I did a lot of research before settling on this camera. I wanted something that wasn't expensive like a DSLR, but that had very solid features and picture quality. I had originally been looking at Canon and Nikon cameras, and while a couple caught my eye, none had all the features I was looking for at a decent price (good optical zoom, image stabilization, great image quality, good indoor performance, and solid build were my top concerns).
Then I came across this camera and saw what it offered for the price, and I almost knew right at that point that it would be mine. I tried it out at my store, and it seemed exactly what it sounded like online. And now that I've had it for a few weeks, I must say that I'm very impressed by it. I tend to avoid the "Easy" shooting mode because the pictures came out only so-so, but using the Intelligent Auto mode for simple point-and-shoot is quite amazing. And for when I want the perfect shot, the manual settings provide more than enough customization to get it.
The image stabilization works amazingly. Shooting free-hand with 10x zoom, as soon as you go to take the shot, it manages to eliminate pretty much all natural shake involved with free-handing a 10x zoom shot.
And the pictures come out beautifully. Keeping in mind this *isn't* a DSLR, it still manages to provide amazing quality. Some cameras with high megapixel counts still manage to look a bit grainy when you view them, but this camera is not one of them.
Overall, after playing with all the features on the camera, and testing it in various conditions, I feel that this is definitely the best camera I could've bought for the money I paid. And the fact that Sony added support for SDHC cards last year (which includes this camera) made it so much nicer (and cheaper) to get a good memory card to go with it. You will be hard-pressed to find a better camera under $250, and I'd recommend this camera to anybody who wants a great quality camera with great features, but doesn't want to drop the extra money on a DSLR.
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