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I waited for this camera, bought it as soon as it came out and have been extremely pleased with the purchase. This camera is easy to use right out of the box. I selected it mainly because of its great zoom capabilities (the major feature for me). Although I wish it were a little smaller, it still fits just fine in a pocket and has been really rugged. I haven't had any issues with the batteries, 1 set of batteries lasted for my whole 2-week vacation where I took approximately 200 photos with it, and the batteries still aren't dead. I love the optical zoom capability (truth be told, I rarely use the digital zoom but when I do, it works great: may look grainy on the viewing screen but the actual photo comes out just great), the stabilization, the large viewing screen, the great photos it takes, and the ease of use. Adjusting the flash enables the camera to take great photos in pretty much any kind of light: if you want lowlight photos (for silhouetted sunsets, for example) you just turn off the flash and it takes really good, true-to-the-eye photos. I am just a normal person with no real camera experience other than my earlier digital cameras that I owned (I like this one a lot better). I could take basic photos and easily use the basic features (such as zoom) right out of the box: it took me a little while to get used to all the features but once I learned to use them, this is truly a compact, awesome little camera. I am a Hewlett-Packard employee and could select any HP camera for my personal use, but I really like this one for a simple family digital camera (and the Wasabi would be my second choice, which is a little more compact but doesn't have as much zoom).