Canon PowerShot S120 Review

October 8, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 R. Bree

Sorry guys but the sample images are useless for the most part. Especially the comparison for the ISO settings is unusable. It also has photos that were taken through glass, and now look like watercolors. And far too many photos are taken in high ISO levels.

4:20 pm - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#2 Steffano Neapolitano

For me new nikon p7800 in sample pictures offers best picture quality best sharpness and saturations

6:53 pm - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#3 James

It seems like a great little compact, and a pretty good review, but I’ve got to agree with R. Bree; the sample images just don’t do the camera justice - where’s the low ISO street shots we normally see? I’d hate to see people get put off a nifty pocket camera because the samples aren’t so assuring…..

8:05 pm - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#4 Jim Oleachea

You mention that the Sony RX100 is on a price par with the Canon S120? The lowest price I’ve found for the RX100 is $589.00 (US dollars). That’s $140.00 difference. I’ll take the S120 every time.

8:11 pm - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#5 Frank Stanton

Thank you very much for your review. The 120 pictures seem muddy or (soft?) in comparison to some of the rivals you listed, specifically, the Nikon, Fujifilm and Panasonic. I keep thinking that the Canon might really shine in the area of portraits or family-type pictures, but I’m not sold on it as a walk-around or street camera. Thanks.

11:09 pm - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#6 r f jukes

The correct Panasonic rival is the Lf1. An f2.0 lens and only 1080i video but a better zoom (7.1x) and above all a viewfinder. All other specs are about the same except the Lf1 is currently £65 cheaper. After 3 months use I have found the Lf1 to be just about the best camera I have owned.

11:25 am - Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#7 no name

where are the iso photos of the bookshelf? are you displaying awful photos on purpose? this review is not helpful. it is reminiscent of when you put up iso photos of a bathroom on another canon review.

11:27 am - Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#8 Phil Wheeler

A fussy bunch :-)

Take a look at the samples posted here The support this reviewers conclusions, IMO.

4:18 pm - Saturday, October 12, 2013

#9 Rudi

sorry guys, for me this is one of the best Powershots ever,
results of all my pictures are really exceptional! With this camera I feel like a profi!!

6:16 pm - Tuesday, November 5, 2013

#10 PabemEtCircenses

wich camera shot better video

powershot s120 or sony rx100

8:41 pm - Sunday, December 8, 2013

#11 Mike

Given the identical size I would take the Panasonic LF1 over this as the addition of the viewfinder and extended zoom will prove useful along with the lower price point.

Now if this also had a viewfinder it would be a closer call as the Canon video would just edge it past the LF1.

Both though are great everyday carry around cameras that can be easily slipped into a pocket or handbag. I carry my LF1 in a tiny belt mounted case and you never know it is there until you need it!

9:50 am - Saturday, December 28, 2013

#12 mtnrunner2

I have an S95, and I’ve enjoyed the S120 so far.

The optics are great; images are sharp across the frame. Shooting and auto-focus speeds are fast, they keep adding new options (like help with manual focus, and GPS—even if it does require wifi connection to a phone). Of course RAW mode is handy and provides nice dynamic range.

They also addressed a couple of issues that were less than perfect in the S95, such as switching to a flash that pops up with a manual release, as opposed to a motor. In the S95 mine got stuck because the motor/gears or something died. Manual is better.

And it may seem to be a minor thing, but the control buttons are very easy to use. They are slightly raised and rounded, so they are easy to operate with gloves on, as I often run with it in cold weather.

This is a nice upgrade to the series.

3:09 am - Saturday, January 18, 2014

#13 iluminator

1 month ago I was bought a new CANNON Powershot S.120.
I was impressed about the increadiblle menus,like a smartphone menus.
I loved the usefull touchscreen too, although the lack of sensitifity to make he pinchzoom function.
But I was shocked, when I used at the ‘MACRO mode’:
Focus image only SHARPENED at the Centre of full frame picture.
So Focus become BLUR when go to side to side.
Like little A ” MINIATUR EFFECT”
And The colour become DUSKY when go to each sides.
Too prove it; you must shoot the bright color papper with little dark font text, and closed full text.
Take a picture,
And you will see this problem.

And I go to CANNON Dealer to ask this,
I make some test for 5 new CANNON S.120 there;
And the same result I find.
The same problem’s too for S.110 and G.16
And the technical support explained ‘it’s no problem’,
all product was same.
There’s no one before, make complain about this.
So he said again ” NO PROBLEM”
I frustated,
I know I can’t used the usefull the MACRO modes,
to make detail picture.

And I find the other problem :
When we used WiFi mode;
the 100% full chaged Bat, will be Exhausted below 20 minnuted, when we continoused used.

The other side;
The Rear RING DUAL not as sleek rotated as S.95 used.

Finnally I cannot used the expensive cammera with more lost its fuction,
I decided to sold again.
And I lost 100.US$ for 2 week the new cammera that I bought.
C U.


3:08 am - Friday, March 21, 2014

#14 Tim Landauer

A question rather than a comment:I need a video camera to take radio-controlled boats moving fast on the water. In order to capture these fast moving boats ( 40-60MPH) I like the 1080/60fps specs . For the money, I rather buy a camera. Would this be a good candidate or should I forget about the idea and stick with a camcorder?

7:58 pm - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

#15 Jeddy

Regarding the comment about the identically sized LF1, identical appears to mean more than double the size!
The LF1 is 10mm wider, 8mm higher and a huge 15mm deeper (more than double). Oh, the LF1 is also only a 28mm equiv lens rather than a 24mm lens which may or may not be important to some.
The LF1 can be carried on a belt, the S120 can be carried in your pocket.

1:48 pm - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

#16 Jeddy

Yarrgghh, more than double should have been more than 50% larger! Get your facts right Jeddy!
The point remains, they are very different sizes.

1:54 pm - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

#17 Jeddy

Yarrgghh - more than double should of course have read more than 50% larger. Get your facts right Jeddy. The fact does however remain they are substantially different sizes.

1:56 pm - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

#18 Axel

I wanted to work with the RAW files but the files are not CR2 but TIFF, which cannot be handled by Canon’s Digital Photo Professional. Is the there any work-around?


12:04 pm - Saturday, July 18, 2015

#19 Brynn

I bought this camera two days ago, mainly based on this review. I fell in love with the sample images instantly, and after considering a few other options in the same and Ł50 less price range, I picked this one. I cannot thank you guys enough for the thorough review!
I absolutely love it - it handles low light so well I’m stunned. Where I would certainly have had to use Flash with my old cam (SX100), this one takes super clear pics easily without adjusting the settings to very high ISO. Night shots are a breeze for this cam. I didn’t really find any considerable noise until 1600, but even the 3200 setting was tolerable. The 400-800 range is perfectly safe to wander into. Color accuarcy is superb, but that’s a given with any Canon camera.
I’ve never been a big fan of preset scenes but the in-built ones in this cam are actually pretty useful and certainly worth playing with.
As for the battery, one charge of a cheaper (not Canon) spare battery lasted 2 days with intensive use, about 200 pics, no videos, and a lot of pestering, checking menus, reviewing img details etc. The good thing is that you rarely ever have to use Flash, so that’s a battery saver :D I’ve just started using the fully charged orginial battery.
I also like that it has some weight. It’s not heavy, but not feather light either, so it sits well in the hand. Feels well-built and sturdy despite its small size.
The wifi option is a bit puzzling for me - I didn’t manage to download images to PC via wifi, but the iPod app worked fine. However, you can only manage your cam remotely if there’s a wifi hotspot, so I don’t see the usefulness of this in the field. Also it’s easier to grab the pics via a USB cable (which is not included in the pack, oddly).
My conclusion is that the excellent light sensitivity (excuse my French - I’m sure there’s a proper term for this) is well worth trading the superzoom for.

9:05 pm - Monday, November 9, 2015

#20 Brynn

I’d like to add two more things that might be important for someone considering buying this camera.
1.) There is no panorama mode, so you can’t stitch images together easily, and don’t get any aid in taking shots with overlaps. You can align the stitching points to the on-screen grid though, and merge them together with software later on.
2.) I find that the LCD screen is very accurate. I pretty much get what I see on the LCD when I download the pictures. There are no surprises. If a shot looks dark on the LCD, then it’s gonna be dark on the computer screen as well.
Hope this helps!

7:03 pm - Saturday, November 21, 2015

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, wide-angle, hdmi, wi-fi, 12 megapixel, wireless, RAW, manual, 5x zoom, touch-screen, touchscreen, touch screen, touch, prosumer, wi fi, f1.8, 60fps, gps, HDR, Canon PowerShot S120 Review, canon s120, s120 review

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