Canon Powershot SX500 IS and SX160 IS compact cameras

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The Canon Powershot SX500 IS is the smallest 30x zoom camera today on the market. With a 24-720mm lens packed in a pretty compact form factor, yet almost as big as a bridge camera with no viewfinder, it is a nice travel camera although I would advise to get a 20x camera instead and to invest in a BSI CMOs camera with better image quality and more interesting features (like 10 fps, swipe panorama mode, HDR, multishot nigh mode… yes, i am thinking o the Sony HX20V… and others). The issue with today’s announced Canon Powershot SX500 IS is that is gets a simple 16MP CCD sensor which can definitely not compete with Sony’s BSI CMOS sensors technology. Its HD video mode sticks to a disappointing 720p definition. yet, it records stereo sound and has an HDMI-CEC slot. The SX500 IS (and the SX160 IS) is sticked to ISO 1,6000 as a maximum sensibility setting.

Appart from that, the Canon SX500 IS image is stabilized by the latest “intelligent IS” mode which will detect the shooting conditions and set the way it works accordingly. Same thing with the smart Auto mode with auto scene detection among 32 cases (58 cases on Canon Powershot SX260 HS for instance, a 20x zoom camera with a BSI CMOs sensor… that is the one I’d recommend in canon’s range, has GPS too….). PASM modes are available and the 3″ screen whose definition is not stated by Canon is their press release (must be pretty weak like 230Kdots I believe) can display help and hints for beginners. Finally, you can apply creative filters to your images.

The Powershot SX160 IS borrows 90* of the SX500 IS technical specs but :

  • has a 26x (28-448) zoom lens instead
  • is powered by 2xAA batteries

Both cameras are ignited by the DIGIC 4 processor, the DIGIC 5 being Canon high-end models exclusivity.

 

Canon Powershot SX500 IS
The Canon Powershot SX500 IS gets a 24-720mm zoom lens (f/3.4-5.8)

Canon Powershot SX160 IS and S500 IS price and availability

The Canon Powershot SX500 IS will be the first available, by the end of this month, at a suggested retail price of $299. Its smaller brother, the Powershot SX500 IS will be available later, in September, at a suggested retail price of $179.

 

Canon Powershot SX500 IS technical specifications

DIGITAL CAMERA PowerShot SX500 IS
IMAGE SENSOR
Type 1/2.3 type CCD
Effective Pixels Approx. 16.0M
Colour Filter Type Primary Colour
IMAGE PROCESSOR
Type DIGIC 4 with iSAPS technology
LENS
Focal Length 4.3 – 129.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24 – 720 mm)
Zoom Optical 30x
ZoomPlus 60x
Digital Approx. 4x (with Digital Tele-Converter Approx. 1.6x or 2.0x and Safety Zoom [1]). Combined Approx. 120x
Maximum f/number f/3.4 – f/5.8
Construction 13 elements in 10 groups (1 UD lens, 1 double-sided aspherical lens)
Image Stabilisation Yes (lens shift-type), 3.5-stop. Intelligent IS
FOCUSING
Type TTL
AF System/Points Face Detection, 1-point AF (fixed to centre)
AF Modes Continuous, Servo AF/AE [10], Tracking AF
AF Point Selection Size (Normal, Small)
AF Lock On/Off Selectable
AF Assist Beam Yes
Manual Focus Yes
Closest Focusing Distance 0 cm (W) from front of lens in macro
EXPOSURE CONTROL
Metering modes Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (Centre)
AE Lock On/Off Selectable
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments.
Enhanced i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction
ISO sensitivity [3] AUTO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
SHUTTER
Speed 1 – 1/1600 sec. (factory default)
15 – 1/1600 sec. (total range – varies by shooting mode)
WHITE BALANCE
Type TTL
Settings Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
LCD MONITOR
Monitor 7.5 cm (3.0”) TFT, Approx. 461,000 dots
Coverage Approx. 100%
Brightness Adjustable to one of five levels. Quick-bright LCD
FLASH
Modes Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Slow Sync Speed Fastest speed 1/1600 sec.
Red-Eye Reduction Yes
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments. Face Detection FE. Safety FE.
Flash Exposure Lock Yes
Manual Power Adjustment 3 levels with internal flash
Built-in Flash Range 50 cm – 5.0 m (W) / 1.4 m – 3.0 m (T)
External Flash Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2
SHOOTING
Modes Smart Auto (32 scenes detected), Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Live View Control, SCN (Portrait, FaceSelf-Timer, Low Light (4.0MP), Snow, Fireworks), Creative Filters (Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect), Discreet, Movie
Modes in Movie Smart Auto (21 scenes detected), Standard, iFrame Movie, Program AE, Portrait, Snow, Fireworks, Miniature Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect
Photo Effects My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)
Drive modes Single, Continuous, Continuous with AF, Self-Timer
Continuous Shooting Approx. 0.8 shots/sec. with AF: Approx. 0.5 shots/sec. LV: Approx. 0.6 shots/sec.(until memory card becomes full) [6] [7]
RECORDING PIXELS / COMPRESSION
Image Size 4:3 – (L) 4608 x 3456, (M1) 3264 x 2448, (M2) 1600 x 1200, (S) 640 x 480
16:9 – (L) 4608 x 2592, (M1) 3264 x 1832, (M2) 1920 x 1080, (S) 640 x 360
3:2 – (L) 4608 x 3072, (M1) 3264 x 2176, (M2) 1600 x 1064, (S) 640 x 424
1:1 – (L) 3456 x 3456, (M1) 2448 x 2448, (M2) 1200 x 1200, (S) 480 x 480

Resize in playback (M2, S, XS)
*XS is half the length and width of S

Compression Superfine, Fine
Movies (HD) 1280 x 720, 25 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 30 fps
Miniature Effect (HD, L) 5fps, 2.5fps, 1.25 fps
iFrame Movie (HD)
Movie Length (HD) Up to 4 GB or 29 min. 59 sec. [11]
(L ) Up to 4 GB or 1 hour [7]
FILE TYPES
Still Image Type JPEG compression, (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Movies MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (stereo)]
iFrame
DIRECT PRINT
Canon Printers Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Fixed Size Print and Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP & ES printers only)
PictBridge Yes
OTHER FEATURES
Red-Eye Correction Yes, during shooting and playback
My Camera / My Menu Start-up image and camera sounds customisation
My Category Image tagging feature
Intelligent Orientation Sensor Yes
Histogram Yes
Playback zoom Approx. 2x – 10x
Self Timer Approx. 2 or 10 sec., Custom
Menu Languages English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Farsi, Hindi, Malay, Indonesian, Vietnamese
INTERFACE
Computer Hi-Speed USB (MTP, PTP) dedicated connector (Mini-B compatible)
Other HDMI Mini Connector (HDMI-CEC compatible) A/V output (PAL/NTSC)
MEMORY CARD
Type SD, SDHC, SDXC
SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEM
PC & Macintosh Windows 7 SP1 / Vista SP2 / XP SP3
Mac OS X v10.6 – 10.7
SOFTWARE
Browsing & Printing ImageBrowser EX
Other PhotoStitch
POWER SOURCE
Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6L (battery and charger supplied)
Battery life Approx. 195 shots [8]
Approx. 540 min. playback
Approx. 240 min. playback
A/C Power Supply Optional, AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC40
ACCESSORIES
Cases / Straps Soft Case DCC-950
Flash Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2
Power Supply & Battery Chargers AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC40, Battery Charger CB-2LYE
PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Operating Environment 0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 104.0 x 69.5 x 80.2 mm
Weight Approx. 341 g (including battery/batteries and memory card)
All data is based on Canon standard testing methods (according to CIPA Standards) except where indicated.
Subject to change without notice.
[1] Depending on the image size selected.
[3] Standard Output Sensitivity / Recommended Exposure Index. According to ISO 12232:2006 (20th April 2006) which specifies the method for assigning and reporting ISO speed ratings for digital still cameras.
[6] Under conditions where the flash does not fire.
[7] Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
[8] Using the batteries and memory card format supplied with the camera (where included), except where indicated.
[10] Some settings limit availability.
[11] The following Speed Class memory cards are required for maximum record time: (HD) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 4 or above. (Full HD) 1920 x 1080 Speed Class 6 or above. (iFrame) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 6 or above.

 

 

Canon Powershot SX160 IS technical specifications

 

DIGITAL CAMERA PowerShot SX500 IS
IMAGE SENSOR
Type 1/2.3 type CCD
Effective Pixels Approx. 16.0M
Colour Filter Type Primary Colour
IMAGE PROCESSOR
Type DIGIC 4 with iSAPS technology
LENS
Focal Length 4.3 – 129.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24 – 720 mm)
Zoom Optical 30x
ZoomPlus 60x
Digital Approx. 4x (with Digital Tele-Converter Approx. 1.6x or 2.0x and Safety Zoom [1]). Combined Approx. 120x
Maximum f/number f/3.4 – f/5.8
Construction 13 elements in 10 groups (1 UD lens, 1 double-sided aspherical lens)
Image Stabilisation Yes (lens shift-type), 3.5-stop. Intelligent IS
FOCUSING
Type TTL
AF System/Points Face Detection, 1-point AF (fixed to centre)
AF Modes Continuous, Servo AF/AE [10], Tracking AF
AF Point Selection Size (Normal, Small)
AF Lock On/Off Selectable
AF Assist Beam Yes
Manual Focus Yes
Closest Focusing Distance 0 cm (W) from front of lens in macro
EXPOSURE CONTROL
Metering modes Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (Centre)
AE Lock On/Off Selectable
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments.
Enhanced i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction
ISO sensitivity [3] AUTO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
SHUTTER
Speed 1 – 1/1600 sec. (factory default)
15 – 1/1600 sec. (total range – varies by shooting mode)
WHITE BALANCE
Type TTL
Settings Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
LCD MONITOR
Monitor 7.5 cm (3.0”) TFT, Approx. 461,000 dots
Coverage Approx. 100%
Brightness Adjustable to one of five levels. Quick-bright LCD
FLASH
Modes Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Slow Sync Speed Fastest speed 1/1600 sec.
Red-Eye Reduction Yes
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments. Face Detection FE. Safety FE.
Flash Exposure Lock Yes
Manual Power Adjustment 3 levels with internal flash
Built-in Flash Range 50 cm – 5.0 m (W) / 1.4 m – 3.0 m (T)
External Flash Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2
SHOOTING
Modes Smart Auto (32 scenes detected), Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Live View Control, SCN (Portrait, FaceSelf-Timer, Low Light (4.0MP), Snow, Fireworks), Creative Filters (Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect), Discreet, Movie
Modes in Movie Smart Auto (21 scenes detected), Standard, iFrame Movie, Program AE, Portrait, Snow, Fireworks, Miniature Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect
Photo Effects My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)
Drive modes Single, Continuous, Continuous with AF, Self-Timer
Continuous Shooting Approx. 0.8 shots/sec. with AF: Approx. 0.5 shots/sec. LV: Approx. 0.6 shots/sec.(until memory card becomes full) [6] [7]
RECORDING PIXELS / COMPRESSION
Image Size 4:3 – (L) 4608 x 3456, (M1) 3264 x 2448, (M2) 1600 x 1200, (S) 640 x 480
16:9 – (L) 4608 x 2592, (M1) 3264 x 1832, (M2) 1920 x 1080, (S) 640 x 360
3:2 – (L) 4608 x 3072, (M1) 3264 x 2176, (M2) 1600 x 1064, (S) 640 x 424
1:1 – (L) 3456 x 3456, (M1) 2448 x 2448, (M2) 1200 x 1200, (S) 480 x 480

Resize in playback (M2, S, XS)
*XS is half the length and width of S

Compression Superfine, Fine
Movies (HD) 1280 x 720, 25 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 30 fps
Miniature Effect (HD, L) 5fps, 2.5fps, 1.25 fps
iFrame Movie (HD)
Movie Length (HD) Up to 4 GB or 29 min. 59 sec. [11]
(L ) Up to 4 GB or 1 hour [7]
FILE TYPES
Still Image Type JPEG compression, (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Movies MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (stereo)]
iFrame
DIRECT PRINT
Canon Printers Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Fixed Size Print and Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP & ES printers only)
PictBridge Yes
OTHER FEATURES
Red-Eye Correction Yes, during shooting and playback
My Camera / My Menu Start-up image and camera sounds customisation
My Category Image tagging feature
Intelligent Orientation Sensor Yes
Histogram Yes
Playback zoom Approx. 2x – 10x
Self Timer Approx. 2 or 10 sec., Custom
Menu Languages English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Farsi, Hindi, Malay, Indonesian, Vietnamese
INTERFACE
Computer Hi-Speed USB (MTP, PTP) dedicated connector (Mini-B compatible)
Other HDMI Mini Connector (HDMI-CEC compatible) A/V output (PAL/NTSC)
MEMORY CARD
Type SD, SDHC, SDXC
SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEM
PC & Macintosh Windows 7 SP1 / Vista SP2 / XP SP3
Mac OS X v10.6 – 10.7
SOFTWARE
Browsing & Printing ImageBrowser EX
Other PhotoStitch
POWER SOURCE
Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6L (battery and charger supplied)
Battery life Approx. 195 shots [8]
Approx. 540 min. playback
Approx. 240 min. playback
A/C Power Supply Optional, AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC40
ACCESSORIES
Cases / Straps Soft Case DCC-950
Flash Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2
Power Supply & Battery Chargers AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC40, Battery Charger CB-2LYE
PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Operating Environment 0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 104.0 x 69.5 x 80.2 mm
Weight Approx. 341 g (including battery/batteries and memory card)
All data is based on Canon standard testing methods (according to CIPA Standards) except where indicated.
Subject to change without notice.
[1] Depending on the image size selected.
[3] Standard Output Sensitivity / Recommended Exposure Index. According to ISO 12232:2006 (20th April 2006) which specifies the method for assigning and reporting ISO speed ratings for digital still cameras.
[6] Under conditions where the flash does not fire.
[7] Depending on memory card speed / capacity / compression setting.
[8] Using the batteries and memory card format supplied with the camera (where included), except where indicated.
[10] Some settings limit availability.
[11] The following Speed Class memory cards are required for maximum record time: (HD) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 4 or above. (Full HD) 1920 x 1080 Speed Class 6 or above. (iFrame) 1280 x 720 Speed Class 6 or above.