I was in the market for travel zoom and came upon the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V which has a 20X optical zoom along with 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS sensor. I was looking at this model and the Canon SX260.
While being a bit on the chunky side the DSC-HX20V is easy to handle thanks to its rubberized grip. The camera weighs about 8.8oz which is similar to SX260 which is 8.5oz. The battery can take about 320 shots per charge.
The camera has 20x optical zoom and 40x digital zoom. Although Sony claims that digital zoom is good as optical zoom this is not the case. I would stick to optical zoom and only use 40x zoom when you have to. The Sony HX20 has a focal range that is equivalent to a 25-500mm on a 35mm camera. One of the biggest strengths of the camera is the full HD Videos at 1920×1080 50p format. The video quality was sharp and fast moving subjects were capture with no problem.
The Sony DSC-HX20V is a solid travel zoom camera that takes great pictures and shoots full HD videos. The HX20V is one the top travel zooms and with a huge 20X optical zoom you can now take pictures you were not able to a couple of years ago where 7x was considered the top zoom for compacts.
9 out of 10
An updated model with 30X zoom has been released called the Sony DSC-HX50V which you can buy here
Sony DSC-HX50V/B 20.4MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen (Black)