Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Review

October 19, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |


Virtually identical to its year-old predecessor, the new Canon PowerShot SX120 doesn't represent a worthwhile upgrade for current SX110 owners, but it does remain an affordable and well-specified super-zoom that should appeal to both beginners and serious photographers alike.

The Canon PowerShot SX120 is slightly cheaper than the precious model and offers an extra megapixel, new Smart Auto mode, slightly faster processing thanks to DIGIC 4, and an improved face detection system. Pretty much everything else remains unchanged, with the same appealing combination of 10x zoom, large LCD, easy operation for the inexperienced, and manual modes for those looking for a pocketable alternative to a DSLR.

The negatives are that the Canon PowerShot SX120 eats up alkaline AAs in a couple of afternoons of shooting, the optical zoom still can't be used when filming video, there's no stereo sound or HD movie option in line with some recent competitors, the zoom mechanism is very audible, the wide-angle zoom setting is not really wide-angle by modern standards, and images can be noisy if you stray above ISO 400.

The Canon PowerShot SX120 is a cheap and more than cheerful super-zoom that delivers consistently good results, although slightly more expensive rivals do offer more bang for your buck.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 5