"Considering the price point, it's a super little camera"4.5 starson by Thomas_Robertson
Pros: Excellent image quality in good light
Easy to use, excellent focusing system, small size, battery life
Full featured manual modes
Auto modes work very nice
30x optical zoom
Cons: Noisy in low light
Burst rate is very poor
Summary: The unique selling point of this camera has to be the ability to remain compact, while incorporating a fantastic built in zoom. In the past, bridge cameras were closer to the size, and price, of an entry level DSLR. This meant that they were bulky and heavy, and the only real advantage was that an additional bag of lenses wasn't required.I suggest check for best price at: camerabuilding.wordpress.com/canon-powershot-sx500-is/
With the Canon Powershot SX500, the x30 optical zoom has been retained, but the size of the camera has been massively reduced. It is now closer to the size of an average compact, with a large-ish lens attached to the front. The quality of the zoom has not been reduced either - in fact I would even go as far as to say that it has been improved. In addition to the x30 optical zoom, this can be extended to x120 with the assistance of the digital zoom. With other cameras that I have used in the past, the digital zoom was traditionally useless, even if you were using a tripod, as the pictures would either be excessively blurred, or contain a lot of noise.
In order to prove this, I set the camera a challenge. The challenge was as follows: would I be able to take a picture of a standard page of normal sized text in a magazine (Gardener's World, in case you're interested!), in daylight conditions, from four metres away and using the x120 digital zoom? The answer is yes. There was a bit of noise, and the colours were slightly distorted, but considering the challenge that was involved, I was very impressed. I couldn't even see that there was text on the page with the naked eye!
As I mentioned above, the main selling point of this camera is the ability to remain small, while keeping its fantastic zoom. Therefore, some compromises have needed to be made, so that it can still be affordable as a budget camera. The most major of these is that the number of shooting modes is somewhat limited compared to other cameras currently on the market. Therefore, unless have a snow (which at the time of writing, I do!) or a fireworks scene, there is little option but to take pictures on the automatic mode. Having said this, this will probably not really be an issue for the majority of people that this camera is aimed at. In fact, I only tend to change the settings and use scene modes when using a DSLR, on all other cameras, automatic mode is good enough for the situation.
While the number of scene modes is somewhat limited, it is still possible to adjust many other settings through the use of a full manual mode. Shutter and aperture priority modes are also available, however you've be forgiven for thinking they didn't at first glance, as Canon have called them Tv and Av modes, rather than the more common S and A.
One final point I would mention is the battery life. I received the Camera in October 2012 and have used it on and off since that date. During that period of time (6 months), I have charged the battery once and it is still showing 2 bars. A lot more impressive than another camera which I recently tried which had a battery life of a week, even if it wasn't used!
Overall, I am very impressed with this little camera. Yes, it may not be the most versatile and come with the most options and settings available, however for most people, I think the most important thing after image quality (and all cameras have mastered this by now), is zoom capability and quality. The majority of the other features are just nice to haves. Therefore, I can't find any fault with how it performs and at the end of the day, if I do find myself in a very special situation that requires all sorts of special features, I wouldn't be wanting to use what is, for all intents and purposes, a budget camera.
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I hope my review is helpful, good luck my friend!
Updated on Dec 23, 2013