"Best digital camera I've ever owned"4.5 starson by connada123
Pros: Takes great pictures, has a terrific zoom, offers a good level of control for a beginner, and feels great in the hand.
Cons: Like most point and shoots, auto adjustments don't know exactly what you're looking for. Has only been an issue for a couple of shots though.
Summary: I'm not a photographer, besides my iphone this is the first camera I've ever owned, so keep that in mind while reading my review. I can say that since I've gotten this camera, I've been reading as much as I can about improving the quality of my pictures, and I've learned quite a bit, but I'm certainly still a beginner in every since of the word.
From my untrained eye, this camera produces great image quality. The pictures are crisp and the colors look outstanding. I generally use the camera in it's auto mode, giving up control to a computer which undoubtably does a better job at picking the settings than I currently can in just about every situation. However there is the option to manual pick many of your settings, which I hope to get better with as I learn more about photography and this camera. Overall picture quality has been great. I did notice that when I was trying to take a picture of a spider spinning a web that the camera kept focusing on the background and not the spider. I couldn't figure out how to do a manual focus, so I lost the shot. I'm pretty sure there is some kind of limited manual focus option, I just haven't figured it out yet.
The zoom is probably one of the bigger selling points to this camera, and I can tell you that it didn't disappoint. It's got a nice x10 optical zoom, and then you can zoom in further due to the high megapixal count (I think it's something around x8). Apparently you can also buy an after market lens that fits this camera that increases the optical zoom by another x1.7, bringing your total optical zoom to x17. Currently I have no need for that kind of zoom, but it's satisfying to know that I can upgrade this feature if necessary later on. I also believe the additional lens can be fitted with filters, which at this point I'm not really sure how one would even use them.
Another big selling point of this camera is the video capabilities. It takes HD video clips for up to 30 minutes at a time. You can take as many videos as you can fit on your memory card. Personally this isn't a big thing to me and I've only done a short test video, it looked fine on the LCD screen. Apparently you can use the cord they provide to hook it up to your HDTV as well and watch the video, but I haven't done this yet. You can also zoom in while filming, this was something that I heard was missing from the previous model...
I guess I haven't mentioned it yet, but the 3" LCD screen is great. It's very bright and you can easily see it in direct sunlight.
Pretty much all point and shoot cameras have some lag between pushing the button and the camera actually taking the picture, but I haven't really noticed this with this camera. If you just push the button down without focusing first, there is some lag; but if you hold it half way down for autofocus, it seems like it takes pictures the instant you push the rest of the way down.
The camera comes with a rechargable battery, which more than lasts me an entire day of walking around taking pictures. I do turn off the camera when I'm not expecting to take a picture, and I've probably only taken about 200 photos in a single day. So if you leave your camera on, or take over 300 pictures a day, I'm not sure how the battery will hold up. For most users I think they'll find it does fine.
When I bought this camera, the one thing that really made me love it was the way it felt in my hands. It's something I guess I don't really know how to write about, but it just felt good. While the materials feel similar to the same as the thoughs used on all other cameras in this price range, it just felt better made and comfortable. It kind of reminded me of my fathers old camera from when I was a kid. I don't think this camera is "retro", but it's got a retro feel to it that some may appreciate.
In conclusion, this thing takes great pictures and offers a nice feature set that most people will be happy with. There are auto settings that work great, some advanced auto settings, and some limited manual settings. I'd recommend this camera to just about everyone looking for a better than average, dang near great point and shoot camera. It's no dSLR, but that's fine with me for right now, and if you're looking into point and shoots, it's probably fine with you too.