Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 Review

June 12, 2009 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | |

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#1 powershot

I think PowerShot SX200 IS is anoter main rival of the Cyber-shot DSC-H20. By the way, this camera looks nice and its picture quality is good.

6:10 am - Monday, June 15, 2009

#2 fifi_27

Im thinking of getting it…not sure need to wait and see whats on the market come august. I need one with excellent picture quality but not too expensive. so far this seems like the right one.

3:34 pm - Friday, June 19, 2009

#3 Fabio Juliato

Sony DSC-H20 display an error message: This Memory Stick may not record or play.

I just bought a new camera model Sony DSC-H20 and Sony memmory stick as recommended by Sony seller.
However, for my bad suprise the brand new camera Sony DSC-H20 display an error message: This Memory Stick may not record or play.
After insistng to play with the camera I got the following message: reinsert memory stick and Error C 13:02 afterwards.

Solution: I got a wrong speed’s memmory stick card. For newer cameras make sure to have the right speed memmory stick.
For DSC-H20 the specification is Sony Magic Gate Mark2. The seller sold me the old model of Sony: Magic Gate memmory stick.
  After change the memory stick finally I could have fun with this nice camera.

4:44 am - Sunday, June 21, 2009

#4 Robyn A

I just got this camera. I love it. It takes great shots, inside and out. Amazing detail, and the quality is fabulous.

1:03 am - Wednesday, June 24, 2009

#5 anonymous345

I just bought this camera today as well. I took some random shots of the kitchen and fruit in low light conditions on full auto mode and was impressed. I’m going to try some of the manual settings later (sadly only 2 aperture settings). The 720p video looks great, though I can hear the lens zooming in the video. I think its an amazing deal for the price I paid.

7:32 am - Thursday, June 25, 2009

#6 d

just bought this camera and i do like it, however when i downloaded the software onto my computer it caused my computer to run like a snail.  so disappointed had to uninstall software and use another software instead.

also, battery life is very short.

3:50 pm - Monday, June 29, 2009

#7 Todd H

I have had this camera since June 9th.  Pictures are fantastic.  The smart sensor, or what ever they call it, takes all guess work out and adjusts everything for you.  Very user friendly menu system. You can take pictures with it fully zoomed in and they are all crystal clear.  The movie mode is very clear as is the audio. You can play background music through your surround sound system while viewing pictures on your TV.  I can’t say enough about this camera.

2:17 am - Wednesday, July 1, 2009

#8 Gary

I’ve owned the camera for a few weeks, and generally it takes great pictures. I have one issue - the Advanced Sports Mode is not really well explained, and it does not use flash. Meanwhile, the manual mode can use flash at a higher shutter speed, but the EV cannot be adjusted - in manual mode! So if I’m shooting indoor sporting events, can anyone advise me how to maximize my sports pictures? In any case, the camera feels solid, prints beautiful pictures and is advanced in many ways.

7:18 pm - Thursday, July 2, 2009

#9 Zoltan Arva-Toth

Gary, I would try this approach: 1) enter manual mode, 2) set desired shutter speed, 3) make sure to pick the wider aperture of the two available, 4) check live histogram, 5) if it indicates underexposure, raise the ISO speed until the histogram looks good. In the unlikely event that the histogram shows overexposure at base ISO, either pick a faster shutter speed if you can, or choose the “smaller aperture” (which actually means engaging the built-in neutral density filter, as explained in the review).

If you find the autofocus slow for sports, either try one of the manual focus presets or prefocus and anticipate the action.

You might not be able to shoot bursts with flash, because it needs some time to recycle after firing, especially at full capacity.

3:20 pm - Monday, July 6, 2009

#10 Zoltan Arva-Toth

Ooops, I just noticed you had asked specifically about INDOOR sports. In that case, start with a high ISO speed to begin with, say ISO 800. Forget about the live histogram, since you will use the flash. The rest of what I have written applies :-), though whether the pop-up flash can provide enough illumination is a question mark. An external “digital” flash, optically slaved to the on-board unit, could help.

3:31 pm - Monday, July 6, 2009

#11 Gary


Thank you for your thoughtful response. Raising the ISO makes sense, though I wonder how high I can go with this camera before noise becomes an issue. If I reduce megapixels used per shot, does that reduce noise in the photo? Incidentally, the advance sports works great outdoors in daylight. I’m still learning what mode works best for what shooting situation, without totally relying on Intelligent Auto. I enjoy using the camera, and the quality of the photos seem better than the Canon Powershot I had. There’s a vivid-ness to them that adds life to each photo.

Thanks again for your help.


4:35 pm - Monday, July 6, 2009

#12 Danny

we just bought the camera and i’m wondering…the lcd screen is so ‘busy’ if i focus on a black object there’s alot of movement on my screen of the pixels…the image itself is fine though…is it because of the lcd screen isn’t good or does everybody has that ‘problem’...?

Hope to hear some answers soon!

Grtz Danny

5:24 pm - Saturday, July 11, 2009

#13 Mat

I am thinking of getting this camera, I’ve been to the shop and got a feel of the camera and so far I from everything here it’s gives a positive vibe.

Any other things I need to take into account before buying it?

5:13 pm - Friday, July 17, 2009

#14 Gary

I’m very impressed with the overall print and video quality. The pictures are much more “vibrant” than my older Canon. I’m still working on maximizing indoor longer-range shots, and maybe that’s just an issue with this type of camera. The flash is pretty powerful, though.

The unit also feels solid and good in your hands. Keep that battery charged, though.

5:18 pm - Friday, July 17, 2009

#15 Jason

I am also looking for a new camera and then seems to be the one for me. I’ve always been a fan of Sony. I was between the DSC-W290 and the DSC-H20. I’ve seen nothing but excellent comments on the H20. I don’t think I’ve seen one negative. I like how you can zoom on record mode. The W290 seemed to have alot of negative comments. I will be using this camera a lot for night shots. Seems like everyone has been having good luck with this type of shot as well.

6:11 am - Saturday, July 18, 2009

#16 irfan

i seenthis camera today this is very beautiful look i will be buy next month.

6:34 pm - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

#17 Gary

As I continue to use the camera, I am more and more impressed by it. I was sitting at a Dodgers game and optically zoomed 10x to get a close up of Manny Ramirez. I swear, the guy behind me goes “nice zoom on that camera.”

Portrait photos are particularly strong in my opinion, and the camera continues to be fun to operate. Prints turn out great. I use Picasa to manage and edit the photo files.


6:52 pm - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

#18 Repair-Man

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2:05 pm - Thursday, July 23, 2009

#19 Peter

I have this camera, and I think it’s great!
It has a lot of functions and the image quality for a compact camera is great too!

I recommend it!

10:27 am - Sunday, July 26, 2009

#20 Sanjay

I have bought camera last month and the picture quality of camera is really too good.Its worth

11:06 am - Thursday, July 30, 2009

#21 msboc

I’ve been looking at the videos taken with this camera and with the Panasonic Lumix TZ7/zs3. There is background noise in all the Sony videos. I can’t tell whether all the videos have been taken near traffic or if there’s always going to be background noise. I don’t hear any on the Panasonic.

Can anyone give me information about their experiences?


2:19 am - Saturday, August 1, 2009

#22 Pinehurst

Rather than buy a separate camcorder and a separate camera, I was wondering if the H20 would suffice for both?  Seems like a neat small package and just the camera to take to Walt Disney World.

I had a Flip HD 720p camera but took it back to Costco (it broke anyway, after only 10 minutes of shooting).  I really need a zoom lens to make the videos interesting.  Flip was also fixed focus, non-removable media, small screen, etc. etc.—- nice toy but that is all.

Best Buy has a special price ($251) if you use online.

BTW, I have the Canon PowerShot SX100, which I bought for its amzaing super macro (I use it to take shots of my huge collection of color transparencies…a fast and simple way of digitizing the slides).  I am wondering if the marco setting on the H20 can accomplish the same thing, and if so I will sell the Canon on eBay—-anyone want a good deal?

2:25 pm - Saturday, August 1, 2009

#23 Don

Please let me know if this camera can date pictures and embed the date in the pictures as they are taken so the date will show when pictures are printed.
If not, will you suggest a SONY or other subcompact with comprable zoom and megapicles that will date pictures when printing.
Dating is important to us.

4:56 am - Monday, August 3, 2009

#24 Peter

You can date your pictures and embed the date in the pictures using program which sony gives you with a camera.

9:24 am - Monday, August 3, 2009

#25 Don

Thank you. Could you elaborate at all about the program? The name??
I’ll be so glad if you are correct and this can be done as this, otherwise, seems like such a fantastic camera.

3:01 pm - Monday, August 3, 2009

#26 Pinehurst

I bought the camera on Saturday at BestBuy for $251.  I like it better than my Canon SX100.  Also got a 4GB memory card at Staples, on sale, for $20.

So far I am very pleased.  The macro works great for converting slides to digital…more about that on a later post.

I checked the manual and there is no date imprint function (we never use it anyway).

But there is a solution.  The supplied software for the PC ain’t too shabby and there is a neat date function (lots of options on color, placement, and format)so that when saving your pictures you can save them with the date embedded in the picture.  If you want to print directly from the memory card, then no date.  I always go from the memory card into the PC to do cropping, red eye, and other enhancements anyway.  The Sony software has some clever features one of which is to automatically scan and do some cleanup as well as cataloging by face!

I am a Picasa bigot so I use the Sony software to get the shots into the PC with the enhancements.  Picasa then imports the shots, so I have the best of both worlds.

Still playing with the Sony software as there are some other cute features such as using the format of a calendar with the mini-pictures in it.

3:07 pm - Monday, August 3, 2009

#27 Peter

Don, as Pinehurst said you can do it with a software wich is attached to the camera. I never used the software since I’m Linux user, but I read about it in the manual, so no doubt it’s doable;)

5:33 pm - Monday, August 3, 2009

#28 msboc

I’m so confused about the memory stick. I went to Best Buy and bought the Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo Magic Gate Mark 2. And as far as I can see it’s way too big for the slot.

Could as many of you as possible tell me which memory stick you have precisely and where you purchased it. (I did check Staples on line and didn’t see anything that resembled the right one.)

Thanks so much.

2:47 am - Wednesday, August 5, 2009

#29 Pinehurst


I got the SanDisk Memory Stick Pro Duo 4GB at Staples for a dynamite price.

Hurry as sale is over this week.

3:39 pm - Wednesday, August 5, 2009

#30 Gary

I got the same SanDisk Memory Stick Pro Duo, an 8GB version, at Walmart for about $30.00 as I recall. It’s a great card. SanDisk was smart to offer Sony cards at much better prices.

4:41 pm - Wednesday, August 5, 2009

#31 Pinehurst

$30 for 8GB is also a great deal.  Our WalMart does not have it.  Will buy just for the camcorder function if I ever see it at that price.

Gary, have you used the H20 as a camcorder yet?

Anyone interested in hearing about my slide to digital conversion using the H20 and what I have learned?

9:27 pm - Wednesday, August 5, 2009

#32 Gary

Yes, the H20 works great as a camcorder. I use it in hi-def mode and the ability to zoom while you’re taping is great. The mike is sensitive to sound, which is a plus.

10:18 pm - Wednesday, August 5, 2009

#33 Pinehurst

Glad to hear that.  Now I only have carry one camera instead of two.  I am going to a child’s birthday party this weekend so will get plenty of experience in switching between still and video.

The more I use the camera the better I like it (I am not a novice).  The flash is powerful and the auto settings really do work.

2:23 am - Thursday, August 6, 2009

#34 Kate

Based on your review and what I have read, I am leaning toward this camera.  But…..I notice that your review didn’t mention the start-up time or the next shot delay - as you point out so nicely in your review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ7.  Maybe I missed it - also does the Sony have a burst mode?

7:48 pm - Thursday, August 6, 2009

#35 Gary

The H20 has a burst mode which is acceptable, but even better is the start-up time and time to next shot. Most H20 reviews provide a “well-above-average” grade for these items, and I can tell you from experience that the delays are minimal. With my older Canon, I could watch my nails grow waiting for the flash to recharge. By then, the seasons had changed and I’d lose the shot. Maybe the top-end Lumix compacts are ultimately a little better than the H20, but I paid $204 for the H20 through Dell (With a promotion code) and it has been a very cost-effective camera. Except…I just lost the lens cap. I was at the San Diego zoo and turned on the camera and the cap popped off - right into the orangutang pit. The orangutangs were doing the nasty thing and I can’t help but feel that my lens cap ended up being some kind of sex toy for the clan. I found a site to reorder the lens cap, and I still need to figure out how to attach it to the camera via a cable or string.

8:22 pm - Thursday, August 6, 2009

#36 Pinehurst

The lens cap comes with a strap.  There is a convenient hook built into the camera body where it can be attached.

The lens cap is a pain, but you quickly get used to flipping it off while powering on.

10:26 pm - Thursday, August 6, 2009

#37 kale

I didn’t buy H-20 only for the manual cap. How can they sell such a beautiful product with stone age cover ?

2:39 pm - Friday, August 7, 2009

#38 Pinehurst

A manual cap isn’t all bad: it keeps the manufacturing cost down and thus the retail price down and is one less thing to break.

Did you ever have a camera’s auto cover stop working?

Up until now I have been a Canon bigot, but no more.  My Canon SX110 is comparable (10X zoom, 9MP, great macro, etc.) but can’t compare to the H20.  Canon’s image stabilization is great but Sony’s is better.  Simplicity for a point-and-shooter—- no contest.

Big test coming this Sunday shooting a child’s birthday party using still and video on the same camera.  Last night after dark I took a still shot of our house and what a flash!  Again, no comparison to the SX110…Canon’s is weak.

Gary, you have a great camera that you got at a sinful price.  Put the lanyard on the lens cap and enjoy!

Any of you old-timers out there that have thousands of color transparency slides that you want to digitize?  If so, ask, and I will tell you about my experiences.

4:01 pm - Friday, August 7, 2009

#39 Ryan Garnet

A nice camera for beginners for its features and value.

I’ve been taking nice pictures with the DSC H20 since April and since then it has never failed to bring out the artistry in me.

I’m looking forward to getting a DSLR camera from Sony.

12:20 am - Saturday, August 8, 2009

#40 charlotte

Dear Zoltan,

I am trying to choose between a Lumix DMC ZS1/TZ6 and the Sony H20. They seem to both be top cameras without going into the less portable/ more expensive SLR bracket.

I just love the feel of the H20, it feels… well… more like a proper camera. But I used to own a simple lumix and it took great pictures (Though it struggled at night/ in low light situations)

The lady in the shop says the Lumix is better but there’s just something about the Sony… Which camera should I buy?!

1:42 am - Saturday, August 8, 2009

#41 Pinehurst

Charlotte, if I may toss in my two cents…the lack of HD video would rule out the TZ6 for me no matter how good the other features are.

I don’t know where the Panasonic is made, but I gave Sony an edge because of “Made in Japan.”

The TZ7 has gotten rave reviews, and has HD video,  but will cost another $125.

2:45 pm - Saturday, August 8, 2009

#42 frostieb

Pinehurst, I’d like to hear about your digitizing of slides.  I have bunches from days gone by.  I often marvel at what fun digital cameras are compared to the old days when you took slides to save money, but then had slides!

4:04 pm - Sunday, August 9, 2009

#43 Pinehurst


Slides were fun but so is showing pictures on a flat screen HD TV.  The resolution on the TV is not as great as when projected on a screen but good enough to enjoy reminiscing about the old days.  When I find unusual shots I email them to our relatives and it is surprising how many reply with long letters of rememberances of the events!

If you have a slide projector, then protect it as they are no longer made and cannot be repaired.

My first question is: did you keep your slide sorter?

Second question is: Do you wish to see some samples of my digitized slides?  If so, send me your email address and I will send some to you.

11:39 pm - Sunday, August 9, 2009

#44 charlotte

I bought the Sony H20- I LOVE it, it takes amazing photos- the IA mode is super. And it takes great shots at night too. And its so much prettier than all the panasonics. Manual lens cap no big deal (and i’ve never owned a manual before). Looking forward to experimenting with the manual mode too…

8:27 pm - Monday, August 10, 2009

#45 msboc

I just finished taking some random shots with the camera. It’s amazing! I am a total camera dummy; the camera did all the work for me.

I tried the video and it was crisp and clear. I have two questions that I haven’t figured out yet. Maybe someone here can answer. When I was shooting the video, I was speaking. My voice sounded very far away. Was I doing something wrong? Also, I took a shot inside with normal night lighting and found the colors to be bleached out by the flash. I’m sure there’s a setting for it. Can you tell me where/what it is?

Thanks. Love reading all the comments.

8:34 pm - Monday, August 10, 2009

#46 Gary


I don’t have my camera in front of me, but in the menu for certain modes you will be able to dial down the flash intensity - it is surely one of the most powerful flashes on any compact camera - I’ve had (photo)subjects comment to the effect that the flash is almost weapon-like - the red-eye bursts followed by the blast of the main flash. You can also dial down the exposure compensation to further reduce the bleach out - I know what you mean, just experiment. In the videos I have shot, I have not had a volume problem with my voice. You can also adjust the playback volume, which is a little low in its default position.

Good luck. I’ll check the camera tonight for the location of the settings, if no one provides them to you before then. Good luck - it’s a great camera.

9:58 pm - Monday, August 10, 2009

#47 'Mina

Looking for a new camera, my nearly ancient (1st digital cam) Sony DSCP52 just had the shutter release button (I guess you would call it) die on me (no more working when I try to press for a photo) so instead of paying Sony $91 to see if they might possibly be able to fix it, I’m looking to upgrade. 

All comments so far are wonderful - just looking for a few specifics so I can beg my hubby to let me take the plunge on this one…

1) how is it at taking macros?  I like insects :) 
2) action shots good?  I have kiddles that move quick!
3) night shots… ex. the moon?, I’d love to get some good pics of an orange harvest moon this fall if I can get the camera. 

Thanks for all your help!

7:02 am - Tuesday, August 11, 2009

#48 scott

i am really torn between the Sony H20 and the Fuji FinePix S2000, there is not much price difference between the 2 but i am leaning more towards the Sony. even though the Fuji is 15x optical and wide angle lense, the sony is much more compact and i have had a sony before so no the functions. Any one who can idvise me?

8:33 pm - Saturday, August 15, 2009

#49 Marie

I have had the Sony for a couple of weeks. I was viewing this site because I have one issue with the camera, which I’m sure is user error.  Sometimes when i take pictures they come out blurry.  It has happened when I’ve taken pictures of a child and they move (which I know is to be expected) but to take another shot quickly seems to take a bit and I miss the shot. Should I not be using Intelligent Auto if I think there might be movement.  Any suggestions would be great.  I missed some good pictures of the bride walking down the aisle because they came out blurry.

Otherwise, it is a great camera for the price.


10:01 pm - Saturday, August 15, 2009

#50 msboc

Has anyone with Vista on their computer had trouble d’loading the drivers/software for the camera? I keep getting an error message saying I needed to contact the manufacturer.


1:20 am - Sunday, August 16, 2009

#51 Pinehurst


I have taken pics of my granddaughter, in mid air, jumping off a diving board.  Nice and crisp…no blur.

How was the lighting when you took the blurry pictures?  Blur is most likely camera shake and not the subject’s motion.  Were you using max zoom?  The shot of the bride, was the flash off?  Low lighting means a slow shutter.

1:38 am - Sunday, August 16, 2009

#52 scott

Please can someone in their experience advise me between the Sony H20 and the Fuji FinePix S2000, which one to go for???? Overall i think the SOny is the better deal????

9:21 am - Sunday, August 16, 2009

#53 Pinehurst

Scott, please read the reviews at on both cameras.

I have had a couple of Fuji cameras and I liked the technical specs but the pictures were poor to middlin.

1:34 pm - Sunday, August 16, 2009

#54 Marie

Thanks for the response. Yes the lighting was low and I was trying to zoom. I’ll do some more practice.


3:08 pm - Sunday, August 16, 2009

#55 Ramin B

I bought this camera a week ago. The LCD is beautiful, the pictures are sharp and accurate, the build and feel is great and is fast in its class. I also love the inteligent scene recognition and HD video capability. If you are comparing this with canon SX110, I just tell you that in terms of performance the sony is head and shoulder above Canon in almost every aspect(I tried them both). Can’t be happier with my purchase. Highly recommend the DSC-H20.

10:33 pm - Friday, August 21, 2009

#56 Pinehurst

Ramin B,

I have the Canon SX110 and am going to sell it on eBay.  I feel that the Canon has superior color but I never did like the AA batteries.

The Sony has HD video, stronger flash, and better Image Stabilization.

I have been taking pictures of my old transparency slides using both cameras and the Sony shots exhibit a lot less shake (I do not use a tripod).  The resulting pictures are almost as good as the ones from a fairly expensive slide scanner (not one of those $99 pieces of junk sold by WalMart, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc.).  I sold the slide scanner on eBay because it was very slow.

11:00 pm - Friday, August 21, 2009

#57 'Mina

Just got the camera & have started checking out all it has to offer.  Looks like I made a good choice for my uses. 

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good quality compact case for it that doesn’t cost a fortune?  I tried one Sony cybershot case & it seemed to have too much empty space in it.  (The one Best Buy gave for free with order does not fit at all - way too small!)

4:40 am - Saturday, August 22, 2009

#58 Trish

Just got the camera and absolutely love it.

One hitch I’ve experienced is that I can’t get Picasa 3 to download the video. Not sure if it’s because it’s HD or what, but it’s very frustrating. Picasa has never had any issues downloading video from my old Canon PowerShot S320, but of course that’s not in an HD format. I’ve tried troubleshooting with Picasa’s help site, but it just sends me in circles.

Should I just skip Picasa and stick with the PMB software Sony provided, or is there a way to get Picasa to read the MP4 video? I’m pretty attached to Picasa, but I don’t want to have to go back and forth between programs. And I do love that calendar feature the Sony program offers.

Mina, my DH bought me the Sony Cybershot case to go with the camera, and I really like it. There is a bit of extra space in there, but the camera slips in easily and the design (i.e., the side protectors) prevents the camera from accidentally falling out when you pop it in. It’s very reasonably priced too.

9:36 pm - Saturday, August 22, 2009

#59 Gary


I have the exact same problem with Picasa - the Sony is the first camera I have had to use the memory stick duo for, and wonder if that’s a compatibility issue. Believe it or not, once in a while the Picasa will pick up the movies - after I have loaded them into the Sony software, which I don’t like - it’s too busy. I basically use the Sony software to gather all the videos on my computer - it does a good job on that. I still edit, send all my pictures in Picasa. The sony is a great camera, but I wish it took SD cards. I’m still learning how to organize the snapshot/video issue for the best ease-of-use.

4:31 am - Sunday, August 23, 2009

#60 Trish


Thanks so much for the info! At least I know it’s not me.

I’m kind of surprised none of the reviews I read on the DSC-H20 mentioned the lack of compatibility, since so many people use Picasa. It seems that might be a dealbreaker for a lot of folks.

I love the camera, and it was the HD video that sold me on it, but I think I would have ruled it out if I’d known Picasa couldn’t/wouldn’t read the video. Let’s hope our friends at Google rise to the challenge.

Thanks, again.

1:42 pm - Sunday, August 23, 2009

#61 Glenn

Trish & Gary,

Have you checked to make sure you have the most recent version of Quicktime on your computer?

I recently had the same issues with another camera (Kodak) that would actually cause Picassa to crash when it came across a video file from the camera.

The resolution was to completely uninstall quicktime(just doing the upgrade did not work) and to install the newest version.

I would be extremely interested in knowing if this works as I am seriously considering buying this camera, especially after reading all of the positive comments on here.

8:22 am - Monday, August 24, 2009

#62 Trish


I just uninstalled and then reinstalled Quicktime, but still no luck.

I can’t open the video from within Sony/PMB with either Picasa Photo Viewer or Quicktime’s PictureViewer, although neither is offering anything called a “video viewer” if that makes a difference. Picasa opens and runs my Canon video with no issues, but, again it’s not HD.

Hard to know what the fundamental issue is here!

1:49 pm - Monday, August 24, 2009

#63 Trish

Just a follow-up: I was able to open the Sony video with Quicktime—just had to go in and use the separate Video viewer. There’s no such option with Picasa that I can detect. Again, if you try to open the already-downloaded video from within Picasa, it doesn’t even “see” the video files. The photos are all there, but no video files.

2:03 pm - Monday, August 24, 2009

#64 Rayaz

Will keep my comments short so i can cover the review :)

Tough call deciding between the more pricey TZ7 (and had high levels of satisfaction with Panasonic TZ3 and TZ4).  However the TZ7 is just highly prized, and replacement batteries cost are ridiculous.

Let me start with the bads, the len’s cover is nuisance, and you just wonder why Sony could not have an automatic lens cover. 

The pop-out flash needs a manual pop-back which is annoying. However one main issue is that the flash takes time to get ready for the next shot, almost one sec which can mean you miss the moment if you waste your first shot.

The reviews talk about battery life being poor, but overall its not too bad, though i brought myself an original battery as a replacement.  Charging time though is rather long over 2hrs+.

The camera gives very realistic colors in daylight photos, and the stabilization works beautifully even at full zoom.  Macro photos are superb, and you can see the improvement of the 2cm macro over my 5cm Panasonic.

Indoor pictures with the flash are very good thanks to a very powerful flash.  Focus is a lot better than my TZ4 but its still not fast enough to catch kids on the move indoors, and mainly due to its slow flash.

The auto mode works well and picks the correct mode quite well.

The scene mode is useful, but seems a bit short on the number of modes compared competitive cameras.

The dual shot feature can be useful mainly in outdoor situations as indoor photos the second setting photos are a lot grainy.

The video is smooth and adapts well to changing light conditions, and movement though its no camcorder.  Was looking to improve on the video capabilities of my TZ4, and i am happy.  However in low light even the high sensitivity mode end up being rather grainy and lacking in detail.  The camera zoom mechanism noise does intrude into the recordings.  The audio recording is stereo (checked it on VLC when playing), though some reviews say its not.  The capability to change the lighting conditions in video is useful and matches the TZ7.

6:01 am - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

#65 Rayaz

Did not want to add in my comment post, but need some help from other H20 users.

1.  My panasonic lumix had the ability to increase its optical zoom when you reduce the mega pixel on the photo.  I don’t see that in the sony, and it only seems to have digital zoom increasing.  Any thoughts?

2. How do i set the exposure time when taking photos of the sky in the night?  The scene mode does not have a time and decides by itself.  Do i need to be in manual mode to achieve the such?

3. Any way i can zoom while setting an exposure time of say 5 sec :)  Seems like i asking too much from a point on shoot here! but heck who knows :)

Hope i hear some positives on sorting these settings out.

6:07 am - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

#66 Carol E C

My daughter needs a camera for basic photography class.  We looked at Canon SX110 and Sony H20. Manual control of focus, aperture, shutter speed is needed and will affect the grade.  What are the ranges for focus, aperture, shutter speeds for the Sony H20 and the Canon SX 110?  Can a long exposure of up to 12 seconds be possible?  That would get the night shot of the moon.  We do have DSLR in our home available for our daughter to use.  She’s looking to the H20 or the SX110 to give her opportunities to catch unplanned shots she sees and for which she wishes had a camera in her purse.

4:02 am - Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#67 Gary

Whilethe H20 isa great camera, its manual options are limited. At any speed setting, you have only two choices of aperture settings, which is not very flexible. The speed settings are more flexible, and I believe a long shutter exposure is possible. I don’t think manual focus is possible.



5:08 pm - Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#68 Jamie

Hey guys, I am getting this camra for my birthday. I play alot of paintball so I want to be able to take shots of stuff that happens in a split second. How is this camra say if you want to catch someone running down shooting paint. Will this camra be able to pick the paint out in the air and the person running ? or it it be blurry. I do know that it`s not a $1000 camra but I`m looking for a camra that will be able to do that. This is going to be my first one ever so I hope it will be great

6:04 pm - Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#69 msboc

I finally got to use my camera during a couple of days worth of vacationing. The camera did a great job. (I can’t say I did though.;-) ). I was wondering how most of you have handled the aspect ratio. When I went to email some pictures, I found that I had not used the VGA setting. So I had to resize them using the Sony software. If I post my pictures to Shutterfly or Snapfish are they automatically resized? I like the idea of keeping pictures sharp enough so I can on occasion show them on HDTV. So… what have most of you done?


3:12 pm - Monday, September 7, 2009

#70 msboc

Does anyone know how to transfer only one picture to the Sony editing program? I need to replace one picture with the original from the camera.


9:50 pm - Wednesday, September 9, 2009

#71 Pinehurst

Hi msboc,

I use Picasa exclusively for importing pictures from the camera, cataloging, cropping, enhancing, etc.  The email function is excellent.  If you are not using Picasa you can download it for FREE and give it a try.

On the menu bar; click on Picasa then Preferences, and then on the E-mail tab.  You can then chose exactly how you want your pictures formatted.  Simple task then to select the shots you wish to send and then click the email icon.  I use Google mail (gmail) so that everything works together seamlessly.  You can use any other email service too.  BTW, Picasa is great for sending pictures to be printed (I use WalMart only because it is close…I think that Costco does a better job at a lower prices).

I have many other photo programs but Picasa is free, simple and does the job.

3:24 pm - Thursday, September 10, 2009

#72 andrea

@ Gary
I was interested in taking some long exposure shots, such as light trails (I’m a beginner, I’m not sure if there’s a proper name for these kinds of shots)
I recently got this camera and I’m still playing around with the settings, but if you, or anyone else here could help me set up this camera for long exposure shots, it’d be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

12:43 am - Sunday, September 13, 2009

#73 Nikki

Hi everyone, I am a beginner here as well.  I have been reading your posts as I am considering buying this Sony H20.  It looks and sounds great!  You are probably going to laugh at me, but I’m also debating this camera with the Sony T90 with the touchscreen, which has very similar features except the touchscreen.  Does anyone have any feedback on this?  Trying to decide which side of the fence to go. 
Thanks for your info.

3:50 am - Monday, September 14, 2009


Hi, i have heard that battery backup of this camera is not gud, can anyone suggest me on this, i m going to buy it very soon. thanx

8:46 am - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#75 Pinehurst

Kothari, the battery life should be better.  I suspect the motor for the large zoom lens is the energy hog…maybe the strong strobe is also.

This past weekend I went to a recognition event and made heavy use of the zoom as well as the flash on each shot.  Probably got about 60 pictures with no problem.

Just for backup, and to be safe, I carry the small charger in a pouch in the camera case as there is usually a wall outlet somewhere that I can use.

P.S.  Pictures I took were outstanding!  Automatically handled the back light shots well.

2:39 pm - Wednesday, September 16, 2009



9:55 am - Thursday, September 17, 2009

#77 lek

i’ve bought my h20 last may and i’ve been taking lots of great photos with it. i’m also a beginner in taking some shots, but i’ve played and tried experimenting in some shots and i can say, this camera is great. i’ve also taken a shot of the moon, it’s really great.

2:20 am - Sunday, September 20, 2009

#78 shahajil

hi guys , can any one tell me that wether i can use an extra lense with sony dsc-h20 camera ?

10:17 pm - Monday, September 21, 2009

#79 David

When I try to copy my pictures and video to my computer, only the pictures are displayed. Even in advanced options the videos won’t come up. I used to be able to get them both but not any more. Any ideas on how to access & copy these mp4s to my PC? Thanks for any help.

8:28 pm - Saturday, September 26, 2009

#80 Prashant

i bought this camera 15 days ago and it is the best for the price i paid.
but the battery life is short. what is the price for spare battery?
in India, original sony battery pack costs Rs. 2450.00 ( around usd 49)

11:15 am - Wednesday, October 21, 2009

#81 msboc

When I transfer pix from the camera to the PMB program, I often end up with doubles once I go back to edit them. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Can someone please help me?


10:31 pm - Wednesday, October 21, 2009

#82 Nikki

This is for David, if this is any help.
I couldn’t find how to access my videos at first and then I was told about the transfer to a WMV file. The videos ended up being located on the PMB file then right click to where you see the transfer to WMV, which takes a while, but then you can put them and view them the way you want.
Not sure if this helps, but it’s my two cents.

12:02 am - Friday, October 23, 2009

#83 RajivB

I bought Sony DSC H-20 last week, after doing lot of comparison with Canon SX-120. Camera is great, but the indoor pictures with flash have very pale color (mode=i). This could be due to very strong flash. Is there any way to reduce the intensity of the flash?

6:25 pm - Saturday, October 24, 2009

#84 Marisa

Im selling the panasonic ZS1 because i hated the night shots !
so badly poor pics i got from this camera its not even funny !
i did like indoor and outdoors DAY TIME.
but i want to see if its worth buying this camera??? someone nice let me know.
i want something powerful for the night

11:21 pm - Saturday, October 24, 2009

#85 Jeb

The manual control of shutter speed and beeing able to use a filter adapter should make it rank a bit higher. Essential buy! ;)

4:09 am - Tuesday, October 27, 2009

#86 Trish

I just uploaded my very first video to YouTube with video I shot with the camera. I think both the sound and video quality are awesome for such a reasonably priced camera. Check it out if you’re interested:

9:47 pm - Tuesday, October 27, 2009

#87 ryan

im planning to buy this camera but im not sure if it will produce great quality of pics in low light. preferably while inside a club and during night time. I hope some one can enlighten me about my inquiry… thanks! :)

12:02 pm - Wednesday, October 28, 2009

#88 Megan

I bought this camera yesterday and I was so happy to hear that everyone thought it was good, this is the best camera I have held and I am so proud of it <3

5:23 pm - Thursday, October 29, 2009

#89 Vinicius

I bought this sony two weeks ago.

I just love the camera! I highly recommend it.

Just one drawback: battery life is indeed short. But this becomes a detail amongst all its advantages.

And yep, reviews on it are always very positive, throughout the web.

4:31 am - Friday, November 6, 2009

#90 Vali

A just bought this cammera few days ago.
Ya, it takes great pictures indoor and outdoor also. But, I shoud want to point out some issues which are dissapointing me:
- lack of wide angle - bad in indoors shot, you have to go back for taking larger parts of the room;
- zoom sound is printed into the movie shots;
- noise in movies shooted under low lighting;
- I didn’t find how can i take good shots for my little one year daughter which is moving faster in front of the cammera (indoor). The pictures takes moved, blurry etc… but not good and clear. Someone may advice me?

That’s all bad things :) found it until now :).
And MemoryStick - twice more expensive than a SDHD at the same capacity. When Sony will switch to SD or cut down their prices?

11:13 am - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#91 Gary

Regarding the cost of Memory Duo cards, SD actually makes their own version of Sony’s sticks that are far more affordable. I bought an 8G card for something like $28, as I recall.

5:33 pm - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#92 Nikki

Here are a few suggestions that I have played around with for a few of you. You might try the burst mode. It takes several shots at once of moving subjects. As for the darker shots try playing around with the ISO mode.  And for the wider angle shots there are about 4 different levels of wide, tele, and a couple of others on the main menu with the lens.

7:08 pm - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#93 Vali

Dear Nikki,
The menu with the lens is about using the camera with additional lens. Via an adaptor, you may use a wide-angle lens or a tele-lens. See details and compatible accessories on website.

8:37 pm - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#94 Nikki

Vali, my apology, you are right. I didn’t look at that close enough. By the way, do you know the cost of a conversion lens and the adaptor?  Was just curious. 
Thanks for the info.

9:38 pm - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#95 Vali

Nikki, no, I don’t know the price because I’m not interested in carring on a DSLR camera.
Anyhow, I looked for other reviews and no I consider that it was better for me if I should purchase a little bit wide angle camera. 38mm seems too tight for today’s offer.

11:33 am - Thursday, November 12, 2009

#96 ok5

hi guys, I am also new to here.
I am in the process of buying a digital camera.
Liked the sony h20, having the carl zeiss lens,
but not the wide angle,
makes me think.
like to have an advanced kind of thing, but like this on the smaller side.
dont want the bulky ones,
but this does not have the wide angle.
what you guys think?

5:12 am - Sunday, November 15, 2009

#97 Sushant

I liked the smile detection feature its amazing . hope i should have had cash in hand as i bought the camera on installments and i had to pay 1550/- more however i am still satisfied . once more option i find the best is H50 which is discontinued however if you get no better option than it . the extra features in it is optical zoom is 15x and it has a optical view finder , comes with shoulder strap

2:40 pm - Thursday, November 19, 2009

#98 brandon

i love it, i love it , ilove it i cant seem to take a bad picture this camera is unreal . if you are thinking about getting it stop thinking and buy it i cant say enough about the h20. sickest camera ive ever owned cannon just became a joke too me

8:54 am - Tuesday, November 24, 2009

#99 brandon

ok5 if you want something more compact with 10x zoom 10.1 mp and really good video mode that you can zoom in on you could go for the fuji f70 exr but still it wont have wide angle its a good camera for its size but you would have to be a fuji owner ... but man even though its a little bigger you wont complain when u see what it can do

9:05 am - Tuesday, November 24, 2009

#100 brandon

the sony i mean

9:08 am - Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Entry Tags

hd video, 3 inch LCD, 720p, super-zoom, 10 megapixel, 10x zoom, Cybershot, Sony H20, Sony DSC-H20, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20

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