Canon IXUS 500 HS Review

February 22, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Sokhoomora

In this price tag (the same price) Canon SX230 HS is far more better choice. It’s a real TRIED And TRUE one.

9:25 pm - Wednesday, February 22, 2012


O K, Who is it? Who is telling the camera companies that although we do want the Best, the Highest Levels of Optical, Technical and Digital Performance, that we couldn’t have imagined in our wildest dreams, to have a camera that can be put into a case that’s just about the size and shape of the once used recording media known as The “Audio Cassette”? Most of you probably don’t even remember these cassettes. They where a two sided reel to reel audio tape, enclosed in a plastic case, that is labeled on both sides and slipped into a plastic cover case that is Just about the size and shape of the camera Pictured above! This will fit into a finely fitted and ironed dress shirt. If you should bend over, be for-warned though, it will just as easily slide out as well. You could also slide it under most office doors, if for some reason you wanted to! This is a fine camera, don’t misunderstand, but why would you want to fit it into an empty cigarette box? Maybe it’s meant to defy the pat down search at the airport? Maybe you want to hide the purchase from your Spouse. What ever the reason, I still prefer the Rubberized, heavy, bulk of a camera you can grip, tightly. Something with “Meat on it’s bones” Of course, they would have to pry it from my cold dead hand to get my NIKON out of my Vice like GRIP. Of course, I’m from “The Old School” ...        JOE PRETE

10:23 pm - Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Why is it that so many comments just do not get reviewed, and do not get posted?

12:08 am - Thursday, February 23, 2012

#4 Steve

Looks like a silver pack of 20 with buttons. No doubt the finish on the corners will quickly erode in a pocket too.

2:56 am - Thursday, February 23, 2012

#5 Ronnie Biggs

Well, the image quality is quite poor, just compare it to the cheapo A800. This camera is just for trendy-i-am-fashionable-bla-bla-bla dummies. For that 300 bucks it could’ve been on 1/1.6’

1:37 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2012

#6 dominik

@Joe Prete
“with meat on it’s bones” ... brilliant!
I got the Ixus IIs at home with exactly the same design of the 500HS. I like it very much. It is simply a retro design. One of the first Ixus got this design too. But now I am a Nikon-Fanboy.

did you notice the heavy smear and noise at even iso 100? And why is there no adjustment for the contrast? This all is very poor for such a expensive camera.

consider that there are micro-4/3, Nikon 1 and Sony Nex available

1:48 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2012

#7 luxornet

The image quality is quite poor.

7:48 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2012


That’s more like it guys, like it, don’t like it, use it for target practice if you want, BUT SAY SOMETHING ABOUT IT! I would even have a hard time doing a revue on this camera, just because of it’s smooth box like shape, I could hate this camera from afar, but there must be something more to say by the CANON people of the web. So I say, lets hear it, the good, the bad and the ugly (I think the camera has that one covered) but there must be something else to say about this camera. Get a bunch of them and some cement, and build a wall with them, but say something!. ... Joe Prete

9:29 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2012

#9 Mino

Ronnie Biggs: The point is, that IXUS 500 HS actually uses only 1/3” sensor (not even 1/2,3”) :-) It has 16MPx 1/2,3” chip but uses only 10 MPx from approx. 1/3” area. See the focal lengths - real focal length 4,0 mm, 35mm eq. is 28 mm -> crop factor 7.

11:39 pm - Thursday, February 23, 2012

#10 gorpalm

Is that sensor size as stated in the specs right? I understood it was a 16mp 1/2.3 sensor, but only 1/3 (equivalent to 10mp) was used. If you think how slim the unit is, and how much glass and zoom there is up front, the real specs start to make sense.

Of course that means it’s really a Tiny sensor, and buying the camera isn’t about IQ but about “lifestyle” choices, frankly.

12:19 am - Friday, February 24, 2012

#11 ian

“The IXUS 500 HS’ modest 10-megapixel CMOS sensor once again indicates that Canon is continuing to call a halt to the race for more megapixels in preference to improving said sensor’s ability to perform better at higher ISO settings”
that is NOT true, because the sensor is NOT 10MP, but 16MP cropped to 10. it’s the same sensor as they pack in other 16MP canon p&s.

6:03 pm - Friday, February 24, 2012

#12 Chris Y

From the diagram above, we can obviously see that the sensor size of most Compact camera available nowadays include some ‘coming soon’ product of most popular camera manufacturer company…

..until this new era of 2012 but still using sensor size with only 1/2.3” (6.17 x 4.55 mm) it is so so tiny and small!!
>>as a result even 10 to 14 megapixel produce only very limited detail!!!

but still need price of around $300 to $500
  [Here above is a good example of worthless product!!]

~sad… :(

Is still not worth for that kind of image quality!!

Those branded camera company still need improvement especially in compact camera!!
If not i guess, phone cameras can even better than cameras!! Until the end…no one will buy compact camera anymore!!

I truely wishing Canon, Nikon or Sony can put effort more on producing more good quality compact camera product!!

3:39 pm - Thursday, March 1, 2012

#13 Chris Y

From the diagram above, we can obviously see that the sensor size of most Compact camera available nowadays include some ‘coming soon’ product of most popular camera manufacturer company…

..until this new era of 2012 but still using sensor size with only 1/2.3” (6.17 x 4.55 mm) it is so so tiny and small!!
>>as a result even 10 to 14 megapixel produce only very limited detail!!!

but still need price of around $300 to $500
  [Here above is a good example of worthless product!!]

~sad… :(

Is still not worth for that kind of image quality!!

Those branded camera company still need improvement especially in compact camera!!
If not i guess, phone cameras can even better than cameras!! Until the end…no one will buy compact camera anymore!!

3:53 pm - Thursday, March 1, 2012

#14 Chris Y

I truely wishing Canon, Nikon or Sony can put effort more on producing more good quality compact camera product!!
[for compact camera.. I wish to get only around 10x to 15x zoom… It’s usually enough to use]
..hope bigger sensor size
than just only the 1/2.3” so tiny and small sensor..

(as i feel bigger sensor can capture even more detail compare what we have the small sensor size of most compact camera nowadays..)

And hope speed of frames per second of continuous focus frames per second can improve more higher..

3:57 pm - Thursday, March 1, 2012


Chris y,
So what you’re asking for is just “A CUSTOM BUILT CAMERA?” That shouldn’t be to hard, why don’t you speak to NIKON & CANON about that, and see what they can do “just for you”

10:14 pm - Thursday, March 1, 2012


Are you looking, or are you ready to buy. If you really want to buy, lets make a list. With your most important “wants” or “needs” listed first, and the less important ones last. Maybe we can do a search, and see how close we can come. Also, is brand so important? What if say, a FUJIFILM comes closest to your specs.? will you accept that? It might surprise you to know that even PANASONIC has a better record for reliability, customer support and repairs than even CANON. Others are also high on the list and you’d be surprised to see all the “brands” on the internal components. SONY, is very big on sensors, their sensors go into many brands. But tell me, if you’re ready to buy, I’ll help you to sort them out. If thats the case, we’ll swap email and save some time, and we’ll see what we can find you. My email isn’t hard to find, but just let me know, and I’ll post it and I’ll try to help you. If you don’t know, I’ve done this many times, and free, I just ask that you’ll be serious, ready to buy. ok ...  Joe Prete

3:05 am - Friday, March 2, 2012

#17 Jerry D

I have the IXUS 70 that is of exactly same size and without these many features that this camera has. The great advantage of this camera is its tiny size, I use to throw it (no cover/protection etc) in my pocket and always have a camera with me. Yes, I could carry instead my SLR but it could not be that often and I would have missed far too many photos. Image quality is good on the low ISOs, I don’t use it on the high ones as the qulity is below zero. I don’t take much good care of it, use it often at work in dirty, dusty condition (shipbuilding) and never had a single problem, it’s a tough camera of very good built quality. So, considering my experience with the previous model, this one is on my wish list.

3:59 am - Thursday, March 15, 2012


Jerry D, I’m sure the camera works o k for you, of course you don’t have much in the way of a reference point to compare, and I’m sure that if you have a need to crank up the ISO, the noise level would look much like a cheap newspaper photo. The point we were trying to make was the shape and bulk of the camera.

Does it feel like you’re holding a block of wood, with a few dials and controls drilled in and connected to it? Would you rather hold a camera that fit into your right hand, with a little more to grip than the letters? Something with a contour, easy to hold and reach the controls with one hand. I know this looks like a kid could copy the design in shop class, but what would posses someone to buy this block camera.

When we send this to Canon, I don’t know how they will respond, but what could they say, “it took 7 minutes to make the jigs to build this camera, so build cost was only $1.85”,  “The design team was on vacation and my 15 year old built this” How about, “you can hide it in a Marlboro box”  I think you get the idea, write what it’s like for you,  unless .... did someone re-gift it to you?. ... Joe Prete

7:02 am - Thursday, March 15, 2012

#19 Jerry D

Joe, I like the way you fight back this camera! It’s definitely of minimalistic design and lacks the curves that you expect to see in cameras, sorry but some people like this, But having no protrusions and being like a brick as you say is what makes it the tiniest and easiest camera to carry around, can even slide it in a shirt pocket!
As for build quality, I had many small cameras failing in all aspects with much less severe use.
And if high quality is the question then I’ll use an SLR, can’t expect miracles from the tiniest camera, I would really question people that expect much more functions and buttons in such a tiny box, it seems that they are mising the whole point for such a camera.
As for the ISO I already told you that on the ixus 70 it produces just dots when it gets over 400… Hope this one is better.

1:07 pm - Thursday, March 15, 2012


Jerry, IPODs slide into your shirt pocket too, but they also slide out, as these cameras do. But I guess that was the idea of the poll, to get different opinions. But you would spend $300.00 on this, you can get a G12 or a P7100 for a few dollars more. Anyhow, they’re just asking for numbers - Pro & Con, no names.

Hey, I have boxes full of box cameras in my garage. I’ll say one thing, you can fit a lot of them in a box. Jerry, I did hear something about a round camera. A bit like a tennis ball, but it’s more for security than fitting in your pocket. I have a P5000 I paid almost 300 for, but that fits in a front pants pocket of a pair of Dockers Casual. It has in camera editing & a lot more.

8:18 pm - Thursday, March 15, 2012

#21 Tony

I knows only that if you want to buy something and your first thinking is to start read any reviews you can find on the net,then the only you can find,that you are confused from all those opinions.I bought first my camera(Canon Ixus 1000 HS),and later i decided to read some reviews on the net about my pearl i own.I remember now that 99% of the reviews i read about were “Cons” and not “Pros” for my camera.But it was too late,i owned this camera until now and i am very pleasured with this.I have taken thousands of photos without any problem and i am not ready to change it in the near future.For me is an iron-grade camera with so many functions that after one and a half year i own this ,i didn’t try to test everything.
Can you imagine what,if i had read all those negative reviews? I knows of couesw.I never be owner of this camera.
So,what for conclusion? Everyone need something else to do with a camera. Other is a pro Photographer and other need some simple device to get some memories only.So,you can’t say that this is good because it has a 24mm wide and mine for example has 36mm and is bad.I never had any problem with that.When i had this problem sometime to get a group of people into the frame i stepped 1-2 meters more back and found the solution.The only problem as i found it later is if i want to get the same photo but i am into WC,so i can’t step back at such a small place!!!

4:41 pm - Friday, April 6, 2012

#22 Tony

So,finally what you think? Do you really think that Ixus 520 HS is more bad than mine Ixus 1000 HS?
I don’t think so.I am sure that Canon will never put such a bad product(as most of your opinions here),to the market.So,your comments here must be corrected,as your bad opinion for a product=your personal opinion only for that product.

4:55 pm - Friday, April 6, 2012

#23 uhhuh

I have to say I’m really disappointed with the Ixus 500 HS sample images. Look at the corners and edges of the photos (in full size), so fuzzy and blurry. Horrible.

I bought a Canon Ixus 120 IS couple of years ago and it was a HUGE disappointment too, very similar blurry corners everywhere.

What’s the point of having 12 megapixels if you can’t crop the photos at all, due to horrible quality?

I also have an eight year old four megapixel Canon Ixus 410 and it beats these current 10-12 megapixel small pocket cameras with ease. No contest at all.

Even though it’s “only” four megapixels (which would still be enough even now for most casual shooters!), there is no blur, no fuzziness and because of that, the actual resolution is way, way better than on Ixus 120 IS.

The only things where the Ixus 120 IS is better are the display (larger) and video shooting. Other than that it’s useless.

I’m a bit torn because I want my camera to be small AND offer excellent photo quality. I don’t care about 10x zoom, nor do I want to lug around an SLR. If Canon was able to do it in 2003-2004, why not anymore?

Perhaps the S100 would be it, but the Ixus series definitely is not what it used to be.

2:20 pm - Monday, April 30, 2012

#24 Doug J Huberty

I am lost, not a pro & having a very difficult time finding the right pocket camera. I have actually ordered this camera & am now thinking I should send it back without opening the box. But what to buy? I want good pictures. I have an Olympus EPL 2 but want something smaller. Price is not a consideration. Please help.

3:09 pm - Saturday, June 2, 2012


Unless the Canon box itself has a seal (unlikely), you are going to have to pay a restocking fee, usually 15%. If the Canon box is sealed and left intact, they should at least give you store credit.

You really should check the store policy before making any purchase, especially photo and electronics.

Regarding the camera, what made you buy it in the first place? Also, what has changed now that you have it? It’s a very compact camera that sells for about $250-$275 US It’s not the best little camera, but it’s not the worst either. Plastic digital cameras drop in value by about 50% as soon as you leave the store. The used market on these cameras is not very good. Check Ebay.

It’s probably best to just use it like you first intended. It is very compact, many people think they’re great little cameras. My comments above, were all based on the shape. There’s nothing to grip. That was my only complaint. In most normal lighting situations it should work okay. If you read reviews, you can find problems with any camera, and of all the comments on this site I’m probably the least likely person to tell you it’s an okay camera, but in most shooting situations, it should be fine.

11:33 pm - Saturday, June 2, 2012

#26 Doug Huberty

Thanks for the reply & you are probably correct. I went ahead & ordered the cannon s100. Will send the other back unopened.

1:26 am - Sunday, June 3, 2012


EXCELLENT CHOICE! I couldn’t have done better myself. Still compact, but extremely advanced. Digic 5 Processor, Pop up flash, a very nice lens and all the technology anyone could ask for. Also has a Grip to hold. I’m sure you’ll be happy with it. Put the strap on first, I’m sure you’ll want to start using it right away. I’m pretty sure you know what you’re doing now. Enjoy it Doug and Good Luck,
Joe Prete

4:05 am - Sunday, June 3, 2012

#28 Cherrelle

This will be my first canon. i am by no means knowledgable as other commenters in camera specs, however, in my opinion so far, the quality of a photo depends on the photographers skill. I do also think that high end canons produce the nicest photo quality.

That being said, I thought id mention why i chose this camera:-

the main reason is the Camera’s Macro distance of 1cm. I like to get as close as possible. I have an obsession with colourful things, and need a close macro to photo handmade objects properly. this camera is the only one, out of many i have been reviewing for a year on and off, that offered everything i need for my budget. and its my first canon.

I wish to learn the functions of a camera through and through, after using my previous compact, it inspired me to take photo’s! The dream is to take a photo of a scene and produce it as my eye sees it! So i thought id get a new camera. I didn’t want to splash out on a DSLR, as i have much to learn. But, I do want a 300 d in the future. Saying that i will probably go for a 600d. But i realize then that there are lenses too… and i cant see myself doing what other photographers do, going out there and taking insanely amazing photo’s, any time soon, so im sticking with this one for a while.

as for the ‘im fasionable’ part, hardly! i didnt know they came in red and blue, but blue just happens to be my favourite colour, especially royal blue. So, when i found a blue one, i was pretty darn pleased.

anyone who buys something just to be fashionable, e.g, most apple customers, well, im happy they have money to waste, but thats just an opinion. Let people be who they want to be, or front how they want to front.

i dont even know when this camera was released.
All i know is i would not have paid the original price for it, and im glad ive come across it later on.

thankyou Canon, and ofc PB, if it wasnt for this site id still be all lost!

1:18 am - Thursday, January 24, 2013

#29 jack

Just got this little gem as a last floor model (ahem, in red) for NZ$80. I looked at it as I wanted some decent (1080p) video ability and the price was a deal-maker. (I don’t have any fancy mePhone bla bla). It will replace by 10-yr old Powershot S70 (7 MP!!!!) as I aint carrying both around (but I’ll miss the manual/full functionality on the S70). However, I mostly (90% time) used “P” setting before and I see the Ixus 500 has just P (and Auto) with features such as slow-synchro flash as standard (which I would have had to fiddle with before to re-create) so that was nice to find included. I projected results on my 120” home cinema and see no noticeable nasties worth any moaning about yet. The video is great. The slow-mo is okay but very low res unfortunayely and thus not so nice. I understand cameras…since my youngster K1000 days…and I look forward to actually carrying this cam at all times and ready to actually get the photo…Although I paid a good price, I guess this is a fine little HD camera for most of the human species, brick-shaped or not. Technology has some pros after all, maybe. I wish they had had the SX230 instead for $80, however! ;)

10:14 pm - Sunday, April 28, 2013

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, hdmi, beginner, full hd, 10 megapixel, 12x zoom, Canon IXUS 500 HS Review, canon 520 hs, elph 520, elph 520 hs, ixus 500, canon 500

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