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!
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 just bought it today, but been playing with it for a few hours. I will probably write another review in a few weeks. I love the different features. One feature helps the camera stay stable if your hands shake, that is very helpful for me. There is 3 different macro types for close ups. Macro, AutoMacro, and Super Macro. Words that are around 10Pt to 8Pt times roman numerals can be clearly seen in a photo. There are fun features as well that you can play with before editing them on your computer. If a person is serious about getting a digital camera and taking pictures this would be a good choice, especially for the price. I also like the warranties that cover the camera.
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!
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