Top positive review
275 people found this helpful
An interesting camera. I like it.
on June 8, 2012
A tiny little brick of a camera. I took a few shots with it in my dim living room and compared them with both the Canon A620 and the Canon Rebel XTI...all in "auto". The 520 HS took noisier pictures, yet they were much better to view than the others, which were less noisy but much darker. Which is better, a black frame or a noisy picture? I switched to Program mode and started playing with the settings and menus. The first thing I noticed was that JPG compression was set at "fine"...not "very fine" which is an option. File size went up, but noise decreased quite a bit. Much of the noise was in fact jpg compression artifacts.
The IS seems to work quite well.
The zoom is fantastic for a camera of this size.
The lens is not "flat"...you can achieve quite nice bokeh for a point and shoot.
It has user defined white balance, which I believe is one of the most important features to getting good photos.
The super slow motion is cool, but kind of a gimmick. I got some great video of hummingbirds around the feeder, but it is low resolution.
There is no printed manual, just a PDF file on the included CD ROM.
Flash is unobtrusive, but semi-weak.
Overall, I'm quite happy with my purchase. I think you'll get way better pictures than most point-and-shoots if you switch to the "Program" mode. Your best camera is the one that you actually use to take pictures. The availability of an inexpensive Ikelite underwater housing and the camera's ability to take HD video mean that the Canon Elph 520 HS is going on vacation with us, while the Canon DSLR is sitting at home. My Canon A620 took fantastic underwater video and stills, but alas, after many scuba trips and several dozens of hours underwater (and many years) it doesn't like humidity any more.
I'd give this 5 stars based on what it is and what it's intended to be used for, but in the end I rated it 4 stars because it is a bit noisy in "auto" mode. I'll update this review after we get back from vacation where I'll really get to test the underwater mode and low light performance of stills and video.
Update June 10th -The more I shoot with this camera the more I like it. It is able to capture fantastic images in natural lighting with true to life colors. The myriad of scene modes makes getting the right shot on the first try very easy. I really wouldn't call this a point and shoot...the images in auto mode are good, but when you switch into scene mode you can get fantastic images if you select the appropriate scene. I'm upping my rating to 5 stars.