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Canon IXUS 500 HS Digital Compact Camera Review

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Category: Compact Cameras
Product: Canon IXUS 500 HS
Price: £122.00
Rating: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Canon IXUS 500 HS Digital Camera Review - The Canon IXUS 500 HS is a very compact camera with a massive 12x optical zoom lens, Daniel Bell reviews.

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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Canon IXUS 500 HS

The Canon IXUS 500 HS was released in January 2012, it has a 12x optical zoom lens packed into its incredibly tiny body. There is also a 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and full 1080p HD video recording. The IXUS 500 HS is available in red, black, blue and silver, priced at £309.00.

Canon IXUS 500 HS

Canon IXUS 500 HS Features

The IXUS 500 HS measures just 87.1 x 53.9 x 19.2mm, weighs just 155g but packs a 12x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 28 - 336mm and can be extended to 21x with ZoomPlus. This means you can shoot both close-up and distant objects and then keep the camera in your pocket.

The camera has a 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and the HS system is designed to excel in low light. To help take blur free photos there is Intelligent Image Stabilisation, which adjusts the optical image stabilisation to the scene from 7 modes.

In order to make picture taking as easy as possible there is Smart Auto mode which automatically selects the cameras settings from 50 different variables. With Face ID you can also register 12 faces from your friends and family. The IXUS 500 HS can capture fast-paced action with High-speed Burst or  Handheld Night Scene can be used to combine a sequence of high-speed shots into one to capture nightscapes without a tripod.

Videos are recorded at full 1080p HD at 24fps with stereo sound and optical zoom, with Intelligent IS helping keep footage steady. It is also possible to shoot videos at high-speed with Super Slow Motion Movie mode. Movie Digest mode can be selected to record up to 4 seconds before each picture is taken, which is then combined to create a 720p HD movie. To view your videos, the camera can be connected via HDMI to a HD TV.

Canon IXUS 500 HS

Key Features

  • 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 12x optical zoom (35mm equiv: 28 - 336mm)
  • HS System and DIGIC 5
  • Intelligent Image Stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch PureColor II G LCD screen
  • Full 1080p HD movie recording
  • Smart Auto (58 scenes)
  • Face ID
  • High-speed shooting
  • Movie Digest (720p)
  • Optional 3m waterproof case
Canon IXUS 500 HS

Canon IXUS 500 HS Handling

There are two striking characteristics to notice when you first pick up the IXUS 500 HS, both its small body and very rectangular design, which does make it easy to grip. All of the buttons are extremely tiny with the ones on the rear of the camera being placed close together, if you have large fingers you may struggle with them.

The four buttons for exposure compensation, macro, flash and disp all double up as a d-pad. The other buttons on the rear are function set, menu and movie recording. The playback button, which works even when the camera is off, is found on the top of the camera with the shutter release, on/off switch, shutter, zoom-rocker and mode select.

The camera has a clear and easy to navigate menu system, with the function set button taking you to all the shooting settings available, further options can be amended by pressing the menu button. The small buttons have allowed for a 3 inch 460k dot LCD screen, with a tempered glass outer layer and is easy to view in all lighting conditions and all angles. It may have been better if Canon had used a touch-screen rather than small buttons. There is an optional waterproof case available which allows shooting down to depths of 3m.

The battery is a similar size to an AA battery and has a CIPA rating of 190 shots, this is quite a low number and it would be ideal to carry a spare. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot to shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.

Shutter Response   0.2 seconds
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.35 seconds
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.4 seconds
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.75 seconds
Shot to Shot (without flash)   1.4 seconds
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.8 seconds
Continuous shooting   2.4 fps
High-speed Burst (2.5 megapixels)   5.9 fps

Continuous shooting takes full-sized images at 2.4 fps, with High-speed burst limited to 2.5 megapixels.

Canon IXUS 500 HS

Canon IXUS 500 HS Performance

The images produced by the IXUS 500 HS have excellent colour reproduction and are well exposed. Detail is OK throughout the images whether shooting wide or with the full optical zoom, with some purple fringing evident on occasion. The lens has a minimum focus distance of just 1cm in macro mode and this allows for impressive close-up images.

Canon IXUS 500 HS Lens test images

Wide-angle | 1/400 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100

Wide-angle | 1/400 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Full optical zoom | 1/125 sec | f/5.6 | 48.0 mm | ISO 100

Full optical zoom | 1/125 sec | f/5.6 | 48.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Digital zoom | 1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 48.0 mm | ISO 100

Digital zoom | 1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 48.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Macro | 1/8 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100

Macro | 1/8 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


There isn't any noise at ISO 100 and when you go through ISO 200 and ISO 400 there is only a very small increase in noise levels with sharp images produced. At ISO 800 there is enough noise to cause the images to lose a touch of sharpness. Noise then becomes significant to enough to effect image quality at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200, but noise doesn't effect the quality of the colours in the images, making these higher ISO settings usable for images which are to be resized for use on the web.

Canon IXUS 500 HS ISO test images

ISO 100 | 1/8 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm

ISO 100 | 1/8 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm
High-Res

ISO 200 | 1/15 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm

ISO 200 | 1/15 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm
High-Res

ISO 400 | 1/30 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm

ISO 400 | 1/30 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm
High-Res

ISO 800 | 1/60 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm

ISO 800 | 1/60 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm
High-Res

ISO 1600 | 1/125 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm

ISO 1600 | 1/125 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm
High-Res

ISO 3200 | 1/250 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm

ISO 3200 | 1/250 sec | f/5.0 | 12.8 mm
High-Res


Landscape mode does an excellent job of creating images with great blues and greens. Portrait mode takes images with pleasant skin tones, but there is some red-eye evident. Further portrait modes include Smooth Skin and Smart Shutter, which uses face detection to take pictures automatically. High-speed burst has been used to capture the water droplets flowing from the fountain.

Canon IXUS 500 HS Scene modes

Landscape | 1/800 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100

Landscape | 1/800 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Landscape with building | 1/1250 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100

Landscape with building | 1/1250 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 11.1 mm | ISO 320

Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 11.1 mm | ISO 320
High-Res

High-speed burst | 1/1000 sec | f/4.5 | 10.3 mm | ISO 500

High-speed burst | 1/1000 sec | f/4.5 | 10.3 mm | ISO 500
High-Res

Low-light scene | 1/60 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 800

Low-light scene | 1/60 sec | f/3.4 | 4.0 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Miniature | 1/250 sec | f/4.5 | 11.3 mm | ISO 100

Miniature | 1/250 sec | f/4.5 | 11.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


The following pictures have been taken using some of the creative modes available. Other modes include miniature, underwater and stitch assist. Further example images can be seen in the ePHOTOzine Equipment Database.

Canon IXUS 500 HS Sample Photos

Colour accent | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800

Colour accent | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Colour swap | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800

Colour swap | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Fish eye | 1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 1600

Fish eye | 1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res

Monochrome | 1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 1600

Monochrome | 1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 1600
High-Res

Poster effect | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800

Poster effect | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Soft focus | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800

Soft focus | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Super vivid | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800

Super vivid | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800
High-Res

Toy camera | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800

Toy camera | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 800
High-Res


The auto white-balance copes perfectly well in most lighting conditions. Under our incandescent studio lights the AWB setting gave an orange cast to the image, with the incandescent preset giving a better looking image. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB performs well, with the fluorescent preset giving a very slight cast in the image.

Canon IXUS 500 HS White-balance test images

AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/15 sec | f/4.0 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/15 sec | f/4.0 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.6 sec | f/4.0 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.6 sec | f/4.0 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.6 sec | f/4.0 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.6 sec | f/4.0 | 6.3 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


My colours allows you to adjust colours to your preference, with examples of each below.

Canon IXUS 500 HS Digital filters

My colours - off | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100

My colours - off | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My colours - vivid | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100

My colours - vivid | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My colours - neutral | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100

My colours - neutral | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My colours - sepia | 0.3 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100

My colours - sepia | 0.3 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My colours - black and white | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100

My colours - black and white | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My colours - positive film | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100

My colours - positive film | 0.4 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My colours - vivid blue | 0.3 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100

My colours - vivid blue | 0.3 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My colours - vivid green | 0.3 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100

My colours - vivid green | 0.3 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

My colours - vivid red | 0.3 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100

My colours - vivid red | 0.3 sec | f/5.0 | 13.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


Video Mode

The following video has been shot at full 1080p HD. Examples using the optical zoom and Super Slow Motion mode can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.



Value For Money

The Canon IXUS 500 HS is currently available for £309.00. Other compacts with a similar zoom range and megapixels are the Canon IXUS 1000 HS (10x zoom at £249.00), Canon IXUS 510 HS (12x zoom at £349.00 and Ricoh CX6 (10.7x zoom at £259.00). There are many cameras available with similar zoom and more megapixels, such as the Canon Powershot SX150 at £164.00, Olympus SH-21 at £184.00, Nikon Coolpix S8200 at £199.95 and Canon IXUS 1100 HS at £304.00.

Canon IXUS 500 HS Verdict

The Canon IXUS 500 HS is ideal for those who want an extremely small camera but want more zoom than you typically find on such cameras. The downside to the tiny body are the small buttons and fairly low battery life. There is also full 1080p HD video recording. The IXUS 500 HS takes images with excellent colour reproduction and detail is OK, meaning it will appeal to those who like to share images on the web rather than produce large prints.

 

The Canon IXUS 500 HS packs a lot of zoom into a very small body and takes colourful images.

Canon IXUS 500 HS Pros

Very compact camera
12x optical zoom
Full 1080p HD video recording
Excellent colour reproduction
Good range of creative modes and colour filters

Canon IXUS 500 HS Cons

Buttons are very small
Quite expensive compared to other cameras with similar spec
Low battery life

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL

Canon IXUS 500 HS Specifications

ManufacturerCanon
Lens
Max Aperture f/3.4 - f/5.6
35mm equivalent 28mm - 336mm
Optical Zoom 12x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels 10.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 3648
Pixels (H) 2736
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size 1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width) 6.16mm
Sensor Size (height) 4.62mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 461,000 dots
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Min Focus 1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest 15sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp +/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 2.8fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS 30
Stereo Sound No
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation Yes
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi No
Storage
Card Type
  • Micro SD
  • Micro SDHC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-9L
CIPA Rating 190
Box Contents
Box Contents Battery pack NB-9L, Battery Charger CB-2LBE, Interface Cable, Wrist Strap, Getting Started Guide, Manual Disk, Solution Disk and Warranty System Booklet
Dimensions
Weight 155g
Width 87.1mm
Height 53.9mm
Depth 19.2mm

View Full Product Details




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