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  Sony Cybershot U20 8/10 - Date Posted 14/12/2002

This is one small camera, as you can see from the picture. Of course small cameras are quite widespread these days. However, this U20 packs quite a few features. Firstly it has a 2 megapixel sensor. It also has red eye reduction and an excellent macro mode for close up shots. As you would expect from such a camera the picture quality is good, not excellent. Certainly, I was able to just about squeeze A4 prints from this camera, provided light conditions were right. Without lots of natural light, or if the flash is too weak, you get areas of random grain. But perhaps I am being a bit too hard on this camera, trying to compare it to the output of my 5 megapixel Coolpix 5000! When compared with other similar priced cameras, the print outs from the U20 are probably above average. Like all other Sony digital cameras, the U20 records pictures on Memory Sticks. You can review your pictures back on the LCD screen. To preserve battery life, you can turn off the backlight of the LCD, and still view your pictures. Even with the backlight on, the 2 AAA batteries can power the camera for a very long time. Rechargable AAA batteries are included with the camera, is a charger.

The U20 is aimed at the point and shoot market, so you don't get features such as manual mode, shutter priority etc. The focus is done automatically, and is reasonably quick. There is no zoom lens, presumably to keep the cost down. Apart from that, I cannot really criticise the optics, which give pictures very clean edges.

This camera is great value at 250 pounds, and is an ideal camera to capture every moment of everyday life! I would have liked to better handling of low light conditions, and perhaps 3 megapixels, but at this price and size, you can't get everything. There is also a cheaper U10, which has 1.3 megapixel sensor.