Product Type: Canon digital cameras
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Almost an antique?
Canon Digital Ixus 500
Member Name: catsholiday
Canon Digital Ixus 500
Advantages: Given us years of holiday use
Disadvantages: Past its best now and not a patch on the newer models
Canon Ixus 500 Digital Camera
This little camera owes us nothing. We bought it for about £200 in Malaysia when we were visiting our daughter. She was pregnant at the time and our grandson is now nearly eight years old so we have had it around nine years.
It is a pretty basic camera compared to what we buy today for that price but at the time it was pretty darned good. For quite some time this was our good camera and the one my husband had charge of while I still used our old Fuji Finepix one. Each time we upgrade I get the older camera and my husband takes over the new one.
This little beast is now relegated to the one we take out when we want a small one to fit in a pocket or handbag. My husband tends to wear it in his belt in its little case. We think of it as our small camera but compared to those around today not only is it less powerful but it also bigger than many of them. It is surprisingly heavy for its size and weighs about185grams and measures 87x57x27.8mm.
WHAT DO YOU GET?
At the time we bought a spare battery as it uses a Lithium battery as standard . The battery does last pretty well and is quick to charge in the charger and we found carrying a spare meant we were never without a charged battery. Personally I prefer a camera that uses AA batteries as we have rechargeable ones and if you run out in an emergency you can just buy any AA batteries in a shop as they are sold in most places. We have not bought any new batteries and still have the original two, the one that came with the camera and the spare we bought.
We got a cheap little case for it which does the job and doesn't take up much room but it has no space for batteries or anything else in the case.
We also got CD roms for installation as at the time you needed to install the hardware . Today I find most computers seem to automatically install hardware. There are also several different little booklets with instructions in many languages. Most of these we have never opened.
We got a 32mb compact flash memory card with the camera but decided we would need something a bit bigger and bought a 128mb one as well. As we bought this in KL we were able to do a bit of haggling and actually got this thrown in for the same price so we felt very pleased with ourselves.
USING THE CAMERA
This is pretty much a point and shoot camera although there are some things you can alter to improve things. The camera is turned on and the lens pops out. You use the back window /screen to see what you are shooting. The zoom function on a sort of semi wheel around the shutter button, push anticlockwise to zoom in, clockwise to zoom out. What I find really handy is that if you press the shutter button down a little it focuses the picture then push firmly and it takes it.
If I am honest I now prefer a camera that you can use with a view finder rather than just the back window or screen as when we are in the sun I find it really hard to see anything n the window. The screen is a decent enough size at 1.5inches measured diagonally across.
This is a basic 5megapixel camera which apparently means it can capture 5,000,000 pixels. I am not technical but I am told that more megapixels means better quality photos. When we first got this camera we thought the quality of photos was excellent but now comparing them to our newer cameras we do find they are not as good and certainly once you start to blow the images up they lose crispness and start to become pixilated.
When zooming you can get up to 3x optical and up to 12times digital zoom. At the time we bought the camera we were impressed but now two newer cameras later we find this is a bit limited. The quality definitely gets poorer as you zoom too.
There is a mini video function and I had lots of fun creating videos of our boys skateboarding one holiday. The quality of the video was pretty good really and I think there are options to change the video quality according to resolution. My boys tell me that there are three resolution choices (640x480, 320x240, 160x120) and using the least quality you get a video of three minutes but you can raise the resolutions but then the video is only 30 seconds so a pretty short sharp video. These videos are recorded in AVI format and you also get sound too. I will confess that mine were shot on the less quality for a longer video but when I made the skateboarding videos they were okay for family viewing but certainly not expert.
Once you have taken a photo or video you can play back or look at the photos but pressing a small button on the back. To get back to taking photos you just press the shutter button again.
You can also just press the func key followed by the set key and it then asks you again if you really want to delete it before it does delete the image. It is almost impossible to delete an image by mistake.
Again I have turned to my step son for advice on the photo image s taken. Apparently the camera is set to take images in the large mode by default (2592 x 1944) but has 3 other sizes available, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480. I have not altered ours so it is set in the highest quality mode but in our bigger memory card we get quite a few photos with no problem; especially now we only use this for when we go out in the evening or somewhere we don't want to lug a bigger camera.
There are features that allow you to force the flash or get rid of it. You can set it for portraits, landscapes and other setting and it is pretty easy to do. I am basically a point and shoot person and this camera allows me to use the auto focus and very simple setting changes which suits me fine.
There is a big delay when taking the photos and this means that is you are taking children then often they have moved in the time the photo actually gets taken. This is really bad when using the flash inside.
The photos inside are not really great and certainly those taken of people at night inside are poor in my view but it may be our lack of skill rather than the camera at fault. The best ones we have taken are with the SLR so this little camera is not really the one to use for gorgeous portrait shots.
Getting the images onto the computer is a bit fiddly as you have to make sure the camera is switched off then slide the button to reviewing images then switch it on and the images come up through the software on the computer. I tend to click out of this then go through 'My computer' and use the camera as a memory stick and copy the pictures over. I do find this takes a lot longer than with our SLR camera but it is still not a problem really.
Considering the age of this camera I feel it does a pretty good job. It was very new and top of the range when we bought it but things have moved on so fast in the digital world that it is now very dated. It has given us good service over the last nine years. I dropped the camera and broke the battery compartment door so ours is held closed with sticky tape. This doesn't seem to have caused a great problem we just renew the sticky tape when it needs it.
I wouldn't rush around looking to replace this camera but it has been a great little camera and owes us nothing, It has seen a great number of places and experienced beaches, boats, stately homes and many eating places so I think it has had a good time with us.
Thanks for reading and hope this has been of interest. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name. I will try to add photos if I get some time before we go away.
Summary: A good reliable little old camera
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