"Great for simple snapshots"3.5 starson by Psyches
Pros: Tiny, solid, great UI, good battery life, optical zoom, looks great
Cons: Picture quality not that great, user manual could be better, cheezy PC software
Summary: I upgraded from a Canon Powershot S30 for better size and battery life; the S500 is pretty much as I expected - really small, solid (thanks to the aluminum case), very easy to use, and takes so-so pictures. I'm no photographer, but with default settings (5mp, normal quality) the picture quality is clearly not as good as the Canon S30, which is only 3.2mp. The pics are fine for my on-the-go snapshot needs though. I was constantly needing to switch batteries on the old camera, and so far the S500 (rated at ~200 pictures) is sooo much better. The camera UI is an added bonus - I found the manual to be of limited value: I've found several features on the camera that I didn't see mentioned in the manual, but in retrospect are quite intuitive.
One other thing I found: the camera model is fairly new, and Casio is providing firmware upgrades pretty often. I had version 1.01, and 1.02 was already available when I got my unit. Installing the firmware upgrade was a breeze, I just followed the online instructions - which is also how I found that the camera mounts as a drive (maybe I missed that in the user manual?)