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.
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.
Actual results may vary from examples shown above.
Final image may vary depending on picture composition.
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.
Great pocket camera but suffers 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.
January 13, 2014
NO PRINTED 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.
December 15, 2013
No User's Manual Included, and you really need it
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.
December 15, 2013
EXCELLENT point and shoot!
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!
December 8, 2013