The Good Easy to use; best-in-class photo quality; manual and semimanual controls.
The Bad Fewer features, slower performance, and bulkier design than competitive models.
The Bottom Line Canon's SX120 IS pocket megazoom falls behind the competition in every aspect except photo quality.
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS
Canon seems to have an "if it ain't broke" attitude when it comes to its PowerShot SX series. The SX120 IS is the latest version of the company's 10x pocket megazoom and is nearly identical to its predecessors, the SX110 IS and SX100 IS. The SX120 IS gets a resolution bump--it's now 10-megapixels--and uses Canon's Digic 4 image processor, which along with enhanced battery life adds advanced face and motion detection features and improved red-eye correction. It's not much of a step forward, just offering a little bit of new technology for the price of 2008's SX110 IS. You also get the same excellent photo quality, which is nice, but ever-so-slightly slower performance, which is less nice.
Though it's bulkier than similarly featured models from Panasonic and Kodak, the SX120 IS will fit comfortably into a jacket pocket or uncomfortably in a jeans pocket. It's not lightweight either; the optically stabilized 10x zoom lens and two AA-size batteries are responsible for most of its 10.4-ounce weight. The SX120 IS is large enough that it should be easy to hold securely, and despite the body being slippery, the right-hand grip seems improved (but that may be all in my head). Encased in plastic, the SX120 IS nevertheless feels quite solid and sturdy. A door on the bottom covers an SDHC card slot and battery compartment. Unlike many AA-powered megazooms that use four batteries, the SX120 IS is powered by two, and battery life feels relatively short. You'll want to pick up some rechargeable NiMH batteries, which will triple the shot count from alkaline.
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