My first camera, 30 years ago, was a Canon Sure Shot, and I had not met its equal in a digital until using an Olympus 10 years ago that I just plain wore out. In the past two years, I've purchased a Canon and an Olympus, each for about $200 on sale, point and shoot with good reviewst, and I was found them both disappointing. The colors were not all that great, the zoom made the photos fuzzy, and the batteries didn't last long. What I wanted in a camera, this camera has provided: True colors: love, love, love the lens on this camera! The colors are clear, crisp, true to life, indoors and outdoors, wildlife, scenic views, skin tones. Zoom that doesn't distort/create noise: This was fun to use! I shot bird photos, and it looked like the birds were sitting right in front of me. No details were lost, color and clarity remained fantastic even zoomed all the way out (optical zoom only). Good battery life: Several hundred shots and three hours later, the battery had plenty of life left to it. Next day, without recharging, took many more and still the battery is going strong. It's too soon to know just how long it will last, but so far, I'm impressed. Easy to hold: So many cameras are small now, and this fits my hands well. It has a nice shape to it, making it easy to hold securely. Strap (neck strap comes with it): Nice strap, and that matters because my first camera broke only because I dropped it, and most cameras bought in this family have come without any strap at all. Ability to override auto settings: Though I haven't tried this much yet, I have the option to set this to manual. I can even save my favorite manual settings. This is the one area I need to work at a bit; the menu is just a bit more complicated than I'd like for it to be, and there is no printed user guide. It should be noted that I had not read the user guide before using this camera other than to read the cautions and stuff you need to know to get it going (charging and using the battery, what size card and where to put it, etc). Macro setting: I found it once, haven't found it again, need to learn where it is. The photos I took using it were excellent. See above--I just need to learn my way around the menu better. Viewfinder: I like using a viewfinder, and most point and shoots don't have them. I like this a lot! It will save using the LCD screen all the time, and I enjoy composing a photo. LCD screen: Very nice. It can be closed so that screen is protected (I do this while using the viewfinder and when not using the camera). When open, it can be set at various angles, which I suspect I'll use a lot, especially when getting photos at school plays, in crowds, and wherever it helps to hold the camera at an odd angle to get the shot. The only con I would mention is the lack of user guide. There is one, but it's not in print. I find the printed books that used to come with cameras to be helpful--tuck them in the camera bag for quick reference. I do need a bag; none of mine are right for this. I am using a Sans Disk SDHC card that I got on sale. That's the brand I've used for years and never have had troulbe with, so I stuck with what I know and don't regret it. It worked beautifully in this camera. There is the ability to add lenses and even an extra flash. Though I didn't set out to find a camera with these features, I was torn between this and a Sony that is similar. The Sony lacked these features, so I went for the one that had similar reviews, features, and price but gave me more options.
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