Canon PowerShot ELPH 500 HS Review

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Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 8
    • Features
    • 9
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 8
    • Total Score:
    • 7.75
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • Fast f/2 lens
    • Good 1080 HD video
    • Very good low light performance
  • Cons

    • Finicky touchscreen
    • Somewhat expensive
    • Bulkier, heavier than average

Quick Take

The Canon 500 HS combines a stylish touchscreen with some serious hardware including an f/2 lens. It's a better-than-average compact with a few quirks.

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 500 HS wants to do it all. It wants to capture a style-conscious market with its smooth curves and 3.2-inch touchscreen. It wants to be brighter than the competition with a fast f/2 lens. It wants be a movie-maker with 1080p HD recording capability.

Canon PowerShot 500 HS

Part of Canon’s newly-branded HS or High Sensitivity class, the 500 HS boasts improved low light performance with its 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor. It sits at the top of the PowerShot ELPH lineup price-wise and feature-wise. Its little brother, the 300 HS, offers many of the same things – same sensor, 1080p HD video and it even offers a longer 5x optical zoom to the 500’s 4.4x lens.

That big touchscreen and the bright f/2 lens are what set the 500 HS apart. A shorter lens could be prone to less distortion, and the 500’s lens is both wide and fast, providing lots of practical and creative uses. A wide angle of 24mm makes it possible to capture lots of landscape, and a little bit of zoom reach helps with creative composition. Take a look at the shots below taken at full wide and telephoto ends of the spectrum.

Canon 500 HS Sample Image
Wide Angle
Canon 500 HS Sample Image

Manufacturers are pushing the low light shooting capabilities of their top tier point-and-shoots. The Canon 500 HS is positioned as a real contender in this class. Did its performance in the field and in the lab let us down? Read on as we find out.

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