Sony TX20 Review - Worth the Price for
a Waterproof Cyber-shot?
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Released last February 2012, the Cyber shot DSC-TX20
promises faster response time and speed, as well as fixes
to its predecessor TX10. If you have previously owned a
TX series camera, perhaps you are wondering if it is worth
Or if you are new to Sony's ultracompact rugged cameras,
you might be curious if it is better than what other brands like Canon and Nikon have to offer. Read
on for the full review of this waterproof camera.
Sony TX20 vs TX10
Is it time for an upgrade?
First, let's address the concerns of those who want to upgrade. If you are looking for big
improvements in the camera's specs then you'll be disappointed to find that both TX20 and TX10
have very similar capabilities. However, if you were annoyed by the lags and slow response of the
TX10, but otherwise loved its overall style and features, you'll be happy to find out that the TX20 is
free from those issues.
Check out the table below to see what those improvements are:
Strong Selling Points of the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX20
1. A rugged camera with an elegant design
I've grown used to seeing ruggedized gadgets looking
bulky and rather ugly. But it's amazing how Sony
managed to make the TX20 waterproof (up to 6 feet
only), dustproof, and shockproof while keeping it
small at just 3.78 x 2.2 x .71 inches.
Thus, this camera is perfect for both outdoor and indoor activities. You can take it with you at the
beach but it won't look out of place in a bar either. It's also small enough to slip into trouser pockets.
2. Decent image and video quality for its class
I normally do not set high standards for rugged cameras due
to the design constraints (i.e. no extending lens, no external
moving parts). But many TX20 owners agree that for an
ultracompact rugged camera, it does the job pretty well.
This can be due to Sony's use of Exmor-R CMOS sensor,
which the company claims to be more light sensitive than the
regular CMOS sensor types. It does seem to make a difference as many users agree that low light
performance of this camera is pretty good.
Movies are just as clear and detailed both on land and underwater with its capability to record full HD
videos at 1080/60i. Check out the sample images and movie further below.
3. Lots of fun shooting modes and picture effects
There are three automatic shooting modes to choose
from namely Easy, Intelligent Auto, and Superior Auto.
The Easy mode takes care of everything for you by
setting all controls automatically. Intelligent Auto selects
from 10 different scene types while activating face
detection and image stabilization. Superior Auto has
multishot modes where these shots are combined to
improve blur, noise, and exposure.
But aside from that, you can also enjoy using photo effects such as Toy Camera, HDR Painting,
Miniature, etc. It's like using Instagram's image filters that people love to share on social media.
Just like the Sony TX10, the TX20 also has a background defocus feature where it blurs the
background and keeps the subject sharp, similar to what DSLRs do (of course, the image quality of
a DSLR is still superior).
4. High resolution touchscreen display
You will be proud to preview pictures to friends with its high
resolution display at 921k dots, unlike most rugged
cameras with only 461k dots. The touchscreen is also
capacitive so it should be snappy and responsive.
5. Other features
Other features include:
-16.2 Megapixel resolution
-3D Still Image and 3D Sweep Panorama mode (requires 3D HDTV for viewing)
-can take fast continuous shots at 10 frames per second
-Backlight Correction HDR under Superior Auto mode
-Sweep Panorama allows users to easily take panorama shots of up to 360 degrees by simply
sweeping the camera across the scene
-includes underwater modes
1. Very Small Size
Portability may be one of the TX20's strengths but it can be a
major weakness for users who have bigger hands. It also has
a smooth, metal-finish body so you may easily lose grip on it.
However, some users say handling the camera can be
learned and it doesn't take too much time to get used to it. A
tiny stylus is also included in the camera for easier operation.
2. Sliding cover may trap dirt
Sand and dirt may get in the slide-down lens cover and cause scratches to the camera body. But
this is just a minor issue as Sony provides instructions on how to remove the dirt, which is to
submerge the camera in a clean water for a few minutes.
Note: Photos are scaled down to fit the page
Background Defocus mode
Miniature image filter (photo from geeksugar.com)
You'd be hard-pressed to find a rugged camera in such
a small and elegant form factor. So if that is what you
want in a point-and-shoot camera, the TX20 is one of
the few excellent choices in the market. The image and
video quality won't disappoint you either.