Canon PowerShot S120 Review

Cameras like the Canon Power Shot S120 are small and portable. They have 12.1 megapixels and 1/1.7-inch sensor size, making them excellent for taking snapshots “a high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 6 image processor combine to produce high-quality still images and full HD 1080p video, with superb low-light performance and sensitivity ranging from ISO 80 to 12800 With the aid of the Canon HS SYSTEM, which combines the sensor and processor, it is possible to improve the image quality of photographs taken in low light by decreasing noise and increasing overall clarity.

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Canon PowerShot S120 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom...

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Additionally, the processor provides a variety of speed-related advantages throughout the camera, including a maximum, sustained full-resolution continuous shooting rate of 9.4 frames per second for more than 600 shots and a High-Speed AF system that ensures sharpness under a variety of shooting conditions.

Using the built-in Canon 5x optical zoom lens, you can capture images with a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-120mm, which covers wide-angle to telephoto viewpoint ranges. Furthermore, working in low-light circumstances is easier with a maximum aperture of f/1.8-5.7. This aperture makes the shallow depth of field and selective focus photography methods easier.

Canon PowerShot S120

Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:59 am

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Intelligent IS image stabilization, which automatically selects one of six different modes to assist in minimizing the appearance of camera wobble according to the shooting settings, is very beneficial while working in low-light conditions.

A 3.0-inch display is required for live view monitoring, picture inspection, and menu navigation. “Integrated into the design of the S120 is a 922k-dot touchscreen LCD monitor, which allows for intuitive navigation while still providing crystal-clear viewing. While using the touchscreen interface, you may use Touch AF and other touch-specific camera features, which are particularly useful while capturing video.

The touchscreen’s efficiency also facilitates the usage of the camera’s built-in wireless capabilities, which allow images captured by the camera to be instantaneously shared with mobile devices. Photos and videos may be transmitted to the smartphone using the free Canon CameraWindow app, which is available for Android and iOS devices. In addition, photos and videos can be shared directly online through the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY.

12.1-megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 6 image processor were used in this camera.

The 12.1-megapixel, 1-1.7-inch CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 image processor generate high-resolution still images and full-HD video recording with outstanding low-light sensitivity and video quality. Combining these two technologies results in the Canon HS SYSTEM, which has a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12800 with little noise and greater clarity, allowing for exceptionally remarkable picture creation in low-light circumstances.

As a result, the processor helps to improve overall performance throughout the camera, including High-Speed AF and Manual Focus Peaking, as well as a top full-resolution continuous shooting rate of 12.1 frames per second for the first six images and a sustained shooting rate of 9.4 frames per second for more than 600 consecutive images, and 1080p video recording at 60 frames per second.

Canon Optical Zoom Lens with a 5x magnification

Built-in Canon 5x optical zoom lens gives a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-120mm, allowing you to capture images from wide-angle to telephoto viewpoints to fit a variety of shooting scenarios. In addition, the canon 5x optical zoom lens Works in low-light circumstances. It is made easier with a maximum aperture of f/1.8-5.7, allowing for the production of selective focus and shallow depth of field images to be captured.

The incorporation of Intelligent IS image stabilization significantly improves the lens’s overall performance by allowing it to minimize the appearance of camera wobble by automatically selecting from six distinct optimum stabilization settings depending on the unique shooting circumstances. For example, when working with the close-up subject matter, the Normal setting is ideal; the Panning setting detects when panning shots are being taken and does not compensate for lateral shake; the Macro (Hybrid) neighborhood specifically corrects for shift-type shake that is common when working with the close-up subject matter, and the Dynamic mode is highly effective when working with video and wide-angle settings and helps to minimize standard shake that occurs while walking or moving with the camera.

Full-HD video recording is available.

Full HD 1080p video recording is available at a frame rate of up to 60 frames per second, allowing for excellent quality, smooth representation of subjects, and the ability to record stereo sound. In addition, it is simple and straightforward to adjust the focus point, zoom, and replay while still in the camera using the touch AF control (Auto Focus).

Using the inbuilt HDMI connector, 60 fps movies may also be played back directly on an HDTV, and they are stored in the Internet-friendly MP4 format for faster online sharing and editing. Furthermore, in improving noise reduction and overall clarity when recording at 30 frames per second, the DIGIC 6 processor and Fine Movie Detail Processing work together.

Image Quality

The Superfine JPEG option at 12 megapixels was used to capture each sample photographs in this study. This setting results in an image that is around 5 megabytes in size on average.

The Canon PowerShot S120 is capable of producing photographs of exceptionally high quality. At ISO 80–800, the pictures were captured without any noise; however, at ISO 1600, there was considerable noise and a minor loss of color saturation.

While ISO 3200 has more noticeable noise and a loss of color, it is still entirely usable, and even ISO 6400 doesn’t suffer too severely. However, it is best to avoid using ISO 12800 because it has the highest possible speed.

Although there was a minor decrease in sharpness and an increase in noise at ISO 1600-12800 compared to the matching JPEGs, the RAW files were relatively clean from an ISO range of 80 to 800.

The Canon PowerShot S120 handled chromatic aberrations competently, with very modest purple fringing effects seen in high-contrast conditions and typically at the frame’s borders. These effects appeared only when the contrast was relatively high. At the 24mm wide-angle setting, the lens has a certain degree of barrel distortion, in addition to a general blurring of detail toward the corners of the frame.

Although there is significant vignetting at 24 millimeters, the built-in flash performed admirably inside, preventing red-eye and providing enough exposure overall. The night snapshot turned out wonderfully, and the maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds was more than adequate for most shots taken after dark.

The image stabilization technology performs exceptionally well when the camera is held by hand in low-light settings or when the telephoto end of the zoom range is being utilized. In addition, the macro performance is relatively strong, allowing you to focus on the topic from a distance as near as three centimeters.

The pictures came from the Canon PowerShot S120 with the default sharpening setting. For the best results, you should perform additional sharpening in an application such as Adobe Photoshop; alternatively, you can change the camera’s location. As a result, the images were a little soft when first taken with the camera.

Wireless connectivity

Integrated WiFi enables direct, wireless transfer of photographs and videos to mobile devices and personal computers for immediate online sharing on social networking sites and cloud-based storage services. It is possible to speed up this procedure by using a simple workflow, and the free Canon CameraWindow software, which is available for iOS and Android smartphones, makes it possible to transfer control efficiently while allowing for the addition of GPS tagging to captured photographs.

An improved WiFi configuration also makes connecting to wireless hot spots easier because the WEP Key is no longer required. Wireless settings can be adjusted using a web browser. Additionally, Automatic Switching through the Image Sync function allows photographs to be immediately synced with any identified and linked PC within a chosen network. Images may be temporarily transmitted to the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY for subsequent transfer.

Battery Capacity

Battery life isn’t all that great.

Operating ModeNumber of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, LCD Monitor)

The CIPA rating for the Canon S120’s battery life is 230 shots per charge, an improvement over the S110’s rating of just 200 pictures but still below the industry standard. However, an ECO option allows for the battery life to be increased to 300 photos by reducing the brightness of the LCD while it is not in use.

According to the CIPA battery life and manufacturer standard test circumstances, the number of photos that can be taken with the camera is listed in the table that can be found above. These shots can be taken with the rechargeable battery wholly charged.

Canon PowerShot S120 Specs

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4000 x 3000
Other resolutions4000 x 3000, 4000 x 2248, 4000 x 2664, 2992 x 2992, 2816 x 2112, 2816 x 1880, 2816 x 1584, 2112 x 2112, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 1600 x 1064, 1200 x 1200, 640 x 480, 640 x 424, 640 x 360, 480 x 480
Image ratio w:h1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors13 megapixels
Sensor size1/1.7″ (7.44 x 5.58 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorDigic 6
ISOAuto, 80 – 12800
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes (2)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuperfine, Fine
Focal length (equiv.)24–120 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF1.8–5.7
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View.
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots922,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT PureColor II G Touch screen LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash Range7.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, on, slow synchro, off
Continuous drive12.1 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60 or 30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notesMiniature Effect (720p, 480p) 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps; Super Slow Motion Movie (480p, 240p): 120, 240 fps; Star time-lapse movie (1080p): 15 fps
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage includedNone
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini)
Wireless notesWireless LAN (IEEE802.11 b/g/n)
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-6LH rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)230
Weight (inc. batteries)217 g (0.48 lb / 7.65 oz)
Dimensions100 x 59 x 29 mm (3.94 x 2.32 x 1.14″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (Star time-lapse movie)
GPS notesvia mobile (linked to a compatible smartphone)


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Canon PowerShot S120 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom...

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Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:59 am

The Canon PowerShot S120 is a minor upgrade of the S110 camera released the year before, mainly focusing on enhancing the camera’s speed and adding features and shooting modes to the camera’s already extensive arsenal.

While we like the quicker auto-focus and burst shooting speeds, and the slightly faster maximum aperture of f/1.8 helps in low-light settings, altogether, there is not much to entice owners of the S110 to switch to this new model. However, we do enjoy the faster burst shooting rates.

This updated model still does not have a practical handgrip, the battery life is alarming, GPS can only be accessed by linking it with a smartphone, and the price is still through the roof.

Image quality also remains excellent, which is a relief, with a perfectly usable ISO range of 80-1600 and a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture. However, this fast aperture is only available when the lens is set to the 24mm wide-angle setting, which makes the S120 very well-suited to hand-held photography in low light.

It is also possible to capture the blurred backgrounds and sharp subjects that are difficult for most compacts to accomplish, and the 5x zoom offers a more extended reach than some competitors. However, this longer reach comes at the expense of a somewhat inevitable increase in the maximum aperture, which rises to a relatively slow f/5.7 at 120mm. The frosting on the image cake is the ability to record full 1080p video at 60 frames per second with continuous auto-focusing, stereo sound, and full use of zoom.

The price of the S120 has been set at an eye-popping £449.00 / $449.99, which is an increase of £20 in the UK. This places it on a price par with the category-leading Sony Cyber-shot RX100, which has since been surpassed by the RX100 Mark II, although at a much higher price point.

We believe that the RX100, with its significantly bigger sensor, produces even better results than the S120, which is why we have selected it as our top pick in the “pocketable small camera for enthusiasts” segment of the market. This is even though Sony has made specific enhancements.

However, the new Canon PowerShot S120 continues to be one of the most compact premium compacts available, and it is also a superb camera; hence, it is still well worth considering in comparison to its primary competitors.

Canon PowerShot S120 FAQs

What is the price of the Canon PowerShot S120 camera?

When it was still on the market, the Canon PowerShot S120 camera had a price tag of approximately $450 US Dollars when offered for sale. The expiration date for this information is September 2021.

What is the size of Canon PowerShot S120?

The Canon PowerShot S120 weighs approximately 217 grams and has measurements that are about 4.1 inches by 2.4 inches by 1.2 inches (104.1 millimeters by 61.0 millimeters by 29.0 millimeters). (7.7 oz).

What came after Canon PowerShot S120?

After the PowerShot S120 was launched, Canon followed up with the PowerShot G7 X Mark II, which served as an upgrade to the S120 with enhanced capabilities such as a bigger picture sensor and a faster autofocus system.

Is a Canon PowerShot S120 a professional camera?

The Canon PowerShot S120 is not a professional camera but a consumer-grade model. Instead, it is a high-end point-and-shoot compact camera for experienced hobbyists or professional photographers who require a backup or second camera.

When did the Canon PowerShot S120 come out?

In September 2013, Canon announced the launch of the PowerShot S120.


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