Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS Review

    Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS

    MSRP $300.00

    “This is a camera for those who find they have developed beyond basic point-and-shoot and want to start dipping their toes into manual settings.”


    • High-speed continuous shooting mode

    • Beautiful and super portable

    • Quality photos and videos

    • Easy to use


    • Poor battery life

    • Only MicroSD

    • Average low-light performance at best

    The Canon Elph 520 HS is a compact, sleek and powerful camera. You can think of the Elph series like PowerShot’s wacky, wacky cousin: Looks and acts a little differently, which makes for some awkward moments here and there, but it does. compensates for it with quality and creativity. In a nutshell, the Elph series brings a bit of variety to what could have been a somewhat monotonous board. While there are some hang-ups here and there with the $300 Elph 520 HS, it delivers a surprisingly satisfying experience.

    What’s in the box?

    Alongside the Elph 520 HS digital camera, you’ll get the battery, charger, USB cable, wrist strap, and CD-ROM. It’s normal for a camera like this.

    Look and feel

    Right off the bat, the Elph 520 HS is a nice camera. Boxy camera with hard, angled edges – it’s a great deviation from the softer point-and-shoots on the market. Save for the shutter/zoom toggle on top of the camera, Elph’ssurface is perfectly smooth and flat. It’s almost army-like with its minimalism, with fewer buttons and controls than many competitors’ cameras.


    The back of the camera is mostly a 3-inch LCD screen, and the video recording, exposure, macro, flash, functions, menus, and display controls are designated to one side. There is no mode dial on this camera.

    By feel, you’ve probably realized that the Elph 520 HS is small and may be too small for a large hand. This, along with its silky form factor means there’s not much grip. The top of the camera has a small grip area for one-handed shooting, but it’s not much. However, it’s also heavier than you might expect, and in my book that’s a plus. The Elph 520 is light enough not to weigh on your wrists, but you don’t feel like you’re about to crush the elegant thing on your feet. There is little or no wobble on the lens, and we wouldn’t expect such a thing in Canon’s point-and-shoot.

    User interface and navigation

    Canon cameras have a reputation for being easy to use, and the Elph 520 HS is no exception. On top of the camera, you’ll find the controls neatly laid out. You have two options: You can switch to Auto or you can switch to Program (camera icon). While in Auto mode, you can still control things like flash and Macro settings (this is one of the things the camera can determine for itself thanks to Smart Auto technology).

    There’s nothing stopping you from switching to Auto and telephoto, and perhaps delaying this setting is even easier than with most cameras thanks to the toggle on the top of the camera.


    It’s not like the manual settings in the Elph 520 HS are also hard to master. Switch to Programs, press the “function” button and you can navigate all your options in the left column of the screen. Everything is laid out as clearly as possible: In as few words as possible, the features and what they do are clearly laid out, and you use the four middle buttons on the back of the chassis to control them.

    The user interface of the screen during shooting doesn’t deviate too much from other points and shots, so there are some familiar touches here. If you don’t want to skip, tapping Show gives you a large, clear view of nothing but the LCD (it’s a good choice, and I find it largely impractical) , but still great to have). Navigating the camera’s built-in features is different – but not worse – than competitor cameras. But the simplicity here is extremely useful and easy to warm up immediately. There is nothing unpleasant or tiring about it.


    The Elph 520 HS keeps up with typical point-and-shoot fashion but packs a lot of good features. First, let’s start with all your creative options. You can define which colors really stand out, and there are fisheye, miniature, toy camera, soft focus, super vivid, and poster effects. You also have many preset scene options, like low light, snow, fireworks, etc.

    But there are a few important features that stand out. For starters, the camera has a high-speed continuous shooting mode. Canon says the tool enables continuous shooting at 6.8 fps. It’s fast now, but the problem is it’s not completely as fast as its predecessor, the Elph 510 HS. That’s probably where most of the complaints about the Elph 520 HS come from – it doesn’t quite have the features the 510 HS did. Touch screens are gone, with a 3.2-inch screen, a 7.8 fps continuous shooting mode, and arguably the most annoying thing is the SD card slot. The Elph 520 HS only accepts microSD cards, which means you can’t get that in and out of a laptop with a built-in SD reader. It’s not a huge complaint, but surprisingly aggravating.


    Really, none of these “step backs” should bother anyone who doesn’t currently own or previously owned an Elph HS 510. You still get the full 12x optical zoom, a 3-inch LCD screen light can get the job done, a highly sensitive 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor plus the power of the DIGIC 5 processor (the 510 has a 12.1-megapixel sensor, but a DIGIC 4 processor). It also looks much nicer, smaller, and augmented by little things like a dedicated movie button and improved smart auto settings.

    To sum it up, with a slightly downgraded feature count, the Elph 520 HS still has a lot to show for itself (not to mention the fact that it sells for $50 cheaper than the 510 at launch).

    Performance and usage

    It cannot be emphasized enough how small this camera is. It’s quite small and much more boxy than other point-and-shoots, so it might feel unfamiliar at first. But I quickly arrived at the odd shape of the Elph 520 HS.

    The Elph 520 HS handled the handshake with ease and it was difficult to get a blurry photo. Without much thought, on Program or Auto you can capture quality still images. Of course, the resolution won’t match those of more expensive DSLRs or pocket cams – this goes without saying. But images can be quite sharp, especially compared to its basic point-and-shoot brethren. Colors pop without oversaturation, and high-speed continuous shooting can capture speeding vehicles on highways. Full HD 1080p video is also very sharp, and using zoom during recording is not too shaky.

    canon-powershot-elph-520-hs-blackHigh Speed ​​Burst Mode

    Like most Canon point-and-shoot cameras, the Elph 520 HS is not made for low-light environments. The upgraded processor has shown an improvement in this, but you’ll still find yourself relying on flash or tripod in dark settings.

    For more ergonomic tasks, I’m generally satisfied with the quick AF and recycle times. But the Elph 520 HS is not without its flaws – namely the battery life and exclusive features of the microSD card. Like the 510, battery life is disappointing. If you plan to use this camera on the go, it would be wise to invest in extra batteries. Using only the microSD card is annoying; Every computer I use has at least one SD card reader built in. I hate the idea of ​​pulling out a USB cable to upload photos – and yes, I understand how trivial it may sound, but I like my camera to have all the necessary components inside the device (obviously save money). battery chargers). This is the sacrifice you make for such a tiny camera.

    canon-powershot-elph-520-hs-review-macro-auto canon-powershot-elph-520-hs-review-miniature-effect

    Conclusion: Should you buy it?

    The Elph 520 HS is a tough sell. Looking at the specs alone, you may not see enough upgrades here to justify a purchase. But once it’s really in your hands, you can see where it proves its worth. Button navigation removes the touchscreen interface (in my opinion) and puts you more in control. The DIGIC 5 processor works with some new magic, and Canon equips it with extensive features – not to mention putting it all in a much better looking package.

    So should you buy it? This is the camera for those who find they’ve developed beyond basic point-and-shoot and want to start dipping their toes into manual settings – plus, creative filters are basically a must. in this category right now. So if what you’re working on doesn’t have this, you’ve probably already upgraded.

    However, if you have the Elph 510 HS or a newer point-and-shoot camera, you don’t need to buy the 520.

    Also of note, buyers interested in using point-and-shoot for action shots (especially daytime action shots) should take note. You won’t find such a feature in many cameras of this size, so if you want to toss the camera in your bag or purse or car and forget about it until all the football games are over. important, the Elph 520 HS is beautiful. convincing offers.

    High level:

    • High-speed continuous shooting mode
    • Beautiful and super portable
    • Quality photos and videos
    • Easy to use


    • Poor battery life
    • Only MicroSD
    • Average low-light performance at best

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