Record Screens & Menus

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Please excuse the poor quality of these screen captures. The PowerShot S120 kit does not include an AV output cable, therefore we had to photograph the LCD

Record - mode dial GIF.gif
Turning the mode dial on the top panel of the PowerShot S120 camera body will cause a row of icons to appear across the top of the LCD that match the various options on the mode dial. The current mode dial setting is highlighted in orange on the screen. A brief explanation of each setting appears below the row of icons. 

Record - auto GIF.gif
When shooting still images, the current mode is indicated by an icon in the upper left corner of the S120's LCD screen. In Auto mode you'll see other icons across the top of the screen (from left to right), including the image stabilization setting, battery charge, resolution, number of images left on the memory card, video resolution, and amount of video recording time remaining on the memory card. The flash mode and drive mode will be listed along the upper left side of the screen.

When you press the Disp button on the back of the camera body, you can change what's displayed on the screen, such as adding a 3x3 grid and an electronic horizontal level. You can change what's displayed on the screen through the on-screen menus.

Record - program mode GIF.gif
The same data will be displayed on the top of the screen in Program mode, and you again can change the information shown on the LCD by pressing the Disp button. The ISO setting and the EV setting will now be shown along the bottom of the screen.

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In Manual shooting mode you'll be able to make changes to the S120's shutter speed, aperture, or ISO settings using the control dial that surrounds the lens housing or the four-way ring. As you make changes using these rings, you'll see a virtual dial appear on the LCD, which allows you to more easily make changes to these settings. I really liked this feature on the PowerShot S120, as it felt like a natural way to use the camera.

When the virtual dials appear on the screen though, you cannot change them using the touchscreen LCD function, which is a bit of a disappointment and highlights how a redesign could help Canon cameras that contain a touchscreen function.

Record - special dial more GIF.gif
When you press the Ring Func. button on the back of the camera and then twist the control ring that surrounds the lens housing, you'll see a list of icons representing options that you can assign to the control ring appear along the top of the screen. As each icon is highlighted in orange, a brief explanation appears on the screen. The control ring options in Program mode are:

  • ISO
  • Exposure Value
  • Manual Focus
  • White Balance
  • Optical Zoom
  • DR Correction
  • Shadow Correction
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Custom
When shooting in Manual or Aperture Priority mode, you can assign the aperture value to the control ring.

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A handy way to access the majority of the PowerShot S120's settings is to press the Set button in the middle of the four-way ring on the back of the camera. You'll see each setting you can change appear along the left side of the LCD screen. With a setting highlighted you'll see icons representing the specific options within that setting appear along the bottom of the screen. Highlight the option you want and press Set again. You also can control the popup menu options along the left and bottom of the screen by touching the icon for the setting you want to use. The popup menu options in Program mode are:

  • DR Correction - Off, Auto, 200%, 400%
  • Shadow Correct - Off, Auto
  • ISO - Auto, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000, 12800
  • White Balance - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Underwater, Custom 1, Custom 2
  • My Colors - Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black and White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color
  • Bracketing - Off, AEB, Focus-BKT
  • Drive Mode - Single Shot, Continuous, Continuous Shooting AF
  • Self-Timer - Off, 10 seconds, 2 seconds, Custom
  • Light Metering - Evaluative, Center Weighted Avg., Spot
  • ND Filter - On, Off
  • Aspect Ratio - 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1, 4:5
  • Image Format - JPEG, RAW, RAW and JPEG
  • Resolution - L, M1, M2, S
  • Compression - Superfine, Fine
  • Movie Quality - 1920x1080 60 fps, 1920x1080 30 fps, 1280x720 300 fps, 640x480 30 fps
You may see more or fewer popup menu options, depending on the shooting mode you've selected from the mode dial. For example in Auto mode you'll only see the Self-Timer, Drive Mode, Aspect Ratio, Resolution, and Movie Quality as popup menu options.


Record - four way GIF.gif
The four-way ring on the back of the PowerShot S120 provides access to some quick menus when you press the edges of it. The quick menus include:

  • Exposure Value (top of ring) - between -3 and +3 in 1/3 increments
  • Flash (right side of ring) - Auto, On, Slow Synchro, Off (menu only is available when popup flash is opened
  • Focus (left side of ring) - Macro, Normal, Manual Focus

Record - special effect GIF.gif
You can access the special effects menu on the PowerShot S120 by twisting the mode dial to the special effects setting, which is marked with an interlocking rings icon. Then press the Set button on the back of the camera to open the popup menu. The special effects setting is at the top left of the screen, and the options appear along the bottom of the screen, which are:

  • High Dynamic Range
  • Nostalgic
  • Fish-eye Effect
  • Miniature Effect
  • Toy Camera
  • Background Defocus
  • Soft Focus
  • Monochrome
  • Super Vivid
  • Poster Effect

Record - my colors GIF.gif
You also can access the My Colors options through the popup menu, as long as you're using an advanced shooting mode. The My Colors options are:

  • Off
  • Vivid
  • Neutral
  • Sepia
  • Black and White
  • Positive Film
  • Lighter Skin Tone
  • Darker Skin Tone
  • Vivid Blue
  • Vivid Green
  • Vivid Red
  • Custom Color

Record - scene mode GIF.gif
If you want to stick with the more automatic camera shooting modes, you'll probably want to make use of scene modes at some point. Twist the mode dial to SCN to enter scene modes. Then press the Set button to open the popup menu. The top icon on the left side of the screen controls the scene modes. You then can pick the scene mode you want to use from the icons along the bottom of the screen. The available scene modes with the S120 are:

  • Portrait
  • Smart Shutter
  • Star
  • Handheld Night Scene
  • Underwater
  • Snow
  • Fireworks
The Star feature is an interesting one, as it allows you to shoot star trails and other aspects of the night sky using a tripod. The PowerShot S120 will shoot photos of the night sky over a time lapse, creating some very interesting images.


Record - movie GIF.gif
Recording movies with the Powershot S120 is extremely easy. You can press the red record button on the back of the camera to start and stop video recording. As the recording is occurring, you'll see a red Rec icon in the upper right corner of the screen and the amount of time elapsed in the recording along the top of the screen.

Although you can record movies in any shooting mode by just pressing the record button on the back of the camera, by turning the mode dial to the Movie mode you'll gain access to the S120's full set of movie control settings. If you turn the mode dial to Movie mode and you press the Disp button on the back of the camera, you can change the look of the screen, adding or removing information, just as you can when shooting still images.

Record - menu shooting 1.jpg

I'll just say this as plainly as I can: I'm not much of a fan of the basic design and organization of the Canon PowerShot menus. And when I see this dated menu design on a camera with a touchscreen LCD, it's very frustrating. There are so many ways to incorporate virtual buttons, virtual dials, and icons in a camera menu on a touchscreen that Canon could catch up to other camera makers who have created far easier-to-use menu designs. Hopefully Canon will update its menu design soon.

Still it is nice to have the ability to touch menu options to select them and to drag your finger across the touchscreen LCD to scroll through the menus, even if they aren't designed as well as they could be. You also can make menu selections using the old-fashioned method of scrolling with the four-way ring and the Set button.

Press the Menu button on the back of the camera to open the menu screen. The camera icon tab in the upper left corner controls the shooting menu functions of the S120. The number of menu options that are listed with the S120 shooting menu will change depending on which shooting mode you're using. In some basic shooting modes you will see some of the menu options are grayed out. The menu options in the Program shooting mode are:

  • AF Frame - Face AiAF, 1-point
  • AF Frame Size - Normal, Small
  • Digital Zoom - Standard, Off, 1.5x, 2.0x
  • AF-Point Zoom -  On, Off
  • Servo AF - On, Off
  • Continuous AF - On, Off
  • Touch Shutter - On, Off
  • AF-Assist Beam - On, Off
  • MF-Point Zoom - 2x, 4x, Off
  • Safety MF - On, Off
  • MF Peaking Settings - Peaking (On, Off), Level (High, Low), Color (Red, Yellow, Blue)
  • Flash Settings - Flash Exp. Comp. (between -2 and +2 in 1/3 increments), Shutter Sync. (1st-curtain, 2nd-curtain), Red Eye Corr. (On, Off), Red Eye Lamp (On, Off), Safety FE (On, Off)
  • ISO Auto Settings - Max ISO Speed (400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000, 12800), Rate of Change (Standard, Fast, Slow)
  • High ISO NR - Standard, High, Low
  • Spot AE Point - Center, AF Point
  • Wind Filter - Auto, Off
  • Review Image After Shooting - Display Time (Off, Quick, 2 Sec, 4 Sec, 8 Sec, Hold), Display Info (Off, Detailed)
  • Custom Display - Shooting Info (Yes, No), Grid Lines (Yes, No), Electronic Level (Yes, No), Histogram (Yes, No)
  • Night Display - On, Off
  • Func. Menu Layout - DR Correction (Yes, No), Shadow Correct (Yes, No), ISO Speed (Yes, No), White Balance (Yes, No), My Colors (Yes, No), Bracketing (Yes, No), Drive Mode (Yes, No), Self-Timer (Yes, No), Light Metering (Yes, No), ND Filter (Yes, No), Aspect Ratio (Yes, No), Image Type (Yes, No), Recording Pixels (Yes, No), Compression (Yes, No), Movie Quality (Yes, No)
  • IS Settings - ID Mode (Continuous, Shoot Only, Off), Dynamic IS (1, 2)
  • Date Stamp - Off, Date, Date & Time
  • Face ID Settings - Face ID (On, Off), Add to Registry, Check/Edit Info, Erase Info
  • Set Control Ring Func. - Default Control, ISO Speed, Exposure Valuation, Manual Focus, White Balance Correction, Optical Zoom, DR Correction, Shadow Correct, Aspect Ratio, Custom
  • Set Ring Func. Button - Swap Control Ring Function, AF Frame Adjustment, DR Correction, Shadow Correct, ISO Speed, White Balance, Custom White Balance 1, Custom White Balance 2, My Colors, Drive Mode, Self-Timer, AF Frame, Light Metering, ND Filter, Aspect Ratio, Select RAW or JPEG, Servo AF, Touch Shutter, Peaking, AF Lock, AE Lock, Digital Tele-converter, Eco Mode, Display Off, Not Assigned
  • Set Movie Record Button - Movies, AF Frame Adjustment, DR Correction, Shadow Correct, ISO Speed, White Balance, Custom White Balance 1, Custom White Balance 2, My Colors, Drive Mode, Self-Timer, AF Frame, Light Metering, ND Filter, Aspect Ratio, Select RAW or JPEG, Servo AF, Touch Shutter, Peaking, AF Lock, AE Lock, Digital Tele-converter, Eco Mode, Display Off, Not Assigned
  • Save Settings - OK, Cancel


Record - menu setup 1.jpg
The Setup menu for the PowerShot S120 is marked with a tools icon along the top of the menu screen. Your Setup menu options should remain consistent regardless of which shooting mode you're using.

  • Mute - On, Off
  • Volume - Start-up Vol. (Level 1 to 5), Operation Vol. (Level 1 to 5), Selftimer Vol. (Level 1 to 5), Shutter Volume (Level 1 to 5)
  • Sound Options - Start-up Sound (1, 2), Operation Sound (1, 2), Selftimer Sound (1, 2), Shutter Sound (1, 2)
  • Hints & Tips - On, Off
  • Date/Time
  • Time Zone
  • Lens Retract - 0 sec., 1 min. 
  • Eco Mode - On, Off
  • Power Saving - Auto Power Down (On, Off); Display Off (10 sec., 20 sec., 30 sec., 1 min., 2 min., 3 min.)
  • LCD Brightness - 5 levels
  • Start-up Image - 1, 2, Off
  • Format 
  • File Numbering - Continuous (recommended) or Auto Reset
  • Create Folder - Monthly, Daily
  • Units - m/cm, ft/in
  • Electronic Level - Calibrate, Reset
  • Video System - NTSC, PAL
  • Ctrl via HDMI - Enable, Disable
  • Touch Operation - On, Off
  • Touch Response - Standard, High
  • Wi-Fi Settings - Change Device Nickname, Check MAC Address, Password (On, Off), Reset Settings, Target History (On, Off)
  • Copyright Info - Display Copyright Info, Enter Author's Name, Enter Copyright Details, Delete Copyright Info
  • Certification Logo Display
  • Language - 30 options
  • Reset All 
On the far right tab, marked with a star icon, you can access the My Menu feature, which allows you to create a fully customized menu that only contains your most commonly used commands and features. This is a great feature, especially since the other menus don't seem to be as well organized as they could be.


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