"Yeah yeah...not so much"2.0 starson by sqshydog
Pros: AA batteries, 26x zoom, 12 mp
Cons: image quality, manual flip-up flash, fixed LCD
Summary: I bought this model to replace my DSLR and my other ancient point and shoot. I should have paid more attention to the reviews.
AA batteries! If you kill 'em, you can replace 'em immediately. Awesome!
The 26x zoom gets you right on top of whatever you're shooting. Very nice! It's smooth and fast but almost too fast. I unintentionally zipped right by some good shots and had to back it off more times than I can count. The digital zoom was velvet smooth and also pretty quick if you need to use it. Speed alone doesn't set any camera apart from any of the other horses in the race, though.
What's good enough?
The in-hand feel of this camera is decent. It is well-built and only felt a bit cramped in my average sized hands. I was never able to get a good feel of the button layout, but that's neither here nor there. The menus aren't intuitive and proved to be a headache to navigate. Overall, this camera simply isn't what I have become accustomed to in that regard.
Start up and shooting response time is blazing but equal, in my non-pro tests, to the Sony HX1 and Nikon P90. Any lag (except in burst mode or low light) is negligible.
In normal lighting conditions, the auto focus is spot on. In low light, be prepared to wait forever for it to adjust and adjust and adjust to catch your subject, if it ever does. The flash seemed very slow to recycle and I wasn't too hip on having to flip it up manually when I needed it by pushing a button. Given the <allegedly> advanced feature set of this camera, one would think that it would have had an auto flip up flash.
The video is just average...run of the mill. No 1080 option and no sound while zooming. That is of little consequence since shooting video with a camera like this really isn't all that important to me.
The LCD is crisp and clear even in bright light. I only wish that it wasn't fixed.
Aside from the learning curve and little irritations, what made me reallllllllly dislike it, though?
First and foremost, it was the photo quality. No matter how hard I tried or how much I adjusted manually, the colors just didn't "catch". Everything appears washed out and/or fringed. If it wasn't washed out or fringed, the images were just way too smooth. The scene detection modes never quite "got" it, either. I got a few nice macro shots but that's about it. I didn't buy the camera for taking photos from an inch away all of the time. Digital zoom obviously presents problems in photo quality with any camera like this. This one, however, was horrible and much worse than the competitors that I tried out. Luckily, I don't rely on digital zoom much, if at all. I still expect a halfway decent performance from it if I DO choose to use it, though. General photo quality left MUCH to be desired and I will just leave it at that.
It was incredibly noisy to use, in general, too. The whining and grinding noises kinda irritated me after a few minutes.
Overall, there are much better options out there for the price, imo.