Apr 16, 2010 at 9:38 pm #1257820
So, I'm not a photographer, and don't take too many pictures, but I do enjoy capturing some good photos on my hikes. I also don't know that much about photography.
All I want is a good point and shoot.
I know the Canon 120 isn't the lightest camera, but for those of you who know, is this a decent camera for the price/specs/quality? I like the 10x optical zoom, but is this a quality feature?
I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this camera. Thanks!
I should also mention that at $220, this is at the very top of my price range.Apr 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm #1600073
Nobody?Apr 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm #1600085
The nearest thing to that is the SX120 IS. All of those letters are important.
–B.G.–Apr 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm #1600088
Sorry, yes, that is the camera I'm inquiring about.Apr 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm #1600093
Canon SX120 IS. I've never used one, but I wouldn't be afraid of this model (I tend to use heavy DSLR cameras with even heavier lenses). I've never had a Canon that was wrong.
14 megapixels is enough to allow you to print something at small poster size, if you want. It seems to have a decent lens zoom range of focal length. Image Stabilization is kind of handy to have when you don't use a tripod.
–B.G.–Apr 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm #1600101
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
I don't have any personal knowledge of this model but peeking at the specs, the lens wouldn't be wide enough for me when shooting landscapes. Since there are a lot of compact choices now that start at 28mm equivalent at the wide end, I'll recommend looking further (assuming you're interested in landscapes).
RickApr 20, 2010 at 6:44 pm #1600214
Thanks Rick and Bob,
I've always heard you are pretty safe with a Canon. So Rick, if I want to shoot landscapes, look for for a 28mm lens? Do you know of a camera under $230 with a 28mm lens, with a decent optical zoom, that can compare to Canon picture quality? I'll do some looking myself.Apr 20, 2010 at 7:04 pm #1600225
Travis, assume that a 50mm lens is a normal view. As you go to 28mm, that is a wide angle lens, and the lower the number, the wider the view. So, if you were a real Grand Canyon-wide shooter, you might go for something as wide as 10 or 20mm. However, 28mm is wide enough for normal point&shoot work. If you like panoramas, you might want something wider. If you go crazy, you will get something with a fisheye lens (wider than 10mm), but those don't get realistic results, and you won't find one on an ordinary camera.
–B.G.–Apr 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm #1600232
Good info, Bob. How are the Nikon cameras like the Coolpix s8000 or s6000? Any comments on Nikon picture quality vs Canon? I'm guessing for my purposes and eye, there won't be to much of a noticeable difference?Apr 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm #1600239
Travis, to be clear here, I don't use any compact cameras at all, so I am not a good judge of what to expect. It used to be that there were big compromises that you had to make when using a compact camera (as compared to a big DSLR). However, some of those have been minimized now, in part because of the big popularity of all digital cameras now.
You may not want to start a war over Nikon versus Canon. That is a religious topic to some people. Go to some of the standard camera review web sites and read what they say.
Just a few days ago, a friend of mine got photos of a pregnant harbor seal giving birth to a seal pup, and this was from quite a distance. To my surprise, the friend was using an ultra-compact camera.
You have it easy in that you claim not to be a serious photographer, so the standard automatic mode on most of these cameras will come very easy. It gets a little more complicated if you want to fiddle and fart and tweak it this way and that way.
–B.G.–Apr 20, 2010 at 7:40 pm #1600240
Ha, thanks for the heads up for the Nikon vs Canon war! I guess if they're that debatable, both are probably fine for my needs. I did see that Nikon has a panorama assist function which is nice for me. Canon does not. Also, the HD video capability in the Nikons is nice. I'll have to check the Canons for the HD….Apr 20, 2010 at 8:14 pm #1600257
28mm wide angle, 4x optical zoom, HD video,is, $229.
Probably half the weight of the sx120.
Canon has the better video quality at the moment, if you are considering that. Most cannons also have pano assist.
Don't worry about megapixels. It no longer matters if your prints are under 18 inches.
SD960is will save you $30, similar performance, but an uglier camera.Apr 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm #1600265
Thanks for the post. It's my understanding that Canon's stitch assist is through their software and not available in-camera, where the Nikon is in-camera panoramic assist. Or are there some Canons with in-camera panoramic assist?Apr 21, 2010 at 1:56 am #1600319
Franco DarioliBPL Member
Canon is pretty safe however for a compact with a wide range zoom I would look at Panasonic.
Check out the DMC ZS5 (25-300mm) and the DMC ZR3 (25-200mm)around that price rangeApr 21, 2010 at 3:44 am #1600325
There you are, Franco. I was going to seek you out soon, since I remember you had a career/job/hobby working in camera sales….or something like that. I'll take a look at those.Apr 21, 2010 at 4:05 am #1600331
Now that I know a bit more about the kind of lens I'm looking for (at least 28mm) and a few other things I've picked up from looking around, what does it all come down to? Picture quality. Yup, the debatable points of cameras are exactly the same as other hiking gear.Apr 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm #1600517
Travis, you may be converted from a gram weenie to a pixel peeper. And there is no cure.
–B.G.–Apr 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm #1600558
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> are there some Canons with in-camera panoramic assist
There are two different things here.
Stitching photos together is almost always done in the computer, not the camera, and the Canon Stitch software is pretty good.
Stitch ASSIST is available in many Canon cameras: it puts a bit of the last photo at the side of the LCD screen so you can line up the next photo, and it locks the focus and exposure too. This works well, provided you don't go through too much dynamic range in your pan. Nothing handles that too well.
CheersApr 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm #1600565
Rog TallblokeBPL Member
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
"Do you know of a camera under $230 with a 28mm lens, with a decent optical zoom, that can compare to Canon picture quality?"
I just bought a Fujifilm Finepix F200EXR
28-140 zoom, 12megapixels but it drops to 6mp when using it's clever high dynamic range mode and low light noise reduction mode.
Some manual control, easy menus. First impressions are good. First image tests against my canon rebel dslr with 50mm prime lens are good too. It gets excellent reviews.
It's light too!
Output compared to canon sd960is here, and I have to say, it kicks it's @55 at ISO800 in low light.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf200exr/page17.aspApr 21, 2010 at 4:54 pm #1600634
Hey guys, thanks for weighing in.
Roger, I'm familiar with Canon's software for stitching photos together, but I can't seem to find which Canons "puts a bit of the last photo at the side of the LCD screen so you can line up the next photo, and it locks the focus and exposure too." My girlfriend uses a PowerShot SD1200 IS, and it doesn't have this feature (my cell phone does–go figure!). We just have to eye up the photos on the camera's LCD screen for stitching together later on the computer. I can't even seem to find this feature on Canon's website.
I know some of the older PowerShot had this feature. Where'd it go?Apr 21, 2010 at 5:52 pm #1600670
In camera pano assist is still included in some models. Look in descriptions under "scenes" or "exposer controls" for the "stitch assist" label.
Didn't realize the Fuji had come down so much in price. Don't think it has pano assist, but still a great buy.Apr 21, 2010 at 6:06 pm #1600678
Nope, still can't find it. I do think Canon did away with it in many models. The Fuji looks impressive. No stitch assist, but the other specs are looking really good. I can deal with it not having stitch assist if I can do it on my computer.Apr 21, 2010 at 6:32 pm #1600690
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Where did 'stitch assist' go? Left, behind the bushes …
Dunno, don't ask me! I guess they decided that low-end P&S cameras didn't need it.
My G11 has it …
CheersApr 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm #1600693
I've never had a camera with that feature. I've always done stitching in the computer. The first five or so times that I tried to create a wide panoramic image from the top of some peak, I generally got poor results. The reason was that I was tipping the camera slightly forward (to show how far down it was in front of me). That just does not get good results. You really want to have your camera flat and level. A tripod with bubble-levels helps a lot, but I know that few UL hikers carry such a thing. There are some new cameras that are encorporating the bubble-level into the camera body, so it can show you what you need to do to correct the flat and level error. Like Roger said, one of the big problems is to exceed the dynamic range of the camera. Let's say the sun is in the south, and it is terribly bright there. Then things are more shady toward the north. If you try to shoot and stitch a panorama that goes from north to south, you can easily violate that range, so compromises must be made. Stitching together two or three frames is the maximum that gets good results for me.
–B.G.–Apr 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm #1600694
I like it when companies add and subtract features willy-nilly. Grrrrr. Oh well. How does that saying go?
You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.
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