This is one of the most inexpensive cameras with fully Manual settings if you know what you're doing or want to learn. Maybe you already know what aperture, shuttler speed and ISO are and you don't want to scroll through a bunch of pre-set modes or have the camera second-guessing you. Maybe you have more artistic flair than a computer chip, or you want to take up photography as a hobby but don't want to invest a few hundred more in an SLR quite yet. This might be for you. The bigger lens and image stabilization makes for better (but not amazing) natural low-light photos where a compact camera would need a flash. The settings go a bit further too, with exposures up to 15 seconds for night shots (you'll need a cheap tripod), automated exposures for time-lapse and a focus range that comes up to less than 1" away! It's great for detail shots of small objects or artsy soft-focus photos. Handheld 720p video looks more stable than it ought to - the image stabilization is clearly doing some good there. On the downside, it's bulkier than a compact and won't fit comfortably in a pocket. You'll need a bag or something to carry it around. Also, the flash has to be lifted up manually. It's easy to forget that and miss the first shot. Lastly, there is no visor and the display isn't bright enough in certain very bright environments like sunny beaches, so it can be hard to see what you're doing there. Short of a more expensive SLR, this one of the most flexible cameras around.