Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS Review

Review posted 05/12/2012

Quick Take
  • Durable metal exterior available in 4 colors
  • Offers that classic Digital ELPH look and feel
  • Captures pleasing 10-megapixel photos when viewed full screen
  • Good shooting performance
  • Loads of useful exposure options; both in still and video modes
  • Records nice full 1080p HD video
  • Cool Super Slow Motion video mode
  • Good high ISO performance up to 1600 when you get past graininess noted at all settings
  • 3.0-inch LCD yields a very nice picture
  • Metal Tripod mount
  • Extremely Weak flash
  • Uses microSD cards
  • Poor Battery Life
  • Luminous noise present through ISO range, causes graininess or speckling when viewing images at 100%
  • Tiny rear controls are cumbersome; specifically the 4-way controller buttons
Bottom Line
While the PowerShot 520 HS has some appealing features and performance, it also has several cons; more than we typically see with a PowerShot camera. At about $300 USD, we recommend you take a good look at the competition before making your final purchase decision. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
One of two new ELPH models that Canon announced in January of this year (2012), the ELPH 520 HS boasts their High Sensitivity label, thanks to Canon's state of the art DIGIC 5 image processor and a 10.1 megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS image sensor. This translates into sharper pictures in low light scenarios (with ISO settings up to 3200) as well as faster start up and auto focus timing. The DIGIC 5 processor also helps this camera to achieve High-Speed shooting in both still a video modes.

Both the ELPH 520 HS and ELPH 110 HS include a 3.0" LCD display, full 1080p HD movie recording, and Advanced Smart AUTO functionality. The camera automatically adjust for up to 58 varied shooting scenarios and a 12-person (on screen) facial recognition.

The 520 HS also features a wide angle 28mm lens with a 12x Optical Zoom. It costs $50 more than the 110 HS, which boasts an impressive 16.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, a slightly wider 24mm lens, and a different series of "fun, bright colors". However, the 520's 12x zoom will get you closer to the action than 5x zoom on the 110 HS.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS Features:
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • 10.1-megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor
  • 12x Optical Zoom with 28mm wide angle extreme
  • ISO up to 3200
  • 3.0" LCD with 461k pixels
  • Full HD 1080p
  • High-Speed Burst most up to 6.8fps
  • Super Slow Motion movie mode, records at 120 or 240fps
  • Advanced Smart AUTO (detect up to 58 scenes)
  • Face ID (register up to 12 faces on screen)
  • Li-ion battery pack (good for up to 190 shots)
  • Uses microSD/SDHC/SDXC type memory cards
Canon's PowerShot ELPH 520 HS is available now with an MSRP of $299.99. Colors choices include black, silver, red, and blue. See our buy box below for the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • PowerShot ELPH 520 HS
  • Battery Pack NB-9L
  • Battery Charger CB-2LB
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
  • Wrist Strap WS-DC11
  • Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM

Additional Product Views:
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ELPH 520 HS_blue_02.jpg
ELPH 520 HS_red_02.jpg
ELPH 520 HS_silver_02.jpg
ELPH 520 HS_red_03.jpg
ELPH 520 HS_blue_04.jpg

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.