Canon PowerShot S120: Faster focusing high-end compact shoots for the stars

Canon has updated it's PowerShot S model, with the new PowerShot S120. With the new Digic 6 processor at its heart, Canon is promising that the autofocusing is now 50 per cent faster than the previous S110.

We've long been fans of Canon's S models, which combine compact camera dimensions with the sorts of controls that enthusiasts will want to really get the shot they want.

There's a 12.1-megapixel 1/1.7 CMOS sensor at its heart, part of Canon's HS System which aims to deliver high sensitivity, up to ISO 12,800, and low noise to ensure you can get better shots no matter the conditions.

We found the performance from last year's PowerShot S110 was very good, so we'd expect more of the same from this latest model.

READ: Canon PowerShot S110 review

But the S120 isn't just more of the same. There's a new lens on the front, with a wider aperture of f/1.8, which Canon claims makes the S120 the slimmest camera to offer this aperture.

The 24mm wide lens offers five times optical zoom ably assisted by Canon's image stabilisation, which also offers a five-axis dynamic stabilisation designed for movie modes.

As with the previous model, you get Wi-Fi included, although we found this to be a relative weakness previously: hopefully Canon has worked to improve Wi-Fi implementation. With more and more connected cameras launching, it's going to be a key battleground over the next year.

Aside from all the normal manual and auto shooting modes, there's a new Star mode. This isn't for papping celebrities, but is designed to help you take pictures of the night sky. There are three preset options in Star mode: Star Nightscape, Star Trails and Star Time-lapse.

As with the previous versions of this camera, there's a 3-inch touchscreen on the rear, and a handy control ring around the lens barrel. There's a corresponding RING FUNC button on the back to you can choose the control you want for that ring.

The Canon PowerShot S120 will be available in October and will cost you £449.99.