Canon ELPH 520 HS review:

Canon ELPH 520 HS

Elph 520 HS' controls
To save space, Canon went with an unintuitive button layout on the 520 HS.

As I said at the beginning of this review, the Elph 520 HS is a nice-looking camera. But being as small as it is, there is barely enough room for its controls. The buttons, zoom lever, and shooting-mode switch are all very tiny. For the most part they are easy to press and use, but they are close together so mispresses may happen.

What's worse, though, is that instead of a standard directional pad with a select button at the center, Canon squishes the buttons together so they don't immediately look like directionals for navigation, and puts the select button below them instead of at the center. If you shoot in auto all the time and never change settings, it's not a huge deal, but for anyone who likes to change shooting modes and adjust settings, it can be fairly frustrating to use.

Should you want to connect to a computer, monitor, or HDTV, there are Mini-USB and Mini-HDMI ports on the body's right side. The battery and memory card compartments are on the bottom behind separate sliding doors. The battery does not charge in-camera, and with this camera's short battery life, you'll probably find yourself opening the compartment quite a bit. It's only CIPA-rated for 190 shots, but using movie capture, burst shooting, or pumping up the screen brightness will shorten life. Also, the camera uses microSD cards, so if you had hopes of using an SD card you already owned or just aren't a fan of these tiny memory cards, this camera isn't for you.

Conclusion
The Canon PowerShot Elph 520 HS is a good choice for those already happy with their smartphone's photos and movie clips, but looking for a cute, little camera with a long zoom and faster performance. If you're after significantly better results, though, you'll need to go with a slightly larger camera, like Canon's PowerShot Elph 510 HS.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10
1.9
1.1
0.7
0.4
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX7V
1.7
1.4
0.7
0.4
Nikon Coolpix S8200
1.1
1.5
0.6
0.3

2.1
1.9
0.6
0.3
Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR
1.9
2.2
0.8
0.4

Typical continuous-shooting speed (frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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