Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS Digital Camera Review$349.99
Ease of Use
- Automatic Features
- Buttons & Dials
- Effects, Filters, and Scene Modes
- Instruction Manual
The ELPH 530 HS is designed for automatic operation by casual photographers. The camera comes set to Auto mode by default, and all of the other available modes (scene presets, effects, and a program auto-exposure mode) are predominantly automated. Given the crummy touchscreen interface, it's probably best that it's as simple as pointing and shooting.
Buttons & Dials
There are only three physical buttons: a power button, a playback mode toggle, and a shutter release/zoom tilter combo. As friendly and approachable as that sounds, we wish there were more tactile controls because the touchscreen is atrocious. Interactive displays are great for beginners, but only when they work correctly.
Effects, Filters, and Scene Modes
The ELPH 530 HS offers a total of 23 shooting modes, including effects, scene presets, video modes, and a few oddballs that don't really fall into any category.
Canon's menu system is reliably user-friendly and intuitive. Anyone who has used a Canon camera in the past few years should feel right at home, and new users should be able to catch on to the scheme pretty quickly. There's a shooting mode quick menu, a quick Function menu in many shooting modes (and it's customizable, with 10 slots for your favorite controls, which is fantastic), and a typical, tiered main menu system. The downside is that it all gets filtered through a terrible, terrible touchscreen, so what should be easy and convenient becomes an exercise in patience.
The ELPH 530 HS ships with a basic user's manual, most of which is devoted to operating the WiFi feature. The camera part is fine, if a bit skimpy, but the WiFi section is a mess. First of all, it's a bad sign when nearly 60 pages are devoted to running a WiFi system in the year 2012. Even worse, the directions are unclear. Online support is tough to find and equally unhelpful. A full PDF version of the user's manual is available on the included CD-ROM.