Top positive review
105 people found this helpful
Exactly the compact camera I've been looking for
on August 2, 2012
I have been looking for a good compact camera for a long time. I am an amateur photographer with a Canon 5D and wanted a small camera I could have with me without the weight of the 5D. Any compact I tried suffered from poor quality photos or very slow responsiveness. The time from pressing the shutter release to actual capture of the photo was my biggest issue with using a compact camera for `snapshots.' If I was just trying to capture a moment at a party, the compact's delay was always an issue. So I was stuck with carrying the giant 5D everywhere or missing out on some photo opportunities.
The ELPH 530 HS has completely filled my requirements. I spent a few days wandering around my house and yard with both cameras and taking the same shots. The quality of the 530 was almost always up to that of the 5D. The automatic settings are excellent, and even in some tricky backlit situations made the right call on exposure. The only situation where the 5D beat the 530 (but not by much) was in very low light, non-flash situations. So when I'm taking photos in dark churches I will still rely on the 5D, but on almost every other situation the 530 will do nicely.
I did not think I would use any of the special effects on the camera but quickly found some useful. When at a dance competition for my daughter I was able to use the color filter function to snap B&W photos where one color is left in. This was great for shots that made the red of their outfits pop in a sea of gray. I could have done this with the 5D, but would have needed to load the photo on my PC and do some work in photoshop. Instead I had the photos on Facebook within a minute of taking them.
That's the other main reason I chose this camera over some others I was looking at, such as the Canon S100 - it has built-in wifi. And it works really well with my iPhone which was my hope for future vacation photos sent from anywhere to friends or posted to Facebook without needing to lug a laptop around. I have not tried the other connections possible from the 530, such as your home wifi to a folder on your pc or to the Canon sharing site. I wanted to be able to get the images to my phone and do what I wanted with them and this works perfectly. When I am home I pop the card into a reader on my PC so I don't see a need to use the home wifi. It seems you need to choose the images individually to save them to your iPhone, but as that is what I normally do I haven't tried to do anything else, such as `send all photos to my iPhone.'
The one negative I noticed in other reviews is battery life, and from the perspective of the 5D DSLR, it's very short. I can go all day with the 5D on a single battery, shooting 1,000 images and not thinking about it. Of course I have spares for that camera and cycle them through the charger when on a vacation. The literature states 500-600 photos on a charge and after a full day of shooting that is probably about right. I purchased a pair of third party batteries on Amazon fairly cheaply and they seem fine.
I rarely shoot any video and haven't tried it on the 530, but it's there and in HD.
In a direct comparison to a DSLR like the 5D the 530 would hold up fairly well in my opinion in most aspects. Of course the reason to use a DSLR is to have control over the exposure and the 530 has limited `modes' rather than a method to set the exposure directly. The Canon S100 had this ability and I nearly bought it for that reason, intending to add a wifi memory card. When I thought about my true reason for a compact camera, the ability to have a quality camera with me at all times to capture everyday shots, I realized I did not need the control of the S100. For over $100 less the 530 seemed a good buy. Since the 530 includes wifi, that made the s100 another $80 more expensive as I'd have to add it.
The only feature I could think of that the 530 was missing is a GPS function that records the location of images. That would have been nice, and some compacts have that, but it wasn't a deal-breaker for me.
So, after about a month of trying it in a number of situations I am very pleased with the 530. The camera works as I hoped and the wifi and software for transfer to my iphone work well. I gave up on the image-browser software for the PC as I still use an old version of Canon zoombrowser to transfer to my PC. Imagebrowser seemed very slow as it tried to organize the thousands of image son my PC.