- Editor's Rating
- Excellent image quality
- 12x zoom
- Poor battery life
- Unresponsive touch display
Quick TakeThe Canon PowerShot ELPH 510 HS is a portable camera that offers impressive zoom and image quality, but users may be disappointed with its poor battery life and touchscreen controls.
The Canon Powershot ELPH 510 HS is a pocketable and compact point-and-shoot digital camera with a capacitive touchscreen. The large 3.2-inch LCD screen eliminates the need for many physical buttons. Only an on/off button, two-position camera mode switch, shutter button, zoom toggle and review button are present on the device. DigitalCameraReview found the camera features “robust construction and impressive durability,” calling it “the poster child for touch little cameras.\” The ELPH 510 HS is built with a metal-alloy body; it measures s 2.3 x 3.9 x 0.9 inches and weighs 7.3 ounces. The camera is available in red, silver and black and is priced at just under $300 at the time of the review.
DCR called the camera’s menu system “logical, easy to navigate and very simple.” The camera allows only minimal user input and features smart auto, program and movie modes. The ELPH 510 HS does not have an optical viewfinder, rather users must rely on the 3.2-inch PureColor II Touch TFT LCD with 461k dots of resolution to frame and compose images. The touchscreen also provides direct access to controls, functions, menus and touch-based autofocus. DCR found the LCD monitor is noticeably coarser and slightly dimmer than some competing cameras, however, DCR found the display to be hue accurate and fluid. The LCD also boosts gain in low light and offers 100 percent coverage. DCR did note the screen is subject to glare in bright outdoor lighting.
Performance-wise DCR found the ELPH 510 HS is ideal for general photography, street/candid shots and impromptu environmental portraits. The camera has a TTL Contrast Detection AiAF autofocus system, 12x zoom and built-in flash with five options. Maximum flash range is just shy of nine feet and recycle time is four seconds. The ELPH 510 HS accepts SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. The device’s Canon Lithium-Ion NB-9L rechargeable battery is rated for 190 exposures. DCR called the camera “an especially impressive little imaging tool.\”
The ELPH 510 HS’s 12x zoom lens can zoom from 28mm true wide-angle to 336mm true telephoto. DCR found corners to be visibly soft at wide-angle, but appreciable sharper at telephoto range. DCR also noted the f.3,4 maximum aperture “is fast enough for just about anything this camera’s target audience is likely to tackle outdoors,” however, shooting indoors is likely to produce some muddy looking and noisy images. Zoom operation is smooth, fast and fairly quiet, however the lens does product noticeable barrel distortion and pin cushioning.
Video can be shot at 1920 x 1080 at 24 frames per second. DCR said videos are hue accurate, fluid and sharp. Images are optimized for bold, bright hues and slightly flat contrast. Native colors are bright and hue accurate but visibly over-saturated. DCR found that images taken outdoors in good light are well exposed, sharply focused and almost noise-free. Overall, DCR called the ELPH 510 HS’s image quality “good or better than any camera in its class.”
Overall, DCR was impressed with the Canon PowerShot ELPH 510 HS’s 12x zoom, size and image quality but saw room for improvement in the battery life and imprecise touchscreen controls. In the end, DCR found the Canon PowerShot ELPH 510 HS is designed to appeal to casual photographers and noted users should consider whether or not they actually need a point and shoot camera in addition to their smartphone camera, before deciding to invest in this camera.