Customer Reviews: Canon PowerShot SX510 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera (discontinued by manufacturer)
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on December 25, 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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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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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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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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on March 8, 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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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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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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on March 9, 2015
I LOVE this camera. I bought it about a year ago after serious research. The zoom is absolutely incredibly and it takes some really stunning outdoor photos. It's not great at taking pictures inside because the flash really messes up the picture with the lighting, but I bought it for vacation photos and it served me well. As a bonus, it takes great video with really impressive audio quality! I make singing videos for YouTube and haven't used the expensive microphone I bought since getting this camera. I'm attaching some pictures taken with the camera.
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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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on September 10, 2015
This camera is amazing! Look at photo I took of a Bald Eagle. The Eagle was in a very tall tree and I was on a boat that was moving quickly due to I had just put the boat in neutral and not only was the boat still moving, it was windy which was making the boat move even faster. I was able to zoom in to the bird, see it was an Eagle and took the two shots. Not sure if you will be able to tell on here but it is so clear that you can see the color of the Bald Eagles eye and it's pupil! This amazed me since boat was moving up and down and moving along the water too! I have used the camera indoors to do video and it does a good job of stabilization as I am walking from room to room. It does a good job on the videos in low light and I love that it has such a nice "wide angle lens for small rooms such as bathrooms which are always hard to capture. For the price, I don't think you can beat this camera! I recommend it to friends and would buy it again. (and no, I did not receive this "free" and I am not being paid for this review....just a happy consumer!) Note: Second photo of Eagle in flight is not as good, I lost sight of him and was moving the camera around quickly so not only did I have boat moving in one direction, I was moving the camera in the opposite direction and had the camera set on "auto" not even on the mode to capture something mode for a "still" object. When I hit the shutter button, I expected nothing but "blur" but got this. As you can tell I am a "very" amateur photographer so anyone can use this camera and get great shots!
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