Canon PowerShot ELPH 500 HS: Conclusions

May 8, 2011 by Allison Johnson Reads (4,302)
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

Manufacturers are scrambling to find a cure for a common point-and-shoot malady – noisy, blurred images in low light conditions. Does Canon manage to solve the low light problem with the 500 HS?

Not quite, but there’s still a lot to say for this little point-and-shoot. That f/2 lens does come in handy when a little more shutter speed is needed. HD video is fluid, there are dozens of creative options available in-camera and images up to ISO 800 are easily usable for small prints and web work.

Though an f/2 lens is somewhat rare in a point-and-shoot, keep in mind that once you start zooming in on a subject, the aperture closes down quickly. And as with most compact cameras, there are some problems with overexposure and auto white balance reliability. The camera is somewhat heavier and bulkier than other currently available PowerShots.

Whether or not the 500 HS is for you depends on how you feel about touchscreens. This isn’t the ultra-intuitive, super fluid screen on your iPhone. It’s relatively easy to use, but it causes the occasional hiccup and misstep even after you’ve become well acquainted with how to use it. For those who would rather not finagle a touchscreen, head on over to our reviews of the 300 HS and the excellent PowerShot S95.

For everyone else, the PowerShot ELPH 500 HS is a good choice. Images are reliably good and details are sharp. A fast lens coupled with some flexible shooting modes will give a beginning user plenty of room to experiment, grow, and – most importantly – have a little fun.


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


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



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