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Canon Powershot ELPH 500 HS with Bright F2 Zoom Lens

February 7th, 2011

Canon Inc. has introduced the Powershot Elph 500 HS (IXUS 310 HS in some countries), an update to the Powershot SD4000 IS announced last year.

The new Powershot Elph 500 HS receives a number of updates compared to its predecessor, including a higher resolution 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, a wider angle zoom starting at 24mm, a larger 3.2-inch Touch Screen LCD with 461K dots, and adds the ability to shoot 1080p HD movies with stereo sound.

Showcasing the evolution of the Canon ELPH brand, the new PowerShot ELPH models have now instituted a “HS” suffix to represent the inclusion of the HS SYSTEM in each model.


Introduced last year, the Canon HS SYSTEM is a technology used to enhance image quality in low-light situations without the need for a flash. Making up the HS SYSTEM in these new models is Canon’s DIGIC 4 Image Processor combined with the new High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor, which helps to reduce noise at high ISO levels and expand the camera's dynamic range, ultimately capturing greater detail and colour in images in darker settings, like a wedding reception. With the use of the HS SYSTEM, consumers are able to capture clearer images with less noise and blur.

The Powershot Elph 500 HS also offers advanced Smart AUTO with 32 different shooting scenes. Smart AUTO is helpful since the camera will automatically select settings that match the scene without the need to switch modes, making it easier to take beautiful photos in a variety of situations.

The PowerShot ELPH 500 HS is scheduled to be available in Canada at the end of March for an estimated retail price of $349.99 (available in silver, brown and pink).

•  Canon Powershot ELPH 500 HS Major Features
•  Canon ELPH 500 HS Press Release
•  Canon Powershot 500 HS Specifications

Canon ELPH 500 HS back view

Canon ELPH 500 HS Major Features

12.1 MP combined with DIGIC 4 image processor and Canon's HS System: The HS System represents a powerful combination of a high sensitivity sensor and high- performance DIGIC 4 image processing. Designed to provide excellent image quality and advanced low light performance, the HS System can produce significant advantages over non-HS System models, including

• Improved image quality in all situations – The HS System can capture images with up to 60% less noise than standard, non-HS System cameras at all ISO speeds. High ISO sensitivity photos taken with previous cameras exhibited significant amounts of noise and grainy detail, especially in low light. In contrast, the HS System can detect and capture more detail and significantly reduce noise, resulting in more beautiful and true to life shots.

• Low Light performance – The HS System truly excels in low light conditions and is able to preserve the atmosphere of the moment in dark scenes. Common low light problems such as capturing well exposed subjects against almost invisible, dark, night-time backgrounds or capturing blurred subjects due to slower shutter speeds can now easily be conquered. The ISO range is further extended using Low Light mode, reducing camera shake and subject blur in even darker conditions. Shooting at a reduced Megapixel resolution, the camera chooses an ISO speed between 100 and 6400, allowing users to capture a scene as they see it.

• Wider ISO range – The HS System can leverage the excellent performance of its high and low ISO settings in order to capture the ambience of any scene with exceptional image quality. When using Smart Auto mode users can take advantage of an ISO range up to ISO 1600, enabling users to take pictures using available light without having to manually extend the ISO speed.

• Dynamic Range – The increased sensitivity of the HS System allows it to capture a wider dynamic range with greater variation in brightness when compared to the results of non-HS System models.

Canon ELPH 500 HS in brown

4.4x Wide Angle Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer: The Elph 500 HS lens features a bright f/2, ultra-wide 4.4x optical zoom (24-105mm equiv. in 35mm terms) with optical Image Stabilizer. The large maximum aperture allows faster shutter speeds to be used in low light conditions for blur-free images and also enables users to explore shallow depth of field at closer focusing distances. The wide angle of the 24mm lens allows more of a scene to be captured, from large group shots to sweeping landscapes.

Canon’s highly-effective optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology prevents image blur by dramatically reducing the effects of camera shake. In situations where image blur due to camera shake is more likely – such as in darker conditions or when shooting with the zoom extended – the optical Image Stabilizer can help images remain sharp through minute vibration gyros which detect camera movement caused by hand shake. These signals are processed by a single-chip IS controller, which discriminates between hand shake and intentional camera movements. Signals are then sent to the IS unit, which moves one of the lens elements accordingly to re-align the light rays and cancel out the effects of camera shake. The Elph 500 HS features a 4-stop IS System which helps preserve the sharpness of an image without needing to use a tripod for added stability.

Dynamic optical Image Stabilizer (Dynamic IS): Dynamic optical Image Stabilizer is a technology which was initially developed for Canon video cameras and is now being incorporated into Canon’s PowerShot Elph 500 HS. It is designed to produce steadier video footage by compensating for low frequency vibrations, such as camera shake generated when filming while walking.

3.2-inch wide PureColor System LCD with high resolution touch screen and wide viewing angle: The Elph 500 HS has a large 3.2-inch PureColor II Touch LCD screen, with 460k dots and advanced touch screen interface. This allows full camera control and operation by simple preset gestures, making it particularly intuitive to use.

Touch Actions are designed to give swift access to a range of camera functions by simply touching the screen. By moving a finger across the screen in one of 4 possible directions - such as up and left, the camera will recognise this and activate a preset function such as rotate, erase or tagging an image as a favourite.

Touch AF: To keep focus on subjects in motion, or to help achieve a creative composition, Touch AF mode gives photographers the ability to select objects by touching the screen and track them if they move, or if the frame is recomposed.

Full HD Movie including Stereo Sound: Full High Definition video at 1080p resolution is recorded at 24 fps with Stereo sound ready for playback on HD displays.

Canon Powershot 500 HS top view
Canon ELPH 500 HS / IXUS 310 HS top view

High speed functions: enable users to capture both fast moving action and scenes that would otherwise be very difficult to achieve:

• Handheld Night Scene – To capture scenes in very dark conditions, the camera will take a high speed sequence of shots and then combine them into a single image with the least possible blur and the best possible exposure.

• Best Image Selection – Captures a sequence of high speed shots at 3MP resolution and then automatically selects only the best one to be recorded in the memory card. The best image is selected according to criteria such as facial expression or subject movement. That way a user can take advantage of the camera’s high speed to capture a great shot in a challenging situation, without wasting time trying to find the best image from the burst before deleting the unwanted versions.

• High-speed Burst mode - Shoots a continuous burst of images every time the shutter is released, capturing a number of similarly composed images to ensure you capture fast paced action.

• Super Slow Motion Movie - Utilises the strengths of the CMOS sensor to record VGA resolution footage (640 x 480 pixels) at 120 fps or 320 x 240 pixels at 240 fps. It provides a great way to slow down fast-paced action like sport and can be used to analyse a golf or tennis swing.

Smart Auto mode: uses Scene Detection Technology to determine the shooting scene by analysing subject brightness, contrast, distance and overall hue. The camera then selects the most appropriate scene type from 32 variables, applying the best settings for optimum output. In Smart Auto mode, a colour icon indicating the type of scene detected and the lighting conditions is shown on the LCD monitor.

Smart Auto also includes enhanced i-Contrast and Smart Flash Exposure, which ensure that brighter or darker areas are captured in sufficient detail in the final image by suppressing overexposed highlights and underexposed shadows.

Advanced Subject Detection: A further feature of Smart Auto mode, Advanced Subject Detection allows the camera to identify a moving non-human subject, such as a pet, and track it - ensuring it remains in focus and well-exposed until the shutter is released.

Face Detection Technology: makes it easier than ever to produce superb people shots. This advanced system quickly and accurately detects faces in a scene – then optimises camera settings so that everyone looks their best. With the ability to detect up to 35 faces in a frame, it’s great for group photos as well as portraits. These cameras include the following Canon Face Detection Technologies:

• Face Detection AF: Sets the focus for the faces in your people shots – not just the closest subject

• Face Detection AE: Optimises exposure for faces in all lighting conditions – useful for backlit scenes or indoor shooting

• Face Detection FE: Guards against washed-out faces when using the camera’s flash – perfect for close-up shots in restaurants, clubs or other dimly lit locations

• Face Detection WB: Optimises white balance for natural-looking skin tones which remain true to life regardless of skin colour and lighting conditions

• Red-Eye Correction: Automatically eliminates the unwanted effects of flash photography after the shot is taken. At the touch of a button in playback, natural-looking eyes can be instantly restored

Smart Shutter mode: uses Face Detection Technology to allow users to take both group shots and self-portraits more easily and in a more relaxed way. The shutter can be triggered remotely in three different ways:

• Smile Detection: Triggers the shutter when the camera detects a smiling face within the frame

• Wink Self-Timer: Triggers the shutter two seconds after the subject in the frame has winked, removing the need for a remote control

• FaceSelf-Timer: Allows perfect group shots or self portraits by automatically triggering the shutter two seconds after a new face has entered the frame

Smart Flash Exposure (FE): Canon’s Smart Flash Exposure intelligently controls the power and usage of the onboard flash to ensure natural results in a variety of conditions. By using the focusing distance as well as shooting scene information, an optimum balance between the ambient light of the scene and flash power is achieved.

When shooting in very bright conditions, shadows sometimes appear on a subject’s face – these can be detected by the camera and flash can be used to eliminate them. When shooting at close distances overexposure is avoided by effectively sensing how reflective the subject is as well as reducing the flash power to compensate for the close shooting distance.

Motion Detection Technology: automatically detects motion in the shooting scene. If movement is detected the camera will increase the ISO sensitivity and shutter speed to minimise blur and optimise image quality.

In the box: PowerShot Elph 500 HS Body (silver shown below), Battery Pack NB-6L, Battery Charger CB-2LY, Wrist Strap WS-DC11, AV Cable AVC-DC400ST, USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU, Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM. See latest US deals on the Canon ELPH 500 HS

Canon Powershot ELPH 500 HS accessories in the box

Canon Powershot 500 HS Press Release

February 7th, 2011 – Canon today unveils the incredible new ELPH 500 HS – the latest touch screen ELPH that combines superior low-light capabilities, Full HD movie capture and manual photographic controls in a stunning stainless steel body. Designed for users who want superior performance and styling, the ELPH 500 HS provides excellent image quality and a host of advanced features, making it easy to capture crisp stills and stunning 1080p video.

Canon’s HS System and a bright, ultra-wide angle lens with optical Image Stabilizer allow users to capture any scene in fantastic quality. An enhanced version of Canon’s intuitive touch interface provides greater control over stills and video, and a new dedicated movie record icon enables fast switching between picture and movie capture. Combining a premium specification and stand-out ELPH styling, the ELPH 500 HS is the perfect compact camera for any situation – whether capturing stunning sunsets on holiday, the atmosphere of a city at night or fun portraits of friends on an evening out.

Ultimate low-light performance
The inclusion of the HS System enables the ELPH 500 HS to offer leading performance. The high-sensitivity 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor combines with Canon’s DIGIC 4 image processor to form the HS System and realise the highest possible image quality, capturing images with significantly less noise in all conditions. Dynamic range is improved and users are able to capture sharp, blur-free shots of scenes in low light that would usually demand flash support.

The ELPH 500 HS features a genuine Canon 24mm, ultra-wide angle, 4.4x optical zoom lens with a bright f/2.0 maximum aperture. As well as providing greater shooting flexibility, the lens design enables faster shutter speeds to be used, capturing the maximum amount of ambient light for well exposed, natural shots.

Users can also shoot with a shallower depth of field than most other compact cameras for more engaging portraits and creative macro shots. A 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer steadies the light passing through the lens elements, counteracting shake and image blur that can occur when shooting with slower shutter speeds or at the telephoto-end of the zoom.

Working together, the HS System, the f/2.0 lens and the advanced optical Image Stabilizer become the ultimate tool for sharper and clearer image results in all lighting conditions – especially in low light situations.

Fingertip control, intuitive interface
A large 3.2-inch 460K dot-resolution PureColor II Touch LCD offers excellent contrast and colour rendition, with a wide viewing angle that makes it easy to frame and play back images. Canon’s advanced, customisable touch screen interface allows the icons for various camera settings to be arranged according to the user’s preference.

Touch AF sets the focus area with a simple touch, while Touch Actions and Tap Control offer an easy and intuitive way to operate the camera with simple pre-set gestures used for various functions, such as flicking through the image library, or changing settings on-screen.

Full HD movies made easy
ELPH 500 HS owners can capture all the excitement of a special moment in superb quality, thanks to Full HD movie recording with stereo sound. The optical zoom can also be used when shooting, and Smart Auto in Movie offers additional support, optimising the camera settings in accordance with the shooting conditions and scene. Dynamic Image Stabilizer has also been included, allowing users to shoot smoother and steadier video – even if the footage is shot whilst walking or sitting in a moving car.

For a “behind the scenes” story of the day’s shots, a new Movie Digest function automatically captures up to four seconds of video before a still image is taken, and then assembles all the day’s clips into a bonus reel of spontaneous, fun video.

Users can now shoot video in iFrame format, which requires no transcoding before being imported - making it faster and simpler to transfer and edit footage. HDMI-CEC compatibility also allows the camera to be connected to an HDTV and controlled via the TV remote control, making it easier to enjoy captured moments on a big screen.

High speed shooting
The inclusion of a CMOS sensor enables a number of high-speed shooting functions which offer more creative flexibility. Best Image Selection shoots a high speed sequence of five shots, evaluating all the frames and selecting the best one to be saved to the memory card.

The ELPH 500 HS can shoot full resolution stills at up to 3.4 shots per second and 8.2 shots per second at a reduced, 3.0 MP resolution in High-speed Burst mode. Handheld Night Scene mode allows the capture of multiple shots of the same scene, before merging them together to create one image with the least possible blur and the best possible exposure.

The ELPH 500 HS also features Super Slow Motion Movie mode, allowing users to slow down fast-paced action, such as sports – capturing the scene in VGA resolution at 120 frames per second (fps), or in 320 x 240 resolution at 240fps. Play-back at 30fps enables users to analyse movement like a golf swing, or to add drama and atmosphere to fast-paced action.

Control and creative support
More advanced users will appreciate the control over aperture or shutter speed offered by Av and Tv modes respectively, while for those who prefer point-and-shoot simplicity, the latest Smart Auto mode is now capable of detecting up to 32 scenes, capturing well-exposed images without manually changing the camera settings.

A new Advanced Subject Detection technology allows the camera to detect and track even non-human moving subjects, while Servo AF/AE ensures the subject remains in-focus and correctly exposed right up to the moment the picture is taken.

For those who want to experiment with their shots, six creative shooting modes offer the freedom and flexibility to create different effects. In addition to Fish-eye Effect, Super Vivid and Poster Effect, the new Toy Camera Effect gives images a retro, pinhole camera feel, while Monochrome creates atmospheric shots with sepia, black and white or other monochromatic tones.

Canon’s popular Miniature Effect can be applied to movies as well as still images, recording 1.5, 3 or 6 frames per second in Movie mode to create the impression of a time-lapse video of a small-scale model. Multi-Aspect shooting also allows the individual to frame their original photo in 3:2, 4:3, 1:1 and 16:9, to create the desired effect, right from the start.

For even greater flexibility, Smart Shutter makes it easy for the user to be part of the image. Thanks to Face Detection technology, the shutter can be triggered by a wink, a smile or by a new face being detected in the scene.

Canon Powershot ELPH 500 HS in pink

Canon Powershot ELPH 500 HS Specifications

Effective Pixels 12.1 Megapixel
Image Sensor 1/2.3 type back-illuminated CMOS
Image Processor DIGIC 4 with iSAPS technology
Lens Focal Length 4.3 – 18.8 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24 – 105 mm)
Zoom Range Optical 4.4x
Digital Approx. 4x (with Digital Tele-Converter Approx. 1.5x or 2.0x and Safety Zoom)
Combined Approx. 18x
Maximum f/number f/2.0 – f/5.8
Lens Construction 7 elements in 6 groups (2 double-sided aspherical lenses (including 1 UA lens), and 1 single sided aspherical lens)
Image Stabilization Yes (lens shift-type), 4-stop. Dynamic IS (in Movie)
AF System TTL Autofocus
Macro Focus Range 3cm from front of lens
AF Points AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fixed frame) or Touch AF with Object and Face Select and Track
AF Modes Single, Continuous (Auto mode only), Servo AF/AE, Touch AF
AF Assist Beam Yes
LCD Monitor 3.2-inch TFT LCD Approx. 461,000 dot resolution with wide viewing angle and Touch Panel Technology.

Brightness adjustable to one of five levels. Quick-bright LCD
ISO Sensitivity Auto, ISO 100/200/400/800/1600/3200
Metering Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre or Touch AF frame)
AE Lock Yes
Exposure Compensation +/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
Enhanced i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction
White Balance Control Auto, Day Light, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Underwater, Custom
Built-in Flash Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Flash Range 50 cm – 5.0 m (W) / 50 cm – 2.0 m (T)
Flash Exposure Compensation Face Detection FE, Smart Flash Exposure
Shooting Modes Smart Auto (32 scenes detected), P, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Movie Digest, Portrait, Kids & Pets, Smart Shutter, High-speed Burst (3.0MP), Best Image Selection (3.0MP), Handheld Night Scene, Low Light (3.0MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Creative Light Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks
Smart Shutter Smile, Wink Self-timer, Face Self-timer
Movie Modes Smart Auto (21 scenes detected), P, Portrait, Miniature Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, iFrame Movie, Super Slow Motion Movie
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)
Self-Timer Approx. 10-sec. delay/approx. 2-sec. delay/custom

Shooting start time (0-10 sec. (in one-second increments), 15/20/30 sec.) number of shots (1-10 shots (in one-shot increments)) can be specified.
Image Size 16:9
4000 x 2248 (Large), 2816 x 1584 (Medium 1), 1920 x 1080 (Medium 2), 640 x 360 (Small)

4000 x 2664 (Large), 2816 x 1880 (Medium 1), 1600 x 1064 (Medium 2), 640 x 424 (Small)

4000 x 3000 (Large), 2816 x 2112 (Medium 1), 1600 x 1200 (Medium 2), 640 x 480 (Small)

2992 x 2992 (Large), 2112 x 2112 (Medium 1), 1200 x 1200 (Medium 2), 480 x 480 (Small)
Movie File Format MOV (Image: H.264; Audio: Linear PCM (Stereo)
Movie Recording Full HD: 1920 x 1080 at 24 fps
HD: 1280 x 720 at 30 fps
640 x 480 at 30 fps
320 x 240 at 30 fps
iFrame Movie HD: 1280 x 720 at 30 fps
Super Slow Motion Movie: 640 x 480 at 120 fps or 320 x 240 at 240 fps
Miniature Effect Movie HD: 1280 x 720
Movie Length (Full HD & HD) Up to 4 GB or 10 min
Continuous Shooting Approx. 3.4 shots/sec
High-speed Burst (3.0MP): Approx. 8.2shots/sec. (until memory card becomes full)
Storage Media SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card, Eye-Fi Card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus Card, HC MMCplus Card
Histogram Yes
Other Features Slide Show
Red-eye Correction
Connections Hi-Speed USB
Mini-HDMI connector (cable optional)
Menu Languages English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Ukrainian, Farsi
Battery Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6L (battery and charger supplied)
Battery Life Approx. 180 shots
Approx. 240 mins Playback
W x H x D
100.6 x 55.4 x 25.0 mm
Weight 185g grams
In the box • PowerShot ELPH 500 HS Body
• Battery Pack NB-6L
• Battery Charger CB-2LY
• Wrist Strap WS-DC11
• AV Cable AVC-DC400ST
• USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
• Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM

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