S120 - my impressions coming from RX100

Started Nov 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Catalin Stavaru Contributing Member • Posts: 533
S120 - my impressions coming from RX100


First I would like to say that I am am amateur photographer (maybe not even that much ). I like to take high-quality pictures but at the same time in am in a never-ending quest for a pocketable camera capable of taking high quality pictures, so I can carry it with me all the time. I am also very sensitive to color rendition and Canon won me over from being a Sony customer because of this.

Finally I bought myself a Canon S120, after weighting the options for a few months. I had the Sony RX100 before, and sold it in expectation to the RX100II. However I ended up getting a Canon 550d for my vacation because the RX100II did not start shipping until that time, and after seeing the color rendition coming out of it, I cancelled my preorder for the RX100II and wanted to go with a Canon small camera. I just don't like the Sony colors and tones.

The reviews and samples posted on the Internet lured my into trying this little Canon S120. some sites published impressive image samples, especially in regards to color rendition. Hopefully I can replicate those too

First early impressions from the camera: the image quality is ok, but in no way comparable to my former RX100 as far as noise at low ISO (not even talking about high ISO). There is quite some noise even at ISO 80, whereas the RX100 images were clean at low ISOs. The sharpness also seems to be nowhere near the RX100.

I only used Canon's Digital Photo Professional for RAW conversion, I don't own Adobe's Lightroom (and my trial is over) but I am looking forward to give it a try too, because I am a little underwhelmed on the Canon DPP raw processing. Any setting I alter, I end up with a worse result than the in-camera JPEG

Images so far have some kind of cold "cast" that all small cameras and smartphone cameras tend to have. I managed to correct this to an extent by choosing a warmer temperature in DPP software.

As far as the other camera features besides image quality, I feel it is miles better than the RX100. Build quality is definitely better, with satisfying button clicks and sturdy doors and an overall feeling of ruggedness.

Menu operation is also quite a bit more ergonomic compared to the RX100.

The touchscreen and the possibility to resize and crop the pictures directly in-camera, as well as deleting the RAW or JPG from a RAW+JPG pair, are very useful features for me.

Also the Wi-Fi and the possibility of uploading the pictures and movies directly to Facebook or other social networks is very nice and useful, although setting up everything is a bit complicated but after having everything set up it works very well.

My preliminary conclusion is that I will keep this camera because it has a decent picture quality for the size, and I feel I can take a lot of pictures because I can carry it with me all the time. The RX100 was not quite so pocketable. I also think that I will need a second, bigger camera for very high quality pictures. With the RX100 I did not feel the need for a bigger camera to complement it.

I will update this thread with pictures and more impressions in the following days. So far, my impressions are mixed (I only have the camera for like 6 hours)

Below you can find a couple of picture samples (straight out of camera JPGs), because I think that camera "reviews" without pictures should be banned

Canon EOS 550D (EOS Rebel T2i / EOS Kiss X4) Canon PowerShot S120 Sony RX100
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