Canon PowerShot ELPH 500 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera – Product Description:
With the Canon 5128B001 PowerShot ELPH 500 HS Silver 12MP Digital Camera with 4.4x Zoom and 3.2 In. LCD Display you will experience an even more intuitive touch panel technology. Do almost everything right on the LCD, like choosing an AF point, set exposure settings and record videos, all with the touch of one finger. The PowerShot ELPH 500 HS brings the art of photography at your command. It is packed with great Canon essentials like an f/2.0 lens, the HS SYSTEM, 1080p Full HD video and 24mm Wide-Angle Lens so every moment is captured in pure Canon brilliance.
|Product Features :
Canon PowerShot ELPH 500 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera – Review:
EXCELLENT ADVANCED POINT AND SHOOT!
Please note that for a point and shoot, this camera deserves a 5-star review. But in fairness to certain small details, and Amazon’s inability to allow users to give partial stars (e.g. 4.75 stars), I will have to settle for 4-stars.
Cosmetic PROS: Unlike some of the SD and Elph cameras in the past, this one feels solid. Canon even improved, to some extent, the flimsy-feeling battery door. It is a HUGE improvement over the previous flimsy plastic doors on earlier models. The large 3″x1″ screen is sharp and beautiful and gives an accurate depiction of what your camera will capture. Switching between full program mode and full automatic is a simple slide button on the top of the camera allowing an advanced user and a novice to both have their options easily. This also prevents any accidental mode changes that can happen with setting-wheels or external buttons.
Cosmetic CONS: The lens cover seems a touch too loose, at least on my specific camera. It rattles and moves slightly when handling the camera after the power is off and the cover is closed. Not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination, but you might notice this rattle too. The card slot, at least on my specific camera, is strangely snug. When I slide the card into place, there is some friction that made me question whether I was forcing it into the slot in the wrong direction. I pushed the card in until it clicked into place, but then it did not rebound like normal (like when clicking the top of a retracting ball-point pen.) Again, it may just be my specific camera. (Edit: I forgot to mention that while the battery door is now more durable, the A/V door feels very flimsy. It doesn’t swing out like a door. Rather, like the cap on a tupperware drinking bottle lid, the door detaches from the camera but remains linked to it via a moderately flexible piece of plastic. And because the door snaps firmly in place when closed, you really need fingernails to get any sort of leverage to open it. For what its worth, if I had to choose only one, I still much prefer the more durable battery door than a durable A/V door.)(Edit: Also, while I love the huge screen, please note that if you wear polarized sunglasses, you may have issues shooting on a sunny day with the screen appearing to disappear. This is more of a problem of the polarized lenses than the camera, but its worth noting.)
Touch screen: Personally, I prefer standard buttons. However, this touch screen is fine. It is big enough that my fingers are able to select menu items easily. For those of you coming from touch screen cell phones, you may find this screen less sensitive than your phone, thus requiring you to apply more finger pressure than you are used to. This isn’t a flaw in my mind, but I can see where others may think the screen is being non-responsive. The lanyard comes with a tightening slide. And this slide also has a fine point on it to help you make selections on the touch screen if you are having problems–similar to the stylus of the old palm pilots. Hard to use if your hand is in the lanyard, but hey, its a start!
Features: My main reasons for purchasing this camera was to get aperture priority, shutter priority, and a macro setting as options. Unlike the Canon’s S95 with an external ring control, the aperture settings on the 500HS are buried in the touch screen menus. That is fine for my uses and will be fairly intuitive to previous Canon users. The f2.0 aperture setting DELIVERS! For those wanting shallow depth of fields on their point and shoot…wow! I loved this! I haven’t had any problems (yet) with the camera focusing on the wrong subject even in macro setting. And because this comes with Focus Lock, you will probably be able to work around that problem if it ever arises. Strangely, but not a deal breaker, the camera doesn’t seem to have a BULB setting for shutter speed and maxes out at 15″. I don’t use that setting and speeds enough to warrant complaint, and maybe there are slower shutter speeds and I just missed them, but I figured I would share that tidbit with others who may be needing those speeds. It is just odd considering my old-old Canon SD630 had bulb setting and I think 2 minutes (but its been so long, I may be mistaken.)(edit: Just realized that this camera doesn’t have exposure bracketing (where it takes three automatic shots with different exposures.) It still has exposure adjustment allowing you to +/- exposure stops, but I am a little surprised to not find this previously included feature. There is something called Best Image where the camera takes 5 continuous shots but automatically keeps only the best shot, but this seems to be geared toward facial expressions/blinks/etc. and not exposures. The lack of bracketing is only a minor drawback for me–heck, its taken me a couple of weeks to realize its not present–but its worth mentioning.)
Video: Because I didn’t buy this for video, I cannot well judge its abilities. I will only say that the few test videos I took were sharp, with decent sound. However, the volume of the voice of the person holding the camera will be noticeably less. Whether thats a good thing or bad is up to you. Note too that the video is recorded in stereo sound. But I can’t gauge its quality. (edit: Having tested the video out more, the sound from the person recording the video (i.e. behind the camera) is actually much better than I originally thought. Apparently, I had the volume turned down too low. But once I adjusted the setting, the sound was rather clear and crisp. I was very impressed.)
Review pics: Everything on this camera is on the touch screen EXCEPT for the review button. The lone, solitary button on the rear of the camera is dedicated to allowing you review your shots in one touch. After hitting the review button, you can either slide your finger across the screen, tap an arrow on the side of the screen, or even BUMP the side of the camera with your finger to see the next shot! There is also a motion detector or internal accelerometer of some sort that allows you to quickly scan through your review pics by tilting the camera slightly on its side. Those last two features are very reminiscent of smartphone technology and makes the camera feel that much more advanced than others. (edit: After more use, I *really* need to emphasize that I like the bump feature! It makes reviewing a bunch of pics really very easy!)
Compared to S95, the 500HS is in the lead in my opinion. The S95 was supposed to be the intermediate step between point and shoot cameras and DSLRs, giving some advanced features without the expense of the DSLRs. The 500 HS is $100-$150 cheaper, more compact, and has a ton of settings and features–yes, it does have miniature model shooting mode and 1080p HD video. I think this camera is the new intermediate step to the DSLR. To give you more perspective, my other option to fit my needs would be either a DSLR Rebel or D50 or D60…$500 at absolute minimum for the body, plus another $299 for a macro lens. In other words, $800 minimum to get me the features I needed. Compare that to the 500 HS at $299! BARGAIN!
Now, I haven’t had time, yet, to see if the image stabilization and low light settings are better than in cameras past–especially since I normally have “IS” turned off. So if those features are important to you, maybe visit a camera store and see the camera in person. But since the release of this camera was supposed to be March (if I am not mistaken) and since the earthquake hit Japan in March, you may have a heck of a time finding this camera in stock anywhere. I know there are a few pink colored models for sale. And I completely lucked out with finding this silver model, but keep trying! It seems that a few more stores that I frequented started getting these cameras trickling in over the past 10 days. But they seemed to be getting only 2 or 3 cameras at a time.