Expert Review of Canon IXUS 500 HS Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
Canon does not fail to impress yet again with another variant in its elegant range of point and shoot cameras, the IXUS series from Canon known for its striking view welcomes Canon IXUS 500 HS, a compact camera with features such as 10.1 MP image quality, 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor and a whooping 12 x optical zoom, the device also covers focal range of 28 – 336mm with maximum aperture range ranging from f/3.4 to f/5.6 in magnitude, The aforesaid 10.1MP CMOS sensor is illuminated from the back and thus guarantees significant betterment in performance in low-light conditions. Alongside the back illumination technology is Canon’s forte HS technology and DIGIC 5 processor, both of which are tasked with further improving performance in low-light the full extent of the camera’s 100-3200 ISO range can be utilised without any problems. Keeping in mind the variety of screen modes provided by the camera, the IXUS 500 HS tempts with a joyous offer of a shooting rate of 3fps. If you’re willing to accept a reduction in resolution down to just 2.5MP, a rate of nearly 7fps is achievable, with both continuous shooting modes will continue up until the memory card is at capacity. Canon IXUS 500 HS offers video capture at a variety of resolutions and frame rates. The headline and most resolute is Full HD of 1920 x 1080 resolution and at a frame rate of 24fps, with movies recorded in MOV format. The 500 HS also features a Super Slow Motion Movie mode which offers video capture at an impressive frame rate of 120fps, albeit at a much reduced resolution of just 640 x 480 pixels. Another impressive element of the camera’s specification what rules the back of the camera, the display. A big 3 inch LCD displays with TFT capacitive touch with a really high resolution of 461k dots.
Design and Build Quality
Canon IXUS 500 HS varies in miles from the other IXUS products as it deviates from the common trend of “choc ice” style of IXUS models and goes back to the box shape of the previous generation. The metal body measures 87.1mm x 53.9m x 19.2mm making it the smallest, slimmest IXUS model, though at 155 grams it's not the lightest. All the same it is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and is also a comfortable fit for your jeans pocket. Canon IXUS 500 HS is also a very stylish camera. The squared-off edges lend it a distinctive look that the range was in danger of losing. Now let us talk about the build of this camera in detail. With the exception of the shutter release, all of the buttons on Canon IXUS 500 HS are very small. They sit slightly proud of the camera surface but on the rear panel are quite close together so if one has got big digits it could be a problem for the user. On the top panel the on/off button is joined by a dual-position auto/mode switch and the playback button. The rear panel lacks the usual four-way controller, replacing the disc pad with four individual buttons. The Func set button is placed below, rather than in the middle of the four, which takes a bit of getting used to; there's also a menu button as well as a dedicated movie record button.
Focus and Face Detection
The camera flaunts a 35 mm equivalent focal range of 28-336mm. A keen photographic mind will notice that Canon IXUS 500 HS doesn’t have the the same 'crop factor' as other compacts with a 1/2.3in sensor. Take for instance the 4.3 wide angle in IXUS 125 HS converts into 35mm equivalent of 24mm and still Canon has a 4mm wide angle which translates into 28mm equivalent. The reason behind this is that actually Canon IXUS 500 HS is fitted with a 16.8 Megapixel sensor, but for imaging purpose only above mentioned 10.1 Megapixel is used.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Canon IXUS 500 HS sports a 12x optical zoom with an equivalent range of 28-336mm. That's a really impressive range in such a compact body. It's not quite as powerful as the 20x zoom of the PowerShot SX240 / SX260, but that's a much bigger and heavier model as are other longer range superzooms. To be honest 12x zoom is just not long enough for stadium sports or wildlife photography but it will definitely closer to the action by a hundred metres. The f3.4 lens isn't particularly bright and closes to f5.6 at the telephoto end of the range, so you also need good light to capture action shots at the faster shutter speeds.
Screen and Menus
Canon IXUS 500 HS is encrypted by a 3 inch TFT color screen with approximate effective 461,000 dot pixels to offers. The default aspect ratio maintained is 4:3. Other features include Brightness adjustment (5 levels) and Quick-bright LCD.
Left bottom corner, that is where the battery rests of Canon IXUS 500 HS. NB-9L Lithium Ion Battery, which weighs almost the same size and weight as an ordinary AA battery. It provides sufficient power to deliver 190 shots which is not the best statistics on the market, but yeah, it is marginally better than Canon IXUS 125 HS which was capable of providing 170 shots.
Canon IXUS 500 HS continues the 1080p24 best quality HD movie mode of previous year’s Canon IXUS lineup and intelligent auto exposure mode with scene detection for movie shooting. In Program Auto mode you can also use exposure compensation for movies - something that wasn't possible on the earlier touch-screen Canon IXUS 1100 HS. Movies are encoded using the efficient H.264 codec and stored as QuickTime .mov files. The maximum HD single clip recording time is 10 minutes or when the file size reaches 4GB and Canon recommends a Speed Class 6 or faster micro SD card. Canon IXUS 500 HS has built-in stereo mics and the ability to use the optical zoom during movie recording is now standard across the IXUS range.
The camera works on 1/2.3 inch image censor which is a CCD variant. To tell more about a CCD sensor it is an analog device. When light strikes the chip it is held as a small electrical charge in each photo sensor. The charges are converted to voltage one pixel at a time as they are read from the chip. Additional circuitry in the camera converts the voltage into digital information. A CCD sensor is very efficient in converting optical image into an electronic signal and basically is the backbone to a camera. When talking about the light falling on the sensor, the light sensitivity or ISO speed on Olympus VG 160 ranges from ISO 100 to 3200, letting the user capture clear images irrespective of the available light.
Broad optical zoom range
Full HD video with stereo sound
Teeny backplate controls
Images lack definition, especially at maximum zoom
Unimpressive battery life