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Canon PowerShot SX120 IS
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS

Hey! You should know that Canon has released a newer version of this product: the Canon Powershot SX130 IS.

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS

We've given the SX120 a grade of B.

Editor's Review

The SX120 has been replaced by the SX130, which is an all-around more solid camera. If you still want to check out the SX120, here's what we said about it when it was released in August 2009:

The Canon SX120 IS is a medium-zoom point-and-shoot digital camera perfect for those interested in an easy, user-friendly photographic experience but who still want a powerful instrument at their disposal. The SX120 IS has a 10-megapixel sensor and a 10x optical zoom lens, for highly-detailed, long-range shooting.


  • 10 megapixels
  • 10x optical zoom
  • 3.0-inch LCD display
  • "Smart AUTO" mode
  • AA batteries
  • SD/SDHC memory storage
  • Part Number: SX120IS
  • UPC: 4960999646725
  • Release Date: Aug 19, 2009

Shop for SX120 Accessories

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Reviews

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 4.0 out of 5
screen viewing (Pat Loken — 09/18/2010)
Many times when I'm outside trying to frame a picture all I can see is myself in the screen. Doesn't always have to be a sunny day. Tried shading the screen, but it doesn't help. One problem not having a view finder?
  • 2.0 out of 5
disappointed about the removed features. (mandie — 05/26/2010)
this was suppose to be an upgrade to the sx100 and 110, so why did they remove the stitch assist function from the dial? i read where James DeRuvo said one could manual take photos and then line them up with zoom browser, but that 's crap! the exposures are off and it doesn't look natural. i don't understand why canon would come out with an upgrade and then take features away. my sister has the sx110, and on that model one can manually select the macro mode, but on the sx120 you can not. i don't like having options taken away from me. when i buy an upgraded model i expect it to be better, not worse with less features...
  • 3.0 out of 5
A step up is both good and bad! (Michelle — 01/01/2010)

I received this camera as a gift for Christmas. My Sis overheard me lamenting one day, that I didn't have enough zoom on my old camera (Canon SD630) to get the kind of photos I wanted.
My Daughter owns the SX110 IS and was very happy with the zoom and quality of pics she was getting.
When I first tried out my new Canon SX120, I got alot of blurry results. My daughter said it was much touchier than her SX110, even when in auto mode. I have since been experimenting with different settings and have read online that the "kids and pets" mode is the best for getting less blurr on your photos.
I love the 10x zoom capabilitiy, but compared with my old canon SD630, this is much more complicated. I also don't think I will like how many AA batteries I go through, since I became very used to my rechargeable battery on the old camera.
The jury is still out, whether i will keep this camera.
I mostly take pics of all my grandchildren and LOVE to zoom in on their precious faces. Any recommendations for a camera that is a little less complicated, but has the zoom capacity?

  • 4.0 out of 5
A decent camera at a very good price. (George — 12/15/2009)

This is a decent camera at a very good price. I was torn between this camera and the Sony H20. The H20 gives you the added feature of HD video and stereo sound. I am surprised that Canon did not add this to the SX120. However, with HD you need to buy expensive cards to record onto. You would also need to buy a special cable to view on your HD TV. More cost. If you want to save a recording and burn it back to a disk you will need a blu-ray disc burner for your computer. Very expensive item. There are other ways to save hd video but it is still relatively expensive. With that said, the Canon takes very good non-HD video. You need to understand that the optical zoom is fixed when recording video on the XS120 so you will want to set the zoom length first, then focus before shooting your video. You may then use a limited digital zoom after that.

Picture quality is very good overall. About the same as my old Canon A540 if not a touch better. However, low light is much improved due in part to the larger lens. Also, going from a 4X to a 10X zoom adds to the enjoyment.

I like the fact that the flash does not pop up when required and that you must manually lift it. My reason is that in many situations I prefer to photograph at a higher ISO without the flash. So on the Canon, you simple ignore the request to raise the flash. The camera's "intellegent auto" picks the correct ISO for you knowing there is no flash. Simply press the shutter for your pic. But be very still. Image stabilization will not help much in this situation. When you do use the flash, it is very strong and has a nice reach. I did fidg that you may want to adjust this in certain situation. This is easily done by going to the P mode and adjusting the flash setting.

One thing I really like about Canon is that the menu is very user friendly. My recommendation is to download the PDF user guide on Canon's website and read through it. The manual that comes with the camera is a joke.

Overall build quality is good. Plastic is used to keep the weight and price down. Feels solid and I like the built-in lens cover. The Sony H20 use a detachable cap. Don't get me wrong, I love Sony products but for what I use a camera for this one has the features I most need and will use without having to purchase specialized memory cards and cables. That's always been an issue with me.

As with most AA battery cameras, it eats them up fast if you are not using rechargeable ones. I learned this years ago that rechargeables are a must. Plus they are not very expensive.

So my best advice is to find a camera within your budget that has the features you need for the type of pictures you take.

I hope this helped and best of luck.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS (Gursimran Singh — 09/24/2009)

Good camera in 15k range (India). What makes it awesome is the 10X Optical Zoom. Packed with 10 Megapixel and DIGIC 4 technology by canon this model is truly desirable by semipros. It has 13 mode selection and 15 scene selection to deal with great ease. Overall a great camera without burning a hole in your pocket!!!