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Canon PowerShot A1200 12.1 Megapixel Compact Camera - Black - 2.7" LCD - 4x Optical Zoom - 4000 x 3000 Image - 1280 x 720 Video - PictBridge - HD Movie Mode Reviews
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Product Reviews


Average Customer Rating:
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(based on 21 reviews)

76% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:

Pros:

Lightweight/portable (10), Good Battery Life (9), Simple Controls/menu (7), Excellent Image Quality (7), Easy To Use (13), Nice Features/settings (8), Bright Lcd (4), Good Low-light Performance (4), Durable (5), Aa Batteries (5), Viewfinder (4)

Cons:

Flimsy Construction (3), Poor Image Quality (3)

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Good Camera

By Joe Canon from Oak Grove, MI on 01/17/2013


Pros:

Viewfinder, Good Battery Life, Aa Batteries, Simple Controls/menu, Easy To Use

Cons:

Poor Low-light Performance

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Had the A1200 since July, Not as good a camera as A1100. But a nice camera to have in your Pocket! It is slow taking pictures. But it nice to have a optical viewfinder. Along with the fact it takes AA batteries.


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Would not buy again

By Kan from TX on 10/11/2012


Cons:

Flimsy Construction, Poor Image Quality

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

This camera appears to have a faulty CCD....can't get it repaired...owned for less than 6 months and it is a backup camera. I have used it less than 12 times. VERY DISAPPOINTED with this product!


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Optical finder big plus

By Bob from nevada on 09/14/2012


Pros:

Good Low-light Performance, Durable, Lightweight/portable

Cons:

Complicated Controls/menu

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Bought this model as had been looking for a camera with an alternate viewfinder. Using LCD screen in bright days has always frustrated me. The camera has plenty of features, more than I need. Having an optical VF is a big plus for us.


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Perfect travel camera

By Traveler from Washington DC on 08/09/2012


Pros:

Inexpensive, Lightweight/portable, Nice Features/settings, Durable, Excellent Image Quality, Simple Controls/menu, Easy To Use, Good Battery Life

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I have had this camera for a bit more than a year and take it with me on all my travels. It is small, easily fitting into my shirt and/or coat pockets. With a 16 gig card, it takes thousands of pictures at maximum pixel levels. The view finder enables me to take pictures in bright sunlight, plus by turning off the display I can triple battery life. And with 2AA battery power, I am never worrying about charging some odd equipment. I highly recommend as a regular part of anyone's travel kit


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Power Shot A1200

By snap shooter from Central Florida on 04/15/2012


Pros:

Compact, Great Results, Easy To Use

Cons:

No On Board Memory Tells You If Card Is Loaded, Slow Yet Accurate Focus If Patient

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

It is almost impossible to find a small compact digital that you can fit into your pocket and has an eye level view finder that allows shooting in complete sunlight. This camera not only fits the bill, but it does it well. I barely needed to read the instructions in order to use the camera. The close up shots are very easy to obtain as the camera automatically goes into the close up mode when you move in on the desired subject giving you extraordanary results. I have used many type cameras through the years and will no doubt shoot most of my pictures with this camera. I originally intended it to be a back up, but it performs too well for that status.


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What a disappointment!

By Fred from Boston, MA on 03/10/2012


Pros:

Video Is Great

Cons:

Pictures W/o The Flash Are Washed Out

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

I have had this camera since Christmas, and can't express how disappointed I am in the performance. I still have my Canon A520, and that took great pictures in all conditions. But it is only 4 MP and the video was so-so. So I asked for (and got) the A1200 for Christmas anticipating an improvement on the A520. Out of the box on auto, the colors on the pics are all washed out. This camera interprets all artificial light as yellow, so any pics taken in artificial light glow yellow. I have tried manipulating all of the available settings to no avail. When taking pics inside with natural light, all the colors are washed out like there is some contrast problem. Pics with a flash seem good, but the flash does not always fire when on auto so I have to keep the flash firing on every picture whether it is needed or not. On the plus side, the video is great, much improved over the A520.


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Handy walk around camera

By Bob from Santa Barbara County, Ca on 01/27/2012


Pros:

Ergonomic Grip Shape, Compact Lightweight, Ease Of Use, Viewfinder Equipped, Aa Batteries

Cons:

Low Light Image Quality, Slow To Upload Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Purchased the A1200 to serve as a simple point and shoot walk around camera. The viewfinder was a major factor in this decision, for having one in bright light conditions is useful versus a washed out LCD screen. It is also beneficial for near sighted users versus the LCD screen. And it is less conspicuous than having a camera extended at arms length. This camera performs best in daylight, producing satisfactory and useful images. Low light images display considerable noise. This may not be an issue for casual users of the A1200. If so, this user friendly camera is a good value for the price.


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Love the viewfinder

By GranDan from Atlanta, Ga. on 01/25/2012


Pros:

Viewfinder

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Why can't all pocket cameras have viewfinders like the A1200? So much easier to make pictures in sun light with viewfinders. The camera overall is perfect for 'snapshoting'. If you want professional, this is not the camera for that, but certainly with some creative lighting can come close. I bought 2 just to have an extra in case something happened to the first one. Can't beat the price for the picture quality.


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Good Little Camera

By Rubble from Spokane, WA on 12/05/2011


Pros:

Viewfinder, Low Light Photos On Discreet Mode, Good Sound And Video Quality, Simple To Use, Aa Batteries

Cons:

Slower To Focus, Shutter Button A Little Awkward, Max 10 Min Video, Only 4x Zoom

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

We bought this camera as a second camera, small and easy to carry. Features we liked included the viewfinder and AA batteries. The camera was all it was advertised to be. It takes great photos, is simple to operate and takes surprisingly good video. Its better video with as good sound as our Canon S5IS. Low light photography was great when using the discreet mode which surprised me. The shutter button takes a little practice and it doesn't come with an SD card. Don't buy it expecting $500 camera options and performance because its only a small simple camera with a 4x optical zoom. Buy it if you want a good little camera that takes good photos, has a view finder to use when its too bright outside for the display, and you don't need a special battery.


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After four days

By Cristioan from Chicago, IL on 11/25/2011


Pros:

Aa Batteries, Read High Capacity Sdhc Cards, Hd Movies, Easy To Use, Compact Size, Optical Viewfinder, Zoom Starts At 27mm, Low Cost

Cons:

The Trigger Is Placed Wrong It Should Have Been M, Poor Qality Of Pics, Flash Recharge Takes Over Five Seconds, Anti-blurr Mode Seems Tempting But The Images Are, Slow, High Noise, No Stabilisation

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I purchased this camera because my previous small size compact has been stolen, and I was on a tight budget. Since 1996 I am a Canon fan, so other manufacturers were NOT taken into consideration! I was in a hurry to get an "older" model, with 10 or 12 Megapixel resolution, most of the current cameras, no matter from which company, boast 14 M pixels, which has adverse effects over the noise at high ISO. Unfortunately, I was disappointed, the quality of the pictures is low, even at ISO400. Currently I perform tests with the setting ISO 80, but it is difficult, at the end of November, daylight is scarce ... A key for my decison was the zoom starting at 27mm. many manufactures boast a higer zoom, at least 5x, but at the telphoto end, differences are small. A wider angle is often required, 36 mm is just "standard" lens for me.


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So easy to use!!!

By Point and Shoot from Providence, RI on 11/13/2011


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Very Simple to use for a point and shoot person like myself. Not a lot of incumbersomes to go through to take a picture. Compact and light for hiking which I use it for as well as day trips and vacations. Menu and control panel is easy to use and get use to. IT HAS A VIEWFINDER - Very RARE these days in a budget point and shoot. Thank you Canon!!!


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Wrong Camera for Liife

By John from Westminster on 10/30/2011


Pros:

Good Low-light Performance, Simple Controls/menu, Bright Lcd, Easy To Use, Nice Features/settings, Lightweight/portable

Cons:

Poor Image Quality

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Not the really good camera. The picture is very noise even you set iso to low at 80 iso and the noise is too much and blurr on the picture. Trust me or not, just give it's a try and you will see that.Goodluck Guy...!


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Worst Purchase Ever - Returning to previous brand

By BikerDoggie from Raleigh, NC on 10/29/2011


Pros:

Simple Controls/menu, Easy To Use

Cons:

Photos Frequently Out Of Focus, Poor Image Quality, Flimsy Construction, All Low-light Videos Out Of Focus, Replacement Camera Worked Until The Second Event, Videos Frequently Out Of Focus, First Camera Worked For About An Hour, Auto-focus Is Very Unreliable

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

This is my second Canon Power Shot A1200 in about 30 days. The first camera worked for about an hour, then pictures were completely black and the display didn't work. The settings could be displayed on the screen, but the scene I wanted to photograph was black on the display. The store I purchased it from speculated there was probably a circuitry problem related to the lens. They replaced the camera, but it had to be ordered. This camera worked the first time I used it, but the second time I used it most of the pictures and even more of the videos were out of focus, as if the auto-focus is not functioning. I estimate the reliability of photos being in focus is less than 50%, perhaps as low as 25-30%. Our previous camera before purchasing the Canon A1200 was a gift and NOT a canon. The ONLY reason I purchased a Canon is because of the reliability of my Canon AE-1 that I purchased in the 1970s. Like the Canon camera that lasted 1 day, I will be returning this camera to the store, but replacing it with a different brand.


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Product quality problem

By Sailor from Seattle on 10/20/2011


Pros:

Simple Controls/menu, Lightweight/portable, Excellent Image Quality, Easy To Use, Good Battery Life, Nice Features/settings

Cons:

Lense Extension Problem

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I purchased the A1200 to use on a three month vacation. I have owned previous power shot cameras and wanted a compact camera for this vacation. The camera worked great for 20 test pictures before leaving on vacation and the lense refused to extend at picture 24 while on vacation. When I returned home from Europe it was sent to Canon and a rebuilt camera replaced the defective one. I purchased a canon A2200 replacement camera to use on the vacation and it performed very well. I feel that the A1200 camera is a good value and look forward to using it.


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Only bought for the view finder

By Jake from Texas on 10/11/2011


Pros:

View Finder, Lightweight/portable, Good Battery Life

Cons:

Flimsy Construction, Difficult To Use, Dim Lcd

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

I own the Powershot A1000IS and was afraid that if I didn't find a replacement now that had a view finder, I might not could when this camera wore out. The new one, this powershot A1200HD is not the quality of the older camera. The lens quickly got a spot I can't remove. I need a pocket sized camera with a view finder as most of my shots are taken in the bright sun light and are true quickly point and shoot from the back a of horse while riding. No time to hope to be able to see the live view screen and find object. Most of the time all I can see is my reflection. I do not look for this camera to last as long as the A1000 which out performs the A1200. I also need a good burst. Sometimes I get a good burst and sometimes it is very slow.


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Mom likes it

By Son from Orange County, CA on 09/19/2011


Pros:

Bright Lcd, Lightweight/portable, Good Battery Life, Durable, Easy To Use, Good Low-light Performance, Excellent Image Quality

Cons:

Poor Battery Door Latch & Build, Low Legibility/contrast Buttons

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Oddity - has an A/V port, but no cable in the box for such. $1 cable to manufacture likely, now have to hunt for one if available. Pros: The camera is one of a handful left on the market that has an optical viewfinder - a must for some folks like my mom. The viewfinder zooms along with the zoom, a nice point. Operation is quick, picture image is very good all around, movie mode works as expected at 720p, and use of AA batteries is handy. Face tracking works well and auto-macro does, too. Low-light AF beam is good enough to reach across a 100% dark bedroom and lights up the entire room nicely on auto mode as well as at ISO 100 (a true test of the flash strength). Menus in multiple languages is very nice, although words on screen could be bigger for farsighted older folks w/o using reading glasses. Easy mode works well and make the camera much simpler to use, but the dial uses low contrast colors, so it's hard to read which mode you're in in low light conditions or if you're farsighted. And oddly, the Auto mode's in Red, which stands out more than Easy. Cons: Operation is generally easy in brightly lit conditions, however, in lower light indoors and out, the buttons become harder to distinguish and read - seems they're all black buttons with a little bit of color on top. This makes it very hard for farsighted, older folks to see where everything is. Even the power on/off, shutter, and control dial up to blends into one big black stripe. Use of bright/fluorescent/backlit button labels would greatly help here. Buttons on back are the same - hard to read. Getting to the Movie mode is tedious since it's all the way at the end of the dial. Would be nice if it was next to EASY mode. The biggest issue of the camera? The tough to open latch for the battery door! Honestly, mom tried it many times and it's just too tight to open easily. Can't see an older folk being too happy with this silly design. Simply sliding in one direction to open rather than sliding in an L shape is prefered. Also, the door will break if you simply hinge it shut again! You must be very careful to leave it pulled outwards while closing, then slide it in to latch shut. The design doesn't prevent the latch from closing in the pushed in position, which will break it if forced closed that way. Needs to be simpler to open & close w/o breaking or using so much force to unlatch. Also, nearly impossible to see labeling for the AA battery direction - tiny, black on black - forget about mom trying to read it with her vision! Wish a simple black on white label was attached to clearly show this like the SD card has. --- Overall, a solid buy for this price range, and a reliable, top three contender to pick from for anyone's list.


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Canon Puts others to Shame

By Red Ryder from New Hampshire on 09/09/2011


Pros:

Viewfinder, Good Battery Life, Excellent Image Quality, Lightweight/portable, Bright Lcd, Easy To Use, Nice Features/settings, Simple Controls/menu

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I don't understand why the other camera manufacturers even try to keep up with Canon in the pocket camera business. This entry had everything I needed, plus some stuff that seems like fun, but not for me (special effects.) I bought the camera to wear on a belt case, for it's cell phone like size, light weight, and especially the AA battery feature (rechargeable, or lithium for seemingly endless life.) Secondly, the peephole viewfinder is great for people who are used to using one, professional or not. LCD's are not always easy to see in sunlight. I bought one of these for my wife, one for each child, and one for my dad, after seeing how great the results were after just one week of use. Like I said, Canon has the pocket camera business beat, hands down, over all the other makers combined. Thanks, Canon team!


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Awesome P&S Camera

By mac42graphics from Paradise Valley AZ on 09/01/2011


Pros:

Bright Lcd, Good Low-light Performance, Nice Features/settings, Easy To Use, Good Battery Life, Lightweight/portable, Excellent Image Quality, Durable, Simple Controls/menu

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This is my third VIEWFINDER Point & Shoot Canon. Have been extremely pleased with all of them. This one also HAS A viewfinder [I don't know how the manufacturer can sell a camera without a viewfinder). That is a must for me. I love the fact that it uses 2 instead of 4 AA rechargeable batteries. It is so convenient to use while out mountain biking and for everyday pictures. I've advanced from 3 Megpixels with first Canon, to 5 Megapixels to NOW 12 megapixels. I love the instructions on the display screen. Its like having the manual IN the camera. I ordered and will be using a monopod with ball and swivel, because of lack of instant stabilizer. Movies are acceptable, much better than an iPhone. But so far this past week, I LOVE the results I'm getting. I'm definitely a macro person as opposed to zoom digital. The latter is acceptable. Its so nice NOT to have to lug around the S2 IS, BUT I will continue to use it. The A1200 fits my needs perfectly, and I hope it lasts as long as my other PowerShots, all in working order after 7 years.


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Old school/modern features!

By Senatephoto from Washington DC on 08/21/2011


Pros:

Lightweight/portable, Nice Features/settings, Excellent Image Quality, Easy To Use

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Amazing value! I'm a professional photographer and need an optical viewfinder...this is one of the only point and shoot cameras to offer this feature anymore. Add the convenience of AA batteries and HD video and you can't beat the combination. Pictures are clear and sharp thanks partly to Digic 4. Easy to travel with since you don't need to carry a charger. 28mm wide view is great to have. Love the special effects also. All in all a great little camera!


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Solid performer, Great images, Great Price!

By Kzural from Undisclosed on 06/05/2011


Pros:

Easy To Use, Aa Batteries, Durable, Excellent Image Quality, Optical Viewfinder, Lightweight/portable, Good Battery Life, Nice Features/settings

Cons:

No Distortion Correction In Camera Or Software

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

The A1200 is a good camera at a great price. It has an optical viewfinder, I will not get another camera with out this feature. Daylight shooting overwhelms most LCD screens but I get accurate framing using that viewfinder. The viewfinder is small, has no information, but it zooms with the lens. I use it exclusively on this camera and love using it. Using the viewfinder almost triples the battery life. . This is a small camera, it fits nicely into a shirt pocket or under a motorcycle seat without a problem. With a camera this small there is no excuse for me not to have a camera with me for those unplanned moments. . The lens is very sharp but it will need correction for distortion at the wide end if you are critical. The G12 and S95 do this in camera but you pay 3-4 times more for them. The F2.8-5.9 range is fine on this camera. Auto ISO works well. . A great feature I was surprised to find on this camera was I-Contrast. I-contrast worked well in difficult sun and shadow lighting, reducing blown highlights and dark shadows. . Controls worked as expected and easy to use.No surprise there, Canon makes the best point and shoot cameras. . The images have good saturation and contrast right out of the box. When I set the camera to vivid, it over-saturated the images to the point of being almost cartoonish. Noise was only an issue at ultrahigh ISO settings. I did a series of night shots and they look great ( turn off I-contrast first). . As with all Canons I have tried, outdoors needs the Ev corrected. On the A1200 I found -2/3 ev comp gives me my best results. Auto white balance works better than on their DSLR cameras. . If you need a small camera that can handle most photography without breaking the bank, the A1200 may be what you are looking for.


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Viewfinder

By Empathy from Undisclosed on 05/06/2011


Pros:

Good Battery Life, Easy To Use, Nice Features/settings

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I bought this camera because I want a compact camera with viewfinder . I also like the 2 second self timer . Since using these 2 features, I hardly have any photo that are blurry . Most of the photos are sharp . I hope in the future Canon could produce compact cameras with viewfinder . Thank You. .


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