High-end pocketable compacts roundup (2013)
Canon PowerShot S120
12MP 1/1.7" BSI CMOS sensor | 24-120mm equiv. F1.8-5.7 lens | Touchscreen
What we like:
- Fast operation
- Touchscreen control
- Built-in Wi-Fi
What we don't:
- Lens rather slow at telephoto
- High ISO image quality
The S120 is Canon's fifth-generation 'shirt pocket' enthusiast compact since it revived this camera class in 2009. It has a new 12MP 1/1.7" BSI-CMOS sensor, 24-120mm equivalent F1.8-5.7 optically stabilized lens, and can record 1080p video at 60fps. This all comes in a small, slimline but solid-feeling body with, for the most part, refined operation.
"The S120 is fast and reliable in operation, with generally very good image quality"
Unlike most cameras of this size, the S120 augments its buttons and dials with a touchscreen, for easy selection of the focus point and changing of photographic settings. It still has a good complement of external controls, though, including Canon's much-copied round-lens control ring, and larger-than-average buttons for a small camera. Another useful addition is built-in Wi-Fi for transfer of images to a smartphone, computer, or wireless-enabled printer.
The S120 is fast and reliable in operation, with generally very good image quality. All of this adds up to a highly competent package in terms of all-round capability. It can't match the Sony RX100 with its 1" 20MP sensor for outright image quality, but it's smaller and rather less expensive.