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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Canon PowerShot S500

Canon Digital Cameras


Canon PowerShot S500 Review

Review Date: Apr 1, 2004

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Canon PowerShot S500 Digital ELPH 

Image Quality

The Canon PowerShot S500 Digital Elph is a digital camera targeted to point-and-shoot photographers. It takes excellent images in Auto mode, though for the image samples, I used the "Manual" mode almost exclusively. On the Canon S500, the "Manual" mode is really a misnomer, and should be renamed to Program AE or something else.

The image sensor in the Canon S500 is a 1/1.8 in. CCD with 5 megapixels crammed in. Quality of the lens is excellent.

We debut a Photo Gallery with a built-in slide show feature. This should allow those still on dial-up to view the image samples more easily. Note that the 640x480 samples are reduced to High quality (60/100). Click on any image to view the original size.

Most of the images in the Photo Gallery are original versions, unretouched, to show the kind of images you can get straight out of the camera. But, we have also elected to present some of the images that we have adjusted in Photoshop Elements.

Digital post-processing is such an integral part of digital photography that we want to also show what you can do even when sometimes a picture does not quite come out of the camera the way you thought you saw it and took it. Many beginners visit photo galleries on the Internet and wonder at the beautiful images thinking they are straight out of the camera -- not realizing that most of them are post-processed in Photoshop or some other image editing software. Where we have adjusted an image in Photoshop Elements, we have appended "adjusted" to the file name. Our post-processing is limited to Levels... where we either brighten or darken an image slightly. No sharpening or other effect have been applied, unless specifically noted.

The pictures on this page provide a good sample of what the Canon S500 is capable of. I have provided samples at 800x600 size. Please open and download the original size version only if you need to and only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!


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The Canon PowerShot S500 Digital Elph produces superb pictures in Auto or "Manual" mode. I like the inclusion of a histogram in Playback mode to help judge whether a picture is under- or over-exposed at a glance. I only wish the weather was better up here in Toronto. I will add to this gallery if the weather cooperates in the next few days.

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