Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Canon SX120 – After Three Months   1 comment

Greetings All,

In response to a comment on the previous post about the SX120,  I thought perhaps I should share a few comments.

To begin, the camera has performed wonderfully. However, there are a few points to keep in mind if one is interested in purchasing this camera. First, the decent performance (comparing to my previous Canon10D camera body the performance is decent, not great. Compared to other point-n-shoot, good performance) does come at a price. The two AA batteries used by the camera are consumed rather quickly. I have found the times between battery changes is extended in using good rechargeable batteries. Currently I am using four 2000 mAh (milliamp) rechargeable Duracell batteries. I may get a few hours of picture taking with the camera before the battery light comes on, which to me is not bad considering the camera. My old Canon 10D had the extra battery grip and with the two Canon batteries I was good for shooting most all day. But I always carry extra batteries with me, just in case.

A side note about the battery light indicator. I have noticed that if I simply turn off the camera for a few minutes and then turn the camera back on, I am able to get several more shots with the current batteries before changing them.

The second item to keep in mind is the picture quality and settings of the camera. The pictures (examples below) are very good for this little camera. Keep in mind, I have kept the image size to a smaller 6mb. One does not really need more than this unless there is a need to print larger prints or display the image electronically on a ginormous TV screen. I have had the best pictures come from me changing the settings for aperture (dial left at Av) and letting the camera determine the shutter speed. I usually keep the aperture about 1 to 1 1/2 stops below what the camera deems as proper exposure.

For the picture below, I set the camera to minus 1 stop and used fill flash. The fill flash was also backed off by one stop. It is not a great picture but it turned out decent. For the blog postings I usually decrease the size by 50%, however, the below picture is a full size image. Also, I had the settings for the image balance set to outside sun and tonal values set to normal and the image is unedited in any fashion other then turning the image right-side up.

1.15 MB

Here is another sunflower from my garden. This flower was taken with the tonal values set to vivid and the macro mode on (of course).

1.41 MB

Third, one must know that the flash has a tendency to overpower anything close. Thus, the reason I usually leave the settings for the flash at minus one stop or more. As you can tell so far, I do not usually have anything set on “Auto” as my old photography habits take over (grin).  Oh, another side note.  The image at the top used for the header is one I took at Cheekwood in TN. Just to give a bit of perspective of what I use to do and the images in this post.

This next picture is where my youngest son, Dalton, wanted to wear my camo hat for fun. After putting on the camo gloves, I thought it might be a cute picture with him holding my .177 air rifle I use for field target matches. This picture shows how even though the subject is closer, you can still achieve a decent exposure with stopping down the flash. I cropped down the image just a bit.

1.14 MB

The last item to keep in mind about the camera is the image write speed. I bought a cheap 2GB card to go in the camera. That was a mistake I still need to address. After taking a shot there is a 1-3 second lag until I am able to see the screen again and take the next shot. I have never been a speed photographer so this does not bother me to much. Also, I did not buy a Canon 1D Mark 2, I bought a Canon SX120 … so I expect things to move slower. When I was starting to get into bird photography, yes, then I wanted to purchased the Mark II with the Canon 800mm lens because you will need the distance and speed. This is obviously outside the realms of this camera and its intended use. But again, that was understood at the time of purchase.

Other than these items, I have enjoyed the camera. In fact, every picture on this blog has been taken with this camera. So if a shot happen to turn out and look good, then applaud the camera. 🙂

Well, that is about it for now. If you found this post helpful or enjoyable or you have questions, please leave comments below. I am happy to reply.



Posted August 4, 2010 by avv604 in General, Reviews

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Canon SX120 IS – A Quick Look   6 comments

Greetings All,

Just the other day I received my new point-n-shoot camera. Since I sold all my other camera gear, I needed something to take some quick pictures of the family and various other subjects. After some research, and my bias for Canon, I settled on the SX120 IS. Time will tell if it was the best choice.

10x Optical Zoom, large rear screen

Personally I do not feel there is a need to have a 10 megapixel camera. I did not choose the SX120 for that reason. In fact one of the first options I changed was moving the camera down to 6 megapixels. Why? Very few people are going to print large prints (11×14 or larger) and thus he/she will never use the mass of pixels. The digital cameras now are in a pixel war and for some reason the consumer seems to think more pixels = better camera. In most cases this is simply not true.

I needed something that would perform reasonably fast (take the picture), have a larger zoom (3x is not going to cut it :)), work well with the flash, remain compact, and be programmable. So far, this little camera meets all of my current needs.

Here are just a few pictures I have taken with the camera.

In completing some homework, my youngest decided I needed some company.
Dalton helping the time go bye.

There are a few items to notice in the picture of Dalton. First, the focus point is not where I wanted it. I wanted the focus point to be on Dalton’s eyes. I will need to see if I can control the focus point. Second, the fill flash has not blown out everything. In fact it is not bad at all. It is a bit hot, but not bad for a point-n-shoot.

In the second picture of Dalton, it is still a decent photo.

Even though Dalton is close to the camera, the little flash did not overfill too much. Of course the flash is nothing close to my old 580EX atop my old Canon 10D, but that is an invalid comparison. The colors seem balanced and not over done.

The last picture is one that I will be using for my post on the new Hawke scope I received.

Here I changed a few settings. I pointed the camera toward the background and let it expose for that scene. I made a quick mental note of the settings (shutter speed, F-stop). I pointed the camera back at the rifle, decreased two f-stops and the picture is not pretty balanced. The fill flash again is not over done, but it could have been a bit stronger.

Overall not a bad camera. Time is the real story teller of the camera. I will wait for the story to be told.

Until next time… “Sheldor off-line” -Sheldon, Big Bang Theory

Posted April 22, 2010 by avv604 in General, Reviews

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