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Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Review

The most incredible thing about the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS is that the company was able to create a lens with a focal length range of 30x to 720mm, connect it to a body, and still keep the depth of the camera to only 4 inches and the weight, including the battery, to only 12 ounces.

The Canon PowerShot SX500 IS a camera that can fit a significant amount of zoom into a relatively small and lightweight body. It also contains semimanual and manual controls, uncommon in lower-end mega zooms but included in all Canon’s PowerShot SX-series models. These settings may be found in the menu system of the camera.

Unfortuitously, Canon equipped the SX500 IS with a 16-megapixel CCD sensor and a Digic 4 image processor rather than one of their superior HS CMOS sensors and a more recent, more potent Digic 5 processor. This decision was made to save money. The result is a camera with a good zoom lens but slower performance, fewer shooting options, and the requirement to shoot with a lot of light or prolonged exposures to get the best results. While this decreases the price, the trade-off is a camera with a good zoom lens but slower performance.

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Image Quality

Your demands and expectations will determine the degree to which you are happy with the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS photo quality, as with many point-and-shoot cameras. If you anticipate the photographs to be of the exceptional quality of a digital SLR camera, you will be disappointed. The same principle applies to taking stunning photos in dim light. The SX500 excels in taking pictures outside in well-lit environments, which may then be printed on paper no more significant than eight by 10 inches or viewed digitally at a scale of 50 percent or less.

Even at ISO 100, noise and artifacts are apparent while pixel peeping; therefore, if the quality of the image at full size is essential to you, this camera will probably not meet your expectations. On the other hand, as long as the ISO isn’t higher than 200, you’ll be able to capture images with sufficient detail to enlarge and crop them.

Even at ISO 100, noise and artifacts are apparent while pixel peeping; therefore, if the quality of the image at full size is essential to you, this camera will probably not meet your expectations. On the other hand, as long as the ISO isn’t higher than 200, you’ll be able to capture images with sufficient detail to enlarge and crop them.

The noise becomes more evident at an ISO setting of 400, which can also result in some significant yellow blotching in the image. When you go over that point, you’ll notice additional color noise, artifacts, and loss of clarity, resulting in muted and desaturated objects.

When left in auto mode, the camera will almost always decrease the shutter speed rather than increase the ISO. That is a good thing, but if you aren’t paying attention, it might cause your photographs to come out fuzzy.

Up to an ISO of 400, the color performance is consistently excellent. If you plan to shoot most of your photographs outside, where there is sufficient lighting, you should be satisfied with the result. Additionally, the exposure and the white balance are pretty well done overall. The clipping of highlights is something that frequently occurs with tiny cameras.

I’ve tested a few entry-level “full HD” camcorders, and the 720p video quality is comparable to or even better than what I saw from those camcorders. However, much like with its photographs, the less light there is, the more noise you will observe. Also, while photographing intense light sources, you could see some vertical smears, like the purple streak that can be seen on the left side of the screen grab. This behavior is typical of CCD sensors sold to consumers.

While you are filming, the lens will zoom, and in really controlled circumstances, the stereo microphones on the top of the camera will pick up a very faint sound of a motor while the lens is zooming in. It performs well at collecting odd clips to upload to the web.

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS a Performance

Note from the editors: We have recently revised our testing approach to offer significantly more information on the performance in real-world scenarios; as a result, the findings may not always be compared with those of earlier testing. Therefore, we will not provide comparison performance charts until we have finished honing our processes and are satisfied with them.

It is one of the first cameras to have a much-needed improved autofocus (AF) mechanism for PowerShot models; the SX500 IS is one of those cameras. Canon claims that advances in its algorithms, lighter lens elements, a stronger lens motor, and reductions in processing and AF scan times have all led to faster focusing and reduced shutter lag in its cameras. However, simply because something is faster does not indicate that it is quick.

During the tests we ran in the laboratory, the time it took to turn the camera on to take its first picture was an average of 2.3 seconds, and the time it took to take the next photo was 2.5 seconds. By using the flash, we could reduce that time to 4.4 seconds. When there was a lot of light, the time it took from pushing the shutter release to the camera taking the picture without having to prefocus was 0.3 seconds, but when there was less light, that time increased to 0.7 seconds. When you zoom closer, you must wait roughly a second longer.

The camera features two continuous shooting modes: autofocus and without. In both cases, the camera determines the sequence’s exposure and focus settings for the first photo. While the former can get up to 0.6 frames per second, the latter can achieve up to 0.8 frames per second.

You can take pictures of children, animals, and sporting events if you can predict the activity and learn to live within these restrictions. On the other hand, if you routinely need to take pictures of things moving quickly, especially inside, I would not advocate this method.

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Features

The camera is small, considering it has a 30x, f3.4-5.8, 24-720mm lens. The absence of an electronic viewfinder is likely a contributing factor in this situation (EVF). This is a deal-breaker for some folks. However, the fact that it has a giant 3-inch LCD screen that becomes bright enough to view in daylight makes it a little bit easier to overlook.

Even though the body is on the smaller side, there is still enough space for big buttons that are simple to operate. In addition to the display, menu, and exposure compensation buttons located above and below the navigational scroll wheel, you also receive a button that records movies with only one click.

The wheel features pressure points at the top, bottom, left, and right sides for adjusting the timer, ISO sensitivity, focus (including manual, regular, and macro), and flash. It also surrounds a button labeled “Func./Set.”

Because the wheel is sensitive and has tactile stops, it won’t be easy to accidentally pick something other than what you intended. Even if you have experience with Canon cameras, you should still read the manual provided on the software disc that includes the camera because its functioning is quite simple to understand.

The camera possesses outstanding optical image stabilization, and the ergonomics of the grip allow you to get a solid grasp on it, with plenty of room between it and the lens barrel. Additionally, the camera has much space between the viewfinder and the shutter button. Finally, even though it’s made of plastic, the camera has an excellent feel.

There is no lens rattling, which is a common problem with lower-end mega zooms, and the weight of the lens prevents it from completely drifting away when you’re attempting to take a picture of anything. In addition, Canon installed a framing help button on the lens barrel. Pressing this button retracts the lens, allowing you to locate your objects even if they have moved beyond the frame. When you let off the controller, the view will return to where it was before.

The SX500 IS incompatible with the AA-size batteries that power other cameras in this class. You will receive a compact rechargeable lithium-ion battery in its place, saving you both space and weight while providing a battery life that is, at the very least, satisfactory. Even though it is rated for 190 photos, bear in mind that the battery life will decrease if you frequently use the zoom lens, increase the screen brightness, shoot continually, record videos, or do any combination of these activities.

When we talk about things that drain your battery, we should mention that the flash on the camera does not automatically pop up; you have to activate it manually. If you’re used to a camera that handles everything for you, you could miss some photos. However, if you’re not used to a camera like that, it probably won’t be a significant concern for most people. On the bright side, the camera will at least give you a heads-up when it’s time to boost the brightness of the flash.

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Specifications

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Image ratio w h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ProcessorDigic 4
ISOAuto, 80,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuperfine, Fine
Focal length (Equiv.)24–720 mm
Optical zoom30×
Maximum apertureF3.4–5.8
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterTrackingSingleFace DetectionLive View.
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39″)
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots461,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT Color LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1600 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash Range5.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Continuous drive0.8 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Resolutions1280 x 720 (25 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatH.264
Videography notesMiniature Effect (HD, L) 6fps, 5fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-6L rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)195
Weight (inc. batteries)341 g (0.75 lb / 12.03 oz)
Dimensions104 x 70 x 80 mm (4.09 x 2.76 x 3.15″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Conclusion

Consider purchasing the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS if you need the most excellent possible zoom range in the tiniest, lightest body, likely at the most affordable price. It is not a quick camera and does not perform well inside or when there is low light, so if those are necessary features, I will not bother with this game. However, it should be sufficient for taking photographs and videos in the great outdoors of things that are still or moving very slowly, whether up close or far away.

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Excellent picture quality
  • Compact design despite massive zoom
  • Full manual controls
Need Improvement
  • There is no built-in electronic viewfinder
  • It does not feel like the body is very substantial.
  • There is no raw capture.
Paul
Paul
Paul is a seasoned photographer and blogger. With 10 years of experience, he creates stunning visuals and engaging writing. His work captures powerful stories and showcases his expertise in both photography and blogging. Paul brings passion and excellence to every project, delivering beautiful and impactful results.

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