Operations and Controls Part One
Design and Handling
The IXUS 500 (as well as the IXUS 430) is based on the soft edged IXUS 400. The body is made from the unique 'Celebrite' material. For the uninitiated, Celebrite is a mix of metal and ceramic. The design philosophy of the IXUS fleet of cameras has been the same since the very first stainless steel IXUS APS camera and that is simplicity and beauty that feel great in the hands. Aimed at the style-conscious digital compact segment, such philosophy is even more relevant.
In terms of design, the IXUS 500 still keeps to the 'box and circle' design by the original IXUS creator Yasushi Shiotani. Clad in a stainless steel body, the camera exudes elegance. As a compact camera, size is important. Small size, that is. Measuring at 87x57x27.8mm, it should fit comfortably in even the smallest of palms. The buttons and switches are logically laid out on the small body, making one-handed operation easy and intuitive.
Quite a looker isn't it?
The camera uses a 1.5-inch, low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD with approximately 118,000 pixels and the picture coverage is about 100%. Though the display has backlight, the image will darken under strong sunlight or bright light.
A great advantage a digital camera has over a traditional SLR (single lens reflex) or digital SLR is the ability to compose images while shooting. The 1.5-inch LCD monitor offers great color and contrast and the 10x playback zoom made the reviewing of pictures very much easier. The LCD monitor can be turned on or off, and this setting is saved even when the camera is turned off. However, under the Stitch Assist and Movie modes, the LCD monitor will turn on regardless of this On/Off setting.
Backview of the IXUS 500.
A digicam's LCD monitor draws power, and one way to conserve battery power is to use the viewfinder to frame your shots instead. The camera uses an optical viewfinder with coverage of approximately 82%. The only problem with using the viewfinder is the lack of diopter adjustment.
On the left of the viewfinder sits two LED indicators. They light up or blink in different colors (green, orange and yellow) when the ON/OFF button or shutter button is pressed, telling you the status of the camera. The color green means ready to shoot and a blinking green means the camera is recording, reading, or erasing from the CF card.
The camera uses an optical viewfinder.