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I bought the FX30 a year ago and am ashamed to admit that it is the only digital camera I have ever used! With that said, I am reviewing the camera purely as a novice.
Before taking the plunge and purchasing the FX30 I read numerous reviews and must say that I was tempted by the waterproof and "indestructible" cameras on offer. Ultimately, the appearance of the FX30 and its all round capabilities swayed it for me. I haven't regretted my decision as the camera is usually safe in its case and I can't imagine being able to take a decent underwater photo anyway!
The FX30 has an optical zoom of 3.6 and a 28mm wide angle lens. Very handy for fitting all of my pals into the photo!
I have found the camera very easy to use in "simple mode" and have even managed a few decent pictures taken without the aid of this ;-) Picture quality is much better than my boyfriend's SLR (smug face!) and I don't notice noise but I'm sure someone more experienced would.
I know some people like their digital cameras to have view finders but I haven't found the lack of one a problem.
One thing to look out for - when I bought in 2007 the black version was £50.00 cheaper than the silver and in my opinion looks much better!