PowerShot S500 Digital Camera (5.0MP, 2592x1944, 3x Opt, 32MB CompactFlash Card) - Security Camera User Rating
Manufacturer: Canon
Model: 9342A001
Max Focal Length: 22.2 mm
Max Horizontal Image Resolution: 2592 dpi
Max Aperture: 4.9 1/f
Image Format: JPEG
Average User RatingAverage User RatingAverage User Rating: Number of User Reviews: 21

Reviewed by: online_buyer_since_1996 from FL on Mar 16, 2005

Experience: 5 Months

Strengths: Design, sensory chip, quality of pictures

Weaknesses: No battery indicator, small LCD

Summary: (Edited March 30th by online_buyer_since_1996) First of all, film cameras have never came with blank film, why should any digital camera be marketed with a large memory card? As a result, I nullify any comments that criticize small memory card. I suggest to all to go and purchase a 512MB CF for $30. There are no cameras out there that come with enough memory storage medium anyways.

Technically, this is a great compact camera. I do believe that it has the same sensory chip as Canon's famous G-series. This type of CCD makes great difference on steady shots. Excellent low light and no-flash shots are possible if you play with manual.

Flash is a bit strong, even on low-flash setup. With flash on, you may have to closed a portion of the flash with your finger tip when taking close ups .

As indicated by other reviewers, lack of battery indicator can be a real problem, especially if you do not have an extra battery. There is no way to adjust the usage to prolong battery life, since you will not know that you are low in battery power until the camera shots down due to low-battery.

The 1,5" LCD is in fact a bit small. But it works well, and the resolution of it is excellent.

In brief, this is a great small camera with an excellent image quality.

Designwise, its brushed aluminum compact case is the best looking design among any other compact camera out there. Those of you who experience Sony's plastic-case cameras probably know the difference.

I think for $300 you cannot find a more quality camera as of March 2005.

Reviewed by: kirkosaurus from TN on Mar 24, 2005

Experience: 1 Months

Strengths: Compact size. Ease of use. Metal case and not plastic. Excellent digital zoom in addition to optical zoom. 5 megapixels makes pictures very detailed for zooming in and cropping later.

Weaknesses: Red eye elimination mode not always reliable.

Summary: Overall great camera. Took with me on my latest trip to The Netherlands and got some great pictures! The proprietary battery lasts a long time despite other feedback I've read, but I did buy an extra battery just in case.

Reviewed by: Gaboon from CA on Sep 30, 2004

Experience: 60 Days

Strengths: Small size. Overall quality. Features. Ease of use.

Weaknesses: Lack of included case. No hot shoe (for flash).

Summary: My purpose was to buy a camera that I could take everywhere, something I could slip into my pocket and forget about until needed. In terms of size, the S500 fills the bill although it is surprizingly heavy for such a small package. My previous experience with digital cameras is with a Kodak (now broken) and my Nikon 990. I bought the Nikon because I wanted manual control such as I remember from my days using a manual 35mm Nikon and Olympus. I was immediately disappointed. Everything is menu-driven and by the time you get ready for a shot the photo opportunity is long gone. I use the Nikon in auto mode 99% of the time and could have purchased a far less expensive camera. The S500 is also menu driven but most of the settings that need to be changed frequently are controled by buttons immediately accessable on the camera. It's very easy to use. Very easy to change from movies to single to multiple shot modes. Even the on-screen menus are far easier and more intuitive than the Nikon. You can stitch frames together to form panoramas using the included software. Movies (AVI) are remarkably high quality (sound included) at 640 resolution. Unfortunately you can only shoot about 30 seconds of high-res video (about 5 minutes at 320) before the camera stops and gives a 'busy' message. But this interruption is very brief and you can simply depress the sutter again for another 30 seconds. These clips could then be edited together on your computer but longer shooting time would be nice. Still picture quality is excellent, focusing is more consistently accurate than my 990 can manage and exposure is as good or better than with my other cameras. Even the manual is relatively easy to read and understand. You can connect to your computer via a USB cable but why bother. A card reader is easier and faster. Start up time is fast and shutter lag is mercifully short. Bottom line: This is not the fully manual, 12 megapixal, SLR of my dreams but that's not what I wanted. If you want a wonderfully high quality, easy to use, extremely portable, full featured little gem then this is the camera for you. Believe me, you'll use it, and that's what having a camera is for.

Reviewed by: ddnnee from CA on Aug 5, 2004

Experience: 5 Days

Strengths: 5.0mp, pictures are great. Small and many functions.

Weaknesses: battery capacity. Best to not use many flashes.

Summary: Canon makes great cameras. with 5.0 megapixels, you can capture small details in the background. it is as small as your palm and can fit in your pocket without a problem.

overall, the functionality per dollar is low compared to other cameras. The only weakness is the battery. Canon uses their own kind of batteries so you cannot use in-store bought AA or AAA batteries. If you take lots of shots on vacation, best to buy a second or even third battery.

Reviewed by: asianmuffin from FL on Aug 4, 2004

Experience: 3 Months

Strengths: -very good picture quality -enough manual controls to take almost any picture well -compact and sleek design, small enough to fit into your pocket (even with a Canon case) -startup time fast

Weaknesses: -small 1.5" LCD for a new digital camera -uses a proprietary battery -some distortion/fuzziness at corners of pictures -video clips max out at 15 fps; limited to 3 minutes of 320 x 240

Summary: Overall, the Canon S500 is a great camera. It takes great photos and decent (although choppy) video clips. I was looking for a small, high quality digital camera to take to Europe for the summer and this didn't disappoint. I was annoyed that the tripod socket was located to the far left of the camera, making it difficult to balance on a mini-tripod. The weaknesses I have noted above are not major ones, but considering that other brands are coming out with huge LCD screens, great video features (like 30 fps and recording length limited only by memory size), it leaves me with something to desire. If your main focus is picture-taking, this is the one for you.

Reviewed by: nsferatu from CA on Dec 18, 2004

Experience: 1 Days

Strengths: small but strong, many features, ease of use, fast response time, picture quality

Weaknesses: comes with small memory card

Summary: This camera is truly divine. It looks nice, is relatively simple to use if you've used digital cameras before (and even if you haven't) and it takes really nice pictures. You simply won't ever need a better camera for a really long time if you own this one. Anything else and you might as well be a professional. The software takes a little while to load if you choose to install everything but it's worth it with all the options you'll have to modify both the camera (sounds etc) and the pictures it takes. I wish it came with a bigger memory card (32mb) but I guess you can't have everything.

I'd recommend this camera to anyone passionate about their picture taking!

Reviewed by: bkafrick from NY on Jul 28, 2004

Experience: 3 Weeks

Strengths: Size - its one of the smallest/compact on the market Quality - nice picture quality AF Assist Light - Has a light that assists with autofocus in the dark, that many compact cameras do not include

Weaknesses: Do you really need a 5mp camera in a compact form?

Summary: I would probably have purchased the Canon S410 over the Canon S500 now looking back. Do you really need 5 megapixals over 4mp? If you're looking for a nice, sleek, compact point and shoot camera, you probably dont care about the difference between 4mp and 5mp. Save the $100 and buy the S410.

Reviewed by: pcore from NC on Jul 2, 2004

Experience: 2 Months

Strengths: Form factor, metal case, auto lens cover, view finder handy to save battery, CF Format is cheap, guts of G5 in smaller camera

Weaknesses: If size is not a factor, S60 may be better bang for the buck. Menu/function buttons are small.

Summary: The camera is an excellent, compact form factor. Bundled CF is adequate but recommend at least 512MB if visiting a theme park, etc. Battery life is a couple hours for me and my shooting style but found that having a spare is a good idea. Recommend a small case that can protect the view screen since it's always exposed. I would buy this same camera again if I need to replace it.

Reviewed by: yrelkin116 from NY on Nov 9, 2004

Experience: 4 Weeks

Strengths: a whole load of strengths, i cant elaborate

Weaknesses: not for novices who want scene modes

Summary: This camera is great because it is unbelievably portable and the interface is pretty easy to understand and in a few days you'll be snapping pix everywhere you go!!
the zoom is pretty good (12x) 3x optical zoom, 9x digital zoom, and i have a canon portable bubble jet printer i70 so i can print anything from the camera straight out. trust me that this camera is really awesome.. i strongly suggest that you purchase it. (for your own good)

Reviewed by: aardvark216 on Apr 25, 2004

Experience: 6 Days

Strengths: Very small, superb photo quality, easy to use, automatic focus and exposure system generally excellent, many options in manual mode allow good control over exposure settings, camera itself looks sharp

Weaknesses: Not water resistant (although a water proof case is available), will need to buy larger capacity compact flash card, uses battery specific for this camera so may want to buy a second one

Summary: The bottom line for any camera is that it has to take excellent photos, and this is indeed the case here. The pictures are very sharp, and the colors are great. The camera's focus system is excellent, even in dim light. There are several automatic focus options, allowing flexibility no matter where the main subject is located in the picture. (There is no manual focus option, however.) The automatic settings get the exposure and white balance correct the vast majority of times, yet there are many options in the manual settings that give the user control over these issues when taking pictures under unusual conditions. The resolution at 5 MP is wonderful, allowing for large prints and/or cropping of the image if needed. It takes photos quickly. Videos are in quite high resolution for a still camera (up to 640 x 480), although duration limited at 30 seconds to 3 minutes depending on resolution. Panoramic photos can be taken easily with a combination of the "stitching" setting and the included software. All this in a small enough size that it fits easily into a pocket, meaning this camera can go with you almost everywhere you want to take it.

Reviewed by: roslynny from NY on Jul 27, 2004

Experience: 5 Days

Strengths: Megapixels, easy to use, buttons clearly marked, pocket size, mpeg w/sound

Weaknesses: Leatherette case needs to be more functional. Maybe offer neck strap

Summary: This camera is a great camera! I throw it in my bag and it is easy to tote around because of it's size. The pictures come out clear and are easily editable. The best feature of this camera is it is easy to use.

Reviewed by: honestbee on Aug 21, 2004

Experience: 1 Days

Strengths: ultra-compact, good looking, 5mp, uses compact flash card

Weaknesses: gets hot fast, very grainy under low light, proprietary battery is quite expensive,limited manu control,only if it lasts

Summary: I owned a brand new S500 for 30mins and then it died on me with E18 error, which is, accroding to Canon CSR, it is a mechanic problem that the lense won't retract. E18 error is a self-protective machanism that the camera shut itself down and will not response to any input at all. That explains why my camera's lense is not retracting, with lense cover wide-open, and not responding to anything I do.
I've used this camera taking no more than 36 pics before it died and my impression is that it has a lot of graininess under low light, even in manu mode with ISO set at 50. Comparing to my previous A80, I really regretted that I made the phurchase of S500. Now, Canon CSR told me that it took about 7 to 14 business days for them to fix it and I had to pay for the shipping. I feel like I was paying the full price for a new camera, but get a refurbished camera instead, with double shipping. Today is weekend and I'm waiting for my vendor to response for my refund request. I will post the update later regarding my vendor's response.
BTW, E18 is a quite common error among S*00 series, type in E18 error & Canon in search engine you will be able to find a handful info. I will not recommand S500 to anyone.

Reviewed by: drrobins from CA on May 10, 2004

Experience: 1 Months

Strengths: Small, pocketsized camera, but not so small that it gets lost in your hands. Very sharp pictures, simple menu system (no nesting of options.)

Weaknesses: Just a point-and-shoot; no manual shutter or aperture priority. No manual focus. No scene selection. Battery indicator goes on about 5 pictures before the battery is dead; no warning, so need a spare

Summary: Great snapshot camera. Can put into manual mode to control some of the functions, but unable to pick shutter speed or aperture for sports or creative, depth-of-field selections. Medium shutter lag, even when pre-focused using half-depressed shutter. Inspite of this, I bought this camera based on the size and the good reviews on camera sites. My other choice was the Pentax Optio S4, which bordered on been too small to hold well, and has less lens sharpness. The Canon is nice and sharp, with good color.

Reviewed by: gogola26 from ID on Sep 11, 2004

Experience: 1 Weeks

Strengths: 5MP, pictures quality,easy to use,panoramic ability, all of the features

Weaknesses: little heavy, included memory card is small

Summary: This is my second digital camera. I love it. It is very compact, well designed, and easy to use.Pictures are very clear.Battery life is long enough./I took about 200 pictures in outdoor - no flash and I used LCD a lot - review pictures./ But for this camera you need bigger CF.At least 512MB or 1GB./CF is cheap/
The price is a little high, however I feel that the money was worth getting this camera.

Reviewed by: warmbay from CA on May 13, 2004

Experience: 7 Days

Strengths: Excellent profile, good qulity and very clear sharp picture

Weaknesses: battery is not compatiable

Summary: (Edited May 13th by warmbay) I just received the product. It's easy to carry and good looking, and the qulity is also perfect for this type of camera.
The capacity of compact flash card is too small, need buy a bigger one.
I also don't like the battery type.
Although the price is little higher than HP or Koda, it has better quality.
For the overall, S500 is the best one you can buy at same level(5M compact camera).

Reviewed by: oo7bunny from TX on Jul 1, 2004

Experience: 70 Days

Strengths: Stitch function seems seamless! Great outdoor picture quality with bright sunlight. Nighttime best with Manual @ 400ISO. Movie color/light capture better then still photo. Battery last whole day.

Weaknesses: Hard time pressing button down to take picture, sometime must wait few seconds. Flash is on when seem bright enough. If turn flash off, picture will be out of focus! No battery level indicator.

Summary: Great camera, however, must turn some functions off for an armature user or passing-by visitors to use it better and take better and faster shots. Often need to switch to manual mode to take a better still picture. Auto on everything does not work great in dark areas. It is best to use manual mode at dark areas. Other than that, this camera is light, compact, great for point-and-shoot on all sorts of activities.

Reviewed by: bjc7569 from CA on Aug 8, 2004

Experience: 4 Months

Strengths: compact, easy to use, great pictures

Weaknesses: the size sometimes makes it hard to hold steady

Summary: I am no photographer but I like taking pictures. I wanted a camera that was easy to use but also made me look like I knew what I was doing. This camera has done that.

- It carries well in my pocket or briefcase.
- Downloading pictures is simple.
- The camera features are very intuitive (though I would have no idea about the manual features since I have never used them)
- The battery life has not disappointed me.

Everyone who has seen my pics has asked about the camera. I would recommend this camera to anyone that is a novice "picture taker".

Reviewed by: kinjalvora from NY on May 4, 2004

Experience: 7 Days

Strengths: Compact size and clear picture quality. very Light and user friendly. Great Resolution. The flash is great and night pictures are good too.

Weaknesses: Maybe the price!

Summary: Its a great buy if you are willing to pay the price for the compact size. 5 Mega Pixel is a reasonable resolution even for people who are into photography. I just love the way the night pictures come out. No complaints as of now. It would have been great if the prize was lower by a few $$s !!.

Reviewed by: jose317 on Jun 22, 2004

Experience: 7 Days

Strengths: Compact. Superb photo details, colors. Easy to use, plus has many options for the photography enthusiastic.

Weaknesses: Not for X-large hands. Expensive compact flashes.

Summary: Great for traveling. My old SLR camera will surely stay at home on my next vacations. Small stylish performing camera. The software gives lots of tool to optimize the pictures. Also, to correct those details that are caused by the eye behind the viewfinder or the LCD monitor.

Reviewed by: onix on May 10, 2004

Experience: 7 Days

Strengths: Compact, sturdy. Uses CF card capacities up to 1GB and adaptable to a PCMCIA CF card adapter to read data, and hence no Canon software needs to be installed on a PC. Good for Mac & Linux.

Weaknesses: Autofocusing not always great and while faster than a Canon PowerShot G3, it still could be faster. Movie mode has restricted time limits. No easy way to attach a polarizing filter.

Summary: The form and function worked for me. Several wishes however:

(1) Aperture and shutter priority modes.
(2) Smaller size possible with folded optics.
(3) Would be nice to use camera could as a webcam, i.e. have twain drivers. Not sure if this is currently possible, as I'm still investigating.
(4) Method for filter attachment.

Reviewed by: dae on Dec 22, 2004

Experience: 9 Months

Strengths: It's a very ultra-compact camera. 5 megapixels is very mutch for so small camera.

Weaknesses: The red eye.

Summary: It's just a 9 months old camera but I've taken about 1.700 pictures and I have them in my computer. Ive you wanna have a pricelesser camera same (but 4 mp)as the S500 then buy the S410.

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