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Canon PowerShot Elph 510 HS

12.1-megapixel digital camera with 12X optical zoom (Silver)

1 Review

Item # 280E510S

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Our take on the Canon PowerShot Elph 510 HS

Herding cats might actually be easier than organizing two-year-olds at a birthday party, but you're determined to get great photos of your kid's big event. The Canon PowerShot Elph 510 HS has 12X optical zoom so you can capture the grins on their cake-smeared faces while you stay safely out of reach. And at less than an inch thick, the camera is so slim you can stick it in your back pocket while you organize a game of pin the tale on the donkey.


Herding cats might actually be easier than organizing two-year-olds at a birthday party, but you're determined to get great photos of your kid's big event. The Canon PowerShot Elph 510 HS has 12X optical zoom so you can capture the grins on their cake-smeared faces while you stay safely out of reach. And at less than an inch thick, the camera is so slim you can stick it in your back pocket while you organize a game of pin the tale on the donkey.

For when life doesn't stay still
The big 3-3/16" touchscreen makes it easy to take the photos you want. Touch your child's face on the LCD, and the camera will start tracking him and keeping him in focus, no matter how active he is. Then just lift your finger to release the shutter and capture the moment.

Take your best shot
Shoot the birthday boy blowing out the candles in Full HD video — or try high speed burst mode to get the exact moment he makes a wish. Even if the light is dim, the camera's advanced sensor and image processor makes sure the picture stays full of detail. No tripod? No problem. Optical image stabilization keeps your shots steady and sharp.

Great portraits
Face detection lets you take true-to-life portraits of all the birthday guests. The camera focuses on the people in your frame and brings out realistic skin tones, compensating for background colors that might otherwise create a "washed-out" effect. And the advanced self-timer lets you enter the frame at your own pace — the camera snaps a photo two seconds after the photographer's face has entered the frame.


  • 12.1-megapixel effective recording
  • 12X optical zoom
  • 3-3/16" LCD touchscreen
  • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
  • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 28-336mm
Special Features:
  • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
  • optical image stabilization
  • high speed burst mode (7.8 frames/second)
  • DIGIC 4 image processor for advanced face detection, red-eye correction, and better contrast in your photos
  • advanced CMOS sensor for sharp photos even in low-light
  • face detection automatically sets focus, exposure, flash, and white balance for better portraits
  • 16:9 widescreen photo mode
  • super slow motion video mode
Connections and Dimensions:
  • mini HDMI output (HDMI cable not included)
  • high-speed USB interface
  • audio/video output for connection to a TV
  • 3-15/16"W x 2-7/16"H x 7/8"D
  • weight: 7.27 oz. (with battery and media)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera (silver)
  • NB-9L Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery pack (3.5V/870mAh) with plastic terminal cover installed
  • CB-2LB Battery charger (4.2V/0.7A)
  • Wrist strap
  • 50" USB cable (IFC-400PCU) with in-line noise filter with Type A USB on one end and Mini-USB 2.0 on the other end
  • Digital Camera Solution Disk Ver. 93.0
  • Getting Started booklet (English)
  • Getting Started booklet (Spanish)
  • Warranty card
  • Canon Customer Support sheet
  • Important Safety Instructions (for battery charger)
  • Canon printer advertisement

Canon PowerShot Elph 510 HS Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(1 Review)

Pretty decent

Anonymous from Sorrento, LA on 6/28/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Pretty ok.

Pros: Great crisp shots! Fantastic zoom on video. Since this touch screen isn't quite like the iPhone it came with a stylus thing attached to the hand string which is great since you never lose it!

Cons: If you used the zoom while recording you will hear a clicking noise at the time you zoomed in when u Play back the vids. The Video mic is very weak! I practically had to shout to hear myself sound normal in a vid.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size 3.2"
Adjustable-angle LCD No
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen Yes
Waterproof No
GPS-enabled No
Lens 35mm Equivalent 28-336mm
Optical Zoom 12x
Digital Zoom 4x
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing No
Manual Exposure No
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output Mini
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Sensor Size 1/2.3" CMOS
Megapixels 12.1
Image Stabilization Optical
Highest Resolution 4000 x 3000
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720
Width (inches) 3-15/16
Height (inches) 2-7/16
Depth (inches) 0-7/8
Weight With Battery (ounces) 7.27
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Playback, Editing and Print Functions
Battery Information
Inputs and Outputs Notes
Supplied Software

Recording Features

LCD Monitor: The Canon PowerShot ELPH 510 HS has a 3.2" TFT LCD monitor, featuring 461,000 dots with approximately 100% picture coverage, a 5-level brightness adjustment, and Touch Panel technology. You can simply touch the screen to choose and track an AF point, change camera settings, record and play videos, and much more. The Night Display feature automatically brightens the LCD monitor to suit the brightness of the subject, making it easier to frame the subject in dark conditions.

Image Sensor/Processor: The camera is equipped with a 1/2.3" CMOS image sensor with 12.8-million total pixels, and 12.1-million effective pixels. Together, the 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 4 processor make up the Canon HS System, which delivers clear, blur-free shots indoors or in low light.

Optics: The ELPH 510 HS has a 12x optical zoom lens with a 5.0-60mm focal length (35mm equivalent is 28-336mm).

Zoom: In addition to the 12x optical zoom, the camera features a 4x digital zoom. When used in combination, the total zoom is approximately 48x. The focal length when using the optical zoom and digital zoom together is approximately 28-1344mm.

Digital Teleconverter: The focal length of the lens can be increased by an equivalent of 1.5x or 2.0x through the use of the Digital Teleconverter. The equivalent focal lengths of the lens (35mm equivalent) are 42-504mm when using the 1.5x digital teleconverter, and 56-672mm with the 2.0x teleconverter. The digital zoom and digital teleconverter cannot be used simultaneously.

Recording Media: The camera records still images or moving images with stereo audio on SD Memory Cards (2GB or less), SDHC Memory Cards (4GB to 32GB), and SDXC Memory Cards (32GB and higher). Still images are recorded in JPEG format, and the movies are recorded in MOV format (Image data: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio data: Linear PCM (stereo). No memory card is included with the camera, nor is there any internal memory in the camera.

Still Image Resolution/Compression: The ELPH 510 HS can record still images in 4 different sizes (Large, Medium 1, Medium 2, and Small) and 4 aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9, 3:2, and 1:1). For each resolution, you can set the compression to Fine or Normal. You can choose from the following resolutions:

  4:3 16:9 3:2 1:1
Large 4000 x 3000 4000 x 2248 4000 x 2664 2992 x 2992
Medium 1 2816 x 2112 2816 x 1584 2816 x 1880 2112 x 2112
Medium 2 1600 x 1200 1920 x 1080 1600 x 1064 1200 x 1200
Small 640 x 480 640 x 360 640 x 424 480 x 480

Movies: Movies can be shot in High Definition at 1920 x 1080 (24 fps) and 1280 x 720 (30 fps). You can also shoot in Standard Definition at 640 x 480 pixels or 320 x 240 pixels, with a frame rate of 30 fps. Recording will automatically stop when either the clip file size reaches 4 GB or the recording time reaches approximately 10 min for High Definition, and 1 hour for Standard Definition. SD Speed Class 6 or higher memory cards are recommended.

Image Stabilization: The ELPH 510 HS is equipped with lens-shift type image stabilization. To correct the effects of camera shake, you can choose from the following Image Stabilization settings:

  • Continuous: Image Stabilization is always on. For movies, Dynamic mode also reduces strong camera shake, as when walking.
  • Shoot Only: Image Stabilization is only active at the moment of shooting.

Face Detection Technology: The camera's Face Detection Technology finds and tracks the faces of moving subjects until you're ready to shoot, then delivers perfect focus. In addition, exposure, flash, and white balance are compensated, so that faces exhibit natural skin tones and backgrounds are properly exposed.

AutoFocus Frame Modes: The camera utilizes TTL (through-the-lens) automatic focusing with two focusing methods:

  • Face AiAF: The camera automatically detects the position of a face and uses the data to set the focus, exposure (evaluative metering only) and white balance (auto).
  • Fixed Frame: A single AF frame is used for focusing on a specific point.

AF-Point Zoom: You can magnify the AF frame and check the focus. In Face Detect mode, the face selected as the main subject will appear magnified in the monitor. In Fixed Frame mode, the contents of the AF frame will appear magnified.

Auto Focus Lock: If it becomes difficult to focus on the subject due to low contrast to the surroundings, close up and far away subjects in the same shot, or quickly moving subjects, you can choose to lock the focus or auto focus on an object at a similar distance, then shoot the picture after recomposing the shot.

Focusing Range: The camera features the following focus ranges (from the end of the lens):

  • Normal: 0.4" to infinity (W), 3.3' to infinity (T)
  • Macro: 0.4" to 1.6' (wide)

Shooting Modes: You can switch between the following shooting modes:

  • Smart Auto: The camera will automatically select the best settings for the scene, detect and focus on faces, and set the color and brightness to optimal levels.
  • Program: The camera sets both the aperture value and shutter speed, and you can choose the settings for various functions to suit your preferences. The focusing range in this mode is 2"-infinity (W), and 3.3'-infinity (T).
  • Movie Digest: You can make a short movie of a day just by taking still images. Each time you take a picture, the scene just before your shot will be recorded as a movie. All the movies recorded that day will be saved as a single file, and can be played back as one continuous movie clip.
  • Super Slow Motion Movie: You can shoot fast moving subjects and play them back in slow motion. Clips of up to 30 seconds can be recorded. Thirty-second movie clips shot at 240 frames per second play back in approximately 4 minutes, while 30-second clips shot at 120 fps play back in 2 minutes. The image size is fixed at 320 x 240 when shooting at 240 fps, and 640 x 480 when shooting at 120 fps.
  • iFrame: Shoots movies that can be edited with iFrame-compatible software or devices (for Macintosh only)
  • Long Shutter: set the shutter speed to a range between 1 and 15 seconds to shoot long exposures (tripod needed)
  • Hi-speed Burst: You can shoot continuously at a rate of approximately 7.8 images per second with a fixed image size of 1984 x 1488.
  • Other Modes: Other shooting modes include Portrait, Kids & Pets, Smart Shutter, Best Image Selection, Handheld NightScene, Low Light, Fish-Eye Lens, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Beach, Foliage, Snow, and Fireworks

Metering Modes: You can select from the following metering modes:

  • Evaluative: used for standard conditions. The area within the frame is divided into several zones and light is measured based on subject position, brightness, direct light and backlighting.
  • Center-Weighted Averaging: averages the exposure from the entire image, but places more weight on the subject at the center
  • Spot: meters the area within the spot AE point at the center of the LCD monitor or viewfinder

Exposure Compensation: If you are shooting against a bright background or strong backlight, you may need to correct the exposure so that the subject doesn't come out too dark. You can set the adjustments from -2 to +2 in 1/3-step increments.

Locking the Exposure Setting (AE Lock): You can set the focus and exposure separately to shoot. When the exposure is set, you can lock the setting, then compose the scene and shoot. This is effective when the contrast is too strong between the subject and background, or when a subject is backlit. Flash Exposure Lock (FE Lock), just as with the AE lock, lets you lock the exposure for shooting with the flash.

White Balance: You can choose from the following white balance settings: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, and Custom.

Flash Modes: The PowerShot ELPH 510 HS has a built-in flash with a range of 1' to 10.2' in Wide Angle and 3.3' to 5.6' in Telephoto. You can select Auto (flash fires in low light), On (flash always fires), Slow Synchro (illuminates subject in foreground while the slow shutter speed brightens the background not reached by the flash), or Off (flash doesn't fire). In the menu, you can turn on the Red-Eye Reduction lamp for the flash, and apply Red-Eye Correction to the images that have been taken.

ISO Speed: The ISO speed can be set Automatically (ISO Auto), or manually to ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 or 3200. Lowering the ISO speed results in sharper images but there's a greater chance of subject or image blurring in certain shooting conditions. Raising the ISO speed results in a faster shutter speed, reducing blurred images. The images, however, will appear more coarse.

My Colors: You can choose the look and feel of the photos you take by using My Colors to add the following effects to the image you are currently recording or have already recorded: Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B/W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin, Darker Skin, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, and Custom Color.

Self-Timer: The ELPH 510 HS utilizes a 10-second, 2-second, and a custom self-timer to allow the photographer to be included in the shot, or to avoid camera shake when using a tripod. The custom self-timer allows you to set the time delay to 1-15, 20, 25, or 30 seconds for up to 10 shots.

Wink Self Timer: In addition to the standard and custom self-timers, the ELPH 510 HS can be set to record an image of a person approximately two seconds after detecting a wink.

Face Self-Timer: The Face Self-Timer automatically detects an increase in the number of faces, and makes the appropriate adjustments. When the Face Detection Self-Timer is set, the camera waits for the photographer's face to get on-camera before it takes the shot. The camera will shoot, two seconds after the new face is detected.

Playback, Editing and Print Functions

Slide Show: Images stored on a memory card can automatically be displayed one-by-one using the Slide Show function. You can set the playback time for each image, and the transition effects when switching between images. If desired, you can repeat the slide show automatically.

Index Display: This feature allows you to view 6, 12, 48, or 130 images at once on the LCD monitor so that you can search for an image quickly. Movies cannot be played in the index playback mode.

Magnifying Images: Using the zoom button, you can magnify a photo up to 10x. Once zoomed in, you can use the "arrow" buttons to move around the displayed area.

Playback Displays: You can choose from three types of displays:

  • Simple Information: screen includes basic information about the image
  • Detailed Information: screen include a histogram display as well as detailed information about the settings used when the image was captured.
  • Focus Check: magnifies the area of a recorded image that was inside the AF frame so you can check the focus.

Red-Eye Correction: You can correct red eyes in already recorded images. However, red eyes may not be automatically detected in some images such as faces near the screen edge, faces that appear extremely small, larger dark or bright in relation to the overall image and faces turned to the side or at a diagonal and faces with a portion hidden which prevents the Red-Eye Correction from working. You can choose to overwrite the file with the corrected image, or store the image as a new file, retaining the original image.

Resizing Images: You can save images a lower recording pixel setting than the original image, saving the resized image as a separate file.

Trimming: You can cut out a portion of a recorded image and save it as a new image file.

Protecting Images: The protect feature allows you to protect important images from accidental erasure. You can protect images by the image itself or select All Images.

PictBridge: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge-compatible printer of any brand. You can also connect the camera directly to certain Canon SELPHY compact photo printers and PIXMA inkjet photo printers. In this way, you can make prints directly from the camera without having to connect to a computer.

Battery Information

Power Requirements: The Canon PowerShot ELPH 510 HS is powered by the supplied NB-9L Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery pack (3.5 Volts / 870 mAh). A fully charged battery pack can provide power for up to approximately 170 shots, 30 minutes of movie shooting time, or 4 hours of playback time. The NB-9L is charged in approximately 110 minutes in the supplied CB-2LB battery charger.

Date/Time Battery: The camera uses a backup battery for maintaining the date and time data for approximately 3 weeks. The backup battery charges in approximately 4 hours while a charged main battery (NB-9L) is inserted, or the camera is connected to an external AC adapter.

Power Saving Functions: The camera is equipped with the following power saving functions:

  • Auto Power Down During Shooting: The screen will turn off approximately 1 minute after the camera is last operated. You can "wake" the camera at this point by pressing the shutter button halfway to turn on the screen and continue shooting. After about 2 more minutes, if no buttons are pressed, the lens will retract and the power will turn off.
  • Auto Power Down During Playback: The camera power down approximately 5 minutes after the last control is accessed on the camera.

Note: The Power Saving Function will not activate during a slide show or while the camera is connected to a computer.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

A/V Out / Digital Terminal: The camera has a Mini-B Version 2.0 USB terminal to allow you to connect the camera to a compatible computer or compatible Canon printer via the supplied USB cable. This USB 2.0 Hi-Speed-compatible terminal allows you to rapidly download images to your computer or printer. You can also connect the camera to a TV (via composite video and stereo audio) using the supplied A/V cable in the same terminal. The A/V output can be set to NTSC or PAL as needed.

HDMI: The camera has a mini-HDMI output for connecting it to an HDTV. A mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable, such as the optional Canon HTC-100 (item # 280HTC100) is required. When the camera is connected to an HDMI-CEC-compatible TV, you can control the camera's functions with the TV remote.

Supplied Software

Included Software: The PowerShot ELPH 510 HS comes supplied with the Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk Ver.93.0 CD-ROM. It contains the following programs:

  • Canon Utilities:
    • ZoomBrowser EX 6.8 (Windows) / ImageBrowser 6.8 (Mac): manage images transferred to a computer (view, edit, and print)
    • CameraWindow DC 8.6: transfer images to and from camera, organize images on the camera, and upload movies on the camera to web services
    • PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows) / 3.2 (Mac): use to merge still images to make panoramas
  • User Guides: Camera User Guide, Software Guide

Compatible Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7 (SP1)
  • Windows Vista (SP2)
  • Windows XP (SP3)
  • Mac OS X (v10.5-v10.6)

Our Product Research Team

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