Right out of the box, I had a lot of fun with this camera. It worked beautifully, though the one thing that is hard and I wish could be changed is the abillity to control the focus a bit more (I focus on a certain thing, but the little focus box jumps around onto something else). The zoom is a winner! I've taken photos with this that I've only been able to dream of taking before. The low-light setting is excellent, even in poor lighting. This worked like a dream for easily 6 months, but then I began getting lens errors, and now I am getting a completely fuzzy picture in the view finder when trying to get a picture. This camera has been used a lot, but it has been babied--well cared for, lens cap on when not in use, stored in a zippered case to protect from dust. That said, I would still recommend it, but I am concerned about how long it will last as the lens error actually shuts the camera off, and there is no know reason for this. My 11-year-old has tried this and LOVES it.