Canon IXUS 510 HS / ELPH 530 HS Review

June 19, 2012

Canon IXUS 510 HS pocket camera on blue background

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS/ IXUS 510 HS is a very elegant and stylish ultra compact cameras. In this review I want to take a closer look at this unique camera that hosts some very nice arsenal of features. This is where design & technology blends amazingly together.  This camera will be favorite among amateur photographers that want a camera that looks great and takes great images. The Canon 530 HS has a 10.1MP sensor, 12x optical zoom, Digic 5 image processor, built-in Wi-Fi® (share images directly on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, your PC, etc.) , can shoot Full HD videos and comes with a huge 3.2″ touch panel for controlling all the camera’s operations. The Camera is very slim and compact in size, a camera that you can easily put in your jeans pocket or small handbag without the need for a dedicated camera bag. OK, Let’s take a closer look at this stylish elegant digital camera.

The names IXUS 510 HS and ELPH 530 HS are different names for the same camera model


Pocket Digital Camera

I remember the first Canon PowerShot cameras a few years ago. I didn’t own any digital camera before, and I saw that little pocket Canon camera at the camera store and felt in love with it in first site.  A very compact and slim camera, shinning from the window, just wanting for me to pick it up. Since then I am a fan of Canon PowerShot cameras due to several factors: Elegant and sexy design, slim & compact size, high image quality and a host of very useful features that makes using the camera very easy for a newbie photographer.

One big advantage of having such a pocket camera is that you can take it everywhere you go and pop it out when you want / need to take a shot. That means that you can get home with some shots that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to shoot.  After all, you don’t take a DSLR camera everywhere you go, but this Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS / IXUS 510 HS camera you can take it just anywhere. Charge the camera, put it in your pocket and you are ready to go!

I remember that one of the reasons I was attracted to DSLR cameras was the image quality. However, since then sensor technology has vastly improved, and even though those type of cameras utilize a small sensor, image quality is now much better then what it was a few years ago. It will give you much better image quality then what you can get with your mobile phone, you get to enjoy a very large zoom (12x in the case of the ELPH 530) and plenty of features that you just wish that you have them on your mobile phone camera.

vs Mobile Phone Cameras

We can’t ignore the fact that many people just find their mobile phone camera the best solution for their needs. Some prefer not buying a pocket digital camera and shoot only with their mobile cam. Two of the main reasons why you should pick a pocket camera is image quality and optical zoom. There are some mobile phones that have optical zoom, but non of them currently go over 5x (if I remember right). Image quality on mobile phone cameras have improved, but still no at the same league at what you get with today’s pocket point-and-shoot cameras. The reason is that smartphone cameras have a tiny sensor, that will result in a noisy image in general.

For just sharing photos on Facebook, Twitter, Email or for small prints, smartphone cameras are probably the most convenient and smart choice, although video quality is still in low quality in my opinion, even if you shoot at Full HD.  Again, the main reason is the small sensor, and this is the key component in the camera that is responsible for the final image quality (the lens and image processor too). With Point-and-Shoot digital cameras you get fast processor, relatively larger sensor and of course a high optical quality lens. This will allow you to make high quality prints, get clean looking images with less noise (At low ISO), get the chance to shoot also high quality image s at higher ISO when you need it. All in all, I don’t think we are living in times that mobile phone cameras can entirely replace P&S cameras, we are not there yet.


ELPH 530 is a Very Elegant Camera

One thing I like about the Canon IXUS 510 HS / PowerShot 530 HS is its external design. It’s a really beautifully looking digital camera. It doesn’t have rounded corners, but it doesn’t take from its sexy look. In fact, I personally like that square design better than the rounded ones (ie. ELPH 510 JS, 500 HS, 300 HS, A2400 IS, etc.). The design really fits well with the gorgeous large 3.2″ 461K-dot Touch screen and the rounded lens housing.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS pocket camera, top view

Three button, all that you need - Canon ELPH 530 HS Top


Canon IXUS 510 / 530 HS ELPH front

Canon IXUS 510 / 530 HS ELPH front view


Canon IXUS 510, rear view

Huge 3.2-inch Touch Sensitive Screen at the back for easily controlling all camera's operations

The Canon PowerShot 530 HS / IXUS 510 HS was designed with ease of use in mind.  In order to make this camera beginner’s friendly and very easy to use, almost all the camera’s operations are done using the back LCD display, which is a touch sensitive display, like the one you have on your mobile phone. You will only find three buttons at the top: on/off switch,  image/videos preview, shutter button + function dial switch. All the menu settings and camera adjustment can be done using the touch screen.

Lets continue with a short video introduction made by Canon (includes the IXUS 240 HS too) and will continue our review afterwards..


Features that You SHOULD Know About

It’s hard to choose one pocket camera from such a large selection. However, I can tell you from my own experience that Canon make one of the best pocket cameras in the world, and they are among the most popular ones too.  Canon utilize many advances technologies to make their pocket digital cameras shine compare to other cameras. It’s the combination of useful features and high quality components that makes cameras like the ELPH 530 HS / IXUS 510 HS a joy to use, even for those of you who are afraid of operating any electronic device.

My mother is afraid of using any electronic device, and I promised her that when she buys the 530 HS, she won’t need to worry about it anymore. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS is easy to use, even for the non-oriented photographer, people who haven’t touched a camera in their lives.

However, for those of you who want to get a bit more technical, this section will give you a short introduction of the unique features of this camera. Features that I think you should care about. I will try to write it in plain English without sophisticated technical words so you can understand what they mean and how they affect your daily shooting.


10.1MP BSI-CMOS Sensor
Highly-detailed image with much less noise

A high-sensitive sensor that utilize latest sensor technologies for high image quality. A 10.1MP will give you plenty of detail, and it’s a very good resolution for such sensor. More pixels might result in a noisier image, that what can happen when you stuck so many pixels on a relatively small sensor.  The sensor utilize the Backside-illuminated technology, which allows the sensor to be much more sensitive to light, that will result in much better image quality, especially when shooting in high ISO and low light. So in general, you get an excellent sensor with optimal resolution that will provide highly-detailed images with great image quality overall.


fast camera operation that powers advanced in-camera functions, 70% less noise

The Digic 5 image processor is the latest of Canon’s. It’s the heart of the camera, the key component that gives the camera its power and performance. You can see that as an equivalent to a computer’s CPU.  DIGIC 5 will ensure that the camera will operate fast, with less power consumption compared to previous processors (result in better battery life), provides advanced functionality like filters, scenes, Face detection algorithms ,etc. DIGIC 5 will power up the advanced in-camera functionality as well as making sure that you get great images every time, without you needing to worry about image adjustments later on, or massing around with sophisticated photo editing software to correct them to look better. Image noise is 70% better compared to DIGIC 4, means you get much less noise in your photos compare to cameras that utilize DIGIC4 processor.

Canon DIGIC 5 image processor

12x Optical Zoom Lens
High zoom with wide angle and image stabilization

The lens is probably one of the most important features in every camera, if not the most important one. A better lens will result in sharper and more vibrant image.  The Canon PowerShot 530 HS / IXUS 510 HS utilize a Canon lens. A 28-336 mm (35mm equiv.) with Canon’s optical Image Stabilization (lens-shift). Wide-angle lens means that you can easily take photos of a group of people, wide-angle landscape shots, interior shots and all kinds of shots where you want to grab as much area as possible and get more subjects into the same shot.

Image stabilization will make sure that you get sharp images. It will compensate your hand movements (camera shaking) so the image won’t turned our blurry.  This can help you get better shots when shooting in low-light. This camera also utilizes Canon’s intelligent-IS, which let the camera automatically decide on the best IS option for a specific shot. The camera will automatically choose on of six available image stabilization options so you can get a perfect shot every time, without the need to understand anything about the technology behind it and how it operates.

The lens also utilizes UA lens, one of Canon’s cutting-edge optical designs to make lens smaller, but still provide excellent image quality characteristics.


Built-in Wi-Fi capabilities
Easily share your photos on Facebook and Twitter, Wirelessly Transfer photos to Tablet or Smartphone devices

The ELPH 530HS / IXUS 510HS is a Wi-Fi digital camera.  With it’s built-in Wi-Fi it allows you to wirelessly  share your images and video through Canon iMage Gateway, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or upload your images to your home PC.  Furthermore, you can share images between Wi-Fi enabled PowerShot cameras as well.  With a unique mobile app, you can even transfer your images directly to a smartphone or tablet on the same WiFi network.

WiFi logo

Here’s a video from Engadget that demonstrates how to connect the Canon PowerShot ALPH 530 HS with the Apple iPad on WiFi and transfer and image to the tablet device.

* The Canon IXUS 510 HS is Wi-Fi b/g/n certified.


3.2-inch Touch-Sensitive Display
Easily control all camera’s operations by touch. Gorgeous big display for composing images and videos

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS digital camera features a bright 3.2-inch PureColor LCD 16:9 wide Touch-sensitive screen with 461K-dots.   This screen utilize delta arrangement of dots instead of striped arrangement so images and videos will look better on screen. The screen has a wide viewing angles, anti-reflection coating, its scratch-proof and has a dust-repellent fluorine coating.

Beside high durability, the LCD features a touch-panel with touch shutter technology. That makes using the camera easier and much more fun. By just touching the screen your can choose where you want the camera to focus, touch to take a shot, change camera settings, record and play – all using your fingertips.

I’ve read many opinions regarding the touchscreen of this camera. I think that you shouldn’t expect the same smartphone-like responsiveness and you won’t be disappointed.


Smart AUTO
Let the camera do all the hard work, and just enjoy gorgeous photos

Canon’s Smart AUTO features was designed to make the 530 HS easy to use as much as possible. There are many situations that you just can’t get a good looking photo as you wanted like shooting  a backlit subject, shooting at low light, shooting fast moving subjects, etc. Canon Smart AUTO will automatically select the camera settings that fits a specific scene that might be quite challenging, even for an experienced photographer. What matters the most is that you go back home with gorgeous photos. Photos that will look like they were taken by a professional photographer, not amateur one.

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 530HS also features several scene modes (ie. smooth skin, portrait, handheld night scene, fisheye effect, toy camera effect, soft focus, fireworks, etc.) that will help you get great photos under popular shooting conditions and easily apply special effects to both images and videos. As I said before, it’s all about getting gorgeous shots with vivid colors and great punch – photos that will attract more people to view it will great on print and on the web.

Another cool feature is called Face ID. Take up to 12 photos of people you want the camera to remember, and when you shoot photos where that face is in it, the camera will automatically focus on that subject and make all the necessary adjustment that the subject will be at the center of attention in that photo. Great for shooting babies and children in a group of other people. So just grab some shoots of your best friends and family and the camera will do the rest to keep them in the center of attention in each photo.

Here’s a video that demonstrates the Face ID feature.

here’s another video on the Face ID feature (demonstrated on the SX260 HS camera, but works the same on the 530 HS)

Amazing feature!


Micro SD Memory Cards

The Canon IXUS 510 HS / ELPH 530 HS is compatible with microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC memory cards. Many digital cameras are working with regular SD cards, and it’s kind of weird to me to see a digital camera that works with microSD cards. Canon probably wanted to use as less space as possible so more components and be squeeze in that little space inside the camera.

The good thing is that microSD memory cards are becoming more popular these days to the the increase popularity of mobile phones and tablet devices. Another great thing is that microSD can be inserted into SD compatible devices using a micro SD to SD adapter.

You can check out this page on Amazon for a list of available Micro SD memory cards in various capacities and speeds. Memory cards are very cheap and you can buy a SanDisk 32GB microSDHC card for around $15. Faster cards from popular brands will cost more of course. Because the difference in prices aren’t big I recommend getting a fast MicroSDHC card, but that’s not a must. If I add to chose one, I would probably go with a 32GB MicroSDHC Class 10 card so I can use it on both my pocket camera, DSLR and on mobile devices. However, you should make your own choice based on your budget and specific needs.


Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS Sample Videos

The IXUS 510 HS can record Full HD videos at 24 fps and HD 720p videos at 30 fps with stereo sounds. The camera can also shoot slow motion 240 fps videos at 320×240 pixel resolution. Here are some sample videos taken with the camera.

1080p shooting in bright conditions

1080p rain conditions / outdoors


Canon 530 HS vs 320 HS

When Canon announced the 530 HS it also announced the 320 HS and I’ve seen many people comparing the two models one versus the other. Here’s a comparison table that shows the differences between the two models.

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Key differences:

  1. 320 HS has a higher resolution
  2. 530 HS has a bigger optical zoom (12x vs 5x)
  3. 530 HS has a shorter macro focus range (1cm vs 3cm)
  4. 530 HS has a faster maximum shutter speed (1/4000 vs 1/2000 sec)
  5. 530 HS operated on microSD cards, 320HS on SD cards
  6. 530 HS has a slightly longer battery life (190 vs 170 shots , CIPA)
  7. 530 HS is smaller but a bit heavier
  8. 320 HS has a wide aperture (f/2.7) lens at the wide angle, better low light capabilities at wide-angle
  9. 320 HS has a wider lens (24mm vs 28mm), which for wide angle shots its quite significant


These two cameras, The Canon PowerShot 530 HS and 320 HS are similar in many ways but have quite significant differences.  The 530 Hs is the more expensive model and it’s Canon’s ELPH flagship camera.  With the 530 HS you get a more capable camera, but one that also offers a much higher zoom.  That’s quite astonishing how Canon was able to put a 12x optical zoom lens in such a pocketable digital camera. In fact, I think that what makes the IXUS 510 Hs / ELPH 530 HS such an attractive camera.

So in general I would ask myself whether I need the high zoom and really to pay extra for it.  I personally find the Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS more attractive in terms of the zoom and performance. I think that the biggest selling point for the 530HS is the high-zoom and more compact body.  Both cameras have Wi-Fi and I don’t find the sensor resolution that significant.  In fact, I prefer having less pixels when it comes to point-and-shoot compact cameras.

The main advantage of the 320 HS over the 530 HS is the 24mm wide-angle lens, which for some wide-angle shots it can be quite a big difference.  Furthermore, the 320HS has a faster lens with f/2.7 maximum aperture at the widest lens opening. This is very useful when shooting in low light, and that’s 0.7 stops better than the 530HS (1 stop equals twice amount of light).

If you ask me, I would probably went with the 530HS, mainly because of its high zoom – love high zoom compacts! – however, if the budget restricts you, or you are mainly into wide-angle shots, the Canon 320 HS is a very good camera for you.



The Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS / IXUS 510 HS is an amazing little pocket camera. It hosts a large arsenal of features that should make shooting very easy for beginners. Image quality is great and photos are vibrant sharp and well saturated.  One of the two most noticeable selling point for this camera is the Wi-Fi feature and the 12x optical zoom. Many of you might find the Wireless sharing very useful, at least if you are used to upload many photos to your Facebook and Twitter pages. Sharing images between Tablets and Mobile phone devices is very nice as long as you need it. I personally don’t but many people do want to share their photos on various mobile devices, so with the 530 HS and the 320 HS you can do that easily.

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS is one of the best pocket cameras for 2012. You pay more but you get a lot in return.  All in all, this is a pocket camera that results in great images and provide ease-of-use that will encourage beginners to shoot more and more.  This is also a very elegant camera, that certainly looks great alongside your iPhone, iPad or other mobile devices.  Just put it in your pocket or handbag and take it everywhere. That camera certainly be a big hit in 2012/2013 and I personally highly recommend it.

If you are searching for some negative points, I’ve read that some people find the touch-screen inconsistent sometimes. I personally tried it and I find it work quite well. As I told you earlier, as you don’t expect it to be as responsive as your smartphone, you will be ok. I am sure that future models will have better touch panels that will improve the responsiveness. Even Olympus PEN Mirrorless cameras (which are much more expensive than this camera) don’t have a super responsive panel.

An Amazon user wrote and I quote: “Let’s be clear, this is not a smartphone when it comes to the touchscreen. The UI is working well for me and responsive.“.

More camera models will come in the future, but we just can’t forever. We want a camera now.. a great camera that can take amazing photos, and I think that the 530HS is a great pocket camera for this.  I think that some of the negative reactions are mainly due to the expectations that people have with mobile phones vs such touch-screen based cameras. However, I certainly encourage Canon to release products that better fit to today’s high demands. I can also understand that the price might be higher for such product, but many will prefer paying more and get a better product that fits their expectations and the current technology development in the mobile gadget’s market.

Have you tried the 530HS? – please share your opinion by commenting below. Thanks!

Buy Canon 530 HS (Black) from Adorama

Buy Canon 530 HS (White) from Adorama


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