Sony Cyber-shot HX20v first look – a new travel camera with GPS and 20x zoom [Video]
What is the Sony Cyber-shot HX20v?
It’s a compact camera designed for traveller and holiday makers. It’s got a 20x optical zoom lens, shoots 1080p full-HD video and has GPS built-in for geo-tagging photos. It’s the replacement for the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V, a cameras Which? tested in August 2011.
The HX20V goes on sale in April, but no price has been announced. Watch the video below to see it in action.
HX20V vs. HX9V – what’s the difference?
Physically they’re nearly identical – certainly the dimensions haven’t changed, though the layout of the buttons at the back is slightly different. Our review of the HX9V noted that the buttons were quite small.
Besides design differences, Sony has upgraded the lens – up to a 20x zoom as compared to the 16x zoom on the HX9V. This should help you get a little closer to faraway objects. Resolution is also up from 15.9Mp on the HX9V, to 18.2Mp on the HX20V. What difference this will make to photo quality only our lab can tell.
But these are the only significant differences – the two cameras otherwise share lots of useful features, including GPS and 1080p video recording.
We were particularly impressed with the video quality on the HX9V, so we hope the HX20V will match it.
Quality is very good indeed. It is sharp, with good, accurate colours. In more challenging, low-light conditions, quality holds up well and sound quality is quite good for a camera.
You can still buy the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V for around £225.
Sony Cyber-shot HX20v – Andy’s first impressions
My first impression of this camera were overwhelmingly positive. It’s got every feature you could possible want of the travel camera, yet it’s still small enough to fit into a trouser pocket.
But I particularly liked how the camera felt in my hands. Sometimes compact cameras can feel awkward, but the large rubber-coated hand grip and the small thumb-rest on the back give it a secure feel.
The only disappointment is the lack of a viewfinder. This isn’t unusual for a camera of this type, but it prove problematic if the sun is shining on the screen. That said, the LCD looked good – colours appeared crisp and accurate and at 3-inches it’s more than big enough.
In the full review…
This is just our first impression of the Sony Cyber-shot HX9V. We’ll be sending it to our labs when it goes on sale in April, where we’ll test it for:
Picture quality - In our lab-based reviews we look at a number of aspects of picture quality, and put each camera through a series of challenging tests that reflect everyday use – such as photographing on sunny days or indoors.
Speed - Shutter delay is measured precisely using a sophisticated timing method so we can see how long the delay is between pressing the shutter and capturing the image. We also measure start up time, time between shots and the speed of the camera’s burst mode.
That’s not all we test for, however.Read our full how we test digital cameras page for more details on our in-depth lab testing.
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