REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonPowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera
 
4.4

(based on 77 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (40)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Zoom range/performance (59)
  • Image stabilization (52)
  • Easy to use (31)
  • Good in low light (30)
  • Good image quality (29)

Cons

  • Short battery life (18)
  • No viewfinder (12)
  • Lag / shutter delay (10)
  • Poor flash (3)

Best Uses

  • Family photos (54)
  • Landscape/scenery (50)
  • Travel (45)
  • Low light (34)
  • Wildlife (25)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Casual photographer (32), Photo enthusiast (23), Semi-pro photographer (6), Pro photographer (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Added Comments

I just wanted to add a few more things to the comments I made earlier about the SX120.

I've already stated the camera's many fine points. Now, in defense of the...Read complete review

I just wanted to add a few more things to the comments I made earlier about the SX120.

I've already stated the camera's many fine points. Now, in defense of the camera's use of AA batteries, mention has been made by some reviewers about their having a short life, and I agree with that, especially when using standard alkalines. Few things annoy me more about using digital cameras than battery problems. So, again, I reiterate buying "pre-charged" lithium ion AA batteries which have almost 8 times the life of a standard alkaline. You will be infinitely pleased. And even though they're more expensive, I think their extremely long life, availability, and convenience, is well worth it over any "propitiatory" rechargeable power cell. And another cool thing, as I mentioned in my previous review, is their incredibly long shelf life. You can grab your camera after it's been sitting in a drawer for a year and go take pictures without worrying about the batteries. They will maintain the same charge and be just as ready to go as they were months ago when you put the camera away. Rechargeable batteries can't do that. I keep several lithium packs in the house and a spare pack in the car. With the new AA lithium cells, batteries are now the last thing I worry about when grabbing my camera to go somewhere.

I also wanted to mention the camera's LCD monitor. It's very bright and clear. It's one of the better screens out there and it maintains its image brightness even viewed from extreme angles where some camera monitors fade away altogether. In direct sunlight (with the screen's brightness control set to maximum) I am still able to make out the on-screen images well enough to compose most of my photos. I don't expect miracles from today's LCDs, where the sun is directly blasting the screen, but the SX120's monitor handles most of the outdoor work pretty well.

As for the camera's plastic construction, I find it to be pretty stout and well made. Where one person might think of plastic composites in a negative way, my opinion is that it'll take most typical impacts pretty good. And plastic inherently absorbs shock better, hence protecting the vital organs better. I do like the feel of cold metal in my hands but dropping a metal bodied camera on hard concrete can be just as disastrous as fumbling a plastic one, or worse.

As for heat, I wouldn't leave any camera in the heat no matter what its construction.

Also, the battery hatch has been mentioned as being hard to open, and I agree, it is a little confusing at first. Canon needs to re-work that feature a bit. (That's another reason why I use lithium ions, so I don't have to mess with the door very often) But I must say, I've figured out the lid better now than when I first bought the camera, and it's not that big a deal once you get used to it. You have to be precise, firmly pushing the button before moving the door, and it will not be a problem to open. Still, Canon needs to improve it.

I've got a few "high end" point and shoot cameras, Nikons and Canons, and I love em—but so far, even thought the SX120 isn't a true "pocket camera," nor the most expensive, I consider it my best "Go-To" small camera, especially considering the price.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

9 Days, 4 Sets Of Batteries! Slow, Too!

Okay I REALLY wanted a Canon S90 but didn't have the cash for that one. But I liked the handling of this camera, and was dead set on Canon at the time (one...Read complete review

Okay I REALLY wanted a Canon S90 but didn't have the cash for that one. But I liked the handling of this camera, and was dead set on Canon at the time (one can argue back and forth about Canon vs. Nikon in DSLRs ALL DAY, but I feel that Canon beats the pants off Nikon in pocket cameras.)

I decided on this one, and with the supplied batteries installed, took a few test shots. I was amazed at the quality of the images either inside (close to the flash) or outside. But the next day (within 80 shots, about half being with flash) the "low battery" warning came on.

I replaced the supplied batteries with lithiums, being that I was outside in the snow, thinking the cold weather may have made the life of the included batteries so short. I took about 60 more that evening (all with flash) and about 60 the next evening at a family gathering (with flash.) It was also then that I noticed how SLOW this camera is. Even on the "kids and pets" setting, I would see the moment I wanted to capture, press the shutter, and by the time the "AF Assist" light flashed, the "preflash" fired, and the the main flash and shutter opened, the "moment" was over. I either got a blurred backside, or in one instance, a totally empty frame, where two kids who had been "posing" both decided to run away at the same time, before this camera "took" the picture.

The next morning when I got it out to use it...the "low battery" alert was flashing, so I AGAIN replaced the batteries. These lasted through about 40 shots of nieces and nephews opening presents, and then about 100 shots of them playing outside.Toward the end of this, I replaced the batteries again, but with alkalines.

I made some more shots that evening, and the next day at work. The cameras rode in my car for two days at work (I'm a deputy sheriff.) The following day, I was sitting on the side of the road, and seen a hawk land nearby. I got the camera out, powered it on, and began to extend the lens, and it flashed "Low Battery" again, and AUTOMATICALLY POWERED OFF. I tried again, and got the same results.

The camera was returned to the retailer the following day.

I KNOW that reviewers warn that you should not compare compacts against DSLRs but some of the times listed in reviews for shutter lag and shot-to-shot time aren't THAT FAR behind some DSLRs. In real life however, it felt that the shutter lag was 1-2 seconds, and "blackout time" was as much as 5-6 seconds on most images.

Reviewed by 77 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Excellent camera

By shyam

from Folsom, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Good Image Quality
  • Good Image Stabilization
  • Good in Low Light
  • Great Zoom

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Family Photos
    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Travel

    Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

    Good optics.
    Good price
    Love AA battries...easy to find them anywhere
    Good picture quality in night-mode

    • Ease of Operation:
    • 10
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Best point and shoot

    By Hople

    from Ohio

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Good Image Quality
    • Good Image Stabilization
    • Good in Low Light
    • Great Zoom
    • Large Clear LCD
    • Short Lag Time
    • Small / Compact

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Sports/Action
      • Travel
      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

      Easy to set up and easy to use. Easy to get pictures onto a computer. At the same time, it takes great shots. The big screen on the back helps, and the lens is powerful for cameras in this price range.

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Very nice camera

      By Nick

      from Liverpool, NY

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Good Image Quality
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Great Zoom
      • Large Clear LCD
      • Small / Compact

      Cons

      • Lag / Shutter Delay

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Sports/Action
      • Travel
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

      Great camera, good price, does everything I want. Only complaint is the rapid-shutter function is a little slow.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Great Camera

      By World Traveller

      from NY, NY

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Great Zoom

      Cons

      • Poor Flash

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Travel

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

      It's a great camera for someone who wants easy, good quality pictures. Perfect for the traveler.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      [...] wonderful cam

      By ehud elhadad

      from karmiel israel

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Nice Body Color
      • Short Lag Time

      Cons

      • Too Large / Bulky

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

      [...] very happy with my cam, i will defenetly will come to shop at your store again in my next trip to usa!thanx for every thing.ehud

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      I would buy this product again and again

      By Hila

      from Tel Aviv, Israel

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Great Zoom

      Cons

      • Short Battery Life

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Travel

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

      I gave it as a present to my father. the screen is very clear & big so he can see the menu without glasses. The functions are very easy to use so that was all the point of the present. Besides - the zoom is great & very useful.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      GREAT Camera

      By Rick the Furnitureman

      from SC

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Great Zoom

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Wildlife photos

        Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

        This is a great camera for the average photographer. Easy to use and clear pictures. Zoom works better than I thought it would. For the money there is nothing that equals it. I wanted a camera that took clear pictures of scenery without getting into 500 - 1000 dollars. This camera meets those needs.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        A nice camera for travel and daily use.

        By Marcus

        from Malden, MA

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Image Stabilization
        • Great Zoom
        • Short Lag Time

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel

          Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

          Wide aperture allows plenty of light for well colored shots.

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Excellent camera for the money

          By David

          from Belmont, MA

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Image Stabilization
          • Good in Low Light
          • Great Zoom
          • Nice Body Color
          • Short Lag Time

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Sports/Action
            • Video
            • Weddings/Events
            • Wildlife photos

            Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

            This is a wonderful, easy to use, high quality camera. Picture quality is fantastic!

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            PowerShot SX120 IS

            By SD

            from Walla Walla,WA

            Verified Buyer

            Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

            I purchased the camera for company use, they are happy with the camera and are using it daily!

            Share this review

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Quality not Quantity

            By SSurvivor

            from Santa Cruz, CA

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Face Detection
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Zoom
            • Nice Body Color
            • Perfect size
            • Uses AA batteries

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

              The SX120IS takes wonderful photos, and has great automatic and manual settings.

              It does not have a lot of other features, but for me, that's OK. How many of the "bells and whistles" on those other cameras would you ever really use anyway? And some of those features can actually get in the way and cause you to slow-down and MISS THAT GREAT PHOTO.

              It's a pleasure to hold... I love the size: it's a little bigger than those OTHER pocketable cameras which can be frustrating (I've experienced, and heard many complaints, about fingers accidentally pushing tiny buttons with the result: ruined photos.

              The Canon SX120IS takes exceptional photos, has a megazoom, face detection and image stabilization, just the right amount of controls, is the perfect size, and as a bonus, uses AA batteries... available EVERYWHERE! (Ever been to a party or sports event or on a camping trip or to a tourist spot or wedding where somebody's fancy camera battery died?)

              Share this review

              (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              i do the research before buyng

              By choudhry

              from nyc

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Great Zoom

              Cons

              • Short Battery Life

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

              manual feature r good totaly automatic some time dont give what u want

              Share this review

              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Added Comments

              By The Guy With The Camera

              from Phoenix, AZ

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • AA batteries
              • Excellent Color
              • Excellent LCD
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Great Zoom
              • Logical Menu
              • Sharp Images

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Family Photos
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Still Life Photos
                • Travel
                • Tripod Work
                • Wildlife photos

                Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

                I just wanted to add a few more things to the comments I made earlier about the SX120.

                I've already stated the camera's many fine points. Now, in defense of the camera's use of AA batteries, mention has been made by some reviewers about their having a short life, and I agree with that, especially when using standard alkalines. Few things annoy me more about using digital cameras than battery problems. So, again, I reiterate buying "pre-charged" lithium ion AA batteries which have almost 8 times the life of a standard alkaline. You will be infinitely pleased. And even though they're more expensive, I think their extremely long life, availability, and convenience, is well worth it over any "propitiatory" rechargeable power cell. And another cool thing, as I mentioned in my previous review, is their incredibly long shelf life. You can grab your camera after it's been sitting in a drawer for a year and go take pictures without worrying about the batteries. They will maintain the same charge and be just as ready to go as they were months ago when you put the camera away. Rechargeable batteries can't do that. I keep several lithium packs in the house and a spare pack in the car. With the new AA lithium cells, batteries are now the last thing I worry about when grabbing my camera to go somewhere.

                I also wanted to mention the camera's LCD monitor. It's very bright and clear. It's one of the better screens out there and it maintains its image brightness even viewed from extreme angles where some camera monitors fade away altogether. In direct sunlight (with the screen's brightness control set to maximum) I am still able to make out the on-screen images well enough to compose most of my photos. I don't expect miracles from today's LCDs, where the sun is directly blasting the screen, but the SX120's monitor handles most of the outdoor work pretty well.

                As for the camera's plastic construction, I find it to be pretty stout and well made. Where one person might think of plastic composites in a negative way, my opinion is that it'll take most typical impacts pretty good. And plastic inherently absorbs shock better, hence protecting the vital organs better. I do like the feel of cold metal in my hands but dropping a metal bodied camera on hard concrete can be just as disastrous as fumbling a plastic one, or worse.

                As for heat, I wouldn't leave any camera in the heat no matter what its construction.

                Also, the battery hatch has been mentioned as being hard to open, and I agree, it is a little confusing at first. Canon needs to re-work that feature a bit. (That's another reason why I use lithium ions, so I don't have to mess with the door very often) But I must say, I've figured out the lid better now than when I first bought the camera, and it's not that big a deal once you get used to it. You have to be precise, firmly pushing the button before moving the door, and it will not be a problem to open. Still, Canon needs to improve it.

                I've got a few "high end" point and shoot cameras, Nikons and Canons, and I love em—but so far, even thought the SX120 isn't a true "pocket camera," nor the most expensive, I consider it my best "Go-To" small camera, especially considering the price.

                Share this review

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                No viewfinder makes it unsat.

                By Tom

                from Kwajalein Island, Marshall Islands

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Image Stabilization

                Cons

                • Difficult to Use

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light

                Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

                Impossible to see the screen in sunlight. I use the camera on the job some and unless I'm inside it's pretty much useless. When I can see where I'm pointing the camera, it does good.

                Share this review

                 
                4.0

                Great photos with average skills.

                By Jackasson

                from Cleveland, OH

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Good in Low Light
                • Great Zoom
                • Nice Body Color

                Cons

                • Short Battery Life
                • Too Large / Bulky

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery

                Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

                Great camera for an amateur like myself. [...]

                Share this review

                 
                4.0

                good camera offered at a good price

                By BN

                from central NJ

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to use
                • Good Image Stabilization

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Family Photos
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

                  We were in the market for a camera that is simple to use and reasonably priced. We liked the zoom capability that this Canon offered, as well as its flash capabiities. Additionally, the camera is light and easy to take along while traveling.

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Great value

                  By Mister NL

                  from Westchester, NY

                  About Me Casual Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Nice Body Color
                  • Short Lag Time

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Family Photos
                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife photos

                    Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

                    Great low cost camera. Love the AA batteries

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    delighted that I waited for the SX120.

                    By Anxious Grandma

                    from Riverdale, the Bronx, NYC

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Image Stabilization
                    • Good in Low Light
                    • Great Zoom
                    • Nice Body Color

                    Cons

                    • Short Battery Life

                    Best Uses

                    • Family Photos
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

                    I am still learning the camera but right from the start I found that the auto setting with the long range lens gave me just what I was looking for in a camera that I could keep in my pocket-book all the time and just shoot, shoot, shoot. Everyone I show the camera to, is just as excited about the results as I am[...]

                    Share this review

                     
                    4.0

                    Very pleased

                    By GG

                    from Eastern Tennessee

                    About Me Casual Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Image Stabilization
                    • Great Zoom

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Family Photos
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Travel

                      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

                      I use this to take pictures of flora, fauna, and family. I would give this camera 5 stars if it came with a printed manual.

                      Share this review

                       
                      4.0

                      Very pleased

                      By GG

                      from Eastern Tennessee

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Image Stabilization
                      • Great Zoom

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Family Photos
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Travel
                        • Video
                        • Wildlife photos

                        Comments about Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera:

                        I bought this camera to use it on a trip overseas that we have not taken yet. It is easy to use in the automatic mode, but I have not had the opportunity to explore the other settings. It is more difficult to do this without a written instruction manual.

                        Share this review

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