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Canon IXUS 500 HS review



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Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS
  • Canon IXUS 500 HS


Our Score:



  • Stunning design
  • Well-specified
  • Impressive LCD screen


  • High price tag
  • Lacking a few more high-end features to justify price tag

Key Features

  • 1/2.3in, 10.1-megapixel sensor
  • 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 28 – 336mm in 35mm terms)
  • ISO 100 – 3200
  • 1080p move recording at 24fps, MOV format
  • 3in, 461k-dot LCD with PureColor technology
  • Manufacturer: Canon
  • Review Price: £280.00

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.

Canon IXUS 500 HS 3

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.

Canon IXUS 500 HS 2

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.

Canon IXUS 500 HS 5

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.

Canon IXUS 500 HS


April 10, 2012, 11:53 pm

Let me guess, is it designed by Marc Newson?
(just joking, but I was referring to Pentax K01)

I personally find it quite ugly, in a way it is similar to the Pentax K01. Some people love it, some hate it, but I think the overall feeling will end up being negative.


April 11, 2012, 2:38 am

It's not much of a looker, not that I care about that in a compact. What does put the kibosh on this, as far as i'm concerned, is the slow lens 'maximum aperture range of f/3.4 to f/5.6'.

I expect slow long end performance, but f3.4 @ 28mm is disappointingly poor. I wonder how the Nokia 808 pureview would compare to this in terms of image quality alone? Apples and Oranges, I know, but just out of interest.


April 13, 2012, 9:05 pm

Stunning design?? The boxy look is exactly the same as Canon used when it first brought out the Ixus cameras in the 1990s.

To me it just looks like a company going back to an old idea because it's run out of new ones.


April 14, 2012, 4:02 pm

It has 'Stylish' and 'eye-catching' looks according to Paul.
Sorry Paul but it looks a bit 'plain' to me and whilst I
actually quite like that look..... I don't feel that your
original description quite accurately describes it.
(But don't worry there will always be someone who takes
issue with whatever way you describe it...Just keep going)


April 16, 2012, 3:51 pm

The design is as ugly as the Pentax K-01, No imagination to it. The older generation Ixus range looked much better. For its poor specs, the camera looks cheap and toylike. Match made in hell!

Jerome Nolas

May 1, 2012, 12:58 am

Yes, stunning design! Where do you live guys? Or maybe got stuck in the 18 th century...


June 8, 2012, 8:45 am

I used the camera for about three weeks and agree with most of the review. However, unlike the reviewer, I strongly disliked the tiny buttons at the rear. For one thing the buttons are much too small unless your fingers are the size of child's. Secondly, the button arrangement makes navigating the menus difficult - a far cry from the simple and effective circular controller used in previous Canon cameras.

johnny come lately

March 5, 2014, 5:20 pm

It takes sharp close up images and it's easy to use. I didn't pay hundreds for it because I'm not a fashion victim. I bought it recently when silly people had all paid the silly price and sensible people got the real value of the product. I don't care that newer models are now on the market to fleece the fashion victims... yet again. I just wanted a camera whether it looks ''ugly'' or ''pretty'' isn't my concern. I'm not looking to fuck a camera.

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