Canon SX500 IS

 
Canon PowerShot SX500 IS front
 
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 80 - 1600
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 24-720mm (F3.4-5.8) lens
  • 341g - 104 x 70 x 80mm
  • Announced August 2012
  • Renewed by Canon SX510 HS
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
Portability
80
Imaging
41
Features
40
Overall
40

Canon SX500 IS overview

Canon SX500 IS is Canon's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera first announced on August of 2012. The camera uses a 16MP, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 4608 x 3456.

Canon introduced the updated Canon SX510 HS (Read Full Comparison) as a way to improve this model.

The SX500 IS comes in at #143 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras & all-around #690 out of 1422 for cameras in our collection. Remember to use our Advanced camera filter to see camera ratings based on your custom factors.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Here is a graph of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Canon SX500 IS history

The Canon SX500 IS is part of a family of cameras. You can see the detailed range underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Canon-PowerShot-SX70-HS front thumbnailCanon SX70 HS
SX500 IS vs SX70 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2018
Canon-PowerShot-SX740-HS front thumbnailCanon SX740 HS
SX500 IS vs SX740 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
21MP1/2.3"2018
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
Canon-PowerShot-SX730-HS front thumbnailCanon SX730 HS
SX500 IS vs SX730 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2017
Canon-PowerShot-SX620-HS front thumbnailCanon SX620 HS
SX500 IS vs SX620 HS
25-625mm
F3.2-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX720-HS front thumbnailCanon SX720 HS
SX500 IS vs SX720 HS
24-960mm
F3.3-6.9
20.3MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX540-HS front thumbnailCanon SX540 HS
SX500 IS vs SX540 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
20MP1/2.3"2016
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Canon-PowerShot-SX420-IS front thumbnailCanon SX420 IS
SX500 IS vs SX420 IS
24-1008mm
F3.5-6.6
20MP1/2.3"2016
Canon-PowerShot-SX410-IS front thumbnailCanon SX410 IS
SX500 IS vs SX410 IS
24-960mm
F3.5-5.6
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX710-HS front thumbnailCanon SX710 HS
SX500 IS vs SX710 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX530-HS front thumbnailCanon SX530 HS
SX500 IS vs SX530 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Canon-PowerShot-SX610-HS front thumbnailCanon SX610 HS
SX500 IS vs SX610 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2015
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
Canon-PowerShot-SX60-HS front thumbnailCanon SX60 HS
SX500 IS vs SX60 HS
21-1365mm
F3.4-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX520-HS front thumbnailCanon SX520 HS
SX500 IS vs SX520 HS
24-1008mm
F3.4-6.0
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX400-IS front thumbnailCanon SX400 IS
SX500 IS vs SX400 IS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX700-HS front thumbnailCanon SX700 HS
SX500 IS vs SX700 HS
25-750mm
F3.2-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX600-HS front thumbnailCanon SX600 HS
SX500 IS vs SX600 HS
25-450mm
F3.8-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Canon-PowerShot-SX170-IS front thumbnailCanon SX170 IS
SX500 IS vs SX170 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX510-HS front thumbnailCanon SX510 HS
SX500 IS vs SX510 HS
24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX160-IS front thumbnailCanon SX160 IS
SX500 IS vs SX160 IS
28-448mm
F3.5-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2013
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
Canon-PowerShot-SX280-HS front thumbnailCanon SX280 HS
SX500 IS vs SX280 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX270-HS front thumbnailCanon SX270 HS
SX500 IS vs SX270 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX50-HS front thumbnailCanon SX50 HS
SX500 IS vs SX50 HS
24-1200mm
F3.4-6.5
12MP1/2.3"2013
Canon-PowerShot-SX500-IS front thumbnailCanon SX500 IS24-720mm
F3.4-5.8
16MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX260-HS front thumbnailCanon SX260 HS
SX500 IS vs SX260 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX150-IS front thumbnailCanon SX150 IS
SX500 IS vs SX150 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX240-HS front thumbnailCanon SX240 HS
SX500 IS vs SX240 HS
25-500mm
F3.5-6.8
12MP1/2.3"2012
Canon-PowerShot-SX40-HS front thumbnailCanon SX40 HS
SX500 IS vs SX40 HS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX230-HS front thumbnailCanon SX230 HS
SX500 IS vs SX230 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SD4500-IS front thumbnailCanon SD4500 IS
SX500 IS vs SD4500 IS
36-360mm
F3.4-5.6
10MP1/2.3"2011
Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
Canon-SX220-HS front thumbnailCanon SX220 HS
SX500 IS vs SX220 HS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2011
Canon-PowerShot-SX30-IS front thumbnailCanon SX30 IS
SX500 IS vs SX30 IS
24-840mm
F2.7-5.8
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX130-IS front thumbnailCanon SX130 IS
SX500 IS vs SX130 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.6
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD4000-IS front thumbnailCanon SD4000 IS
SX500 IS vs SD4000 IS
28-105mm
F2.0-5.3
10MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX20-IS front thumbnailCanon SX20 IS
SX500 IS vs SX20 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SX210-IS front thumbnailCanon SX210 IS
SX500 IS vs SX210 IS
28-392mm
F3.1-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD3500-IS front thumbnailCanon SD3500 IS
SX500 IS vs SD3500 IS
24-120mm
F2.8-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD1300-IS front thumbnailCanon SD1300 IS
SX500 IS vs SD1300 IS
28-112mm
F2.8-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2010
Canon-PowerShot-SD980-IS front thumbnailCanon SD980 IS
SX500 IS vs SD980 IS
24-120mm
F2.8-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX200-IS front thumbnailCanon SX200 IS
SX500 IS vs SX200 IS
28-336mm
F3.4-5.3
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX1-IS front thumbnailCanon SX1 IS
SX500 IS vs SX1 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD970-IS front thumbnailCanon SD970 IS
SX500 IS vs SD970 IS
37-185mm
F3.2-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD960-IS front thumbnailCanon SD960 IS
SX500 IS vs SD960 IS
28-112mm
F2.8-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SD1200-IS front thumbnailCanon SD1200 IS
SX500 IS vs SD1200 IS
35-105mm
F2.8-4.9
10MP1/2.3"2009
Canon-PowerShot-SX10-IS front thumbnailCanon SX10 IS
SX500 IS vs SX10 IS
28-560mm
F2.8-5.7
10MP1/2.3"2009

Canon SX500 IS Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of advantages and drawbacks of the Canon SX500 IS based on aspects which are usually viewed as crucial in a digital camera.

above average min ISO (80)
built-in flash
features face detection focusing
features tracking autofocus
great zoom (720mm)
has manual focus
high flash sync (1/1,600s)
image stabilization (Optical)
long zoom range (24-720mm 30.0 x zoom)
MP count decent (16MP)
pretty wide (24mm)
screen is a decent size (3 inch)
can't use external flash
cannot swap lenses (fixed lens mount)
doesn't have external mic socket
doesn't have HDMI socket
doesn't have headphone socket
doesn't have Time Lapse recording
has no phase detect AF
has no RAW files
low quality video (1280 x 720 resolution)
painfully slow continuous shooting (1.0 frames per second)
screen has low resolution (461 k dots)
screen is fixed
screen isn't selfie friendly
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
slow at full zoom (f5.8)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.4)
terrible battery (195 shots)
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Canon SX500 IS Sensor specifications

The Canon SX500 IS is powered by the Digic 4 chip. The sensor spec on the Canon SX500 IS is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can resolve 4608 x 3456 pixels and aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has Image Stabilization (Optical). Optical stabilization is superior than digital stabilization since the latter can lead to cropping.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

The CCD sensor has 16MP and supports a standard ISO range of 80 to 1600. Unfortunately, RAW photos are not supported therefore the user has less margin for error.

The image underneath illustrates the SX500 IS's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The SX500 IS sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is outlined in green.

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS sensor size Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

To get an understanding of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon SX500 IS dimensions

Canon SX500 IS weighs in at 0.75 pounds (341 grams or 12.03 ounces) & has outer proportions of 104mm x 70mm x 80mm (4.1" x 2.8" x 3.1"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 grams and the Canon SX500 IS is lighter when compared to other competitors.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Here is a image of the Canon SX500 IS alongside a softdrink to help you to get a sense of its scale.

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS dimensions scale

The top view underneath will illustrate the button layout on the SX500 IS.

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS topview buttons dials

Canon SX500 IS Lens specifications

The SX500 IS provides an inbuilt lens featuring a focal range of 24-720mm giving it a 30.0 x zoom which is ideal and is going to make it easier to zoom all the way in.

At the widest 24mm, it has an aperture of f3.4 which will be somewhat slow and not ideal for low light situations and you might find it difficult to get a shallow depth of field. You could also have to raise the ISO setting causing noisy photos. For the tele end, 720mm is brilliant zoom and comes to f5.8 which is pretty slow and you might need to set slower shutter speeds.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Canon SX500 IS Connectivity

The SX500 IS has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes

Cameras which have NFC or Bluetooth support can easily be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You can easily copy images and at times alter settings without the hassle of connecting straight to the camera.

Many applications even allow a Liveview and click the shutter when you aren't near the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI port, it could be attached to an external monitor. The majority of cameras enable you to recharge the battery using the USB port.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Canon SX500 IS Video specifications

The maximum video quality on the Canon SX500 IS is 1280 x 720 and you can shoot in H.264 file format. 720p is terrible for today's standards. You should try to get a minimum 1080p quality for video recording. The camera doesn't feature a microphone or headphone port which means that you have little control over the audio. It is perhaps best to have a look at another model in case you require good audio for your videos.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

Canon SX500 IS Weather Sealing

Canon SX500 IS doesn't include weather sealing so damp conditions can ruin the camera.

Canon SX500 IS Screen and Viewfinder

The Canon SX500 IS houses a 3" fixed screen supporting a resolution of 461k dots.

Unfortunately the screen isn't a touch screen.

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS screen and viewfinder 400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

The ViewFinder specs for Canon SX500 IS are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be quite beneficial during sunny outdoor conditions which can make the camera screen washed out and hard to see.

Canon SX500 IS Shutter specifications

Canon SX500 IS continuous shooting rate is 1.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/1600 sec.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Canon SX500 IS Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Canon SX500 IS has only inbuilt flash lacking external flash ability. The maximum flash sync is 1/1600 sec.

Canon SX500 IS Autofocusing specifications

Canon SX500 IS has just Contrast Detect AF & is missing Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more snappier and exact when compared to Contrast Detect focusing. The camera boasts Face detection making it helpful for taking portraits of people.

The AF system boasts 1 focus points to pick from. It also comes with Tracking AF for objects on the move. Canon SX500 IS supports manual focus when needed during low light situations or you need more exact control on focus.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Canon SX500 IS Battery life

The battery (NB-6L) for the Canon SX500 IS is built to last for 195 images according to the CIPA requirements making it lower when compared to it's competition. The general Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR has got the highest possible (600) battery life within this range of cameras.

Following is a listing of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras having the highest battery life:

Canon SX500 IS for varying types of photography

The following diagram gives a summation of the Canon SX500 IS for varying types of photography. To learn more, visit the specific paragraph underneath.

Canon SX500 IS Portrait photography highlights

The Canon SX500 IS receives a points tally of 47 which is reasonable, and means the camera is somewhat adequate for portraits. Taking portraits favors greatly towards sensor dimensions, RAW support plus the ability to work with off-camera lighting.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
focusing manually
flash sync is higher than normal (1/1,600s)
megapixel count decent (16 megapixels)
supports face detect focus
can't use external flash
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format

Canon SX500 IS Street photography info

With a moderate rating of 51, the Canon SX500 IS is reasonably suitable to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera offers a fine balance of picture quality plus portability.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
image stabilization (Optical)
screen does not articulate
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
does not have RAW files

Sports photography with Canon SX500 IS

A low sports photography score of 45 suggests the Canon SX500 IS is just not suitable for shooting sports. A camera needs very good focusing and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
excellent zoom range (24-720mm 30.0 x zoom)
has image stabilization (Optical)
MP count decent (16 megapixels)
comes with tracking autofocus
low frames per second (1.0 fps)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
not so great battery life (195 CIPA)
lack of phase detect auto focus

Canon SX500 IS Travel photography advice

Size is really critical in getting a travel camera. Over-all, the Canon SX500 IS gets a moderate 60 for a travelling camera which makes it reasonably adequate to take with you on your journeys.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
MP count good (16 megapixels)
flash built-in
quite wide (24mm)
great reach (720mm)
no Timelapse mode
bad battery (195 shots)
display is not selfie friendly
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.4)

Canon SX500 IS Landscape photography features

For anyone who is looking to pick a digital camera for landscape photos, the most important factor will no doubt be image quality. The Canon SX500 IS and it's moderate rating of 47 for a landscape camera is fairly acceptable amongst its competitors.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
manual focus
pretty wide (24mm)
decent sized screen (3 inch)
has image stabilization (Optical)
decent sensor resolution (16MP)
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
sluggish max aperture (f3.4)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files
terrible battery life (195 shots)
missing Timelapse recording

Canon SX500 IS as a Vlogging camera

A camera for vlogging really should posses a articulating screen, mic input and if possible image stabilization. Considering everything, the Canon SX500 IS is just not suitable for vlogging as it delivers a low score of 28.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
fairly wide (24mm)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
comes with face detect focus
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.4)
does not posses selfie friendly display
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pixels)
lack of mic support

Canon SX500 IS Alternatives

If you are interested in alternatives to the SX500 IS, below is a list of the top ranked cameras that fall within the family of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The chart listed below will give you an overview of the SX500 IS versus it's highest ranked competitors listed previously.

Following are additional cameras you may look at as alternate options. To read through a thorough comparison, visit the "compare" link.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Specifications

General Information
Brand Name
Canon
Model
Canon PowerShot SX500 IS
Type
Small Sensor Superzoom
Announced
2012-08-21
Physical type
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
CCD
Powered by
Digic 4
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
16MP
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Full resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW pictures
Max native ISO
1600
Min native ISO
80
Autofocusing
Focus manually
AF touch
Continuous AF
AF single
AF tracking
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Number of focus points
1
Lens
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
24-720mm (30.0x)
Maximal aperture
f/3.4-5.8
Macro focus distance
1cm
Focal length multiplier
5.8
Screen
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
3 inch
Resolution of screen
461k dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch function
Screen technology
TFT Color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder
None
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Features
Slowest shutter speed
15s
Maximum shutter speed
1/1600s
Continuous shooting rate
1.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Yes
Set WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
5.00 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Maximum flash synchronize
1/1600s
Exposure
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (25 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max video resolution
1280x720
Video file format
H.264
Mic port
Headphone port
Connectivity
Wireless
Eye-Fi Connected
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight
341 gr (0.75 lb)
Physical dimensions
104 x 70 x 80mm (4.1" x 2.8" x 3.1")
Other
Battery life
195 photos
Form of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
NB-6L
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Card slots
One
Pricing at launch
$299