The IXUS 500 HS is a compact that continues the IXUS range’s tradition of combining striking design with a strong specification. The compact features a 10.1MP, 1/2.3in CMOS sensor and 12x optical zoom, covering a focal range of 28 – 336mm and with a maximum aperture range of f/3.4 to f/5.6.
The aforementioned 10.1MP CMOS sensor is back-illuminated and thus promises improved performance in low-light conditions. Alongside the back illumination technology sits Canon’s HS technology and DIGIC 5 processor, both of which are tasked with further improving performance in low-light, so you should have no worries in utilising the full extent of the camera’s 100-3200 ISO range.
As is often the case with compact cameras with a focus on style, the IXUS 500 HS features a host of Scene modes, as well as Smart Auto shooting mode. The former numbers some 58 different varieties, while the latter will detect the subject you’re shooting and select from one of the 58 options to suit the scene.
The compact also features Face ID technology that allows the camera to adapt shooting settings to a person’s age, with Canon giving the example of turning off the flash for a sleeping baby, or engaging continuous auto-focus for children older than two.
As well the numerous scene modes, the IXUS 500 HS offers a continuous shooting rate of just under 3fps. If you’re willing to accept a reduction in resolution down to just 2.5MP, a rate of nearly 7fps is achievable, with both continuous shooting modes will continue up until the memory card is at capacity.
The IXUS 500 HS offers video capture at a variety of resolutions and frame rates. The headline and most resolute is Full HD of 1920 x 1080 resolution and at a frame rate of 24fps, with movies recorded in MOV format. The 500 HS also features a Super Slow Motion Movie mode – this offers video capture at an impressive frame rate of 120fps, albeit at a much reduced resolution of just 640 x 480 pixels.
Another impressive element of the camera’s specification is the LCD screen. The camera features a 3in LCD screen with a resolution of 461k-dots. Not only does this resolution put it above the standard resolution for a compact, but it also features Canon’s PureColor II G LCD technology, resulting in extra-bright reproduction of images both in capture and review.
As mentioned in the introduction, the Canon IXUS 500 HS is a truly striking compact camera with regards to design. The compact measures in at just 19.2mm thick at its thickest point, and tips the scales at just 155g including battery and memory card. Part of the reason for being about to keep the size down, yet include such a full specification, is through the utilisation of the smaller microSD type of memory card – a point worth noting as if you don’t already own a microSD card it will be another necessary purchase.
The body is well formed in a rectangular shape, with all eight corners of the body tapering off to a pleasing point. The body itself is comprised of a brushed metal finish which not only adds to the feeling of quality, but also is easy on the eye.
The rear of the camera houses the majority of the camera controls, as well as the striking LCD screen. Canon has dispensed with any form of DPAD controller, and has instead loosely aligned four control buttons – exposure compensation, focus control, flash control and display toggle – in a cross pattern. The four are not only used to access the aforementioned controls, but also to negotiate the menu system – another example of eye-catching minimal design sensibilities. The rear of the camera also houses a dedicated video record button which will no doubt please those looking to capture movies.