Canon IXUS 500 HS Review

4.0
February 22, 2012 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3Mb.

The Canon IXUS 500 HS produces images of good quality. It recorded noise-free images at ISO 100-200, with some noise and slight colour desaturation at ISO 400. ISO 800 shows more obvious noise but still remains perfectly usable, and even the faster setting of ISO 1600 doesn't suffer too badly. ISO 3200 is perhaps a step too far though.

The Canon IXUS 500 HS handled chromatic aberrations very well, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations and generally at the edges of the frame. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds being long enough for most after-dark shots.

Anti-shake works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. Macro performance is excellent, allowing you to focus as close as 1cm away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the Canon IXUS 500 HS at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Canon IXUS 500 HS. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes via the My Colors menu option.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Focal Range

The Canon IXUS 500 HS's 12x zoom lens provides a focal length of 28-336mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

28mm

336mm

File Quality

The Canon IXUS 500 HS has 2 different image quality settings available, with Superfine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

10M Superfine (3.72Mb) (100% Crop) 10M Fine (2.39Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon IXUS 500 HS handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple and green fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Canon IXUS 500 HS offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 1cm away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Canon IXUS 500 HS are Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, and Flash Off, with Red-eye Correction and Red-Eye Lamp settings available via the Flash Settings main menu option. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (336mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (336mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. Neither the Flash On or the Red-eye Correction settings caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

Night

The Canon IXUS 500 HS's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds in the Long Shutter mode, which is good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 5 second setting the actual exposure takes 10 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Canon IXUS 500 HS has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/8 sec / 28mm
     
1/4 sec / 336mm

My Colors

The My Colors function menu option contains the now familiar range of colour options for tweaking the look of your images before shooting.

Off

Vivid

   

Neutral

Sepia

   

B/W

Positive Film

   

Lighter Skin Tone

Darker Skin Tone

   

Vivid Blue

Vivid Green

   

Vivid Red

 
 

Creative Filters

The Canon IXUS 500 HS has 9 different creative filter options to help spice up your images.

Fish-eye Effect

Miniature Effect

   

Toy Camera Effect

Soft Focus

   

Monochrome

Super Vivid

   

Poster Effect

Color Accent

   

Color Swap

 
 

Entry Tags

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

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