for years i wanted to step up my photography skills abit, but for years i have been using a standard point and shoot. when it was time, i wanted to get something that could take me to the next step of a point and shoot, but with the quality of a DSLR. this camera does the trick. i can take high quality photos day or night, especially with its bright flash, the zoom withing the 26x lens makes the detail of even the furthest shots seems so detail in closeup, and what makes it even better is that its very easy to carry for on the go. plus it comes in my favorite color! (red of course!) all in all, i would definatly recommend this to anyone who wants to go to the next step in their camera skills before getting a DSLR, but want to get more bang to their buck!
I've been dealing with digital cameras for quite a few years now. After having been started on a simple point and shoot, which I loved but the shutter would no longer open, I had to buy what I could afford at the time. That ended up being a less than stellar camera which I became increasingly frustrated with. So for Christmas I decided I needed a new camera. I wanted better than a point and shoot, but not quite as overboard as a DSLR. This was given to me for Christmas and I couldn't be happier! It offers many fun settings, which are pretty much icing on the cake. The 26x Optical Zoom is the beauty of this thing. The images are the clearest and sharpest images of any of the 3 cameras I owned. I can now photograph birds and other wildlife with clarity and detail that eluded me before.
I used a 35mm SLR for years taking mostly nature and fire photos. I was looking for something better than a "point and shoot" digital. All the reviews I read of this camera were good, and I have to agree after trying it out. The SMART modes are great for routine shots or for those who like a point and shoot. The Program mode gives plenty of control over shooting features for the more advanced photographer. This camera has an excellent zoom, great scene modes, and the special effects make some pretty cool pictures. My only complaints are the speed of saving photos or processing, and the burst mode - it's a little slow. Photos at 16MP take up to 4 sec and 10MP take up to 2 sec to save to the card. This is not a problem for most of my shooting though. As long as VGA resolution is good enough for you the Motion Capture at 5 fps captures great action photos. The Continuous mode is too slow for me (approx 1.5 sec/picture at 10MP) For the novice, set it on SMART and snap away, it selects the correct Scene mode for you. For the more advanced, download the manual and spend some time playing with the settings and modes. Once you learn the features, you can do a lot. The 3D (if you can view them) and the Panorama modes are truly awesome!
Some have problems getting clear sharp focus. Through testing I've learned that if the subject is within a certain distance when in zoom, the camera cant catch up. It also zooms out so far that any movement can blur the shot. Put the camera neck strap around your neck and push the camera outward away from you to create tension to steady the shot more. Also the cameras weight is so light that even changing your mind about composition creates movement to blur the shot. Im going to get a replacement tripod screw/bolt and push it up through a 20oz soda bottle lid so i can suspend a full soda or water bottle from the tripod hole to more than double the weight to add stability for the long shots. Looks strange but gets the shot. The strap trick along with the full water bottle will help the stabilization even more. If you want more clear focus closer than zoom then you have a lot of scenes in the "SCN" area from the mode dial on top to set. For the sun glare on the screen ive cut the ends off a pop tart box to use a a sun shield. Not many will bother but it really works on bright days.
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