Canon PowerShot SX500 IS Digital Camera, 16MP, 30x Optical Zoom, 24mm Wide-Angle Lens, 720p HD Video, Intelligent Image Stabilization

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About Canon SX500 IS

Replacing the SX40 HS, the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS is Canon's new superzoom compact, sporting a 24-720mm (35mm equivalent) f/3.4-5.8 lens-slightly shorter than its predecessor's 35x optic, but with a higher-resolution 16MP sensor. Canon says advances it has made in noise reduction means images will be excellent quality at higher speeds.

Key features: Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

• 30x optical zoom lens starts at 24mm
• 1/2.3" CCD ensor
• 720p HD Video
• 3-inch, 461k dot LCD monitor
• Smart Auto with 32 predefined shooting situations
• Intelligent IS with 6 image stabilization modes
• Zoom Framing Assist tracks and captures moving subjects
• High-Speed AF

The Canon PowerShot SX500 offers remarkably improved lag time and high-speed autofocus, so you can capture sports as well as the kids before they run out of the frame. There's also a high-resolution 3-inch 461k dot LCD monitor. A prominent Movie button means less burrowing through menu options when you're ready to shoot video. Video capture is at 720p at 25fps, and the camera is compatible with Apple's iFrame standard for faster downloading compatible Apple and Windows computers.

The Canon PowerShot SX500's 32 scene modes include Smart Auto, which can choose the most appropriate scene. Zoom Framing Assist makes using the zoom lens easier; the camera will automatically zoom out automatically to get up close to moving subjects, then automatically zooms back.

Shooting modes include: Manual exposure, aperture, and shutter-priority and program, Smart Auto, portrait, low light, snow, fireworks, creative filters, iFrame mode, Discreet mode (disables flash and all camera sounds), Live View control, face self timer, and more. Creative filters include Miniature Effect, Poster Effect, Toy Camera, Fisheye, Super Vivid and Monochrome.

The Canon SX500 IS is commonly used for Family photos, Landscape/scenery, Low light, Travel, Weddings, Wildlife and more.The Canon SX500 IS is most used by customers who consider themselves to be a Casual photographer, Photo enthusiast among others.The Canon SX500 IS is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Canon SX500 IS: Compact, Durable, Easy to use, Excellent image quality, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Good battery life, Good image quality, Good low-light performance, Image stabilization, Large clear LCD, Lightweight/portable, Nice features/settings, Simple controls/menu and Zoom range/performance

Canon SX500 IS Features

  • Canon's powerful 30x Optical Zoom and 24mm Wide-Angle lens with Optical Image Stabilizer reduces camera shake so you achieve brilliant images whether you are up close or far away.
  • 16.0 Megapixel sensor and Canon DIGIC 4 Image Processor deliver stunning quality images.
  • Capture breathtaking 720p HD video in stereo sound with a dedicated movie button; zoom while shooting and play back videos on an HDTV via the HDMI output.
  • Large 3.0-inch LCD with 461,000 dots enables easy viewing.
  • Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings for the camera based on 32 predefined shooting situations to ensure the best possible image capture for stills or video.
  • Intelligent IS automatically chooses from six different modes to optimize image stabilization for shake-free images in a wide variety of conditions.
  • Enhanced Zoom Framing Assist button aids in tracking and capturing subjects during super telephoto photography.
  • High Speed AF greatly improves focus speed so you capture every shot with ease.
  • Powerful 30x Optical Zoom: With a 35mm film equivalent focal length that extends all the way from 24mm to 720mm, your shooting reach is superb: you'll capture telephoto shots with detail like never before.
  • Wide Angle Lens: The Wide-Angle Lens gives your images a distinctive sweep and grandeur, capturing landscapes, cityscapes, tall buildings and wide groups of people with ease.
  • Genuine Canon Optics: Genuine Canon optics ensure that your images are resonant with the clarity and brilliance made possible by Canon's decades of industry leadership in optical technology.
  • 16.0 Megapixel Image Sensor: The PowerShot SX500 IS's 16.0 Megapixel CCD sensor delivers impressive photos with fine detail and brilliant color. The high resolution ensures superb image quality even when cropping or making very large prints.
  • Canon DIGIC 4 Image Processor: The DIGIC 4 Image Processor has ushered in a new level of picture quality and accelerated processing, making possible features such as high-speed continuous shooting, Full HD video and Face Detection Self-timer. New, more powerful noise reduction algorithms also provide improved low-light capture.
  • Canon HD Video Advantage: The PowerShot SX500 IS lets you record amazingly detailed 720p HD video at 25 frames per second with clear stereo sound. Imagine the fun and excitement of being able to shoot high definition video whenever you want, right from your compact digital camera.
  • HDMI: Watching your videos and sharing them with family and friends is especially easy with the camera's HDMI output: you can connect the camera directly to your HDTV with anoptional HDMI cable, and see your videos on the big screen right away.
  • Dedicated Movie Button: It's never been easier to shoot videos with a PowerShot digital camera. The PowerShot SX500 IS has a dedicated movie button that lets you start and stop recording instantly. The camera is always ready to shoot stills or video whenever you want.
  • Wind Filter: The camera also incorporates an electronic wind filter, which suppresses wind noise that can muffle or distort the sound.
  • Optical Zoom While Shooting: And the PowerShot SX500 IS lets you use the full range of optical zoom when you're shooting a video, without sacrificing HD video resolution.
  • iFrame Movie Support: With the PowerShot SX500 IS, you can also shoot video in the Apple iFrame format, which is a computer-friendly standard that speeds up importing and editing of videos. It keeps file sizes small, making it more convenient to upload or e-mail high-quality videos.
  • High-Resolution 3.0-inch LCD: Composing and checking your shots is easier with PowerShot SX500 IS's clear, high-resolution LCD (approximately 461,000 dots). The extra resolution also makes using the camera's menu functions more convenient.
  • Night Display: The large screen is easily viewable from a wide angle, whether you're shooting, reviewing or showing off your images. Clear and bright, it also features Night Display for easy viewing in low light.
  • Smart AUTO: Smart AUTO automatically detects scenes by assessing various factors in both the background and the subject. Detected scenes are analyzed using 32 predefined shooting situations.
  • Advanced Subject Detection: Smart AUTO also includes Advanced Subject Detection, which allows the camera to detect and track non-human moving subjects like animals and vehicles. With Smart AUTO, all you have to do is frame your shot and capture away.
  • Intelligent IS: Intelligent IS, the latest advance in Canon Optical Image Stabilization technology, analyzes camera movement and applies the best shake correction method for the shooting situation. For stills, the system automatically selects among Normal, Panning, Macro (Hybrid) and Tripod IS modes.
  • Enhanced Zoom Framing Assist Button: Zoom Framing Assist makes it much easier to use the camera's powerful zoom lens. When you press and hold the Zoom Framing Assist function button, the camera will automatically zoom out to include a wider angle of view, enabling you to more easily locate your moving subject.
  • High Speed AF: Canon's newly developed AF achieves a significant increase in speed, for a shooting experience that's spontaneous and natural. The remarkably responsive High Speed AF lets you capture great shots as they happen, with reduced lag time.
  • Face Detection Technology: Face Detection technology makes it easy for you to take great photos of people. The camera will automatically detect the face(s) in a frame to give it optimal focus, exposure, flash (if needed) and white balance.
  • Face Self-Timer: Face self-timer adds convenience to Face Detection because you can set the camera to release the shutter when someone enters the frame.
  • Shooting Modes: PowerShot cameras offer shooting modes that make it easy to take perfect photos in a wide range of shooting situations by providing intelligent presets with optimized settings.
  • Special Scene Modes with Creative Filters: Special Scene Modes have fun and creative filters you can add to your photos without having to use a computer. You can make a quirky portrait using a Fisheye Lens Effect or add a beautiful single-tone effect with Monochrome.

Canon SX500 IS Specifications

Camera Type
Compact digital still camera with built-in flash, 30x Optical, 4x Digital and 120x Combined Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
16.0 Megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CCD
Total Pixels
Approx. 16.6 Megapixels
Effective Pixels
Approx. 16.0 Megapixels
Focal Length: 4.3 (W) - 129.0 (T) mm (35mm film equivalent: 24-720mm)
Digital Zoom
Focusing Range Normal/Auto
Normal/Auto: 0 in (0cm) - infinity (W), 4.6 ft. (1.4m) - infinity (T)
Focusing Range Macro AF
Macro AF: 0 in - 1.6 ft. (0-50cm) (W)
Autofocus System
TTL Autofocus, Manual Focus
LCD Monitor
3.0-inch TFT Color LCD with wide viewing angle
LCD Pixels
Approx. 461,000 dots
LCD Coverage
Approx. 100%
Maximum Aperture
f/3.4 (W), f/5.8(T)
Shutter Speed
1-1/1600 sec.
15-1/1600 sec. (Total shutter speed range)
ISO Sensitivity
Auto, ISO 100/200/400/800/1600
Light Metering Method
Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot
Exposure Control Method
Manual Exposure, Program Shift, Safety Shift, AE Lock
Exposure Compensation
Still Images: +/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
Videos: +/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments (not available during shooting)
White Balance Control
Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Built-in Flash
Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, Flash Off, Facial brightness is also evaluated in Face Detect
Flash Range
1.6 ft. - 16 ft. (W), 4.6 - 9.8 ft. (T) (50cm - 5.0m (W), (1.4 - 3.0m (T))
Recycling Time
10 sec. or less (battery voltage: 3.7 V)
Flash Exposure Compensation
+/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
Shooting Modes
M, Av, Tv, P, Live View Control, Auto, SCN, Creative Filters, Discreet, Movie
Movie Effects
Portrait, Face Self-timer, Low Light, Snow, Fireworks , Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect , Standard, iFrame Movie
Photo Effects
My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color
Approx. 10-sec. delay/approx. 2-sec. delay/custom
Wireless Control
Continuous Shooting
Normal: Approx. 0.8 shots/sec. (in P mode)
Normal: Approx. 2.8 shots/sec. (in Low Light mode)
AF: Approx. 0.5 shots/sec. (in P mode)
LV: Approx. 0.6 shots/sec. (in P mode)
Storage Media
SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card
File Format
Design rule for Camera File system, DPOF (Version 1.1) compliant
Image Compression
Superfine / Fine
JPEG Compression Mode
Still Image: Exif. 2.3 (JPEG)
Video: MOV (Image: H.264; Audio: Linear PCM (Stereo))
16:9 Still Image Pixels
Large: 4608 x 2592; Medium 1: 3264 x 1832; Medium 2: 1920 x 1080; Small: 640 x 360
3:2 Still Image Pixels
Large: 4608 x 3072; Medium 1: 3264 x 2176; Medium 2: 1600 x 1064; Small: 640 x 424
4:3 Still Image Pixels
Large: 4608 x 3456; Medium 1: 3264 x 2448; Medium 2: 1600 x 1200; Small: 640 x 480
1:1 Still Image Pixels
Large: 3456 x 3456; Medium 1: 2448 x 2448; Medium 2: 1200 x 1200; Small: 480 x 480
Video fps
HD 1280 x 720: 25 fps
iFrame Movie HD 1280 x 720: 30 fps 25 fps
Miniature Effect HD 1280 x 720: 5 fps / 2.5 fps / 1.25 fps
Miniature Effect 640 x 480: 6 fps / 3 fps / 1.5 fps
640 x 480: 30 fps (29.97)
Video Standard
Video Out
Mini connector (audio/video)
Audio Out
Via mini A/V connector
Printer Connection
SD memory card slot; direct connection to Canon SELPHY, PIXMA Photo Printers & PictBridge compatible printers
Battery Pack NB-6L, Compact Power Adapter CA-DC10 (included with AC Adapter Kit CA-DC40)
Shooting Capacity
Approx. 195 shots
Playback Time
Approx. 4 hours
Operating Temperature: 32-104°F/0-40°C
Operating Humidity: 10-90%
Dimensions WxHxD
4.09 x 2.74 x 3.16" / 104.0 x 69.5 x 80.2mm
11.2 oz. / 318g camera body
Mfr #

Canon SX500 IS Reviews Powered by TurnTo®

Review Snapshot®


(based on 49 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Love this for videos and daylight pics

I bought this camera over Christmas break because I wanted a digital camera that was not quite as heavy-duty as a DSLR, but still had very good specs (I had been stalking this camera and another one for a few months before purchasing). I was surprised at first at how light and compact this camera is. It is smaller than I had expected it to be. I use this camera to record many functions and concerts at our high school to upload to youtube. I saw another reviewer had an issue with the audio and...

View full Review

I bought this camera over Christmas break because I wanted a digital camera that was not quite as heavy-duty as a DSLR, but still had very good specs (I had been stalking this camera and another one for a few months before purchasing). I was surprised at first at how light and compact this camera is. It is smaller than I had expected it to be. I use this camera to record many functions and concerts at our high school to upload to youtube. I saw another reviewer had an issue with the audio and video not lining up and I have not encountered this problem (I have a mac and use imovie to edit all the clips). I am thinking about getting a spare battery though as that has been my only issue when recording. The battery lasted over an hour while recording in HD, but I did not realize that I should have had a spare in order to record the whole event. The zoom on this camera -for both stills and video- is amazing (especially when using a tripod). I stood 10+ feet away from a ping pong ball and on the mechanical zoom alone was able to clearly focus in on the company label on the ball. With the digital zoom, the camera zeroed in on one letter of said label while maintaining crisp quality. I love the automatic macro setting. Initially my brother and I thought that you had to be on a specific setting in order to be in macro mode, but the camera focuses automatically. You just have to have a little patience in order to focus it properly for the light/which object you want to focus on. It may take a couple times of half-way releasing the shutter and re-depressing it in order to get the proper focus. My friend and I played around with the manual settings and they were fairly easy to figure out... you can't be scared to try adjusting settings and realize that you can undo almost anything if you click the wrong button. For manual shooting, I would go to my 35mm every time and use this digital as more of an automatic though. My only qualms with this camera is using it in low-light conditions, camera to computer quality, and no viewfinder. It is iffy about whether a good picture comes out or not and the flash is very good for indoor situations, but sometimes does not help with outdoor, low light situations. I literally had taken two pictures with the same exact settings and focus; one came out gorgeous and the other was grainy and unfocused (even though it appeared fine as I was focusing it). The camera to computer quality is odd with some images. It seems like for some of the images, the camera has too high of a megapixel rate. There are pictures I've taken with this camera that look fine on the camera body itself, but once it's transferred to the computer, it is a little grainy and appears like it is worse quality (as desktop wallpaper) than pictures taken with my very old 4mp camera. I would LOVE a viewfinder on this camera, but for all the other brilliant things about this camera, I would willingly let that little detail go. The price of this camera is excellent especially considering what it is capable of. Even if you forgo the picture-taking aspects of it and use it primarily as a video camera, I believe it is still easily worth the price (though I do not know why you wouldn't take advantage of the wonderful pictures it can take). Overall, I do love this camera and it is extremely easy to use and carry, but there are a couple of features that could have been a little bit better or just more consistent.


Most Liked Negative Review


Not Happy With The Canon Power Shot SX500IS

After looking at compact cameras, we purchased the Power Shot SX500IS, just before Christmas. What a disapointment, some of the pictures have a curvature to the picture, distorting the people and ruining the pictures of family! These can never be redone! I am returning this Canon SX500IS! I DO NOT RECOMEND THIS CAMERA!!!

Reviewed by 49 customers


Worst ever purchased


A plastic piece around the lens is only glued in and when you take the lens cover off the plastic piece is stuck in the lens cover. Now the plastic piece is completely gone and the cover will not go on the lens. The camera freezes all the time and will not take pictures. The word busy is constantly being displayed. I have had other Canon power shots and loved them. This model I totally dislike and am frustrated every time I use it.


Canon SX 50


I compared this camera side-by-side with another Canon SX 50 and from that we found the image stabilizer and the auto focus were not working correctly. We compared the photo image at a 100 times and 200 times. My Canon SX 50 would not stay focused. The image stabilizer was very unstable. I am sending this camera back to Canon for a replacement. This is a great camera. Mine may somehow have missed the quality inspections. Hopefully I can change my review when I get my replacement

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


This camera was such a ...


This camera was such a disappointment after spending two weeks on vacation and taking tons of great photos I came home and downloaded the pics to my computer to find out that there is a time and date stamp on every photo that you can't remove! Who wants a time and date stamp on their pictures? the worst part is that the photos never show the date on them when you view them through the camera they only showed up after I downloaded them. What a horrible piece of garbage cannon! Nobody wants that stupid feature or option anyway! thanks for ruining all my photos!


love my camera!


I received this camera as a Christmas gift in 2012 and just love everything about it! Easy settings, nice quality photos every time! The only problem i can think of is that sometimes it gets finiky with low light and doesnt want to take the photo.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Awesome picture quality, and excellent product.


I bought this camera Canon SX500IS on 2nd Nov 2013, It very good I would recommend to my friends. Excellent quality product, awesome pictures . Easy to use. Probably Canon would have provided soft case with it, would have have appreciated. Thanks canon. I did not fond any Cons, because it is perfect for my use specially outings, travelling and short safari.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Excellent camera


This is one of the many cameras that I have but the canon powershot sx500 is is the best. Not only is it portable and small but it also has a 30x zoom and 60x super zoom. This camera has a number of scene modes and effects which make my photos clear and vibrant. I would recommend this product because it is easy to use and has a long battery life.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Wish I had my money back


Every time I have used this camera for one single occasion (no more than a couple of hours each time), I have had to recharge the battery. Fortunately (?) the guy at store recommended that I get a second battery. Since one battery is always charged, that helps. I do not like that the lens doesn't close up (prone to scratches); I do not like the short battery life; it does not indicate on the screen which setting I'm using; it does not fit in my purse. In short, I regret buying the camera. I will buy another camera but will do a LOT more homework. The reviews on this one did not indicate the problems I am experiencing. I can't even think of anyone I want to pass this camera along to.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


I LOVE my Canon camera


I love my camera (Canon Powershot SX500IS) because of the 50 X zoom. It enable me to take pictures of the moon and the detail was incredible. A friend has a DSLR high end camera and lens that couldn't get the close up shot that I did. Canon will always be my camera of choice because I have never had to replace one. I only buy a new camera when Canon has developed a camera with features that my other Canon cameras don't have (example 50X zoom). Canon cameras enable me to always take beautiful unblurred photos. I LOVE my Canon cameras.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Expected better.


I bought this camera brand new. I was a little bummed because at first I wanted the Canon Elph 110 for vlogging purposes, but the store I went to had sold out of the Elph so I had to pull out a little extra cash for this camera. As it was $90 more. I know the capabilities of the Elph because my friend has one, and this camera although more expensive and quoted to take crisp photos, does not amount to the elph *digital* camera! The video quality on the Canon SX500 IS is grainy and performs horribly in all lighting except outdoors. The best photos are taken on auto if the object is still. I shouldn't have wasted my money, and my warranty is up. Canon you let me down, for the very first time. But I do love my 60D!!!! I just wish I could get my hands on the Canon Elph 110.


Good things come in small packages


For those times that you don't what to take your DSLR with you, this is an excellent "tag-along" companion. The 30X zoom with excellent stabilization will get you just about anywhere.Good resolution, too.


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Julia F  Can you change the lenses?
JOSEPH D  I do not believe you can.
Julia F  dang flabbit Joseph! why not?
Shopper  Hi, I just bought this camera and have no idea as to how to make the flash "pop up" from the middle. Can anyone tell me how to trigger it? Also, there is a little 'bulb' at the left hand corner, isn't that a flash too? Would appreciate if anyone can help my questions. Thanks!
JENNIFER M  Hi there, You have to lift the flash manually. It doesn't just pop up for you. And the other is a lamp. It illuminates when you are using the flash. I hope you enjoy this camera. I just got back from a South African safari and my pictures are awesome! Hope this helps.
Roy F  Jennifer, so good to read your reply. I am about to buy the Canon SX500 for an upcoming safari in Tanzania. Great!!
Shopper  Where is this camera made ?
ETHEL G  Made in China, of course.
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