"Great Camera for General Shooting"4.5 starson by lmossa
Pros: image quality, ease of use/ergonomics, rotating screen
Cons: screen size, 12X zoom vs. Sony's 15X
Summary: I took quite a while evaluating this camera vis-à-vis the Sony DSC-H9 and went so far as to take memory sticks to the store to get sample images printed. I also ended up buying the H9, but after working with it for a few days, decided it was not laid out very well (awkward to maneuver controls, etc.). The Sony had the benefit of the higher zoom and larger screen, but when it came all the way down to it, I returned the Sony (thanks, Best Buy, for a relatively smooth process except for the 15% restock fee!!) and bought the Canon. Truthfully, the 15%was a sizeable hit, but if I was going to have a camera, it was worth the price of research to get the right one.
Now, on to my experiences with the Canon. I already had a slim point-and-shoot with the Sony DSC-T70, which is great for up-close stuff, but especially as it aged, the zoom and flash compensation for zoom has degraded a bit. I bought the Canon for an upcoming trip to visit family in Belgium and Paris. Anyone who has been in Europe knows that some of the most beautiful photographs are at the top of the buildings (architecture, detail, etc.), so getting a camera better suited to zoom was a necessity. However, although I have been taking pictures for over 30 years (and I'm not too bad at it!), I'm not a professional photographer and want to get the best quality from the subject I am photographing without needing to stage and/or set-up special lighting, etc. The Canon seemed to meet the need.
Once we were on our way, I was not disappointed! The image quality, both on the camera's screen and the resulting printed photographs, would challenge a higher-end camera costing 10 times this one. During the course of 10 days, I took over 700 pictures, and not one of them was a disappointment. Of course, having enhancement software to bring out the things lurking in the shadows helped a lot, too, but if the camera had not been able to capture the detail, no amount of light and balance adjustment would have made a difference.
Since getting home, the camera has continued to capture amazing images of family (kids, grandma, etc.) and experiences (my son's friends' amazing TP-ing job on the house!).
Some day, I may break down and get the Rebel EOS, but maybe not because the I5IS is meeting all my needs.