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Canon PowerShot Elph 500 HS review: Good, but not S95 good

The touch-screen controls keep the Canon PowerShot Elph 500 HS from being a lower-cost PowerShot S95 alternative for enthusiasts, but it's otherwise a very good ultracompact.

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The Canon PowerShot Elph 500 HS is the more stylish Elph version of the PowerShot S95 enthusiast compact. The 500 HS has a similar lens with a bright f2.0 maximum aperture and semimanual shooting modes. It also has the company's HS (high-sensitivity) system for improved low-light photos. However, the S95 uses a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor that's larger than the 500 HS's small 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS. There's also a $100 difference in price, and while the photos from the S95 are better, they won't be $100 better for a lot of snapshooters.

On the other hand, I'd pay the $100 to get the physical controls of the S95 over the touch-screen operation of the 500 HS. Those considering this camera as a lower-cost way to get the f2.0 lens and aperture and shutter speed controls might be disappointed by the experience of using the touch screen for everything. Snapshooters who only plan to use these things occasionally and don't do a lot of fiddling with settings probably won't mind the loss of physical controls. Plus, the 500 HS is capable of turning out some excellent photos.

Read the full review.