Pros Full manual control. Excellent Auto shoot mode. Wonderful flash photo work. Big Bright 3" Display screen. Excellent Base ISO Photos with the flash indoors.
Cons No HD Video.
Summary I bought this camera for my wife thinking it was going to be a normal point and shoot average photos but I was wrong. I used it indoors at night at first and was totally surprised with the image quality. The flash did not over expose the image like other Point and Shoots I've used. I then used it the next morning with natural light coming in through the windows and was blown away again. It will never be able to match the quality of my Canon 5D or 7D but for a point and shoot I am totally impressed. I can't wait to take it outside as I know it will rock because it does so well indoors.
Pros Manual, aperture and shutter priority operation in addition to typical point & shoot modes. Traditional top dial for modes reminiscent of my old 35 mm SLR's. Neither too big or too small. Shape not as sexy as some compacts, but more practical.
Cons If I had the choice, HDTV format would be better than standard for video. Widest angle limited to about 35 mm lens on a 35 mm camera. Would prefer a hot shoe instead of a pop-up flash. Only LCD, no optical viewfinder.
Summary If you're an old 35 mm film hobbyist like me, you can shoot this camera the way you like, and the way you're used to.
First, it's a very comfortable & familiar camera to use. Unlike the little, shirt-pocket sized compacts, it's closer to having the heft and shape of a small SLR camera. My fingers fall right into the proper places when using it. I hate shirt pocket-sized cameras, but I love this one.
Secondly, you can use it like a manually-operated camera, or a semi-automatic camera (both shutter priority and aperture priority). If you can't afford a DSLR, or you can but you want something easier to carry around with you, this is the closest you can get to a small camera that operates like a familiar DSLR, or even an old Pentax, Nikon or Canon film SLR. Me, I like to know what the camera is doing, and even when I used it automatically, I prefer the traditional "Program" mode, centre-weigthed metering, and centre-focus. The camera also has canned point & shoot "scene" modes, but unlike most compacts, it doesn't limit you to those, and unlike many other compacts which do have some manual controls, the SX120 doesn't have any limitations, like restricting you to only a few shutter speeds or apertures. You have the full range available. Even in auto modes, you're not limited to maximum shutter speeds like 4 seconds or whatever. Instead, it's pretty much like any film SLR you ever used.
Some reviewers think having a flash that you have to pop-up when you want it is a disadvantage, for I love this feature. Most of my shooting doesn't involve flash anyway, and when it does, I just pop it up. Moreover, when it's up, it's not located where you can easily obstruct the flash with a finger, unlike many compact point & shoots. Again, it just reminds me of a traditional SLR.
I like to be able to use a tripod, and the shoe on this camera is located more traditionally, near the middle. It's not relegated to the far end of the underside. Seems to be polycarbonate. I would have preferred a metal tripod mount, but I can live with it. When you do mount this camera on a tripod, you don't get the impression that the tripod head is larger than the camera... another advantage of the larger body. It sits on the tripod just like a normal camera does.
I shoot pictures. I don't do image analysis. For the former, the SX120 provides as good an image quality as anything else in this class. You will not be disappointed if you use the camera properly with the optimal settings for whatever kind of photographs you are making.
All in all, this is no point & shoot compact. It's more like a compact DSLR but without interchangeable lenses. So, while you can hand the SX120 over to a child or to your grandmother to take a snapshot, this is definitely an enthusiast's camera. Now, I'm talking about a photography enthusiast, not necessarily a techno-geek who is more interested in specs and the latest whizz-bang features. It's just a real, stand up camera, and I can't imagine anyone going wrong with it.
Thank you so much Canon for realizing that not every amateur photographer can afford or is willing to spend hundreds of dollars for some real camera control.
Pros I have had a regular digital camera for almost a year, after our baby being born we started shopping for a step-up camera with a meagzoom (10x or more). This camera is a bargain in comparison it costs less but provides at least the same quality.
Cons I haven't had it long enough to have any complaints, if you're looking for a mid-range camera buy this one over the Nikon or Sony!
Summary You won't be disappointed with this camera, worth every penny, we got it for $199. There are regular digital cameras that cost the same price that don't do half what this camera does. If you have a budget over $300 then you can find quite a few cameras that are way better than this one, but for us this is a very professional style camera for the price!!!!
Pros This camera, when left in auto or put into manual mode can produce some stunning photos. I dare say that in daylight it can be comparable to an entry level DSLR (i used to have the sony a230 DSLR). at night the image quality is very good
Cons purple fringing is an issue in a contrast scenes, no HD video recording and slow flash recycle time.
Summary great buy if you can overlook the purple fringing issue.
Pros Easy access to features like white balance (incl manual set), exposure adj, & variable power flash. The LCD screen is bright & in using double AA batteries they are easily replaced. Good continuous auto-focus tracking. great Image Stabilization.
Cons Wish it came with a decent camera bag. Manual focus well designed but hard to discern in bright light. The exposure adjustment works well but is slow to show the effect of adjustments on screen (~3/4 sec).
Summary The auto-white balance is very easy to use and the auto feature along with image stabilization makes for excellent day light shots.