Sony Cyber-shot Digital Camera TX20 Review

March 2, 2013
Sony Cyber-shot Digital Camera TX20
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Sony Cyber-shot Digital Camera TX20 2Sony_Cyber-shot_Digital_C_copy 2Sony_Cyber-shot_Digital_Camera_TX20 5Sony_Cyber-shot_Digital_C_copy
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
80
Photo Quality
8
Hardware
6
Usability
6
Versatility
6
Video Quality
6
Value
8

The Good

  • Simple to use without manual
  • Sleek enough to fit in front pocket
  • Best price of the three cameras tested
  • The touch screen works with gloved hands
  • Lets you take still photos while recording video

The Bad

  • Touchscreen scratches easily
  • Lens position makes it easy to stick finger in the frame
  • Dust and mud can clog up the sliding cover
  • LCD display hard to see in bright sunlight
  • Non-locking access ports
THE VERDICT

Due in large part to its portability and ease of use, I ended up using the Cyber-shot more than any of the other cameras tested. The images are crystal clear, the iAuto mode is highly intuitive, and the touchscreen is extremely responsive.

FULL REVIEW

Ease of Use
The Cyber-Shot TX20 was by far the easiest to use out of the box. Snapping the lens fired up the LCD touch screen, with a clear, colored display and a rows of options on either side of the viewfinder. The intuitive display makes the manual all but unnecessary, and the camera goes from off to capturing photos in under three seconds. Hanging off a rock face in the Tetons with one hand and whipping out the Sony for a quick pic was no problem, but the lens location made it easy to stick a finger in the frame, and the LCD was tough to see in bright daylight.

Features/Settings
The camera comes with 16 scene modes and 11 lighting adjustments, but the standout was its intelligent Auto setting, which did an excellent job of analyzing the situation and picking the best mode, so there was no letting the moment pass while searching the settings menu.

Image & Video
The images came out crystal clear – the autofocus cleared out the majority of blurring, but the anti-motion blur wasn’t overly effective. The 16.2 megapixel Exmor sensor caught great images in various situations, and the video was great, thanks to the stabilization features, but the audio was fairly weak.  

Durability
The camera’s aluminum body was in my front hip pocket during a three-day trek into the Tetons, including an 8-pitch climb up the Corkscrew route. The body survived smearing up rock faces, multiple creek dunkings, and a 5-foot test drop onto the trail with superficial scratches. The camera had two weaknesses: mud and dust caused the sliding face to grind a bit, and the LCD screen scratches easily.

Value
As of publication, Sony dropped the TX20’s price from $330 to $200, making it roughly half the price of the other three cameras tested, and by far the best buy for its features.

Specs
16.2 megapixels
4x zoom 25-100mm
3-inch touch LCD
Full HD video (1080i @60fps)
Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilizer
No GPS
Waterproof to 16 feet
Shockproof up to 5 feet
Freezeproof to 14F

 

 


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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$200.00
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