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Customer Review

492 of 506 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rank Amateur's Review, September 18, 2009
This review is from: Canon PowerShot SX120IS 10MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Images Stabilized Zoom and 3-inch LCD (Electronics)
I can't write an in depth review of this camera because I simply don't have the knowledge of either cameras or photography. But I can tell you what I, as a rank amateur, like about it and why I chose it.

I have grandkids. I needed a camera that would allow me to capture decent pictures of them - and in a digital format - so that I can, like all good grandparents, brag about my grandkids via email and attach photos to prove that they are the cutest kids on the face of the earth.

I had my "good" camera - an old Pentax K1000 that I've had for about 30 years - and a small, inexpensive digital camera that I got a few years ago and have never been happy with. Not only was the Pentax not digital, it also turns out that the grandkids can move much faster than I can focus. And that camera purchased as my first attempt at digital just wasn't cutting it. It was overly complicated and with it I wasn't getting pictures good enough to share.

I gave my needs some thought and made the following criteria list:
Easy to use.
Fast shutter speed.
Easy to use.
Small enough to fit into my purse easily.
Easy to use.

My needs were simple and I didn't think it would be too hard to find a camera to fit the bill. Happily, I was right.

After my initial research had convinced me to go with a Canon, I borrowed my brother's Rebel (don't know the model number) and my son's Canon PowerShot Pro Series S5 IS. I knew that neither fit my criteria (not to mention the $500-$700 price range was more than I wanted to spend), but using them for a few days gave me the opportunity to check out some of Canon's features.

That's how I discovered the Optical Image Stabilizer. I can see from reviews of other cameras that it's been around for a few years, but I'd never used it before. It immediately went to the top of my list of desired features - even above "easy to use"!

I have a tremor condition that causes fine shaking in my hands. It doesn't bother me and doesn't always affect close work, but it can make holding something steady - say, for instance, a camera - almost impossible. As you can guess, the result of that shakiness when snapping photos is, most often, crappy photos.

Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer was like a miracle for me. With it, I could take close ups that were startlingly clear - not every time, of course, but MOST times. And, in combination with a fast shutter speed, the Image Stabilizer helped me to get some great shots - even action shots - of my test subject, my dog.

With my adjusted criteria list, I did some more research that led me to the Canon PowerShot SX120IS 10MP. One of Canon's newer models, the PowerShot SX120IS puts ease of use in the forefront of its advertising. It fit all of my criteria and at a decent price.

I haven't had this camera for very long, but I'm already thrilled with it. The Easy Mode is actually EASY! What a concept! The LCD screen is larger than what I've used previously and makes it easier for me to judge if the picture I just took is relatively clear. The Image Stabilizer continues to be my new best friend.

Good points:
Fast shutter speed
Genuinely easy to use
Small size
Decent price

Bad points:
I'm so happy with my choice that I can't think of any right now!

If I was a serious photographer, I may well have chosen a more comprehensive camera (with all those features and symbols only serious photographers can decipher). But for my level of use and my personal needs, this one does a terrific job and didn't overly strain the budget. Yeah!

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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 10, 2009 5:36:58 AM PDT
Mom2Three says:
Thank you for an in-depth review from a non-technical standpoint. I am not a photographer, and I want to know how something is going to work in day-to-day situations with me taking pics of my kids, etc. I think my criteria are much like yours and I appreciate your review very much!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2009 6:29:44 PM PDT
Mary Kate says:
I KNEW there had to be other people out there like me! I really am enjoying this camera & am glad you found the review helpful. Thank you!

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 7:10:44 AM PST
esunwilton says:
Can you take decent pictures of your dog with this camera? I find that most of the non SLR cameras to be too slow to capture decent dog pictures.

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 10:03:32 AM PST
Thank you for your review!! We are a Canon family - we have a Digital Rebel xt, PowerShot SD1200 and an HG10. My sisters and I bought my parents a Kodak digital camera for Christmas several years ago, but were looking to upgrade them since they never use the camera (they can't transfer pics because the dock broke shortly after the warranty expired).

I think this might be the last thing I need to buy for Christmas!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2009 11:06:21 AM PST
Becky I am a Canon person also. I am using a Rebel XT and am having trouble with focus and am looking for a smaller point and shoot. Am intrested in the canon you got but checking out the Panosonic. I would like a good zoom on it so please give me your thoughts.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2009 3:46:50 PM PST
Izzes Gram says:
I haven't used this camera, but have the SX110 and get great shots of my dog. Great videos too. My biggest complaint with the SX110 is the delay after inside shots taken with a flash.

Posted on Dec 9, 2009 3:47:54 PM PST
Izzes Gram says:
I'm seriously thinking about getting this camera. I love everything about the SX110 except for flash pictures taking so long in between each shot. Is the SX120 any better? I can't count to 5 slowly with the 110!!!

Posted on Dec 11, 2009 5:44:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2009 6:38:39 AM PST
Zen Girl says:
I just got back from Best Buy looking at various models. I think you just sold me on the Canon Powershot SX120IS. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2009 10:34:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2009 10:37:55 AM PST
Pawnshopman says:
I bought one of these as well and I'm in love with it so far. I love the canon brand and I have the Canon A95, the Canon digi Rebel XTi, the Canon 30D, the Canon S5 and now the this (the Canon SX120) one for carrying around in my pocket. I really like the large 3 inch viewing screen and that it takes wonderful pictures. I have not experience any problems so far. I paid $179.00 for it since I have a Sam's Club membership and the place I bought it match prices. So check and see who's got it for a little bit less before you go buy one and save a few dollars.

Posted on Jan 6, 2010 5:32:18 AM PST
CCedH says:
Your review was most helpful. Thanks to you I have made my decision and am off to buy a SX120IS. You covered all the criteria that are important to me, and I believe many. Thank You.
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