Powershot SD500


Powershot SD500
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Powershot SD500
Manufacturer Canon
Page By Alpinist
Page Type Mar 11, 2007 / Jul 25, 2007
Object ID 2801
Hits 5204

Product Description

The PowerShot SD500 is the Digital ELPH you've been waiting for. It's the first to be equipped with 7.1 Megapixels of resolution for a truly astonishing level of detail, and it employs Canon's exclusive DIGIC II Image Processor to bring all that detail to vibrant life. With a big 2.0 inch LCD screen and an outstanding set of features and capabilities, the SD500 is a digital camera designed to lead the impressive Digital ELPH line.

  • The first 7.1 Megapixel Digital ELPH with 3x Optical Zoom and new elegantly curved design in a metallic body
  • Large 2.0 inch LCD screen for easy on-camera viewing
  • DIGIC II Image Processor for even faster processing speed, crisp vibrant colors and excellent image quality
  • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed support for faster downloads and file transfers
  • Enhanced Movie Mode with new Fast Frame Rate Movie recording at 60 fps (320 x 240) plus 9 Special Scene Modes and Digital Macro Mode
  • New My Colors feature for color customization while shooting
  • Print/Share Button for easy direct printing and downloading plus ID Photo Print and Movie Print with Canon CP Printers


Type of Camera

Type of Camera: Compact digital camera with built-in flash and 3x Optical/4x Digital/12x Combined Zoom

Image Capture Device

Type: 7.1 Megapixel, 1/1.8 inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)

Total Pixels: Approx. 7.4 Megapixels

Effective Pixels: Approx. 7.1 Megapixels


Focal Length: 7.7-23.1mm f/2.8-4.9 (35mm film equivalent: 37-111mm)

Digital Zoom: 4x

Focusing Range: NORMAL: 1.6 ft./50cm-infinity / MACRO: 2.0 in.-1.6 ft./5-50cm (W), 1.0-1.6 ft./30-50cm (T) / DIGITAL MACRO: 2.0-3.9 in./5-10cm (W)

Autofocus System: 9-point AiAF/1-point AF (fixed to center) (Intelligent Orientation Sensor), AF Lock, AF-assist Beam On/Off


Optical Viewfinder: Real-image optical zoom viewfinder

LCD Monitor: 2.0 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD

LCD Pixels: Approx. 118,000 pixels

LCD Coverage: 100%

Aperture and Shutter

Maximum Aperture: f/2.8-7.1 (W), f/4.9-13.0 (T)

Shutter Speed: 15-1/2000 sec.

Exposure Control

ISO Sensitivity: AUTO, ISO 50/100/200/400 equivalent

Light Metering Method: Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot*
*Metering frame with Spot mode is center fixed.

Exposure Control Method: Program AE, AE Lock is available

Exposure Compensation: +/- 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments

ND Filter: Not Available

White Balance

White Balance Control: Auto, Pre-set (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H), Custom


Built-in Flash: Operation Modes: Auto*, Flash On*, Flash Off, Slow Synchro* Red-Eye Reduction is available

Flash Range: Normal: 1.6-15.8 ft./50cm-4.8m (W), 1.6-9.2 ft./50cm-2.8m (T)
Macro: 1.0-1.6 ft./30-50cm (W/T) (When sensitivity is set to Auto)

Recycling Time: Approx. 10 sec. or less (battery voltage=3.7V)

Flash Exposure Compensation: Not Available

Shooting Specifications

Shooting Modes: Still Images: Auto, Manual, Scene Modes (Digital Macro, Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Underwater), My Colors, Stitch Assist; Movies: Standard, Fast Frame Rate, Compact, My Colors.

Photo Effects: Off, Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpening, Sepia, Black & White

Self-Timer: Activates shutter after an approx. 2-sec. or approx 10-sec. delay, custom

Wireless Control: Not Available

Continuous Shooting: Approx. 2.0 shots/sec.

Image Storage

Storage Media: SD memory card

Print Order Format: Design rule for camera file system Exif 2.2 (JPEG) and DPOF (Version 1.1) compliant

Image Compression: Still: Exif 2.2 (JPEG)
Movies: AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG; Audio data: WAVE (Monaural))

JPEG Compression Mode: Normal, Fine, SuperFine

Number of Recording Pixels: Still Image: 3072x2304 (Large), 2592x1944 (Medium 1), 2048x1536 (Medium 2), 1600x1200 (Medium 3), 640x480 (Small), 1600x1200 (Postcard Date Imprint Mode)
Movie: 640x480, 320x240, 160x120

Playback Specifications

Playback Modes File: Single, Index (9 thumb images), Normal Playback, Special Playback, Slow Motion, Movie Editing

Erasing Specifications

Erase Modes: Still Images: Single Images, All Images
Movies: Part of Movie, All of Movie


Computer Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B/PTP)

Video Out: NTSC, PAL

Audio Out: Monaural

Other: SD memory card slot. Direct connection to Canon CP Printers and select BJ Printers (no computer required)

Power Supply

Power Source:
1. One Rechargeable lithium-ion battery NB-3L
2. AC Adapter Kit (ACK-900)

Shooting Capacity: NB-3L: LCD On - Approx. 160 shots (CIPA Test Standard); LCD Off - Approx. 550 shots.

Playback Time: Approx. 210 minutes (Under Canon's standard conditions*1 with fully charged battery)

Physical Specifications

Operating Temperature: 32-104° F/0-40° C

Operating Humidity: 10-90%

Dimensions (W x H x D): 3.37 x 2.24 x 1.04 in./85.6 x 57.0 x 26.5mm (Excluding protrusions)

Weight: Approx. 6.0 oz./170g (camera body only)

Note: *1 Normal temperature (73° F/23° C). Shoot images at wide angle and at telephoto end alternatively with 20 second intervals. Use flash every fourth shot. Turn camera off and on after every eight shots. LCD brightness setting by Factory default.

21 languages provided (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish)


Original US retail cost: $399

As newer models come out, you can typically find this camera on sale for ~$200 now.



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Alpinist - Mar 11, 2007 4:21 am - Voted 5/5

Excellent camera
The PowerShot SD500 is an excellent digital camera. My highest rated photo on SP was taken with it.

I bought it for its light weight and for the ability to strap it to my belt or harness while climbing. That has enabled me to take more photos than I used to with an SLR, because the SLR stayed in my pack most of the time. What I didn't expect was the high quality pictures that I've gotten with the SD500. The 7.1M pixel capability borders on overkill. And the DIGIC II Image Processor yields very high quality pictures.

The rest of the camera features are terrific. The camera functions are all simple to use, and you can easily switch from different camera modes, including image play back mode. The 2" LCD screen shows the images very clearly.

Battery life is excellent if you turn the LCD screen off and use the manual viewfinder instead. I've used the camera on several trips and a single battery usually lasts longer than a week taking 50+ photos per day. I've also used it in cold temps (0 to +10 F) and at high altitude (above 22,000'). The only problem I had was the lens door stuck sometimes when I powered it on, and I had to tap it to get it to open. However, that only happened when the battery was low. The problem went away when I changed the battery. It's something you have to monitor if you are using the manual viewfinder.

Obviously, a point and shoot digital camera will never have the optics of an SLR. That's the one and only downside. However, the benefits far outweigh that disadvantage for most circumstances. If you are looking for a lightweight digital camera, I highly recommend the PowerShot SD500.

Brian C - Aug 6, 2013 12:01 am - Voted 3/5

Funky in weird light
This camera is a perfect thing to carry in your pocket and take quick photos. I am disappointed in it's slow speed and cruddy ability to take photos in low light.

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