quality
- Small body can be slippery
- Proprietary USB charging cable
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 is a sleek, rugged ultra compact digital camera. It's a great camera for people who want something that can withstand a day by the pool or hiking in the mountains. It has a 16-megapixel resolution and plenty of fun shooting options.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 is designed to be dustproof, drop resistant for 5-feet and waterproof for up to 16 feet. The camera measures 3.9 x 2.3 x 0.7-inches (whd) and weighs 4.7-ounces. The small size means that it is ultracompact, but that can also mean bad things for users with small hands. This is especially true since the smooth surface of the camera means you can easily lose your grip on it. The front has a colored plate that slides to act as a lens protector. Sony offers many different colors for the plate to choose from, including blue, green, orange, pink and black.
On the backside of the camera, there is a 3-inch touch screen. The screen looks and works well, but not when it is wet. We found that wet fingers causes the touch screen to become not responsive. While a little odd, Sony also includes a stylus to use that attaches to the wrist strap.
Sony includes many shooting modes, including some speciality modes. The three automatic modes include Easy, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto. Easy mode puts full control in the hands of the camera. Intelligent Auto chooses one of 10 scene modes and uses face detection, range optimization and image stabilization. Superior Auto adds some extra multishot modes, including backlight correction HDR. The multishot modes, however, should not be used with moving subjects because they will look blurry. Aside from those, there is an underwater mode that includes support for Sony's Intelligent Sweep Panorama feature.
Some of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20's specifications include a 16-megapixel image sensor, a 4x optical zoom (f3.5-4.6 aperture; 25-100mm focal length) and image stabilization. Images are shot in JPEG format and have a maximum resolution of 4608 x 3456-pixels and movies are shot in MP4 format at a maximum of 1920 x 1080-pixels (60 frames per second). Supported storage media includes SD/SDHC/SDXC and MemoryStick Pro Duo.
Image quality in subjective testing was rated as good or average. They certainly won't be anything stunning but for the casual photographer looking to capture the quick moment while on the beach or elsewhere, it does the job. Low-light shots are fairly decent as well thanks to the high ISO range.
Video quality was rated as very good, especially the underwater videos. This is a fairly unique feature that sets this camera aside from many others. Frequent beachgoers or people with pools and small children may find underwater HD videos a major selling point.
The CIPA battery life rating is 250 shots, but we experienced less battery life. One downside is the proprietary USB port for charging, so don't lose the included cable.