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Canon S120 vs Fujifilm X30

The Canon PowerShot S120 and the Fujifilm X30 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and August 2014. Both the S120 and the X30 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (S120) and a 2/3 (X30) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon S120
versus
Fujifilm X30
Canon S120   Fujifilm X30
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-120mm f/1.8-5.7 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8
12 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 12 MP, Two Thirds Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-12,800 ISO 100-12,800
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
12.1 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
230 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
100 x 59 x 29 mm, 217 g 119 x 72 x 60 mm, 423 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot S120 and the Fujifilm X30? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon S120 and the Fujifilm X30. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The X30 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the S120 is only available in black.

Size Canon S120 vs Fujifilm X30
Compare S120 versus X30 top
Comparison S120 or X30 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X30 is considerably larger (45 percent) than the Canon S120. Moreover, the X30 is substantially heavier (95 percent) than the S120. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the S120 nor the X30 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the S120 gets 230 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the X30 can take 470 images on a single charge of its NP-95 power pack. The power pack in the X30 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon S120 100 mm 59 mm 29 mm 217 g 230 n Aug 2013 449 i
2.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i
4.
 
Canon G9 X 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 209 g 220 n Oct 2015 529 i
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799 i
6.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799 i
8.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499 i
9.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429 i
10.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599 i
11.
 
Fujifilm XQ1 100 mm 59 mm 33 mm 206 g 240 n Oct 2013 499 i
12.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599 i
13.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549 i
14.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
15.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The S120 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the X30, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon S120 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Fujifilm X30 a 2/3 sensor. The sensor area in the X30 is 35 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.5 and 3.9. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon S120 and Fujifilm X30 sensor measures

Even though the X30 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the X30 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 2.20μm versus 1.89μm for the S120), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the X30 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the S120, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X30 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The X30 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Canon PowerShot S120 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Fujifilm X30 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

S120 versus X30 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon S120 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.311.9246 56
2.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.5522 65
4.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.3495 63
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.8581 58
6.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.7230 54
7.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.8644 60
8.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.5165 46
9.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.2179 47
10.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
11.
 
Fujifilm XQ1 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
12.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.3245 50
13.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.7200 54
14.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.6211 52
15.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.7147 50

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X30 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the S120 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon S120, the Fujifilm X30, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon S120none n 3.0 922 fixed Y 1/2000s 12.1 Y Y
2.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 8.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G9 Xnone n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 6.0 Y Y
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
6.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
8.
 
Canon G15optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
10.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
11.
 
Fujifilm XQ1none n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
12.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
13.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The S120 has a touchscreen, while the X30 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The Canon S120 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the S120 and the X30 have zoom lenses built in. The S120 has a 24-120mm f/1.8-5.7 optic and the X30 offers a 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Canon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Fujifilm. The S120 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the S120 and the X30 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon PowerShot S120 and Fujifilm X30 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon S120-stereomono--mini2.0Y--
2.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon G9 X-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon G15Ystereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
11.
 
Fujifilm XQ1-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
15.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the X30 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The S120 does not feature such an accessory-socket.

The X30 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the S120 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the S120 from Canon. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Fujifilm websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon S120 or the Fujifilm X30 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot S120:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.0).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (100x59mm vs 119x72mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 206g or 49 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2013).

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Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X30:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X30 emerges as the winner of the match-up (13 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

S120 10:13 X30

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon S120 and the Fujifilm X30 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the S120 or the X30 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon S120..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 449 i
2.
 
Fujifilm X304/5..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II4/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i
4.
 
Canon G9 X3.5/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529 i
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i
6.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
7.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799 i
8.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499 i
9.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429 i
10.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599 i
11.
 
Fujifilm XQ1......4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 499 i
12.
 
Fujifilm X10....76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599 i
13.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549 i
14.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+..4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
15.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon S120:
Check Ebay offers
Fujifilm X30:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon S120 vs Fujifilm X30

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon S120 Fujifilm X30
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-120mm f/1.8-5.7 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8
    Launch Date August 2013 August 2014
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Canon S120 Fujifilm X30
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor Two Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 8.8 x 6.6 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 58.08 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 11 mm
    Crop Factor 4.5x 3.9x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 2.20 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 20.66 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor Digic 6 EXR Processor II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 56 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.3 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.9 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 246 ..
    Screen Specs Canon S120 Fujifilm X30
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.43x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon S120 Fujifilm X30
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 12.1 shutter flaps/s 12 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon S120 Fujifilm X30
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Canon S120 Fujifilm X30
    Battery Type NB-6LH NP-95
    Battery Life (CIPA)230 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 100 x 59 x 29 mm
    (3.9 x 2.3 x 1.1 in)
    119 x 72 x 60 mm
    (4.7 x 2.8 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 217 g (7.7 oz) 423 g (14.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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