Canon PowerShot SX500 IS overview: Small, mild finances digital camera with massive zoom


For individuals who like lots of zoom in a really compact, light-weight digital camera, that is the SX500 IS. It additionally has semimanual and handbook controls, that are a little bit of a rarity in lower-end megazooms, however Canon contains them in all of its PowerShot SX-series fashions.

Sadly, within the SX500 IS Canon used a 16-megapixel CCD sensor and an outdated Digic 4 picture processor as a substitute of one in every of its higher HS CMOS sensors and a more moderen, extra highly effective Digic 5 processor. Sure, that retains the worth down, however it ends in a digital camera with zoom lens however slower efficiency, fewer capturing choices, and the necessity to shoot with lots of mild or lengthy exposures to get the most effective outcomes.

So, yeah, it isn’t good, however for its road worth of round $250, it is nonetheless not a nasty technique to lay palms on lots of zoom energy.

Image high quality
As is the case with many point-and-shoots, how happy you’re with the SX500 IS’ picture high quality goes to rely in your wants and expectations. When you’re anticipating stellar digital SLR-quality photos, you will be disillusioned. The identical goes for nice low-light images. What the SX500 is sweet for is out of doors photographs in good lighting for small prints (8×10 or smaller) or viewing onscreen at 50 % or smaller.

Noise and artifacts are seen even at ISO 100 when pixel peeping, so if the standard at full measurement is one thing that issues to you, this digital camera will in all probability disappoint. Alternatively, as much as ISO 200 you get adequate element you could nonetheless do some enlarging and cropping.

Up at ISO 400 is the place the noise begins to be extra seen and can lead to some noticeable yellow blotching. Going above that you’re going to begin to see extra coloration noise, artifacts, and lack of element, which simply ends in topics that seem comfortable and desaturated. The digital camera positively favors dropping shutter velocity over elevating ISO when left in auto. That is good typically, however should you’re not paying consideration it may lead to blurry images.

Shade efficiency is mostly superb as much as ISO 400. If the majority of your photographs will likely be taken outdoor in good lighting, you have to be fairly happy with the outcomes. Publicity is mostly superb, too, as is white stability. As with lots of compact cameras, clipped highlights are widespread.

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The 720p video high quality is sweet and higher than I’ve seen from some entry-level “full HD” camcorders I’ve examined. However as with its images, you will see extra noise the much less mild you could have. Additionally, you could discover some vertical smear when capturing vibrant mild sources, such because the purple streak on the left aspect of the display seize above. That is widespread with client CCD sensors.

The lens does zoom whereas recording and when it is zooming in you’ll hear some slight motor sound picked up by the stereo mics on prime in very quiet scenes. Total, although, for capturing the occasional clip for Net sharing, it does a high-quality job.

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Taking pictures efficiency
Editors’ notice: We not too long ago up to date our testing methodology to offer barely extra real-world efficiency data, so the outcomes aren’t essentially comparable with earlier testing. Till we’re completed refining our procedures, we is not going to be posting comparative efficiency charts.

The SX500 IS is among the first cameras to function a much-needed new autofocus (AF) system for PowerShot fashions. Canon says algorithm enhancements, lighter lens components, a stronger lens motor, and reductions in processing and AF scan instances all lead to sooner focusing and fewer shutter lag. Being sooner does not essentially imply it is quick, although.

In our lab checks, from off to first seize took on common 2.3 seconds, whereas shot-to-shot instances averaged 2.5 seconds. Turning on the flash slowed that right down to 4.4 seconds. Shutter lag — the time from urgent the shutter launch to seize with out prefocusing — took 0.3 second in vibrant lighting; in low mild it was longer at 0.7 second. Zooming in extends that wait to about 1 second.

The digital camera does have two steady capturing modes, one with autofocus and one with out, the place it units publicity and focus with the primary shot. The previous is able to as much as 0.6 body per second, whereas the latter can stand up to 0.8fps. Principally, should you’re good at anticipating motion and might study to stay inside these limitations, you may get photographs of children, pets, and sports activities. On the entire, although, I would not advocate it for repeatedly capturing fast-moving topics, particularly indoors.

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Design and options
Contemplating its 30x, f3.4-5.8, 24-720mm lens, the digital camera is remarkably compact. A minimum of a part of the rationale for that’s the lack of an digital viewfinder (EVF). This can be a deal breaker for some individuals, although with its giant 3-inch LCD that will get vibrant sufficient to see in daylight it is just a little simpler to forgive.

The physique may be compact, however there’s nonetheless room for big, easy-to-press buttons. You get a one-touch film document button along with show, menu, and publicity compensation buttons above and under the navigational scroll wheel. The wheel surrounds a Func./Set button and has prime, backside, left, and proper stress factors for ISO sensitivity, focus (handbook, regular, and macro), flash, and timer. The wheel is responsive with tactile stops to it, so you’ll not simply overshoot what you are making an attempt to pick. Its operation is total straightforward to choose up, however even seasoned Canon customers will wish to look at the total handbook included on the software program disc bundled with the digital camera.