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Customer Reviews for PowerShot S120

PowerShot S120

Built-in Wi-Fi lets you wirelessly transfer and share images and video. Canon's HS SYSTEM with 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 Image Processor for improved speed and low light performance. 1080p/60p Full HD video. Bright f/1.8 lens along with 5x Optical Zoom and a 24mm Wide-Angle lens.
Average Customer Rating:
4.125 out of 5
4.1
 out of 
5
(8 Reviews) 8
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (8 reviews)
5 stars
2
4 stars
5
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
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7 out of 8(88%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for PowerShot S120
Review 1 for PowerShot S120
Nickname: Seabrook
Location: Kensington, MD
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Casual User
Mostly used for: Family & Friends
Canon Enthusiast: 6 to 10 years
Product replacement: Yes

Great pocket camera but suffers short battery life

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Date:January 13, 2014
Pros: Good Low-Light Performance, Nice features/settings, excellent image quality, durable, Bright LCD, Lightweight/Portable, raw image capture
Cons: Short battery life
A great camera with a solid build but with one significant caveat. A significant improvement over the S110 both ergonomically and in captured image quality. However the battery life is very short and erratic, especially in video capture mode. Until that failing is resolved I'm hesitant to recommend this camera.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Review 2 for PowerShot S120
Nickname: Earnestguy
Location: New York
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Canon Enthusiast: more than 20 years
Product replacement: Yes

NO PRINTED MANUAL

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Quality
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Satisfaction
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Date:December 15, 2013
Pros: Good Low-Light Performance, Nice features/settings
Cons: Short battery life, only a clumsy pdf manual
After hours and hours of research, and talking and trying out half a dozen brands in this and close-by categories, I am confident I chose the camera I want. One of the key items on my wishlist was manual operations -- in hopes of reducing the shutter lag that apparently every digital camera this side of a high-end DSLR must suffer. Also important was the ability to quickly make manual settings by way of actual buttons. This is a good camera for that reason, too.
Now if only I could figure out how to use those buttons. NO PRINTED MANUAL? Canon, what are you thinking? Apparently Canon once planned to print it, because it is laid out in a totally non-printer-friendly format (about 9x5, each page having two columns), and comes to 216 pages -- divisible by 4, as a printed booklet would probably be. Even using a popular PC printer utility and an automatic duplex printer, I am unable to get this down to a smaller size. Printed on average-weight paper, it is heavier and four times larger than the camera! What is the point of a pocketable camera when its manual requires a briefcase?
So, I've tried accessing it on my smartphone. Not that much more convenient. Because it’s a PDF, not formatted for the phone, it’s hard to read. The internal links (cross references to related pages) which work on my computer do not seem to work on my phone. And to get to the other end of its 212 pages, I guess you have to scroll manually? Canon, what are you thinking? You put all this effort into wi-fi capability, yet you have no doc app? No Kindle/Nook version? At least give us an RTF version in standard page-size format, so users can reformat according to their needs. But we’ll never be able to print on paper as thin as you can, and compact binding will still be a hassle for most people. I realize the camera’s price point is an important mark you must hit. So, if nothing else, include a self-liquidating coupon offer. I’d willingly pay US $5 to get a pocketable copy.
And, while an electronic version is not a perfect substitute, why not take full advantage of e-versions capabilities? I mean, this camera is often referred to as the Pro’s pocketable, yet terms “fill flash,” “computer,” and “focal length” do not appear in the index. Doubtless they are covered, but it’s a guessing-game to figure out where. And while the instructions are reasonably intelligible, the discussion of most topics is VERY terse. There’s a reasonable argument for not overwhelming the consumer, but again, since this camera is virtually in Pro territory, there’s no reason the electronic manual can’t be even half again as robust. (And I'll add that a reproducible electronic version would still be appreciated, in case the printed one gets destroyed.)
The camera does come with a compact “Getting Started” guide. At about 140 pages (70pp per language, English and Spanish), it measures roughly 4x6 inches, 3/16 inch thick. Its first half will get you set up to shoot, take you through shooting your first photos, looking at them on camera’s screen, and erasing them. The second half is on setting up the wi-fi, including even how to send photos to another camera, and how to download photos to your computer USING WI-FI. There Is NO coverage of how to download photos over a (not included) USB cable. In fact, even in the PDF, that isn't covered till page 174, in the “Accessories” section. (Don’t confuse this “Saving images to a computer” to the discussion having the same name in the wi-fi section.) Both these discussions assume you have downloaded Canon’s software, which is discussed at the start of the wi-fi section.
All this focus on wi-fi, wi-fi, WI-FI, and yet no wi-fi remote-control capability (which some reviews have erroneously reported)?
Canon, what are you thinking?
Partly as a result of the camera’s extensive options and capabilities, partly as a result of Canon’s crippling our ability to learn them, I’m a long way from getting to know the S120 well enough for a comprehensive review. But it may help some users if I mention these stumbling blocks, which are easy to get past if you’re aware of them.
* Read the first 20 pages of the manual, to be sure you understand which buttons and dials the manual’s symbols refer to.
* One way to print the manual (so far the most compact way I've found) is to center the page on an 8.5x11 sheet (so that duplex printing will print both sides in register), allowing about an inch for binding (do a test sheet). If your printer doesn't do two-sided printing automatically, be VERY careful that it does not skip a sheet (manual feeding might be advisable). Print the cover and last page on heavier paper if you can. Trim to size, allowing generous binding margin. Clamp using binder clips. Work some glue into the binding (I brushed on some contact cement). If you have a heavy-duty stapler, drive 1/2-inch staples generously from both sides (they won't fold, but should hold for some time). After drying, cover the staples with good quality duct, shipping or fabric tape. You might find it easier to carry by rolling it up -- comes to about the size of a 35mm-format 135mm lens. (Ironic, eh? You're looking at a pocketable camera in order to avoid that bulk!) That will induce some wear-and-tear (especially), but rejoice, you can always produce it again. Other binding alternatives are: binder clips; punch and use binding posts. It will be about ½-inch thick.
* When using the index, don’t rely on only the instructions found at that page. Some functions are not available in all modes. So, also read the start of that section, for things the manual assumes you already know. (For example, the instructions on adjusting flash intensity assume you know they work only in “P” (Program) mode, not in “Auto.” Not knowing this drove me nuts the other evening!)
* You can reassign the front control ring’s function, but apparently only in P mode? Anyway, apparently not in Auto.
* Might as well read at least the first several pages of each section right away (through Section 5, so you’ll understand the various shooting Modes).
* In Windows 7, at least, you can download images simply by connecting a USB cable and the camera will appear as a drive on your computer. But better to use Canon’s software, because otherwise raw formats, orientation, and many some other aspects might not be retained. (This I am still learning.)
* For the software, the manuals send you to canon.com/icpd. (You’ll need your serial number.) From that address, you’ll have to navigate several levels to reach the S120 section, and then choose the link to downloads. I can only guess why Canon doesn't provide a shortcut, via, say, canon.com/s120 (which currently produces a “page not found”), or with a cryptic character or two if they must.
But no, as with providing more accessible documentation for the camera, that would make it easy.
Incidentally, I've called myself a "Hobbyist/Enthusiast" because although I used Canon SLRs for decades and many other film cameras, my digital camera experience is limited to a couple of relatively early models, both by other makers. I also have experience at writing spec sheets, instructions and product descriptions, so this experience has been especially frustrating.
40 of 56 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for PowerShot S120
Nickname: NNYer
Location: New York, NY
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Mostly used for: Family & Friends
Canon Enthusiast: more than 20 years
Product replacement: Yes

No User's Manual Included, and you really need it

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Date:December 15, 2013
Pros: Good Low-Light Performance, excellent image quality, Lightweight/Portable
Cons: Short battery life, no user's manual
I wanted a very small, compact camera to carry in my purse when I don't want to lug my DSLR with the big, heavy 18-200mm lens. I wanted a camera that takes GREAT snapshots in low light situations. I wanted video capability with auto-focusing. This camera delivers. I am incredibly impressed with the quality of the photos. I had an old PowerShot that really can't even compare. However—there is a manual for Wifi included (totally irrelevant to me), but NO USER'S MANUAL for learning the features of the camera. That is such a stupid move on Canon's part, IMHO. At the very least, Canon should offer the option of PURCHASING a little book/manual. I downloaded all 215 pages of it from their website and printed out the 180 or so most relevant pages, but it's like carrying around a half a ream of paper. C'mon, Canon. A camera needs a User's Manual, even for very experienced photographers.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Review 4 for PowerShot S120
Nickname: LBscraps
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Advanced Amateur
Canon Enthusiast: 6 to 10 years
Product replacement: Yes

EXCELLENT point and shoot!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:December 8, 2013
Pros: Good Low-Light Performance, Nice features/settings, excellent image quality, Lightweight/Portable, easy to use
Cons: Short battery life
We were headed on a trip when it wasn't convenient to take our large Canon Rebel T3i and lenses, so my husband decided to give me my Christmas gift a little early. Can I just say I LOVE THIS CAMERA!!!!! Not only all of the other features mentioned everywhere - my VERY favorite is that in the typical auto mode, at the end of a day, or series of shots, one button merges them into a movie. Not just a slideshow, but there is VIDEO and AUDIO for a couple of seconds BEFORE the photo was snapped!!! I'm making these into QR codes to put on my album pages with the photos - how TOTALLY cool is that? I LOVE this, and have recommended it, already, to all of my photo crazy friends!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Review 5 for PowerShot S120
Nickname: Hstan
Location: Texas
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Mostly used for: Travel
Canon Enthusiast: more than 20 years
Product replacement: Yes

$$$$ - BUT NO MANUAL & PAYING FOR USELESS FEATURES

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Satisfaction
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Date:December 1, 2013
Pros: excellent image quality, Lightweight/Portable, full controls
Cons: expensive useless features, no manual
This is my third S90+ series. Incredible pocket travel camera. My travel BW blowups are mind boggling. But I really didn't like paying for silly WiFi on a serious photo instrument ... would have much rather have a real manual. With all the capabilities of this camera, having a reference manual that you can tab and yellow marker is almost a must, And if you think you can just print out the .pdf manual, think again -- it's 215 pages! and the .pdf on-screen file does not even allow underlining, yellow marker or cutting and pasting to a Word file. Pretty darn useless and not very thoughtful. What in the world were you thinking? WiFi? Restricted .pdf manual? No manual?
22 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Review 6 for PowerShot S120
Nickname: Robo
Location: Maryland
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Professional or Expert
Mostly used for: Landscape/Nature
Canon Enthusiast: 6 to 10 years
Product replacement: Yes

Misleading

Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Features
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Quality
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Satisfaction
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Date:November 19, 2013
Cons: Missing features/settings
I am disappointed with my new Canon S120 because the advertisements stated WiFi, but after purchasing, the documentation says that you must have Windows 7 or 8.. If you don't have Windows 7, how do you get the images into a computer? Logically, it would be using a USB cable, but none came in the package. Then too, one might expect a manual, but you have to download one from the web (Windows XP works for this.)
15 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Review 7 for PowerShot S120
Nickname: Mark
Location: NYC
Used this product for: 1 to 3 months
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Mostly used for: Family & Friends
Canon Enthusiast: 6 to 10 years
Product replacement: No

Its so so, expected better

Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Price/Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Date:November 17, 2013
Pros: Nice features/settings, durable, Bright LCD
Cons: Poor image quality, Short battery life
This camera takes killer Videos. Anti-shake device works as if you had this camera on Glide-Cam mount. Awesome. But photos Im not really impressed with. For outside it maybe ok. But indoors its not so good. But old S80 took better pictures. It takes very good pics in dark places where you dont need flash BUT when you put the flash on it takes too long to for the flash to load power to the lamp. You also have to pop the flash up manually everytime (my wife hated that) and when you take pictures in wide angle (24mm focus) edges of pictures long elongated (if you have a face on the edge of your photo - it looks stretched out - I really didnt like that). I took pictures with at wide angle with different cameras and I have never seen this happening on any photos. Battery life is not so great. It is really weird. Battery didnt last me too long on a full charge.
13 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Review 8 for PowerShot S120
Nickname: motherrunner4
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Used this product for: Less than 1 month
Expertise Level: Hobbyist/Enthusiast
Mostly used for: Family & Friends
Canon Enthusiast: Less than 1 year
Product replacement: Yes

Best Camera!

Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Features
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Performance
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Price/Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Quality
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Satisfaction
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:October 22, 2013
Pros: good battery life, Good Low-Light Performance, Nice features/settings, excellent image quality, durable, Bright LCD, Lightweight/Portable, easy to use
Cons: Complicated controls/menu
This camera is great for someone who wants a little bit of freedom that a more advanced camera allows, but that doesn't garner the attraction that it brings. This camera fits great in my pocket and is very sleek and lightweight. It's not very easy to navigate in the programs, but with enough playing around, you figure it out. Well worth the cost and would buy again!
32 of 39 people found this review helpful.
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