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Review: Canon SX500 IS

Date

Terry Lane

Zoom in on this story. Explore all there is to know.

Canon SX500IS

Canon SX500IS

Price: $420
Surprised it is done at all

The low-down: This compact camera with a 16-megapixel sensor is fitted with a 30x optical zoom and the boast of a 60x zoom when moved into the digital enlargement zone. In 35-millimetre film terms, this is a 24mm-720mm optical range. The lens is image-stabilised, which it needs to be. The only viewfinder is the LCD, which means holding the camera at arm's length and trying not to shake.

Like: A problem with all super-zooms is finding the subject in the viewfinder when the lens is at its longest focal length. This camera has a button on the side of the lens that, when pressed, gives a wider view. Locate the subject in the centre of the screen and release the button.

Dislike: Apart from the absurd zoom range and far too many pixels?

Verdict: We gave the Canon a workout at the long focal length and it reminded us of Dr Johnson's aphorism about dogs that walk on their hind legs: ''It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.'' This is a camera designed in the marketing department and intended to impress with its numbers. Believe us, you do not need a 720mm lens.