|Canon PowerShot S500 5MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical Zoom
Optics and Resolution
The 5-megapixel PowerShot S500 can capture 2592 x 1944 images for poster-size prints. It also has 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, and 640 x 480 resolution modes. The 3x optical zoom lens has a focal length of 7.4-22.2mm (35mm equivalent: 36-108mm). It also has a 4.1x digital zoom.
The PowerShot S500 lets you capture high-resolution 30-second video clips with sound at 640 x 480 (10 frames per second). You can also capture 3-minute movies at lower resolution settings: 320 x 240 and 160 x 120 (both at 15 frames per second).
More Camera Features
The PowerShot S500 introduces a new Print/Share button that speeds and simplifies printing to compatible Canon and PictBridge enabled printers and one-touch image transfer to Windows XP, Me, 2000, and 98 computers for use with image processing programs, uploading to the Internet, or placement in e-mail. When connected to a Canon Compact Photo printer, a Movie Print mode divides the selected clip into equal parts and prints thumbnails of a maximum 63 equally spaced frames onto a single sheet of Postcard Size Paper.
Storage and Transfer
Images and video are stored on CompactFlash memory cards (Type I only) and the included 32 MB card holds approximately 21 images at the Large/Fine setting. Images can be downloaded to either a Mac or PC via USB 1.1 connectivity, which means the camera can be connected to any USB-based Windows Me/2000/XP and Mac OS 8.6 or later computer without installing any software.
Power and Size
The camera is powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery (NB-1LH). With the LCD on, you will get approximately 190 shots. It measures 3.43 x 2.24 x 1.09 inches and weighs 6.5 ounces (without batteries).
What's in the Box
This package contains the PowerShot S500 digital camera, 32 MB CompactFlash memory card, rechargeable lithium-ion battery (NB-1LH), battery charger (CB-2LS), USB and A/V cables, and wrist strap. The supplied software on the CD-ROM includes browsing and printing software ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Mac). Other software includes PhotoStitch, plus photo and movie manipulation software ArcSoft PhotoStudio and VideoImpression.
From the Manufacturer
PowerShot S500 Digital Elph camera, battery charger CB-2LS, wrist strap WS-300, CompactFlash card FC-32M, Arcsoft Camera Suite CD-ROM, Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM, battery pack NB-1LH, interface cable IFC-400PCU, AV cable AVC-DC300
- 5-megapixel effective recording
- DIGIC processor for better color quality
- 1-1/2" color LCD viewscreen
- optical viewfinder
- 3X optical/4.1X digital/12X total zoom
- JPEG options: resolution up to 2592 x 1944; 2048 x 1536; 1600 x 1200; 640 x 480
- Movie Mode with sound
- nine-point AiAF autofocus
- sensitivity (ISO) settings
- white balance control settings
- built-in flash
- Exif Print 2.2-compliant
- Direct Print technology and Print/Share button
- USB (1.1) interface
- NTSC/PAL A/V output
- 3-13/16"W x 2-7/16"H x 1-1/4"D
- weight: 6.5 oz. without battery and media
- warranty: 1 year
I love this ultracompact camera
A wonderful small camera, March 22, 2004
Reviewer: gynetix from San Diego, CA United States
Canon have done it again and produced this year another great ultracompact camera. The Powershot S500 really hits the mark for me. Small, and well designed it is also a well-rounded performer in the digital camera world. At 5 megapixel resolutions you can take very good quality pictures. The camera itself is aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. It comes with 32 MB compact flash, so you may well want to upgrade this capacity. Also, a case is not supplied in the box. Still these are small minuses. Like a lot of the newer ultracompact digital cameras the S500 has a movie mode, and can capture 2-3 minutes. Outdoors it takes some very nice pictures, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by its indoor performance with flash. It is possible to take some good photos without red eye problems. You cannot really go wrong with this camera if you want a good high performance compact.
It might be your memory cards, July 13, 2004
Reviewer: An electronics fan from San Francisco, CA United States
Not all memory cards work well with all cameras. I tried to use a Viking card with my Canon s230, and got the E18 error mentioned here. As soon as I swapped my SanDisk back in, the problem was gone forever. I think sending the memory card back was a much better and cheaper solution than ditching an excellent camera.
My first digital camera, June 23, 2004
Reviewer: An electronics fan from Westborough, MA United States
I've always wanted to have photography as a hobby and I decided on this camera for my first one. Being a graphic artist I'm looking for some new material to work with. This camera is a good camera, but it does have its problems. It takes pictures at a maximum of 2592 by 1944 pixels, so size is never an issue. Just make sure you buy a 256 MB memory card if you plan on taking many pictures in one session. In daylight or normal light settings this camera works great. Sometimes if you're shooting something with strong light on it, the light will appear much brighter than you'd expect, but generally daytime pictures are sharp and vibrant. However, I just walked around my neighborhood at dusk, not dark, but the sun was out of the sky. I took roughly 200 pictures of various things (without the flash), and when I came home and transferred them to my computer they all appeared very dark, if I brightened the image all of the detail was there, but the image itself was unrecognizable at it's original quality. But if you're shooting a light source, the image will come out fine. I've taken some dead of night shots of lamp posts, and they came out very artistic with no loss of quality. The flash is only helpful at night if you're shooting close ups of objects, because beyond 10 feet the flash has no effect on your surroundings.
In normal light conditions the flash isn't required because the camera will take quality pictures.
Also, another review mentioned that his camera had a dead pixel, and so does mine, sadly. Fortunately I edit all of my pictures anyway and it's very easy to remove, but it's kind of annoying to have a single tiny white dot on every picture. I doubt it will happen to yours, but it did show up on mine.
You can view the photos I have taken with my S500 at http://www.delvarworld.com/photo/photo.html I'm giving this camera a 4/5 stars because despite its problems, it has still fulfilled all of my amateur photography needs.
My first digital camera!, June 8, 2004
Reviewer: Kelly Irish from PDX, Ore.
I have been resisting the digital camera thing for a few years now. I tend to lean more towards the Polaroid way of taking pictures - just point and shoot and you have your picture right there. Well, "guess what" my friends say, that is exactly what a digital camera does!
So after much research, I decided on this cute little Canon PowerShot. It hurt my pocketbook a touch, but so far I think it is highly worth the price I paid. The PowerShot is incredibly easy to use. It is literally just point and shoot, but with amazing zoom capabilities, red eye reduction, and I can even shoot short video clips with sound. This camera is so much fun!
I find myself taking pictures all the time as this little guy fits so easily into my bag. When I think about it, I am not sure why I resisted going digital. With a camera as good as this, there is just no reason not to. I love my PowerShot and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to buy a new camera.
Great Lil' Thing, June 7, 2004
Reviewer: barbara dubail from Seattle, Washington (friday harbor)
Im 16, going to portugal for a year. Got this camera to take some photos before i leave, and while im there. Has great photo quality (printed some out at Walmart) I love the camera, holds a good charge. I lost the charger already (3 weeks) oops! but its a great charger. Many options on the camera. I love it!
Not quite ideal, June 7, 2004
Reviewer: Chris Hann from Alameda, CA United States
After a couple of weeks of taking pictures and experimenting with settings I'd say this is good, great in many circumstances, but not perfect.
Some of the issues are just limitations of the form factor, the form factor was the deciding point in my choice of cameras. Perhaps I had some unrealistic expectations of the ability of technology to overcome physics?
Basically, with a 5M pixel sensor and a tiny little lens you don't get fast shutter speeds unless you either have excellent lighting or use the flash. Fortunately the flash is perhaps unexpectedly powerful, so most indoor shots can be well lit and fill-in can be used outdoors, though you seem to have to go to manual mode to force the flash to be used.
The battery seems to last well even when using the flash. Some reviews say you need to use one battery while charging another. Well, I don't know what they were doing, I meant to change the battery yesterday morning and the camera is still going strong today, I think that's about 150 pictures since I last changed the battery for the spare. Batteries still have memory effect even though it is less pronounced than with NiCd technology of the past, the NiMH battery in the laptop I am using now has only half the capacity it should.
Anyway, back to the camera. The metering system isn't clairvoyant, it does sometimes pick the wrong subject, especially in backlit conditions which is why I know about forcing it to use fill-in floash.
Indoor shots without the flash will often be blurred, I took one just after landing in Chicago ORD and there was a lot of blurred motion on walking people though I had managed to hold the camera steady as the background was sharp. If you don't use the red-eye reduction mode on the flash you will get amazing red-eye.
I use a 512Mb Sandisk Ultra II that I picked up for about $120, that gives me about 350 shots in fine mode. The speed of the card hasn't really been a noticeable benefit the way I have used the camera.
The colors are good, I'm not certain they are great, I have a suspicion they are a little blue. Certainly blue scenes seem very blue.
Speaking of blue... my old Olympus shows red flares to the right of bright edges, so a white light will have a red halo to the right. On a couple of shots the S500 has shown a blue halo to the left, one example was a person standing with their back to a very brightly lit window, even though he was correctly exposed. Perhaps fill-in flash would have fixed this, but that would have given some red-eye.
In summary, this camera has shown me that there's no substitute for big pieces of glass even in the modern day, the lens is still the most important part of a camera. My old Olympus 3040z with an f1.8 lens was much more effective in low light... but I never had it with me when I wanted to take a picture "right now". The S500 in the small belt pouch with the 512Mb compact flash has proven sufficient for about 3 days of casual photography. However, if I want to take memorable and sharp scenic shots I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy the EOS10D. I hear now that the S410 may have better low light performance, so perhaps I'll sell my S500 and try that instead.
Superb Machine! Excellent, Sharp Pictures in a Small Frame., June 3, 2004
Reviewer: Bobby Kwan from Falls Church, VA United States
I was shopping at Best Buy with my friend, who decided on the SD110, the smallest in the ELPH series. However, after a little research, I found that the s500 is only marginally larger than its smaller sibling. Even so, this marvel can slip into my front pocket easily and takes superb pictures. The s500 also has the distinction of having 5 megapixels--fully 2 more than the SD110, and 1 more than the cheaper s410. I'm thinking if I'm already going to be spending so much money ($500 with an additional battery pack), I might as well go all out for the best, or just stick to a cheap $200 camera. Right? And who wants to buy cheap electronics? :-P
also have the Canon A70 and the Sony Cybershot U40. While the A70 was my trusty workhorse last year, it is rather homely and bulky. While not *very* large, there would have been no way to slip that brick into my pocket, with it's protruding grip and lens. Also it is only 3.2 megapixels. From looking at the pictures I took today on the s500's "shakedown" around the neighborhood, I can already tell that it takes far more detailed, sharper images than the A70, which suffered from a minor "softness" in the pictures it took. Also, the s500 is less a camera than it is a work of art in it of itself. When off, the camera has a slim, elegant look. It has an nostalgic air of Art Deco about it. From the front, the highly polished silver and handsome gold rings around the lens will catch anybodys' eye immediately--a breathtakingly beautiful machine to take breathtakingly beautiful pictures.
On the other hand, this camera is not nearly as small as the Sony U40, which was about the size of my index and middle fingers put together. However, that had no zoom and took only marginally acceptable images (2 MP and rather grainy)--I bought it primarily so I'd have a throwaround camera. In any case, the s500 is not *as* small, but it still fits into my pocket without any hassle (you'll know it's there, but it won't bother you), and the optical zoom and high image quality more than make up for it.
Again, the image quality is superb, and all in such a portable package.
Manual controls are light. There is AUTO, Manual, Panorama, and Video mode. In Manual, you can control the ISO and F stops, but they are not readily available, and require fiddling with the menu to access. I don't care, personally. I bought the camera for it's portability and ease of use when I want to snap pictures. I leave the wheel on AUTO and I am perfectly content with the images I get--for the average picture taker, too, I'd imagine.
The movie mode is decent. This is a camera and not a camcorder, it's still part of the package, but I'll not put it into consideration when rating this camera. Subpar. My A70 could take 640x480s at 15 frames/second while the s500 only takes a sluggish 10. It's is quite choppy, but bearable. The s500 can have 15 frames a second under the two smaller video resolutions, but they still do not look as good as the videos I captured with my A70. There is just an element of choppiness that I do not like. Perhaps the increased megapixelage necessitates a decrease in smoothness, I don't know. However, the movie mode is just an additional nicety in this otherwise superb piece of machinery, and it decent, acceptable, just not as good as I know it could be, for Canons, but I know this feature is important for many people considering digital cameras.
The proprietary battery is also something that I do not like (I prefer AAs) but I suppose there have to be some trade-offs--I'd suggest getting a spare, since it's theoretically supposed to last only about 2 hours per charge. I'd also suggest getting the skin-tight leather cover for this cam, since you can still fit it in your pocket while keeping that lovely luster intact, away from the coarseness of your pockets.
I'd also suggest getting a CF that has as high a write speed as possible. When taking pictures at maximum size(2592x1944) and maximum resolution (super-fine), my card took about 1-3 seconds to finish recording. I could continue taking more pictures almost immediately afterward, but I would still have to wait for the images to finish writing before turning off the camera. I did not notice this when I took superfine photos at the Medium size settings. Speaking of CF, I'd also suggest getting as big a card as possible. This monster takes pictures at 1-3 Mb each which means about 100-200 picture for me--my 256Mb card doesn't seem so adequate anymore. But it's fine.
So definately a great buy. It takes wonderful, superb pictures, and decent movies. By itself, it is a work of art, and truly is a handsome camera. All this, and is still compact enough to throw in your pocket or for the ladies, purse. There are slightly smaller and cheaper ELPHs, the sd110 and s410, but you will already be spending so much, and if you are, you might as well spring for the full 5 megapixel goodness that the s500 offers--3 megapixel cameras belong back in 2003. And there are other brands to choose from, but I honestly have not seen a more handsome camera that takes such spectacular images, and I think if you are considering this camera at such a price, that surely, you will be considering the aesthetic value of what you are buying. This camera is sure to please.
|Accessories for Canon PowerShot S500 5MP
Canon PSC-50 Soft Leather Case for SD100, SD110, S100, S110, S200, S230, S400, S410 & S500 Digital Cameras
You Save: $7.05 (41%)
Canon NB-1LH Battery Pack for Canon S100, S110, S200, S230, S300, S330, S400, S410 & S500
You Save: $19.05 (32%)
Canon CBC-NB1 Car Charger (Charges NB-1LH Battery) for S200, S230, S330, S110, S100, S300, S400, S500 Digital Cameras
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