Canon PowerShot S120 Review

Overall 51
Imaging 18
Features 58
Size 88
Price 1

Main Features

  • 12.0 MP 1/1.7" BSI-CMOS sensor
  • ISO 80 - 12800
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: No
  • 12.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60 or 30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 100 x 59 x 29 mm
  • Weight: 217 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Canon S110.

Canon PowerShot S120 Summary

This review is devoted to PowerShot S120 that Canon has first introduced to the public in Nov 26, 2013. This model is a Small Sensor Compact camera with a resolution of 12.0 MP and a 1/1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm) sized BSI-CMOS sensor.

This is an upgraded model that Canon released to replace their older product S110.

In Small Sensor Compact cameras (Top 10 Compact Cameras) this model has taken rank #11 out of 472. Its Overall Score has reached 51/100 and it takes a rank of #63 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Canon PowerShot S120 Compared to other Compact Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Canon PowerShot S120 review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Max Aperture: F1.8-5.7
  • Touch Screen: Yes
  • Min Native Iso: 80
  • Max Native Iso: 12800
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: Yes
  • Viewfinder: No
  • Continuous Shooting: 12.0 fps
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Built-In Flash: Yes
  • Timelapse Recording: Yes
  • Wireless Connectivity: Built-In
  • Weight: 175 g

CONs

  • Screen Type: Fixed Type
  • Viewfinder Coverage: No
  • Viewfinder Magnification: No
  • External Flash: No
  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 246
  • Sensor Resolution: 12.0 MP
  • Number Of Focus Points: 9
  • Af Phase Detection: No
  • Microphone Port: No

Complete Comparison of Canon PowerShot S120 With Other Cameras in Small Sensor Compact Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Canon PowerShot S120. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Small Sensor Compact cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Canon PowerShot S120

Canon PowerShot S120 has the following external dimensions 100 x 100 x 29 mm (39.37 x 23.23 x 11.42″) with the weight of 217 g.

The typical weight for average Small Sensor Compact type cameras is 175g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Canon PowerShot S120, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Canon PowerShot S120 is wider than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 29mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Canon PowerShot S120 with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

HTML
BB

If you want to have a better idea of how big the Canon PowerShot S120 is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

HTML
BB

Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Canon PowerShot S120 compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Canon PowerShot S120 — 230 shots
Min: 140 shots
Average: 241 shots
Max: 470 shots

Thickness

Canon PowerShot S120 — 29 mm
Min: 10 mm
Average: 26 mm
Max: 60 mm

Weight

Canon PowerShot S120 — 217 g
Min: 103 g
Average: 175 g
Max: 423 g

Unfortunately, Canon PowerShot S120 comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Canon PowerShot S120 comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Canon PowerShot S120 Photo and Sensor Features

Canon PowerShot S120 boasts of a resolution of 12.0 MP and is equipped with a 1/1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm) sized BSI-CMOS sensor.

The base of Canon PowerShot S120 has the following ISO range 80 - 12800 .

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Canon PowerShot S120 features a 12.0 MP 1/1.7" sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Canon PowerShot S120, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 56 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Canon PowerShot S120’s sensor.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Canon PowerShot S120 is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of 1/1.7" sensor featured in Canon PowerShot S120 with other standard sensor sizes.

HTML
BB

Other Characteristics And Features of Canon PowerShot S120

LCD and ViewFinder

Canon PowerShot S120 is equipped with a Fixed Type 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 922k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in ViewFinder.

This model comes with a high-quality LCD screen. This is a type of a touch screen, which makes shooting much more convenient and simple, allowing you to adjust the point of focus and camera settings with fingertips.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Canon PowerShot S120 are its 12.0 fps max speed and 1/2000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Flash

Unlike some other cameras from this category, PowerShot S120 unfortunately, is not equipped with a built-in flash.

Focusing

In addition, PowerShot S120 has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Video Features

As for the video quality characteristics of Canon PowerShot S120, it gives you a possibility to shoot videos at the highest resolution of 1920 x 1080 You also have enough flexibility in terms of how you can save your files. Namely, Canon PowerShot S120 allows you to save files in MPEG-4 and H.264 formats.

Canon PowerShot S120 provides full HD resolution, which means that this model shows decent performance in most situations.

Canon PowerShot S120 is not equipped with any ports that would allow you to connect external headphones and microphones to it.

Connectivity and Storage

One more advantage of Canon PowerShot S120 is its embedded wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity. This feature makes it possible to share files with suitable devices without the necessity to connect them physically.

In addition, PowerShot S120 is equipped with its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports that make it possible to connect PowerShot S120 with suitable external devices.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Canon PowerShot S120 provides a shooting life of 230, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 241 shots.

With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Canon PowerShot S120 is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.

How Good is Canon PowerShot S120 for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Canon PowerShot S120’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Canon PowerShot S120’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the PowerShot S120 to the average Compact camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Canon PowerShot S120 for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon PowerShot S120 performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 79. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon PowerShot S120 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Canon is famous with its skintones
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small 1/1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm) sensor

Canon PowerShot S120 for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon PowerShot S120 performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 18. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon PowerShot S120 can be called a Underclass model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Small size (100 x 59 x 29 mm)
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization

Disadvantages:

  • No Built-in View Finder
  • Small 1/1.7"(7.44 x 5.58 mm) sensor
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (9)

Canon PowerShot S120 for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon PowerShot S120 performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 52. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon PowerShot S120 can be called a 52 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (12.0 fps)
  • No View Finder

Disadvantages:

  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/2000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (9)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (246)
  • Small battery life (230 shots)
  • Small size (100 x 59 x 29 mm)

Canon PowerShot S120 for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon PowerShot S120 performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 8. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon PowerShot S120 can be called a Underclass model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Small weight (217 g)
  • Small size (100 x 59 x 29 mm)
  • Built-in Flash
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small 1/1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm) sensor
  • No Built-in View Finder

Canon PowerShot S120 for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Canon PowerShot S120 performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 72. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Canon PowerShot S120 can be called a 72 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Good Dynamic Range (11.9)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small 1/1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (246)

Canon PowerShot S120 Detailed Specs

General
Brand Canon
Model PowerShot S120
Announced Nov 26, 2013
Body Type Compact
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Fixed lens
Number of Lenses n/a
Focal Length Multiplier n/a
Macro Focus Range 3
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 922k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage %
ViewFinder Magnification
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 15 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000 s
Continuous Shooting 12.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Range 7
Flash Modes Auto, slow synchro
External Flash No
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area No
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 56
DxO Color Depth 21.3
DxO Dynamic Range 11.9
DxO Low Light ISO 246
Sensor
Sensor Type BSI-CMOS
Sensor Size 1/1.7"
Sensor Dimensions 7.44 x 5.58 mm
Sensor Area 41.52 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4000 x 3000
Max Native ISO 12,800
Max Boosted ISO n/a
Min Native ISO 80
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch Yes
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking Yes
AF Selective Yes
AF Center Yes
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection No
Number of Focus Points 9
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60 or 30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port No
Headphone Port No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 217 g
Physical Dimensions 100 x 59 x 29 mm
Battery Life 230 shots
Battery Type 230 shots
Battery Model NB-6LH
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes
GPS Optional
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 1

Most popular Small Sensor Compact cameras

Olympus XZ-2 iHS 12.0 MP CMOS
1/1.7"
Fujifilm X30 12.0 MP CMOS X-TRANS II
2/3"
Nikon Coolpix P7100 10.0 MP CCD
1/1.7"
Casio Exilim EX-10 12.0 MP CMOS
1/1.7"
Canon PowerShot G16 12.0 MP BSI-CMOS
1/1.7"