(Pocket-lint) - The Sony Cyber-shot TX20 isn't a regular tough camera. Eschewing the typical bulky and rubberised finish, the TX20 is slim and suave, but still offers waterproofing to 5 metres.
It is also dust, freeze and shockproof, although we'd be less happy dropping the TX20 than we would an Olympus Tough camera, for example.
In the hand the Cyber-shot TX20 is slim, light and compact. The body, measuring 95.9 x 56.2 x 17.9mm and weighing 133g, will easily slip into a pocket but you get don't the same sort of support for gloved hands as you'll find elsewhere.
As such, the TX20 is probably the sort of camera that will find itself sitting in a puddle of wine at a wedding, rather than on a rock face. The TX20 is a camera that will sit by the poolside and survive a dunking and still look elegant when you step out for dinner in the evening.
Protecting the lens and stereo mics from dirt or scratches is a large slider on the front. This has a nice firm action, so you can be assured that it won't be constantly opening itself in your pocket.
Physical controls are kept to a minimum as this is a touchscreen model. There is a dedicated movie button for the 1080i capture, however, and the 4x zoom is operated by the toggle lever on the corner of the camera.
Outside of those basic functions, you are mostly resigned to touch operation. As such, the TX20 will probably find itself used in the Superior Auto mode predominantly, although there are a range of other smart functions you can access, such as art effects.
The touch response is reasonable, although it's worth pointing out that we saw a pre-release model, so we expect the final software to speed things up a bit.
The lens is Carl Zeiss branded, offering 25-100mm in 35mm terms, a maximum aperture of f/3.5 and features Sony's SteadyShot image stabilisation. An Exmor R 16-megapixel CMOS sensor sits behind it.
We can't judge the performance just yet however, so you'll have to check back closer to launch when we'll have a full Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 review for you.