I know I’ve been meaning to write a review on the Canon PowerShot S120 since I first got my grubby mitts on one over 2 months ago… sorry it’s taken forever. I’ve since dropped and broken my s120 (whilst filming the BMW film) which I then replaced straight away because I couldn’t go a day without this camera, I love it.
So, what’s changed since the S110? A lot. For starters the microphone holes have moved back to the top of the camera giving much improved sound quality compared to the s110′s front microphone, Canon have done well to move the holes back to the top as I find it decreases the wind noise and better captures sound from in front and behind the camera. This is perfect for vlogging. I disagree with my friend Casey Neistat, who preferred the front microphone! See his video review here.
The image stabiliser has also improved, even at full 5x optical zoom it’s very easy to keep a steady shot, couple that with the improved auto focus and I’m rarely worried about getting a good shot quickly. The f1.2 lens is sharp and gives very good low light quality due to the new sensor improvements. One of my favourite shots is close up macro filming, in macro focus mode you can super close ups and I use the customisable function button to lock focus allowing easy composition.
Another new feature that grabbed my attention is the ability to shoot full 1080p HD at 60fps, this allows you to conform that footage in cinema tools down to 30fps giving you perfectly smooth half speed slow motion, which I used a lot in a vlog recently when filming the Redbull kiteboarding competition (watch here). This adds a new dimension to your filming without sacrificing full HD quality.
I’m using this camera all day everyday, I find it durable (unless the lens is out) and the battery lasts all day. I use the wifi mode all the time with my iPhone to send high quality images for Instagram etc, it’s super fast and easy to set up.
My only complaints are a slight clicking noise from the auto focus after I dropped the camera (again) from only a few inches onto a table (watch that here). Canon are also sticking with their front twisty ring thing, that can be set to adjust focus or zoom, but to be honest I never use it and it’s a waste of time. I also think for the price (Canon S120 best price online is £269 from DigitalRev.com) it should really have a much better flash, preferably one that can stay on like the iPhone LED, now THAT would be awesome for vlogging! It would also be great to have a slightly wider 21mm, the 24mm is still great, I’m just being fussy!
Summary: this is a very powerful pocket sized camera, I say go out and buy the Canon S120, it’s very very close to being the perfect vlogging camera and although more expensive than the previous S110, in my opinion it’s well worth spending some extra bucks. I’m looking forward to the S130… then again I do love to buy cameras!
Canon do not pay me nor do they give me free cameras (Canon, please send me free cameras, thanks).
Ben Brown x