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Canon PowerShot S120 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 1080p Full-HD Video Wi-Fi Enabled
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- Built-in Wi-Fi technology allows you to wirelessly transfer your images to social networking sites through CANON iMAGE GATEWAY
- Upload virtually anywhere on your iOS or Android device with free download of the Canon Camera Window app
- Capture beautiful 1080p full HD video in stereo sound with a dedicated movie button, zoom while shooting and play back videos on an HDTV via the HDMI output
- 12.1 megapixel high-sensitivity 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor combined with the Canon DIGIC 6 image processor for exceptional low-light performance with an ISO range of 80-12800
- Bright f/1.8 lens with 5x optical zoom and 24mm wide angle view
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||230 Photos|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||12.1 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||922000|
|Display Size||3 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||12.1 MP|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||12,800|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||80|
|Exposure Control Type|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|Flash Memory Installed Size||9.7|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC|
|Flash Modes Description||Auto, Flash off, Flash on, Manual, Red-eye reduction, Slow synchronization|
|Flash Type||Built-In Flash|
|Focus Description||AiAF TTL|
|Focus Type||Includes Manual Focus|
|ISO Range||Auto, 80 - 12800|
|Image Aspect Ratio||1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Item Dimensions||2.32 x 1.14 x 3.94 inches|
|Item Display Weight||1 pound|
|Item Weight||0.48 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||4 Watt Hours|
|Lithium Battery Voltage||3.7 Volts|
|Lithium Battery Weight||22 grams|
|Macro Focus Range||3 cm|
|Manufacturer Warranty Description||30 Days and Manufacturer|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F1.8 - F5.7|
|Maximum Focal Length||120 mm|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,000|
|Memory Slots Available||1|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Focal Length||24 mm|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||15 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12.1 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||BSI-CMOS|
|Processor Description||Digic 6|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||No|
|Shipping Weight||1.05 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion NB-6LH rechargeable battery & charger|
|Touch Screen Type||Yes|
|Video Capture Format||MPEG-4, H.264|
|Video Capture Resolution||1920 x 1080 (60 or 30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
The Canon PowerShot S120 Compact Digital Camera, with built-in Wi-Fi, is an advanced point-and-shoot camera featuring a 12.1 megapixel 1/1.7" high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 image processor. Together they form the Canon HS SYSTEM, which helps improve image quality of dimly-lit shots by reducing noise and enhancing the overall clarity. Additionally, the processor offers a range of speed-related assets throughout the camera as well as a High Speed AF system for maintained sharpness in a variety of shooting conditions. The built-in Canon 5x optical zoom lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-120mm, covering wide-angle to telephoto length perspectives. For live view monitoring, image review, and menu navigation, a large 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD monitor facilitates intuitive navigation along with clear viewing. The touchscreen interface gives way to Touch AF along with other touch-specific camera controls that are ideally-suited to use when recording video.
From the Manufacturer
Advanced Imaging and Sharing with a Touch
The PowerShot S120 camera puts the world in your pocket with superb imaging, easy wireless sharing and touch-screen convenience. Newly expanded built-in Wi-Fi® is a snap to set up; it lets you post to Facebook®, Twitter®, YouTube™ and Flickr®, send to email, and share easily with your tablet, smartphone, networked PC and wireless PictBridge certified printer. Step up to a new level of image quality with a 12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 6 Image Processor that together create the Canon HS SYSTEM, delivering rich natural color and beautiful clarity even in low light. Shoot with great definition at ISO speeds from 80 to 12800, and capture brilliantly realistic 1080p/60p Full HD video. The camera's bright f/1.8 lens captures the subtle nuances of low light, and the 24mm Wide-Angle lens and 5x Optical Zoom offer a wealth of shooting versatility. Experience incredibly quick full resolution continuous shooting with High Speed AF that focuses nearly the moment the camera is pointed. Operation is highly intuitive with a clear 922,000-dot 3.0-inch touch panel LCD screen with convenient Touch Shutter feature. Intelligent IS prevents blur in any situation. New star shooting modes help you capture the nighttime sky like a pro, and Background Defocus mode creates the beautiful background blur of a classic portrait. HDR shooting is another pro-style technique made easy, with several creative finishing options.
Share Images and Video, Wherever, Whenever
Built-in Wi-Fi® gives you more options for sharing with friends, family and the whole world
The PowerShot S120 camera is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi® technology for on-the-go convenience when you want to share your photos and videos with friends, family and the whole world. The camera can connect directly to both iOS® and Android™ devices*, and upload images via the free Canon CameraWindow app** without a computer. And because the PowerShot S120 captures video using easy-to-share MP4 format, it's never been easier to upload video files. Easily post your images to social networking and media sites – Facebook®, Twitter®, YouTube™, and now Flickr® – through CANON iMAGE GATEWAY# or save them to the online photo album to share anytime, anywhere. Enhanced Wi-Fi® makes posting in real time possible, so you can keep everyone up to date with photos even as events unfold. Easily control the destination of your uploads to social networking sites; share with everyone, or send photos to selected groups. You can also add comments, even in other languages^. Transfer images to other Wi-Fi® equipped PowerShot cameras, send images to your computer, or print your photos directly to a wireless PictBridge certified printer.
Enhanced Wi-Fi® features make connecting and sharing easier than ever
Built-in Wi-Fi® on the PowerShot S120 camera has new features that streamline set-up and sharing for a faster, easier, more comprehensive experience than ever. WEP Key input is no longer necessary, and you can even set up and manage your camera/web service transfer preferences without the use of a software CD or USB cable – Wi-Fi® and a web browser are all you need! And, new Automatic Switching through the Image Sync function makes saving and organizing your images easier##. When the camera finds a linked PC on the same wireless network, images are sent directly to it. Otherwise, images are temporarily stored on CANON iMAGE GATEWAY# then transferred once a connection is made, eliminating the need for cables.
* Compatible with iOS version 6.0/6.1 or later and Android devices version 2.3/4.0/4.1/4.2 or later. Data charges may apply.
** This software enables you to upload images to social network sites. Before uploading images, please be aware that image files may contain privacy related information such as people and places. If necessary, please delete such information. Canon does not obtain, collect or use such images or any information included in such images through this software.
## One-time registration is required on CANON iMAGE GATEWAY online photo album.
^ The PowerShot S120 supports English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
## Initial set up is required.
Beautiful Images and Incredible Performance Start Here
12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor
The PowerShot S120 camera employs a Canon 12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor, which delivers state-of-the-art imaging performance and is optimized for use in compact cameras. Utilizing a sophisticated light-capturing design, it provides high sensitivity for improved high ISO capture with reduced noise. It is capable of rapidly capturing and moving image data to the processor, enabling faster continuous shooting and faster autofocus.
Canon DIGIC 6 Image Processor
The PowerShot S120 camera is equipped with the very latest Canon proprietary processor, the DIGIC 6 Image Processor, which makes several important advancements to image quality both in stills and video. Improved light sensitivity allows for higher resolution with less noise when shooting in dark conditions, and Dynamic IS now detects and compensates for tilt and parallel movement (shift blur) to create video that's exceptionally free of distortion. The DIGIC 6 Image Processor also enhances the performance capabilities of the PowerShot S120, powering full resolution high-speed continuous stills shooting (see dedicated section for more details). And video recording is better than ever, as the DIGIC 6 Image Processor enables Full HD at 60p, as well as MP4 recording. Highly compressed MP4 video not only preserves space on your memory card but also improves playback on mobile devices. Plus, with MF Peaking possible thanks to the new processor, you'll have a pro-level focusing tool at your disposal.
Canon HS SYSTEM for exceptional low-light performance up to ISO 12800
The PowerShot S120 camera gives you the power to create images with spectacular depth, detail and emotional resonance. The 12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor works in concert with Canon's own latest-generation DIGIC 6 Image Processor to create the renowned Canon HS SYSTEM. With the Canon HS SYSTEM, you'll experience excellent tracking performance even in low light, and achieve gorgeous still image quality even at high ISO speeds all the way up to ISO 12800; beautiful low-light shots are possible with minimal noise and maximum detail in highlight and shadow areas. The Canon HS SYSTEM lets you use higher shutter speeds to capture clearer images with reduced noise and blur in a variety of situations for incredible photos and videos.
Full HD Video That's Better Than Ever
1080p/60p Full HD video
With the camera's advanced DIGIC 6 Image Processor enabling MP4 format recording, the PowerShot S120 camera lets you shoot Full HD video at a selectable frame rate of 60 fps or 30 fps (or 15 fps in Star Time-Lapse Movie mode). 1080p/60p Full HD video is extraordinarily smooth and rich in playback, ensuring that your important memories and creative film clips look their absolute best. Video recorded at 30 fps has also been improved through the combination of the DIGIC 6 Image Processor and Fine Movie Detail Processing, with reduced noise and high resolution. It's possible to use the full range of the zoom when capturing video, and sound is recorded in stereo for high-quality audio that complements the outstanding images. Plus, a dedicated movie button prominently located on the camera body and HDMI terminal enabling immediate output to an HDTV make the entire process of shooting to sharing convenient and easy.
A Bright and Powerful New Lens
A bright f/1.8 lens with 5x Optical Zoom and wide angle of view
Newly engineered for the PowerShot S120 camera, the 24mm Wide-Angle 5x Optical Zoom lens with a focal length of 5.2–26.0mm (35mm film equivalent: 24–120mm) achieves f/1.8–f/5.7, giving the user exceptional versatility. The large f/1.8 aperture achieves shallow depth-of-field for creating portraits with beautiful, soft background blur, and incomparable Canon optical technology delivers a high performance lens enabling incredible images, even in low light. The Wide-Angle lens gives your images a distinctive sweep and grandeur, capturing landscapes, cityscapes, tall buildings and wide groups of people with ease.
Continuous Shooting Gives You Exactly the Shot You Want
Full Resolution Continuous Shooting and High Speed AF
Powered by the DIGIC 6 Image Processor, the PowerShot S120 camera gives you a seamless, pro-like continuous shooting experience that's fully available in P, Tv, Av and M modes. Shooting and processing are now performed in tandem, eliminating buffering time to deliver speeds up to 9.4 fps***. Streamlined new processing makes the camera's High Speed AF the fastest in Canon compact camera history, achieving focus nearly the instant the camera is aimed. With no separate mode setting and no reduction in image quality, you can freeze brilliant action shots with ease.
*** The first six shots are shot at a rate of 12.1 fps. From the sixth shot onward, it becomes approximately 9.4 fps. The PowerShot S120 can continuously shoot up to 635 shots at approximately 9.4 fps when using an SDHC/SDXC UHS-I card based on Canon's standard test method.
Enhanced Touch Panel Capabilities
Capacitive 3.0-inch touch panel LCD with a sharp, clear display and easy operation
Anyone familiar with today's touch screens will feel comfortable using the PowerShot S120 camera right away. The big 3.0-inch capacitive touch panel LCD responds to familiar one- and two-finger touch operations. Users can spread and pinch to change the magnification in playback, drag two fingers to switch display, use the easy interactive Touch Shutter, and quickly select camera settings. You can even adjust the panel's touch sensitivity to your liking. The camera's sophisticated control ring, located at the base of the lens barrel, can be used in conjunction with the Touch Panel to conveniently access a range of additional actions. Plus, an impressive 922,000 dots of resolution allow you to review your images in crisp, clear quality.
Capture the Night Sky Like Never Before
New star shooting modes
Starry skies were formerly out of reach to all but experienced SLR camera users, but new star shooting modes on the PowerShot S120 camera make these wonderfully impressive images accessible to all. With just a tripod and simple settings, you can capture exquisite Star Nightscapes, Star Trails, and Star Time-Lapse Movies. The modes can be performed fully automatic or with manual controls for extra versatility. Support functions including Night Display and Star Emphasis have also been added, making any starry sky easier to capture.
Give Any Snapshot the Look of a Professional Portrait
Background Defocus mode
Professionals emphasize subjects by creating beautiful background blur with a wide aperture lens. The PowerShot S120 camera lets you achieve this effect digitally with Background Defocus mode, even in scenes with noisy backgrounds or backlighting. Choose AUTO, or take more creative control over the degree of the effect with Low, Medium and High settings to imbue regular snapshots with the soft, pleasing background found in classic portraits.
Optimal Image Stabilization in Any Situation
Intelligent IS automatically chooses from six different modes to optimize image stabilization for the shooting condition
It's easy to capture clear, steady images with the PowerShot S120 camera, even in low light without using a tripod. That's because the camera is equipped with Canon's innovative Intelligent IS. The system analyzes camera movement and applies the best shake correction method for the shooting situation – allowing you to focus on framing and capturing your shot. For stills, the system automatically selects among Normal, Panning, Macro (Hybrid) and Tripod IS modes. When shooting video, the system automatically selects among Dynamic, Powered, Macro and Tripod IS modes.
|Normal||Corrects for a wide range of camera movement when shooting stills.|
|Panning||Panning motion is detected so that IS does not interfere with desired camera movement.|
|Macro (Hybrid)||Corrects for shift-type camera shake, which typically occurs in macro (close-up) shooting.|
|Dynamic||Effective for video shooting at wide-angle focal lengths, eliminating the unwanted shaking that typically occurs while walking.|
|Powered||Compensates for hand movement when shooting video at the telephoto end of the zoom range, where camera shake is magnified.|
|Tripod||When tripod use is detected, the Image Stabilizer is stopped because it is not needed.|
Beautiful Images with Beautiful Detail
High Dynamic Range Scene Mode with new sub-modes
Shooting in high-contrast environments can often result in photos with overexposed and underexposed sections. To tackle this problem, Canon developed the High Dynamic Range shooting mode to make shooting even more intuitive. Under High Dynamic Range, the camera will shoot three different exposures in a succession (underexposed, overexposed and normal) and then merge them into a single image. Underexposed areas are combined with the overexposed and vice versa, resulting in an evenly detailed image with flattering shadows and highlights. With the PowerShot S120 camera, a tripod is not always necessary, plus the camera features artistic sub-modes Art Standard, Art Vivid, Art Bold, Art Embossed and Natural, which add dynamic, creative effects depending on the ambience you want to convey.
Full range of shooting and recording modes including 12-bit multi aspect RAW+JPEG, as found in Canon DSLR cameras, for the ultimate creative control
As with many EOS DSLR cameras, the PowerShot S120 camera uses a 12-bit converter to process the output of the CMOS sensor, resulting in true color, smooth tonal transitions and natural gradations. The PowerShot S120 lets you shoot in RAW mode, which records all the information captured by the sensor, giving you outstanding flexibility and complete creative control when editing your images with Canon's powerful bundled software, and the camera allows you to record in RAW and JPEG formats simultaneously. Now in RAW mode, you can even select among several aspect ratios, including 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1, and 4:5.
Hybrid Auto creates a beautiful and steady 720p HD video clip every time you shoot a still image
Hybrid Auto records up to four seconds of video every time you shoot a still image, then automatically joins the clips and pictures* into a video that captures the essence of special days: vacations, important occasions, any time you're shooting many shots in a day. With Hybrid Auto, this “highlight reel” is more beautiful than ever. Hybrid Auto automatically recognizes the scene and optimizes camera settings to capture the highest possible image quality. The resulting 720p HD video is properly exposed, crisp and steady.
* Pictures can be withheld from the resulting video via menu settings.
Focus, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, step zoom, exposure compensation, aspect ratio, i-Contrast, or white balance can be adjusted more quickly and conveniently with the PowerShot S120 camera's control ring. Located at the base of the lens barrel, the ring is more intuitive than other types of controls for many experienced photographers. The functions that can be assigned to the control ring vary with shooting mode, and you can set your preferences quickly using the dedicated ring function selector button.
The PowerShot S120 camera offers shooting modes that make it easy to take perfect photos in a wide range of shooting situations by providing intelligent presets with optimized settings.
|Custom||Define and store your own settings to achieve the effects you prefer.|
|Manual||You have complete control of exposure, selecting both aperture and shutter speed manually.|
|Aperture-Priority||You set the aperture, controlling depth-of-field. The camera automatically selects the shutter speed.|
|Shutter-priority||You select the shutter speed to stop or blur action, and the camera finds the appropriate aperture. With slow exposure times, Canon's noise reduction system activates to ensure low image noise.|
|Program||Access advanced exposure compensation features while shooting mostly automatically.|
|Movie Digest & Hybrid Auto||Automatically selects shooting settings for optimal quality and records a video clip every time you capture a still image. One day's worth of clips and images are then combined into a single video.|
|Smart AUTO||The camera automatically selects the best shooting settings for optimal quality based on subjects and environmental factors to provide point-and-shoot simplicity.|
|Portrait||The camera sets a large aperture, focusing the subject and artistically blurring the background to make your subject “pop.”|
|Smart Shutter||The camera automatically takes the photo when people smile, wink, or get into frame.|
|Star shooting modes||Capture beautiful images of the night sky with three different modes: Star Nightscapes, Star Trails, and Star Time-Lapse Movies.|
|Handheld Night Scene||Take clear and steady pictures at night without the use of a tripod.|
|Underwater||Capture underwater images with reduced backscatter effect. Optional Underwater Case required.|
|Snow||Shoot clear snow scenes without darkened subjects or an unnatural bluish tint.|
|Fireworks||Grab brilliant images of skyrocketing fireworks.|
|Creative Filters||This setting provides easy access to special filter effects and scene modes, such as Toy Camera Effect, Poster Effect, Monochrome and more.|
|High Dynamic Range||The camera combines three different exposures to get one evenly lit image.|
|Nostalgic||Create the look and feel of old photographs using sepia tones and black-and-white.|
|Fisheye Effect||Add a classic photo distortion without a fisheye lens.|
|Miniature Effect||Emphasizes perspectives for a miniature effect by blurring upper and bottom portions of the image.|
|Toy Camera Effect||Simulates photos taken with “toy” or pinhole cameras, darkening the image at the edges to create a vignette effect.|
|Background Defocus||Creates attractive background blur, selectable in three different levels, to imbue photos with the look of a classic portrait.|
|Soft Focus||Creates a hazy ambiance that's perfect for portraits and wedding photos.|
|Monochrome||Choose from three single-tone effects: Black-and-White, Sepia, or Blue.|
|Super Vivid||Super Vivid intensifies existing hues, saturating the scene with bright colors.|
|Poster Effect||Poster Effect combines several similar shades into one color, turning subtle gradations into eye-catching, scene-popping contrasts.|
|Movie||Record video in stereo sound. Unwanted scenes can be deleted in playback mode.|
|Super Slow Motion Movie||Record your clips in high speed (approx. 240 fps), and then watch your videos in slow motion.|
Direct Connect to Your Printer
It's quick and easy to make beautiful prints from your PowerShot camera with Canon's Direct Print system. Directly connect your PowerShot camera to a Canon PIXMA or SELPHY photo printer with a USB cable and simply press the button to print; turn every favorite moment into an amazing photo.
Available in 30 Languages
There are now a total of 30 display languages from which you can choose: English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Ukrainian, Farsi, Hindi, Malay, Indonesian and Vietnamese.
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Top customer reviews
Like most of its predecessors it's built very well, feels good in the hand, and most of the buttons have good feedback. It has gotten a little more rounded over the years but I like it, square camera with smooth edges that don't annoy me in the pocket.
Out of the pocket this camera is probably adjustability-overkill for most people that haven't dared of taking their camera out of AUTO mode. Whether you like shooting in AUTO or you do choose to leave AUTO behind, the S120 rewards you with a very fast interface, fast response (focus/shutter), and the ability to view and share your images across other devices quickly.
I am a Canon guy. That should not be missed here because I am a little biased, but I have an iphone(5) for my day to day camera. My weekend camera is a Canon 6D and a bag of L lenses. I bought the S120 to bridge the gap between the two. I am not a professional, but sometimes I want professional pics without using my phone or lugging a big DSLR kit around with me - enter the S120.
With the S120 Canon FINALLY offers a simple camera that seems to do everything I want well. What do I want?
- Ability to capture amazing pictures without carrying 20# of lenses with me.
- Ability to hand my wife/kids a camera that they can use too.
- Fast power up, fast focus, fast capture.
- Great video if the situation calls for it, on the fly, no delay.
- EASY way to transfer pictures to my phone (for when I do want to send them elsewhere).
- Canon menus, because they make sense to me.
It does all of these in my opinion, quite well.
If you are looking for a camera that outshines just about anything else on the shelf under 700$ and can avoid bulking your pants pocket - this is the one.
Whats in the box:
- Canon S120 camera.
- Canon (NB6-LH) battery.
- Canon wall charger (CB-2LY).
- Canon wrist cord.
- Registration documents.
- Warranty info.
A couple other things I wanted to mention...
WiFi -- It's actually useful now! This model features a new wifi setup for transferring pictures to your smartphone. I have had this on (2) other units (S110 and EOS 6D) and never use it because it's a pain. With this model I just go into "play" mode on the camera, press the wifi button (up on the D pad) , it immediately asks what I want to connect to, I select "smartphone" and it says start the phone application and point it to this hotspot. Once I do that, I am on the phone browsing pictures. Scrolling through images (large JPEG) on the camera is pretty quick, downloading is pretty quick, disconnecting and getting back to shooting is just as quick. Now you can literally turn wifi on, send a specific image over to your phone, turn wifi off, in the matter of a couple seconds and a few button clicks.
I won't go into what the old way was, because if I could remember it I would actually use it!
RX100 vs S120 -- Just before the S120 was announced I finally broke down and bought an RX100 (new). Not the M2 model but the original, for 600$. I loved the pictures it took, they were amazing amazing images.
Compared to the S120 (in circumstances so far) they are possibly a little better comparing auto mode to auto mode. What I like about the Canon vs the Sony is the Canon seems to capture more how I see things as opposed to the Sony which wanted to make everything look like a carnival if left untouched (it liked to make all the colors exotically vibrant from my perspective). If this were just about images there would have been some tough decisions to make and hairs to split over this.
The size and weight of RX100 to S120 it's no contest:S120. I can put the S120 in a pair of khaki's and go sit in meetings or walk around all day with no worries. The RX100 just felt too darn heavy, and it's larger lens tube sticking out from the front was annoying getting in and out of pockets. The S120 is still a true pocket-friendly camera is what I am getting at.
Build quality-wise both feel like finely crafted machines. The S120 will remind you of other point and shoot cameras and its finish is something I would feel ok with putting in a bag with no case. The RX100 felt like some sort of surgical tool, I mean in a good way - but I felt like putting down on a desk would damage the desk or possibly the finish on the camera. Another strange thing is the S120 feels good in the hand and has some heft but nothing bad. The RX100 felt a little heftier but in a way that I felt if I dropped it, it's life was over - it was just waiting for an opportunity to spill its guts. I would expect the S120 to take a small hit or some tumbling without ending it.
Cost - Although money can be irrelevant to most photographic geeks when it comes to "getting the shot" , I didn't understand why the Sony was hundreds more. The "why" of this is in other parts of the review here so I won't get into it more. I will just say I had a $1,000 budget for my perfect point and shoot, and now I have 550$ to go spend on something else.
Software - I left this for last because I suspect this is where Canon bias comes in. It is also something I suspect is different in the newer model Rx-100(M2) so may not be as relevant. The S120 UI is quick and also very efficient. The RX-100 by comparison was a little slow, and (at least for me) I never felt like I could quickly get to the settings I wanted to without forcing some customization. Neither is over-glitzy or annoying to use, but the Sony one just felt like it was fighting me sometimes when I would change something and then have to re-find it.
I hope you enjoyed this review and I will update it as relevantly as is feasible.
If there is more you'd like to see added or something I missed please comment and let me know, and thanks for reading this!
Before this one I bought a Sony RX100M II. Great little camera, but it wasn't really pocketable (yes, you could fit it into a jeans pocket, but you would probably hurt yourself if you tried walking with it). Also, the menu wasn't as intuitive or smooth. Plus, it was rather slow to navigate between images in playback mode, not something I was used to since owning the S100, which was very quick.
You can't go wrong with either camera, and it really depends on what you value more. For me, the size and weight of the camera was more important than slightly better image quality of the Sony. I wanted a camera that I could bring with me anywhere and not worry about it, and this one is perfect for that.
I had both cameras to compare side by side. In terms of portability, even though the size & weight look pretty similar on paper, it's no contest when it actually comes down to carrying the camera - Canon S120 wins. If I was going to carry the Sony, it would always be in hand or in a case. That defeats the whole point of having a pocketable camera. I might as well carry a larger & better camera if I'm going to carry it in a case.
While the image quality was slightly better in the RX100M II (especially in low light), it wasn't *that* much better. After carrying around both cameras for a week, I definitely prefer the Canon in terms of portability. I could slip it into my jeans or jacket pocket and forget about it - not something I could say about the Sony.
Both cameras are built like a tank - fantastic build quality. However, I think that the Canon would probably survive a fall onto concrete/marble floor better than the Sony, which has an articulating screen & huge lens.
Pros of the Canon S120:
- Small, lightweight, & most importantly pocketable!!!
- Quite a bit cheaper than the Sony RX100M II ($450 vs $750)
- Wider angle (24mm vs 28mm)
- Longer optical zoom (5x vs 3.6x)
- Touch screen is very nice - useful for manual focusing, menu navigating, picture browsing, etc
- Faster, smoother, and more intuitive user interface - the Sony user interface felt much slower
- Better optical stabilization - I noticed that I got more sharp pictures hand-held at night than with the Sony (on auto mode)
- Built-in neutral density filter - can do really cool motion blur effects during daytime
- Better automatic mode - closer to the way I want the pictures exposed - skin tones in particular are more natural looking
- Very cool built-in HDR mode
- Continuous 9.8fps burst mode until the card fills up - that's awesome! (very few cameras have this)
- Clicky selector ring around the lens - the Sony also has one, but it's smooth (no click feedback), and therefore harder to select settings accurately. I found myself under-rotating or over-rotating the ring when trying to select settings on the Sony.
Pros of the Sony RX100M II that I will miss:
- Sweep panorama - great feature - I don't get why Canon still didn't get this one
- 20MP - awesome detail - you can really use digital zoom with so many pixels
- Huge 1" sensor - better quality pics in the dark, but not *that* much better
- Longer battery life - no big deal as extra batteries are small enough to carry
- Extremely fast focus & shutter - a little faster than the Canon
- Long flash range - you can also manually tilt the flash to bounce off of the ceiling
- Articulating screen - can tilt the screen in different directions
- NFC quick connect feature - very quick tap & connect on some NFC enabled phones