In reality, 12.1 MP is excellent resolution for just about any usage, unless one is going to blow a picture up the size of a building wall. For the most part, most high-definition TV's run at a native resolution of 1080 p, while the Canon does 720 p. It turns out that 720 p is also a high-definition camera mode that shows quite nicely on a high-definition receiver.
The key to the A1200, aside from its very reasonable cost as an entry level camera or as a last-minute pickup before a trip because you want to leave your good cameras home, is that it is one of a very few cameras that still offers two ways of viewing an image. You can use the rear 2.7-inch high-resolution LCD framing display or you can use a real viewfinder.
Truthfully, one will find the viewfinder is probably the best way to go in most situations since you just slap the camera up to your eye and depress the set button so that the camera is ready to go with the proper speed and metering choices and once you've framed your shot in the viewfinder you finish the click.
It's a very nice way of handling things and one that appears in fewer and fewer digital cameras, unless you are using a digital single lens reflex (dSLR). Today, most cameras force you to use the large LCD's at the rear of the camera to frame your photo and this can cause all kinds of problems if the lighting is poor or contrary on the LCD surface as you try to set things up.
Further, it means that you are building in camera wag and shake if you use the 4X exposure to handle long lens style shooting.
The good thing about the A1200 is that most of the thinking is done for you as it offers up to 32 predefined situations that include: Smart Auto mode where the camera does the thinking for you and all you do is worry about the shot; Live view control that enables you to reset or set color combinations; Fisheye mode that introduces a rounded effect, even though the 28 mm lens doesn't offer a real fisheye.
Although the Powershot is only a 12.1 MP camera, there is still enough overhead for effective photo editing and cropping as most desktops don't use the high definition modes of 20 or 30 MP very effectively. The limit on high-definition video or imagery is still a maximum of 1080 p and most cameras settle for 720 p, which the Canon offers.
The PowerShot is an effective low-end point-and-shoot which some nice features such as the ability to use AA batteries and a separate viewfinder, as well as a very nice small size. It's a very effective camera.