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Canon S120 vs Fujifilm XQ1

The Canon PowerShot S120 and the Fujifilm XQ1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2013 and October 2013. Both the S120 and the XQ1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (S120) and a 2/3 (XQ1) 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 XQ1
Canon S120 Fujifilm XQ1
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-120mm f/1.8-5.7 25-100mm f/1.8-4.9
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 No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
12.1 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
230 shots per battery charge240 shots per battery charge
100 x 59 x 29 mm, 217 g 100 x 59 x 33 mm, 206 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot S120 and the Fujifilm XQ1? 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 XQ1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The XQ1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the S120 is only available in black.

Size Canon S120 vs Fujifilm XQ1
Compare S120 versus XQ1 top
Comparison S120 or XQ1 rear

In this particular case, the Canon S120 and the Fujifilm XQ1 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the Fujifilm is markedly lighter (5 percent) than the Canon. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the S120 nor the XQ1 are weather-sealed.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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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 449i
2.
 
Fujifilm XQ1 100 mm 59 mm 33 mm 206 g 240 n Oct 2013 499i
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 529i
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
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 799i
8.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499i
9.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
10.
 
Fujifilm XQ2 100 mm 59 mm 33 mm 206 g 240 n Jan 2015 399 i
11.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
12.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599i
13.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599i
14.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549i
15.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
16.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The S120 was somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the XQ1 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon S120 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Fujifilm XQ1 a 2/3 sensor. The sensor area in the XQ1 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 XQ1 sensor measures

Even though the XQ1 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 12 megapixels. This implies that the XQ1 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. The two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the XQ1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The XQ1 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 XQ1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

S120 versus XQ1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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 30001080/60p21.311.924656
2.
 
Fujifilm XQ1 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
3.
 
Canon G9 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265
4.
 
Canon G9 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
6.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
7.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
8.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
9.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
10.
 
Fujifilm XQ2 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
11.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
12.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
13.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
14.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
15.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
16.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The S120 and the XQ1 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon S120 and Fujifilm XQ1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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 XQ1none n 3.0 920 fixed 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 XQ2none n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
11.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
12.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
13.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
14.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
16.
 
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 XQ1 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 XQ1 have zoom lenses built in. The S120 has a 24-120mm f/1.8-5.7 optic and the XQ1 offers a 25-100mm f/1.8-4.9 (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. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the S120 and the XQ1 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.

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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 XQ1 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 XQ1-stereomono--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 XQ2-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
11.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
13.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
16.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---

Both the S120 and the XQ1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XQ1 was replaced by the Fujifilm XQ2, while the S120 does not have a direct successor. 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.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon S120 and the Fujifilm XQ1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of 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.
  • 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.

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm XQ1:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the XQ1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (7 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 05:07 XQ1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon S120 and the Fujifilm XQ1 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the S120 or the XQ1 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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 449i
2.
 
Fujifilm XQ1......4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 499i
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 529i
5.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
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 799i
8.
 
Canon G154/5+76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499i
9.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
10.
 
Fujifilm XQ2......4/54/5 Jan 2015 399 i
11.
 
Fujifilm X304/5..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
12.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599i
13.
 
Fujifilm X10....76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599i
14.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
15.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+..4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
16.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon S120:
Check Ebay offers
Fujifilm XQ1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon S120 vs Fujifilm XQ1

    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 XQ1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-120mm f/1.8-5.7 25-100mm f/1.8-4.9
    Launch Date August 2013 October 2013
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon S120 Fujifilm XQ1
    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
    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 XQ1
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon S120 Fujifilm XQ1
    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 Build-in Flash Build-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 XQ1
    External Flash no Hotshoe no 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 XQ1
    Battery Type NB-6LH NP-48
    Battery Life (CIPA)230 shots per charge240 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 100 x 59 x 29 mm
    (3.9 x 2.3 x 1.1 in)
    100 x 59 x 33 mm
    (3.9 x 2.3 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 217 g (7.7 oz) 206 g (7.3 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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