Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Canon PowerShot SX510 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera (discontinued by manufacturer)
Package Type: Standard PackagingChange
Price:$195.03 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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617 of 631 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2013
I'm just a point-and-shoot guy, and all I wanted was a good point-and-shoot camera with a powerful zoom lens, and good picture quality for an admittedly undiscerning eye. I got all that and more with this camera. Since there are plenty of "expert" reviews, I'm not going to say anything about the ins-and-outs of the camera. So, for what it's worth, here are my random comments.

1. Besides the 30x optical zoom on the SX510, the other cool feature is the wifi capability. Setting up the wifi was not particularly intuitive, but I eventually got everything working. I read one review from a mac owner that the wifi would not transfer pictures wirelessly from the camera to the the Apple computer. That's not true. All you need to do is download some Canon software (available here: [...] Once you download and install the software, you need to connect your computer to the camera via your home wifi network. Again, this isn't very intuitive, but it's not too difficult either. After the connection is made, you'll be able to transfer photos from the camera to your Apple computer via the "Image Sync" command.

2. One reason I decided to get a new camera (I upgraded from an older Canon Powershot, the S3) was because my old camera took terrible pictures indoors and in low light. I read that the SX510 did much better. To my untrained eye, this certainly seems to be the case. I took a couple of indoor pictures that turned out very poorly on my S3; using the SX510, the same shots were significantly better. On close inspection, I could see some "noise," but relatively speaking, the differences were huge.

3. The SX510 is very compact and light. One big reason, of course, is that it uses a proprietary battery, rather than 4 AAs. A lot of people prefer AAs for obvious reasons, but as long as you are prepared, the proprietary battery should not be a problem. You can buy extra batteries online (on Amazon) for a very low price. Having extra batteries will help you avoid those sad situations of not having batteries when you need them.

Well, that's all I can think of for now.
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404 of 431 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2013
I have the professional Canon 5D Mark 2 camera with all the lenses, flash filters and everything else, but I needed a small camera for riding my motorcycle to events. After researching I settled on the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS, which I am glad I did. The first weekend I took over 300 photographs and I am extremely happy with this camera. I was really surprised at how small it is but it does take a nice 12 meg picture. For the price, I can't imagine using anything else.
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262 of 282 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2014
Wow. This is a truly amazing little camera. I bought this to replace my Nikon Coolpix. I had my coolpix for just over 12 months when it broke, due to no fault of my own, and it was going to cost $150 to repair. Rather than repair a camera that I liked but didn't love, I decided to make a new purchase.

My initial intention was to purchase a Canon Rebel, I have used my mom's in the past and really love that camera. I loved using the interchangeable lenses and the ability to manually focus. Seeing the cost though ($500+,) plus the cost of additional lenses, it just wasn't in my price range at the moment and I needed a new camera urgently. If you're looking for a DSLR, do not expect this to function the same. It's a powerful little camera, but it is NOT a DSLR. If you're an amateur photographer and have no intention of taking a class to learn how to use the functions of a DSLR, this is a perfect camera for you.

So began my research. It became a toss up between the Canon SX510 and the Nikon L820. Reviewers were split between the two, some preferring the Nikon, some preferring the Canon. They seemed to come out about even except in a few minor categories, and having been very pleased with the Canon Rebel, I decided to go with the Canon despite it costing about $30 more than the Nikon.


*30x Optical zoom - awesome, no more grainy pictures of kids on stage during performances

*Built in wifi - go ahead and upload your pics to facebook, send them to your phone, or directly to your wireless printer.

*Manual setting - can do your own iso settings, white balance, shutter speed etc. The auto setting works fabulously in most cases, far better than any camera I've ever owned, but the option is there for those times it's just not adjusting quite how you want it.

*CMOS sensor provides for a clearer image, especially on the macro setting, than my own eyes give me.

*Zoom assist - for when you use your 30x zoom but lose your subject

*Size - for anyone that has gone hiking with a DSLR and multiple lenses, you know what a pain that can be. This lighter camera is perfect for running around and still has a lot of the qualities that you'd look for in a DSLR. So unless you're out taking professional shots, this comes in really handy

*Discreet mode - This is a setting on the dial, great for those events when there is no flash allowed. In this mode, the camera doesn't make noise when turning it on, nor does the flash go off. Even if the camera goes off and you turn it back on, because it is set on the dial, it doesn't reset itself. I've accidentally had my flash turned back on so many times that way on previous cameras.

Cons -

*Very poor manual - A lot of skipping around to get one thing done. IE Looking through the start up manual, it says "for instructions on attaching (the lens cap cord and neck strap) please see the user manual on the canon website" Granted, it wasn't difficult to figure out, but there was no clear spot for the lens cap cord, and it is something that should have been included in a "start-up" manual. Another example of a poor manual, referring to the downloadable pdf manual...say you want to learn how to use the miniature it says "miniature setting, pg 48" You go to pg 48 and it says to follow steps 1 and 2 on page 46....okay back to page 46, got that down, back to page 48. It seems to be this way when trying to learn how to access any of the features. I can't fault the actual camera for this, but definitely Canon. I actually made up my own cheat sheet for accessing my favorite features until I have it down.

*No ability to manually focus - Being that this camera is not a DSLR, I didn't expect or really even hope for this feature. I would have liked it, but for the $$, I definitely can't complain and will upgrade in the future.

*Mirrorless - I would definitely prefer to use a viewfinder, I am used to going without though, so it's easy to work around.

*No Raw Shooting - this feature doesn't apply to most people, but sometimes I prefer to use it

*No Touch Screen - This is taking time for me to get used to, I find myself constantly tapping the screen. My last 2 cameras, going back to 2010, have been touch screen, so I'm surprised to find this camera doesn't have one.

Some reviewers have complained about the difficulty of accessing the wifi, this was fairly easy for me and took about 15 minutes max. It's a little more work than it typically takes to connect a device to wifi,and you have to use the computer to do it, but it's still not overly difficult.

Despite the cons, I'm still incredibly impressed with this camera and it has definitely earned 5 stars when taking into account the type of camera, the construction, and the value. I'm very happy with this purchase despite the fact that I was hoping for my next camera to be the Rebel. I never imagined I'd get a camera of this level of quality for under $400. (I paid $229, could have bought a slightly cheaper one, but wanted one that was Amazon fulfilled and prime)
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147 of 168 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2013
Great camera for travellers,, fast shooting ,, best thing i found is ,.. one can zoom while taking video.. which i have never found this feature in this type version of cameras before
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234 of 273 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2014
I wanted a camera that took awesome still shots and could shoot 1080P for my youtube projects. I thought I had struck gold with this camera, but unfortunately I was wrong. I tried recording videos over and over again and randomly, during the process, the camera would beep and stop recording. Confused and irritated, I looked online, tried contacting Canon for support (that was a waste of time) and kept looking for help on forums. Finally, I found a yahoo answers that explained what was happening. The sensor in the camera will start to overheat, or get close to overheating and stop recording to protect itself. Though it may be a nice feature to elongate the lifespan of your product, Canon really should have mentioned a LIMITED recording time on this product page. It just says "Capture beautiful 1080p full HD video in stereo sound with a dedicated movie button." When it should have said, "Capture beautiful 1080p full HD video in stereo sound for a few minutes, before I get too warm and switch off." Of course, that doesn't sound very appealing, now does it?

That being said, The image quality of the photos were absolutely awesome! So I'm very sad I'm returning this camera.

Pros - Great still shot quality and great build quality.

Cons - Shooting video with a sentient-like sensor that will just randomly shut off when it gets warm sucks, hardcore.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2014
I own 12 cameras. I teach photography to middle school students and find this camera to be the easiest for my students to learn the basics and enjoy all the functions. For the price you are getting an excellent camera with an incredible zoom.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2014
Bought this camera because I needed a megazoom for a specific event. First off, the camera works well and takes better pictures than it probably should. I'm a novice photographer and needed a decent point and shoot to take great pictures. It delivers and my photos are great quality, indoor and outdoor. For those who like more control, the camera also has manual controls. One tiny drawback is that the controls aren't as "intuitive" as my other digital cameras. You'll probably need the manual handy the first time you use it. No big deal. My problem is getting my fine pictures OUT of the camera. It is wireless only. Great! One less cable to keep up with. Not so fast. The setup for wireless is a colossal pain in the neck. You have to register on the Canon image gallery website. Then register the camera. Then set up the access point. Then register the computer, smartphone, tablet, etc you'd like to to send the pictures to. Fine, that is expected. After all of that, you upload the pictures and realize you can't even crop a photo on the CIG website/app, much less do any real editing. You have to do it using the 3" screen on the camera first. Whatever, I'll import into iPhoto on my Mac. If only the camera would stay connected to the computer! After 20 aggravating minutes, I gave up and loaded the SD card into the adapter attached to my computer and uploaded that way. You can "upload" an album to twitter and facebook (sorry, no other video/photo sharing apps) from the CIG, but to share them with your friends requires password? That would be because you aren't uploading the pictures, just a link to the album. If you want to create or add to an album on facebook, you'll have to upload the pictures one at a time; can't "select all" and be done with it. After taking hundreds of pictures, that ain't happening. The wireless function on this camera is, in a word, ONEROUS.
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52 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2014
My wife and I purchased this to have a good camera for taking pics of our newborn son. We have been so pleased with it. The zoom is absolutely incredible. I'm sure there are many stronger and better quality cameras out there for the professionals, but for a family at home...this is awesome...especially for around $200! Good quality video as well. We are excited every time we upload pics to the computer to see how clear and beautiful the images of our boy are!

Also, we bought extra batteries from this amazon listing:

The batteries were a good price and they actually last longer than the factory canon battery. Just a little food for thought!

Also, in terms of aesthetics...the camera is very nice looking and built well. The neck strap is nice, and the camera fits very comfortably in your hands. Light weight! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2014
Great camera for the novice. Phones are great for taking pictures in a bind but they still can't compare to the old "purpose built camera!! This camera has several settings that can be useful in special situations, the "portrait" mode works well for making someone's face in focus and makes everything else blurry. Also I find the macro useful shooting very close! The zoom on this camera makes it worth the money, look at this photo I took of the moon from my back yard on "Manual Mode" Try doing that with your phone!!
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52 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2014
If you like to take pictures outside this is NOT the model of camera to choose. Without a view finder this camera is pretty much useless outdoors since the screen becomes completely obscured by moderate outside light. If it's a clear sunny day you are not even able to tell if the camera is turned on or not unless you use BOTH hands to surround the screen to block all reflections. Why is this relevant? If you have to use BOTH hands in order to see the screen how do you depress the shutter button? If you cannot see the screen in bright light how do compose your scene or see if it's in focus?
The MACRO function is rather odd. When you switch the camera to Macro shooting mode you are forced to high speed burst mode that only allows pictures up to 3 mega pixel. (That's a 75% reduction in picture quality.) I've been through every single page of the new updated manual but have not found any way to disable the high speed burst mode when shooting in any mode except 100% automatic. The firmware will not allow low-light pictures to be taken. If the firmware decides the there is not enough light it will not allow a picture to be taken until the flash has been physically raised.
Anther outdoor downfall of this camera is the proprietary Lithium Ion battery that can only be charged use 120v AC current. So if you are off the grid camping, hiking, or traveling away from North America plan on buying several extra batteries and budget your camera usage carefully.

Very Important Safety Note: The obnoxious bright green auto-focus assist beam cannot be turned off. Which means you cannot use the camera at any indoor sporting events that prohibit flash photography. I was ejected from three events. I finally realized it was the BRIGHT green auto-focus assist lamp that was drawing complaints from participants. Could not find an option to disable the beam, so I covered it up with a piece of dark colored tape. When the beam is covered or blocked the camera will not even power on. IF the beam is covered after power up it displays "HARDWARE FOCUS ERROR - Service required" then powers off. You have to remove the battery, and also the small button cell battery that maintains the settings (CMOS) and clock before the camera will turn on again. This also explains there the extreme red-eye effect in every picture of people whether or not the flash was used, this includes animals also. Pretty bad when you are getting red-eye effect in pictures of birds outdoors. This also explains why road signs, reflective clothing, and reflective signage all appear as directly illuminated even in bright sunlight. It seems the beam is illuminated just before, during, and briefly after the exposure of the picture. Why?

This is not a photographer friendly camera, it's seems to be entirely designed for people that have never taken a picture before and do not understand what is causing the conditions I'm describing. The optics of this Canon camera are exceptional, but the operating system of the camera renders them pretty much useless.
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