Canon IXUS 500 HS review

The slimmest compact camera to squeeze in a 12x optical zoom

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If an optimum marriage of value for money and picture quality is your chief consideration when buying a camera - and it certainly should be right up there - then look elsewhere, since there are far better deals to be had.

While it may bring little that's new to the party in terms of looks or technology and performance, and finds the range slightly treading water, the Canon IXUS 500 HS is far from a bad camera. It's just not an especially exciting one.

We liked

The solidly built Canon IXUS 500 HS slips easily into any pocket ready for when the next point and shoot opportunity presents itself, while the requisite cuteness factor pays homage to the range's stylish lineage.

We disliked

The minimalist design means that backplate buttons are small and fiddly, with obvious omissions being a dedicated shooting mode dial, rear plate control pad and dedicated delete button.

Perhaps most damningly, save for better than average low light shots, picture quality is little better than a camera costing £100/$150.

Final verdict

If you can manage to steady the camera enough to achieve consistently sharp results at full zoom then this proves rather more of a selling point, as does the fact that the optical zoom range can be accessed in video mode or for setting up stills.

And, for a relatively teeny point and shoot camera, footage looks great, while there's the added advantage of stereo sound plus HDMI output hiding under a side flap.

Potential purchasers need to weigh up whether these features are important to you and worth paying that little extra for.

We're paying a premium here for a great looking pocket camera that offers the flexibility of a 12x optical zoom. If a glossy exterior and credit card proportions aren't the deciding factor, the equally new, but albeit not as lovely, Olympus SP-620UZ offers a 21x zoom plus better picture quality for just £179/$200.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution10.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyIXUS
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD Card, microSDHC Card, microSD Extended Capacity (microSDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom12x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesLive View, Self-timer, Face Detection, Wink Detection, Smile Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, QuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)155 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE, REACH, ENERGY STAR
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution3648 x 2736
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height53.9 mm
Width87.1 mm
Depth19.2 mm
Focal Length4 mm to 48 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product Model500 HS
Product NameIXUS 500 HS Compact Camera
Product LineIXUS
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number6172B007AA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The IXUS 500 HS brings a big 12x zoom to a compact, stunning metal body - getting you closer, in style. With HS System, Intelligent IS and Smart Auto, shooting great images is easy, even in low light.

Package Contents
  • IXUS 500 HS Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-9L
  • Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year