5X zoom range for optical zoom is real nice! Scene mode allows automatic handling of specialized shooting. Display brightner lets you see the display clearly in sunny environments. Camera has an Image Stabilization mode.
Battery eater, (use rechargeable batteries whenever possible). Camera can't write to XD card on the first picture and locks up! Autofocus VERY SHAKY, sometimes it just won't work right. Color saturation on the low side, needs boosting.
I have worked with film cameras for some 40-years and wanted to get an affordable digital camera. The price was right on this one especially with the 5X optical zoom. It has turned out to be a camera I carry with me everywhere to get that beautiful shot I might ... Read full review
I have worked with film cameras for some 40-years and wanted to get an affordable digital camera. The price was right on this one especially with the 5X optical zoom. It has turned out to be a camera I carry with me everywhere to get that beautiful shot I might see while out and about. The lense seems pretty sharp to me. The problem is the autofocus. It's pretty prone to errors! If you see a red square in the middle, the focus is off you can almost guarantee that. There is no way of overriding the autofocus either. In low light, forget it, the focusing will not happen unless you have the flash on which fires out two flashes, one for focusing and the other for taking the picture. The camera still produces pretty good images fully in to digital zoom but there is some resolution loss. I recommend shooting in Image Stabilization mode when on long optical and especially when in to the digital zoom as well. Not using it will guarantee a blurry picture! I don't like: This camera has a lot of quirks! The weirdest is after powering up and composing and shooting the first picture, the camera cannot save the image to the XD card and locks completely up! The only way to unlock it is to remove the batteries, losing the first picture completely. After putting the batteries back and cycling the camera off/on, it works fine! Haven't quite figured that one out yet! It's POWER FINICKY! If the batteries even get slightly low, it won't power up. If you decide to run rechargeables run the Sanyo batteries included in the extra kit you can get with the camera. These are 2500 Mah batteries, (high capacity), standard NiMh batteries won't even power it up! If you run regular dry cell batteries use LITHIUM batteries, Alkalines get eaten quickly! There seems to be an incredible lag between the time you hit the shutter release and when the picture is taken. This spoils the action shots. I have not tried sports mode in the SCENE MODE yet but for the most part the shutter lag is really irritating! If you don't push halfway down and let the camera focus, the picture will be out of focus almost 90% of the time. Probably the most irritating thing is when you turn the flash off and take a low light exposure on a tripod, the flash will be back on the very next shot! It won't stay turned off even when reset mode in the menu is turned off! I find this EXTREMELY annoying! The shot is frequently grossly underexposed as well. If you use two hands to hold the camera it's easy to block that tiny flash unit with a finger. In Auto ISO it tends to select slow shutter speeds even in daylight. It's surprising how many motion blurred shots you can get! Image Stabilization Mode tends to force a higher shutter speed and so many times I use that. Color saturation is on the low side and it takes a little bumping up in Photoshop or The Gimp to get it just right! I do like: The lense! It's sharp and produces nice 8-megapixel images. I have made several 11 x 14 prints from it and gotten incredible results! The LCD display. It has an extra bright button that allows you to see the image and compose it in bright daylight conditions. It's 2.5 inches and thus it's possible to see enough to carefully crop your images. What you see on the monitor is what you get once the image is transferred to the computer. Display button allows you to turn off all info on the LCD display, bring up guidelines with info or info only. Each of these positions has its place and it's nice to have! Downloading of images from the camera itself. Plug it in to your USB port on a Windows, Mac or Linux machine and hit the okay button and you're ready to start copying straight off the internal memory and or drive. There's a mini USB port right on the strap side of the camera just for that. Since XD is not supported by a lot of card readers, this is the way to go. Scene Mode for handling special situations. These work better than I expected! Image Stabilization. Great to have on this entry level camera. It's amazing how many times that has saved the shot. In conclusion this camera has some bizarre quirks but when she works, the pictures are really quite good! Mine stays on my belt whenever I'm out so I can get that shot I wouldn't ordinarily be able to get.