Canon IXUS 500 HS

8/6/2012 5:17:03 PM

A simple, strong and stylish compact camera that is great for easy picture taking

The first thing you notice about the IXUS 500 is its look. It is very different from the run of compacts with their curvy designs, striving to be thinner all the time. The IXUS 500, however, has an almost completely square shape with sharp edges and a boxy design. Having said this, the all- metal body has a striking look and feel, making it really stand out from the crowd.

Description: Canon IXUS 500 HS

The price tag and design of the IXUS 500 would hint at it being a more high- end compact, coming with an array to different functions. However, it is an extremely simple camera, coming with only two shooting options and a minimal approach to taking pictures. Depending on what you want your camera for, this can be a very good thing. It allows you to let the camera do all the work while you simply focus on capturing what is in front of you.

The IXUS 500 comes with a fully- automatic Shooting mode or a partly- automatic Program mode. This allows you to adjust the exposure of the scene, as well as select different flash and focus settings. However, do not let this lack of control fool you in to thinking this camera will not they able to handle most shooting situations. The Smart Auto setting has 58 variable scenes to choose from, and program mode comes with 24 different options to ensure you get the ideal shot.

Using the IXUS 500 is very simple, but some of the design features can take some getting used to. However, using the top- mounted playback button, and the simple switch to change between settings quickly become second nature, while pressing the nicely laid out controls on the rear make this camera a joy to use.

The picture quality from the IXUS 500 is excellent. Low- light shooting is even fairly good with the Handheld NightScene setting. Only at the longer end of the zoom we start to see problems, but the built- in image Stabilizer works well to give you some usable shots.

Description: Canon IXUS 500 HS

Hands  on …

The simple control layout on the IXUS 500 HS allows you to operate the camera very easily, from jumping into video, to zooming in on your subject, all while keeping the clean and simple design.

The body is constructed from metal, giving it a clean look and a strong construction.

Built- in image stabilisation allows you to shoot in dearler couditions.

Round the back you will find a bright three- inch high resolution LCD screen to view your photographs

Description: The 12x optical zoom lens gives you the reach to photograph most subjects

The 12x optical zoom lens gives you the reach to photograph most subjects

How good is it for


Face detection and subject tracking make it great for simple portraits


Using the right scene mode gives great results for landscape shots


You can capture all the action with Burst mode and Super Slow Motion Movie

Low light

Handheld Night Scene mode and Canon’s HS system are great for low light


Focusing as close as 1 cm from your subjects gives impressive macro shots.

What is good about it

The bold design and strong build mean you can take this camera anywhere

The simplicity of the shooting options leave you free to focus on your subject

What could be better

The lack of manual control could be an issue for the more advanced user

The price is quite high considering the features that are available

We answer your questions

I want a simple, good- quality camera- is the IXUS 500 a good choice?

The IXUS 500 comes with some impressive features, but most of them such as image Stabilization are working behind the scenes. There are also 58 detectable scene the best possible settings for each shot you take.

The info

Price: $300

Megapixels / 10.1 MP

Enough resolution for  large prints without using too much memory

Zoom / 12x optical, 4x digital

A powerful  amount of zoom for such a small compact

Shutter speeds / 15- 1/ 4000 sec

Using the right scene mode allows for great low- light shots

ISO sensitivity / 100- 3200

Higher ISOs can be a problem, but this compact handles them well

Exp. Modes / 24 scene modes, plus Smart Auto, Program

Great for beginners who do not want to play with advanced settings

Aperture: f3.4- 5.6

Flash modes: Auto, Fon, SS, FOff

Weight: 155g with battery

Dimensions: 87 x 54 x19 mm

Batteries: Lithium- ion

Storage: micro SD, micro SDHC, micro SDXC

Screen: 3 inches



Features: 3/5

Design and handling: 5/5

Build quality: 5/5

Image quality: 4/5

Value for money: 3/5

The Canon IXUS 500 is a strong and stylish camera that is easy to use and produces excellent- quality shots. Great for beginners, but might not appeal to advanced users : 4/5

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