Expert Review of Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Point & Shoot
Canon has the monopoly right of the largest number of camera produced and highest sales records, to keep the momentum drag in the right direction, Canon introduced it SUPERZOOM camera, which canon claims to be world’s smallest 30x zoom camera, with a range that extends from 24-720mm with Intelligent image stabilisation to iron-out the wobbles. The sensor is a 16 Megapixel CCD paired up with the Digic 4 processor to provide features like scene detection and Face detect AF. Canon SX500 IS’s rear is covered by a 3in fixed LCD screen with 461k pixel resolution and a pop-up flash, along with full PASM exposure modes in addition to Smart Auto, a range of scene modes and Creative filters which can be used for both stills and movies. Canon PowerShot SX500 IS can also shoot HD movie footage at resolutions up to 1280 x 720 at 25 frames per second encoding files using either the H.264 codec or the more edit-friendly Apple iFrame format. In many cases, the most exciting thing about Canon PowerShot SX500 IS is the size that it offers. Compare it with arch rivals like Panasonic Lumix FZ200 and FZ60 / FZ62, Sony HX200V and Canon's own PowerShot SX40 HS, Canon PowerShot SX500 IS looks and feels tiny. In three words, the camera is a “pretty little thing”, those are not typically the words I use to express a camera but, once you have the camera in your hand, I am pretty sure this word will pop up in your head too. In all Canon PowerShot SX500 HS is a very efficient camera and a value for money buy, the price tag put up for it, is almost justified. This camera is really all about size, so let's start out with the dimensions and make some comparisons.
Design and Build Quality
Canon PowerShot SX500 IS measures 104mm x 70mm x 80mm and weighs 341g including card and battery. That compares with 111 mm x 76 mm x 83 mm and 430g for the similarly-sized, but significantly heavier Nikon COOLPIX L810. Here are some more figures which help to put those dimensions in context. Canon's 35x super-zoom, Canon PowerShot SX40 HS is 123 x 92 x 108 and weighs 600g and Sony's Cyber-shot HX200V is 122 mm x 87 mm x 93 mm and weighs 583g. Canon PowerShot SX500 IS body styling is similar to the SLR shape of the larger super-zooms with an extended handgrip on the right side of the body and an extended lens housing. Despite its diminutive size it's surprisingly comfortable in your hand and the controls don't feel small or cramped. The shutter release sits on the top of the handgrip at the front edge with a zoom collar surround and behind that is the mode dial which can be thumb-operated via the knurled edge which is exposed in a cut-away above the thumb rest on the rear. The only other button on the top of the camera is the on/off button.
Focus and Face Detection
Camera is capable of manual focus with the focal length measuring 4.3 mm wide to 129 mm tele with 35 mm equivalent to 24 mm to 720mm. Canon PowerShot SX500 IS runs on TTL autofocus with Primary (RGB) Color Filter.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Breakthrough feature of Canon PowerShot SX500 IS is its optically stabilised 30x zoom lens. Canon claims the SX500 IS is the 'World's smallest 30x optical zoom camera' and it's a claim that, currently at least, would appear wholly justified. Nikon COOLPIX 810 is bigger and heavier with a shorter 26X zoom. The Olympus SP-820UZ with its huge 40x zoom is also bigger and a lot heavier. Compact super-zooms offer a more pocketable alternative, but at the expense of zoom range. Models like the Panasonic Lumix ZS20 / TZ30, Sony Cyber-shot HX20V and Canon's PowerShot SX240 HS all offer 20x zooms. So Canon really has hit a sweet spot with the PowerShot SX500 IS offering an unprecedented zoom range in a model this small and light. it's not just the 30x range of the SX500 IS that's impressive. The range starts at a super-wide angle 24mm so it's good for panoramic landscapes and interiors as well as for getting close in to distant subjects. The maximum aperture is f3.4-5.8, not especially bright, but comparable with the f3.1-5.9 lens of the COOLPIX L810.
Screen and Menus
Rear of the camera is obviously covered by 3 inch LCD screen, which is fixed with a image pixel resolution of 461000 pixel ratio. By default the image display ratio is 4:3, but the aspect ratio of 16:9 and 3:2 options are also available for ease while watching on a Laptop or a TV. In general use Canon PowerShot SX500's screen displays a bright punchy image with a fair amount of detail. Like most screens it's difficult to use in bright sunny conditions and though the brightness is adjustable this doesn't really help much.
The bottom of Canon PowerShot SX500 IS displays card/battery compartment. Canon PowerShot SX500 IS is powered by slim NB-6L Lithium Ion battery which is good for 195 shots under CIPA standard conditions, not outstanding, frankly, for the price tag put up for this camera, this feature is utter disappointment. But then this is the price you pay for compactness.
Canon PowerShot SX500 IS has the capability to record movies at 1280 x 720 HD resolution at 25 frames per second or at 640 x 480 resolution at 30fps. Movies are encoded with the H.264 codec with an average bitrate of approximately 20Mbps. There's also the option to encode movie footage in the more edit-friendly Apple iFrame format.
The sensor is a 16 Megapixel CCD paired up with the Digic 4 processor to provide features like scene detection and Face detect AF. The exact measurement of the sensor that powers Canon PowerShot SX500 IS is 1/2.3 inch.
* 30x stabilized optical zoom.
* Compact lightweight body.
* Frame assist helps locate subjects at long focal lengths.
* Versatile Creative filters.
* Slow burst shooting – just 1.1fps at full res.
* No HD movies or zooming when filming.
* Noise better than G10, but beaten by M4/3.
* Older G10 delivers more detail at 80 ISO.