Canon SX500 Comparison Review
The Canon PowerShot SX500 IS is a fixed lens compact camera that was revealed to the public in August 2012 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.9 megapixel.
Is the Canon SX500 a good camera? The SX500 has a Camera Elo of 1170. This rating puts the SX500 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the SX500 also ranks below average. – Well, the Canon SX500 is more than 8 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2012.
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|ISO 80 - 1 600|
|no viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0 LCD, 461k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|0.8 shutter flaps per second|
|195 shots per battery charge|
|104 x 70 x 80 mm, 341 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The physical dimensions of the Canon SX500 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon SX500 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Canon SX500||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||341 g||195||n||Aug 2012||329|
|Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|Canon SX510||104 mm||70 mm||80 mm||349 g||250||n||Aug 2013||249|
|Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon SX500 was launched in the US market at a price of $329. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Canon SX500 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon SX500 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The SX500 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the SX500 can use is 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Canon SX500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
One convenient feature of the SX500 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
The SX500 has a zoom lens built in (4.3-129mm f/3.4-5.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 720mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX500 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Canon SX500||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Aug 2012||329|
|Canon SX740||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|Canon SX730||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|Canon SX410||o||..||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|Canon SX520||+||..||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|Canon SX700||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|Canon SX400||+||..||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|Canon SX510||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Aug 2013||249|
|Canon 100D||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Canon SX500 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the SX500.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the SX500 based on?
The camera is build around a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Canon equipped the SX500 with the DIGIC 4 image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the SX500?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 1600.
Does the Canon SX500 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The SX500's flash sync speed is 1/1600 sec.
Which battery does the SX500 use?
The camera gets its power from the NB-6L (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 250D vs Canon SX500
- Canon G7 X Mark III vs Canon SX500
- Canon SX400 vs Canon SX500
- Canon SX410 vs Canon SX500
- Canon SX420 vs Canon SX500
- Canon SX500 vs Canon SX510
- Canon SX500 vs Canon SX520
- Canon SX500 vs Canon SX700
- Canon SX500 vs Nikon B600
- Canon SX500 vs Nikon Z6
- Canon SX500 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Canon SX500 vs Sony WX800
|Camera Model||Canon SX500|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.4-5.8|
|Launch Date||August 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 329|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 608 x 3 456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 1 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/1600s|
|Continuous Shooting||0.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||NB-6L power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||195 shots per charge|
104 x 70 x 80 mm
(4.1 x 2.8 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||341 g (12.0 oz)|
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