Canon IXUS 510 HS Review

August 15, 2012 | Matt Grayson | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Canon IXUS brand goes from strength to strength with the release of the snazzy 510 HS (also known as the ELPH 530 HS). It's sharp exterior is complemented by the hardcore interior of a 12x optical zoom with a focal range of 28-336mm, modest 10 megapixel resolution CMOS sensor, stylish metal body, built-in WiFi, large 3.2 inch touch-screen, Full HD video capture with stereo sound and a HDMI port, 2.7 inch LCD screenand a Digic 5 processor. The Canon IXUS 510 HS / ELPH 530 HS is available in in black or white priced at £349 / €399 / $350.

Ease of Use

Canon IXUS and Powershot cameras have come a little bit closer to one another these days. Gone are the definite lines of separation with technology so to make sure that the consumer has something that looks completely different to its cousin, Canon make the IXUS models look extremely sexy. The IXUS 510 HS is no exception. The black version we tested has a high gloss face with a large lens bezel that - despite the 12x optical zoom - sits flush with the rest of the body. On a Powershot, it would stick out slightly.

The top of the Canon IXUS 510 HS holds the indented power button, shutter release and a small playback button. The inclusion of the playback button here is a little confusing. After all, it's normally found on the back towards the bottom. That's not to say it's unwelcome or even a hindrance, although admittedly, we did sometimes go into playback instead of turning the camera off.

Turning to the back of the camera and it's immediately obvious why the playback button has been placed where it is. The large 3.2 inch screen takes up the whole amount of space on the back.  This is necessary to retain a degree of smallness about the camera. This is a problem posed to all manufacturers. Consumers want smaller models but with bigger resolution, bigger zoom and bigger screens. It's not physically possible and so they do what they can. Canon appear to have got around a problem quite creatively.

Canon IXUS 510 HS Canon IXUS 510 HS
Front Rear

On the bottom of the Canon IXUS 510 HS is a metal tripod bush. We're always happy to see a metal version and our only grumble is that it's too far to the side. This could incur some camera shake when using a tripod. The battery compartment is situated directly next to the tripod bush but it doesn't take the card as well. The MicroSD card is found at the other side of the camera. The clip is only small and a fingernail is necessary to open it.

Switching the Canon IXUS 510 HS on you will see that the camera doesn't use all the frame for picture taking. This is a trick that Sony started a few years ago. The screen used for taking pictures is a lot smaller than would normally be used by the photographer. The reason is because the sides of the screen are reserved for the menu systems of the touch-screen. This is around half an inch on both sides which makes the width of the camera 2.7 inches from diagonal corner to corner. Despite this loss in size of screen compared to cameras that have a 3 inch non-touch sensitive screen, Canon still market it as 3.2 inches to illustrate the physical size and not the actual shooting area.

A point of interest on the IXUS 510 HS is how the lens is compacted into such a small body. To see what Canon have done, all you have to do is look at the lens of the camera when you switch it on. The shutters open, a small lens flips over from the side and the lens telescopes out. When switching off, it all happens in reverse so Canon use an element shift system similar to what Pentax developed years ago to house larger zooms in small bodies.

Canon IXUS 510 HS Canon IXUS 510 HS
Top Front

One of the most interesting developments with the release of the 510 HS is the lower than expected resolution. At 10 megapixels, the sensor is at the same level of compact cameras four or five years ago. This move echoes what they did with the Canon Powershot G10. The sensor is also a CMOS type which means it's more fuel efficient - to the detriment of sharpness. However, it's likely that the new Digic 5 processor will be able to overcome that hurdle. Something that we'll see later in the review.

The Canon IXUS 510 HS is exceptionally well built. The metal casing not only looks good but feels great. There's a solidness to the casing that only IXUS cameras have. The previously mentioned metal tripod bush will last a lot longer than a plastic variety and the compartment lids are strong. Except for the HDMI/USB port cover. This crucial port is covered by some rubber for some reason. It's logical that it makes it a little more weatherproof but a snapping lid and a little rubber on the inside would be just as effective and look a lot nicer.

The main menu of the IXUS 510 HS digital compact camera is relatively straightforward. It has large icons that anyone can understand. The large boxes have easily recognisable icons and the size of them makes them a breeze to select even with the biggest fingers. There's nothing new on the menu systems, the usual pre-programmed modes are there along with some digital effects such as miniature and soft focus. All the usual buttons are available on the back screen of the camera. The direct video record button is signified by a large red spot. The function menu is still present for quick access to most used features such as white-balance, ISO and resolution.

Canon IXUS 510 HS Canon IXUS 510 HS
Front Side

The speed of the IXUS 510 is impressive thanks to the HS (Hi-Speed) facility. In the continuous burst mode, we got 15 shots in a ten second period which averages to 1.5 frames per second (fps). However, this wasn't a steady run of 1.5 fps. The camera will rattle off 4 frames in the first second before slowing to allow the buffer to cope. Focusing is ultra fast. Start up time is around the same as any other digital compact camera but shutter lag is great at 0.04sec. The average digital camera has a lag of around 0.08sec.

The playback screen is an array of buttons and options just on the main viewing screen. The  image is brought up in the centre of the frame with several options in the corners while the sides are reserved for scrolling left or right. In the top left corner, the Wi-Fi options are available. The options are to a camera. Phone, computer or to the internet. The function menu is available as well as display options. The function menu brings up options such as delete, protect, rate and some search options.

Playback can be operated by pressing the review button on top of the Canon IXUS 510 HS whether it's switched on or not. In fact, it's best for it to be off so that the lens isn't sticking out although it does retract after a minute or so. Pressing the display button will scroll through a couple of options. The first is shoot information. It gives photo details such as film speed, aperture and shutter speed. There's also a histogram for the more adventurous out there to check exposure. The second alternative displays a focus square in the bottom right corner of the screen. It shows if the picture is sharp which is useful if you have the opportunity to shoot again.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

Picture quality from the Canon IXUS 510 HS is as good as we expected it to be. Which was very. We did get some trouble getting the camera to focus when it came to testing the night scene modes. Aside from that, we like the colour reproduction from the CMOS sensor and the pictures are as sharp as a JPEG in everyday use. Primary colours are punchy while troublesome colours (purples) are realistic. Subtle hues are dealt with sympathetically too. Exposures appear balanced on the whole but we did find that in complex light, the Canon IXUS 510 HS will favour shadow areas and burn out the highlights.


At the lowest ISO 100 setting, there's no noise evident in the pictures. Edge sharpness is OK as well. This continues through until ISO 400 where some orange blobs appear in the darker areas. To be honest, at full magnification, there's a minuscule amount of salt and pepper noise at ISO 200 but it's so small, we don't deem it that relevant.

As the Canon IXUS 510 HS moves up into the higher settings, noise becomes more evident in the pictures and starts to spread to more mid-range tones. Edge definition starts to decay more here, too. The final ISO 3200 setting is a junky mess of noise and odd colour.

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Canon IXUS 510 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)


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



File Quality

The Canon IXUS 510 HS has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine 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 Fine (100% Crop) 10M Normal (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

We found chromatic aberration the most prevalent at contrasting colours and hard contrasty edges. It's only really present at the edges of the frame so shouldn't interfere with the majority of subject material.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)


The Canon IXUS 510 HS has a close focusing capability of 1cm from the front lens element. That's pretty cool and the advantage of it is that you know you can keep closing in on that really interesting lizard on holiday and not worry about having to move backwards and forwards to get it in focus. 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 (100% Crop)


Adding flash to a shot helps in a number of ways. It helps get sharper images by allowing faster shutter speeds and adds light to the front of a subject that may be backlit. With some cameras that suffer vignetting the same way the 510 HS does, using flash can eliminate those pesky shaded corners but the flash on the Canon IXUS 510 HS doesn't do that. It retains those dark corners while balancing out the centre of the frame with a balanced, even light.

The flash settings on the Canon IXUS 510 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. We never found any instances of red-eye on portraits so we didn't need to use the red-eye reduction feature as it was - essentially - redundant.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Canon IXUS 510 HS camera, which were all taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920 x 1280 pixels at 24 frames per second. Please note that this 22 second movie is 95.1Mb in size.

Product Images

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Front of the Camera

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Front of the Camera / Turned On

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Isometric View

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Isometric View

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Rear of the Camera

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Rear of the Camera / Function Menu

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Rear of the Camera / Image Info


Canon IXUS 510 HS

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Rear of the Camera / Wi-fi Menu

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Rear of the Camera / Wi-fi Menu

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Top of the Camera

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Side of the Camera

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Side of the Camera

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Front of the Camera


The IXUS brand never fails the consumer in terms of looks, build quality and image quality. The IXUS range are the cameras that are meant to look good. They may offer relatively little in terms of new technology, so you're paying for the reliability of the name more than anything else.

We're a little perturbed by the backwards step in terms of screen size. It's essentially a 2.7 inch screen and it's noticeable, especially as we had a 3 inch screen camera with us at the same time. The Canon IXUS 510 HS' touch-screen could be more responsive, ideally. It needs firm taps which isn't good for fine detail close ups using that 1cm macro feature.

We're pleased with the Canon IXUS 510 HS' image quality and focusing. Colours are saturated without being garish and realistic in appearance. Exposure needs some addressing with the burn-out in the highlights. The camera doesn't seem to have a very high dynamic range, which is surprising to say the least.

We love the feel of the Canon IXUS 510 HS which is down to the superior build quality. It's obvious quality materials have gone into the construction and it compliments the design perfectly. From the metal tripod bush, to the separate compartments for camera and MicroSD card, the only area we take issue with (apart from the previously mentioned touch-screen) is the HDMI port cover. It's a flexible plastic covering that simply snaps into place and isn't going to protect what is an important part of the camera. Still, it's an upgrade from the rubber doors usually found covering the HDMI port on other cameras.

IXUS have always been a premium brand which is why we're not surprised at the Canon IXUS 510 HS' £330 price tag. For that price you don't get a lot of camera, but you do get a name that's been around for around 16 years. The first IXUS was released when APS film was launched in the mid-90's. You do get a premium build quality, top notch materials and a cutting design that you'll be proud to use on holiday or on nights out. The 12x optical zoom is novel in such a small camera thanks to the collapsing lens system. It's a lot of money for what you get though.

The Canon IXUS 510 HS is a camera that will look good in the hands of someone who desires appearance over performance. It's a camera that will attract admiring glances so someone who covets attention will be perfectly suited to the IXUS 510 HS. If you want a small camera that can take the picture of a fly sat on your safari jeep before switching to a distant elephant on the Serengeti plains without the distraction of having to walk anywhere, then this camera is perfect for you.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 3

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Canon IXUS 510 HS from around the web. »

The Canon IXUS 510 HS is the top of the range ultra-compact from Canon, and features a 12x optical zoom lens, 10.1 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, 3.2 inch touch-screen and built in Wi-Fi. Also available is the Canon IXUS 500 HS, a camera with a smaller touchscreen and without wireless.
Read the full review » »

Canon's IXUS range of compact cameras is treading a tricky line. If it starts to offer too many features it'll end up treading on the toes of Canon's PowerShot range. Too few features, though, and the camera phone - already taking chunks out of the compact camera market - will offer an altogether more compelling and convenient alternative.
Read the full review » »

The Canon Powershot ELPH 530 HS (also known as the IXUS 510 HS outside of North America) is a brick-shaped, WiFi-enabled, touchscreen-equipped travel zoom, retailing for a smooth $349 and currently sitting atop the ELPH lineup.
Read the full review »



Type 1/2.3 type back-illuminated CMOS
Effective Pixels Approx. 10.1M (Total Pixels approx. 16.8M)
Colour Filter Type Primary Colour


Type DIGIC 5 with iSAPS technology


Focal Length 4.0 - 48.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 28 - 336 mm)
Zoom Optical 12x
ZoomPlus 21x
Digital Approx. 4x (with Digital Tele-Converter Approx. 1.4x or 2.3x and Safety Zoom¹). Combined Approx. 48x
Maximum f/number f/3.4 - f/5.6
Construction 14 elements in 12 groups (1 double sided aspherical lens, 1 single sided aspherical UA lens and 1 single sided aspherical lens)
Image Stabilisation Yes (lens shift-type), Approx. 3.5-stop. Intelligent IS


Type TTL
AF System/ Points AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fixed frame) or Touch AF with Object and Face Select and Track
AF Modes Single, Continuous, Servo AF/AE¹, Touch AF
AF Point Selection Size (Normal, Small)
AF Lock On/Off Selectable
AF Assist Beam Yes
Closest Focusing Distance 1 cm (W) from front of lens in macro


Metering modes Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre or Touch AF frame)
AE Lock On/Off Selectable
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments
Enhanced i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction
ISO sensitivity* AUTO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200


Speed 1 - 1/4000 sec. (factory default)
15 - 1/4000 sec. (total range – varies by shooting mode)


Type TTL
Settings Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom. Multi-area WB correction available in Smart Auto


Monitor 8.0 cm (3.2”) PureColor II Touch (TFT), 16:9 aspect ratio, Approx. 461,000 dots
Coverage Approx. 100%
Brightness Adjustable to one of five levels


Modes Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Slow Sync Speed Yes. Fastest speed 1/2000 sec.
Red-Eye Reduction Yes
Flash Exposure Compensation Face Detection FE, Smart Flash Exposure
Flash Exposure Lock Yes
Built-in Flash Range 50 cm - 2.5 m (W) / 1.0 m - 1.5 m (T)
External Flash Canon High Power Flash HF-DC1,
Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2


Modes Smart Auto (58 scenes detected), P, Movie Digest, Portrait, Smooth Skin, Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), High-speed Burst (2.5MP), Handheld Night Scene, Low Light (2.5MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Soft Focus, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter
Modes in Movie Smart Auto (21 scenes detected), P, Portrait, Miniature Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Snow, Fireworks, iFrame Movie, Super Slow Motion Movie
Photo Effects My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)
Drive modes Single, Continuous, Auto Drive, Self-Timer
Continuous Shooting Approx. 2.6 shots/sec., AF: Approx. 0.8 shots/sec., LV: Approx. 0.8 shots/sec. High-speed Burst (2.5MP): Approx. 6.1 shots/sec., (until memory card becomes full)¹²


Image Size 4:3 - (L) 3648 x 2736, (M1) 2816 x 2112, (M2) 1600 x 1200, (S) 640 x 480
16:9 - (L) 3648 x 2048, (M1) 2816 x 1584, (M2) 1920 x 1080, (S) 640 x 360
3:2 - (L) 3648 x 2423, (M1) 2816 x 1880, (M2) 1600 x 1064, (S) 640 x 424
1:1 - (L) 2736 x 2736, (M1) 2112 x 2112, (M2) 1200 x 1200, (S) 480 x 480
Resize in playback (M2, S, XS)*
*XS is half the length and width of S
Compression Superfine, Fine
Movies (Full HD) 1920 x 1080, 24 fps, (HD) 1280 x 720, 30 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 30 fps
Super Slow Motion Movie (L) 640 x 480, 120fps, (M) 320 x 240, 240fps
Miniature Effect (HD, L) 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps
iFrame Movie (HD)
Movie Length (Full HD & HD) Up to 4 GB or 10 min. 00 sec.¹
(L) Up to 4 GB or 1 hour²
(Movie Digest) Up to 4GB or 29 min. 59 sec.
(Super Slow Motion Movie) 30 sec.


Still Image Type JPEG compression, (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Movies MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (stereo)]


Canon Printers Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Fixed Size Print and Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP & ES printers only)
PictBridge Yes


Red-Eye Correction Yes, during shooting and playback
My Camera / My Menu Start-up image and camera sounds customisation
My Category Image tagging feature
Intelligent Orientation Sensor Yes
Histogram Yes
Playback zoom Approx. 2x - 10x
Self Timer Approx. 2 or 10 sec., Custom
Menu Languages English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Ukrainian, Romanian, Farsi, Malaysian, Hindi, Indonesian, Vietnamese


Computer Hi-Speed USB (MTP, PTP) dedicated connector (Mini-B compatible)
Other HDMI Mini Connector (HDMI-CEC compatible) A/V output (PAL/NTSC)
Wireless LAN (IEEE802.11b/g/n), (2.4 GHz only)¹


Type microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC


PC & Macintosh Windows 7 SP1 / Vista SP2 / XP SP3
Mac OS X v10.6 – 10.7
For Ad-hoc Wireless LAN connection to a PC:
Windows 7 SP1 only
Mac OS X v10.6.8 or later


Browsing & Printing ImageBrowser EX
Other PhotoStitch


Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-9L (battery and charger supplied)
Battery life Approx. 190 shots¹
Approx. 180 min. playback
A/C Power Supply Optional, AC adapter kit ACK-DC70


Cases / Straps Soft Leather Case DCC-65, IXUS Metal or Leather Strap
Flash Canon High Power Flash HF-DC1,
Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2
Power Supply & Battery Chargers AC Adapter kit ACK-DC70, Battery Charger CB-2LBE
Other Canon HDMI Cable HTC-100


Operating Environment 0 - 40 °C, 10 - 90% humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 85.8 x 53.5 x 19.8 mm
Weight Approx. 163 g (including battery/batteries and memory card)
Zoom ¹ Depending on the image size selected.
AF Modes ¹ Some settings limit availability.
Continuous Shooting ¹ Under conditions where the flash does not fire.
² Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
Movie Length ¹ The following Speed Class memory cards are required for maximum record time: (HD) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 4 or above. (Full HD) 1920 x 1080 Speed Class 6 or above. (iFrame) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 6 or above.
² Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
Other ¹ Wi-Fi use may be restricted in certain countries or regions. Wi-Fi support varies by device and region. For more information visit
Battery life ¹ Using the batteries and memory card format supplied with the camera (where included), except where indicated.
  • All data is based on Canon standard testing methods (according to CIPA Standards) except where indicated.
  • Subject to change without notice.
  • * Standard Output Sensitivity / Recommended Exposure Index.
  • According to ISO 12232:2006 (20th April 2006) which specifies the method for assigning and reporting ISO speed ratings for digital still cameras.

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