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Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS review




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When you're buying a status symbol, the brand name is all important. You want people to know that you can afford what they think is the best, so you'll choose the famous names that everyone recognises. If you're buying a camera as a status symbol the label you're going to go for is Canon, because even people who know nothing about cameras (and if you're buying one as a status symbol then I'm afraid that probably includes you) know that Canon make good ones. Canon knows this too, and makes a range of tiny, fashionable and astonishingly expensive compact cameras just for you.

The IXUS 120 IS is the latest in this line. It is very similar in specification to the excellent IXUS IXUS 110 IS which I reviewed last August, but shares other features with the IXUS 100 IS ultra-compact, seen last November. However with a current high street retail price of around £260 it's a lot more expensive than either. Considering its specification of a 4x zoom lens, 12.1MP 1/2.3-inch sensor and 2.7-inch 230k monitor that's a hell of a lot of money for a point-and-shoot snapshot camera, no matter how good.

To be fair though, the IXUS 120 IS is a lovely bit of kit. The body is all metal, and the silver finish version that I have for review has trim around the lens that appears to be titanium. The build quality is absolutely superb and it looks great too. The body is just 20mm thick, with a smoothly rounded shape and flush-mounted controls for the perfect pocket-friendly profile. The matt finish provides a surprisingly grippy surface, and the camera is easy to hold securely. Despite the camera's tiny dimensions the buttons are larger than average and clearly labelled, and even the flat D-pad isn't as fiddly as it looks. The only slightly fiddly bit is the three-position slider switch to select between standard, full auto and video recording modes, but the switch is recessed and quite stiff, so it's not likely to get jogged accidentally.


January 17, 2010, 9:59 pm

Any comment on why the body of the tested camera is all scratched and marked? If I paid £260 for a status symbol camera, I'd be pretty annoyed if it very quickly looked all and scratched and scruffy through kust normal use..


January 18, 2010, 1:00 am

The value score seems a bit mean... how many other cameras of that size + price can take pictures that good? The performance ISO performance for example seems to match that of some DSLRs.


January 19, 2010, 4:15 pm

Looks great. But where has your forum gone? Why is it broken still? Is anyone actually fixing it?

Cliff Smith

January 21, 2010, 5:34 pm

Noodles - The cameras was marked like that when I recieved it, presumably by a previous reviewer who is less careful when handling loaned cameras. The body is aluminiunm and can be scratched by contact with harder materials, but it's not especially prone to damage.

Williamn - May I direct your attention to the Panasonic FS62, and also to the Nikon S640 review which I'll be adding later today. Both have optical image stabilisation and good image quality and cost a lot less than the IXUS 120.

John - No idea, and to be honest I hadn't even noticed that it was broken. Does anyone have an answer for this one? Do we really need a forum anymore when we have this comments section?


February 8, 2010, 8:23 pm

I bought one of these, but it soon went wrong. On inspection there was apparently moisture getting into the works. Jessops said Canon advised this was the customer problem. Apparently it is not, and I quote, 'weatherproof' - it's says so in the manual.

Also, they advised and again I quote 'not to take it to a hot country' as that might cause atmostpheric moiture. They wanted me to pay £150.00 to fix it. No more Canon products for me... If you want a camera that will work reliably in a hot country, or indeed where there is weather, I would choose another one.


February 27, 2010, 6:35 am

Got it for £166 and also bought the IXUS blue coloured camera purse bag with it for £10.5, looks really elegant with the two together, got it for a birthday present for my wife and she really likes it.

I guess I got lucky as they brought the price down because the IXUS 130 is coming out.

Planning to get the Lumix-GF1 for myself, and crossing my fingers that the price will somehow come down too.

Ashutosh Ranjan

May 12, 2010, 5:52 pm

I have bought this canon camera. and have all features that a user required. the <a href="http://www.clickindia.com/elec... digital cameras</a> are really affordable and stylish in design. anyone one can gift this to his loved ones.

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