My wife and I have owned and heavily used the Canon PowerShot SX 110 IS digital camera. It's easy to use, takes excellent images and has amazing features that make it an excellent value to discerning digital camera enthusiasts. When it comes down to it I also believe that, for it's features it's also the best price for a digital camera.
Because we are going on a trip where we both want to be shooting images at the same time we decided on getting another camera like it. Canon, a brand we have grown to rely on as amateur photographers, came out with the SX120 IS digital camera an almost duplicate camera to the one that has been a proven winner to us but with a little extra boost.
The Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera
The Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera is a medium sized camera larger than those pocket sized cameras but much smaller than SLR digital cameras. It's a well made, feel solid, point and shoot that's loaded with features that does more than satisfy this amateur photographer. It also pleases my artist wife who has a keen eye for quality at a good price. This camera has a 10 Zoom that's incredible for the price. It trumps our older SX 110 with 10-mega pixel resolution and has a nice sized bright 3-inch LCD screen that gives decent view even in sunlight. Unfortunately it does not have a viewfinder, something I still miss in these cameras we have chosen to purchase.
The camera uses SD memory cards that we can purchase most anywhere and are compatible to two of our other Canon digital cameras. This Canon SX120 IS like the SXC110IS uses two AA batteries. The plus is that these batteries can be found most anywhere and we have a compatible charger for it already because of owning the SX 110 digital camera.
The negative about this camera the SX120 is the same as in the SX110. Though battery life of rechargeable batteries we use is pretty good getting a bit over two hundred images or a solid "outdoor" days work. The recycle time for the flash however, is very slow. It takes 6-10 seconds to ready itself for the next flash picture depending on situation and condition. We have lost many an image because of it but at the same time decided NOT to step up to the SX10 that does use four AA batteries and recovers quite quickly. After using the SX10 a while we found it was just too bulky for my wife.
We do try and remedy the slow recycle time by being sure we have VERY fresh batteries in the camera when such situation is more likely to occur. The fully charged batteries do recover a bit faster. We find the flash important in many of our outdoor shots even in the bright of day. The flash gives off enough light, close up, to help erase harsh shadows and also helps brighten up darker areas with bright sunlight around the subject but not directly on it.
The Camera's Best Feature: Optical Image Stabilization
Of the many features built into this camera the top feature in it, as that of the SX110, is the Optical image stabilization. It's because of this feature many of our close up shots taken in haste have come out sharp.
It's the long distance images however that are the real magic. An example...We can see traces of a small bird on a line a hundred and fifty feet away. When we zoom in using the 10x zoom the bird almost fill the viewfinder and the resulting image is incredible clear. That zoom along with the image stabilization is the reason we purchased this almost duplicate of our previous Canon SX110 IS.
My wife and I were recently up on the north shore of Long Island touring a gold coast mansion. My son was in the harbor on his boat. we were over a half mile away and could see him but wouldn't know it was my son from that distance. She took a few shots without a tripod but with steady hand. WOW! We could see my son clear as day and like we could talk to him. Listen, amateur photographers that don't have a lot of money to spend. "Get this camera for excellent zoom shots!"
Making Images To Hang Up On Our Walls
Along with paintings we have collected over the years and the work my artist/wife has done by her own hand we also have photographic images around our home. The 10-mega pixel resolution of this camera that is even slightly better than the 9 our SX110 develops photos that we can enlarge (5X7 and up to 8X10) and still have excellent quality to our eyes. That's a major reason for us purchasing this camera.
My wife and I also put together scrap books of all our vacations and trips. We like the best of the best in these albums and with the quality shots we can get with this camera, our books are bulging.
Sticking With Canon
My wife and I have steadily upped the features in the cameras we use. Though we have tried others, Canon has been our favorite brand.
We've owned or still own the Canon, PowerShot A 400, the Canon PowerShot 520 and the Canon PowerShot 630 before getting the SX110 and now the SX120 IS.
One feature that we like is having the settings on the dial rather than come up in the 3" screen. There's something more familiar and comfortable in that format for us. Going from one feature to the next is easy to find and though I still don't know everything about this camera or the older one for that matter, I like it. More important for the sale, my wife does too.
pops Last Thoughts
We like both the Canon SX110 and the SX120 IS. In looking at them side by side they look exactly alike only the latter has a 10 pixel resolution. The original SX110 cost us $230. The SX120 IS came out last year at about $240 $270. We purchased this Canon SX 120 IS at $199 at Target recently. They are both low priced digital cameras for what they offer. You might even do better here with online camera sales. It came with a 128 SD card, two alkaline AA batteries, a wrist strap, a solution Disk, a Getting Started booklet, a USB interface cable, and an AV Cable. The camera was easy to set up and use with my computer to upload images. No problems at all.
The camera has other features that I haven't talked of or for that matter may not even know of. I am still learning all this mighty little camera can do. I am quite happy with the face recognition. I get much fewer "burned" images. I also like being able to work with the light by locking in particular lighting conditions by half squeezing the shutter release. I have saved many a shadowy dark image because of bright light behind the subject by doing so. If there is a weak spot for this well priced camera it's dark shots in low light conditions.
The camera does take movie images and though we don't use that feature much the images come across very clear when we watch them on out TV and the sound is good too.
Though the camera does have multiple settings to experiment with, I find I get just as good images using the auto focus and features.
My wife is an expert at using the Macro settings. She gets very clear shots that show depth of field with her subject absolutely the sharpest it could be.
The lens is pretty quick to set itself. Though we have lost shots because of poor battery recycle time we have caught events that popped up before us and were were able to get the camera open and get to squeeze and capture that fleeting image.
We love the camera and the price. We happen to be hard on cameras so, aside from larger physical size of some of the "step-up" cameras we studied being to big and bulky, we needed something that could take a beating. The SX110 IS fits that need and the newer SX120 IS seems to be following it's older bros footsteps and it's also a best price for a digital camera with such features.
Now my wife and I will both be playing with these cameras head to head at times. Do I hear music..."Dueling Cameras!"
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Amount Paid (US$): 199
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Flexible Enough for Enthusiasts