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What a terrific camera! This review is based on five years use - so I suspect it's only available second-hand these days, but still worth considering if you are on a budget.
It has 6.1 mega pixels and a 3x optical zoom. The optical zoom was important to me as you don't get the same quality just from digital zoom. One of the main reasons I chose this camera is that it has a very solid metal body, not plastic like most of the cameras it was competing against, and I needed something that could survive a few inevitable bumps and drops (being a total klutz). I also like a camera that has a little 'weight' in your hand as this helps me avoid camera shake and improves the quality of my pictures.
I bought it for professional use; although I'm not a pro-photographer, I work in marketing and PR, and needed something fairly point and shoot to take photos to accompany press releases etc. The photographs I've taken with this have been very acceptable and published in magazines and newspapers.
How has it lasted?
In five years of quite heavy use it still looks good as new and performs perfectly. The only problem it has developed is with the sliding lens cover - which also switches the camera on and off - becoming a little loose. If I'm not careful it will slide over and switch on/off at random times.
Solid metal construction.
Good quality photographs.
Easy to use as 'point and shoot' but with sufficient manual settings that you can take over when you are having more of an 'artistic' fit.
May be obsolete for a new purchase, but still a good second-hand purchase.
A highly recommended camera. Tough construction, good results, easy to use.
Great! I am a Creative Arts student, therefore quality photographs are very important to me and this camera fulfills it all, detailed close ups, long range, digital zoom! 6.1 million pixels is fantastic for a camera like this, that is keeping up with many SLR digital cameras! It's size is another selling point, it isn't huge, impressive size for it's ability. There are many makes and sizes of XD memory card that would fit into this camera, they can be extremely cheap. All in all I would not swap this camera for a while. It has lasted a year now and will continue without any problems.