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I have been a digital camera user for about 6 years. My original camera was quite a large model and had a 5 megapixel camera, and because the technology was fairly new at the time, the camera cost about £300.
This camera became faulty over Christmas 2009. We were really disapointed when a large number of our pictures which had looked fine on the digital screen of the camera looked pink when they were put on the computer.
When you have young kids, you can't afford not to capture your precious memories, so as i had just become a stay at home mum, we needed to replace it really quickly, but we wanted the best quality at the cheapest price.
We were limited to £100, and were pleasantly surprised to see that the technology is now so much more affordable. This pentax model was around £80 in the January sales, and from the options available to us on that day, it definitely appealed to us as amateur photographers.
My husband was really keen to start taking pictures to see the quality, and it came ready charged in the box, and even would let him take 2 pictures on the internal memory.
The first thing that struck me is that it is an attractive camera. It is about the size of a deck of cards, so it is really compact, and the digital screen covers about 80% of the rear of the camera. There is no view finder to look through, but you soon get used to looking at the screen.
The on/off button is located on the top of the camera quite centrally. When taking pictures, the camera has face and smile recognition, so it puts a little box around the face of the person centrally and auto focusses, allowing the average user like myself to take really good looking photos. Even my children who are 3 and 4 get decent photos with this camera.
It has an a 3x optical zoom which is operated through manually pressing 2 buttons on the rear of the camera. Seeing my pictures is also straight forward. I can click a button on the rear next to the digital screen which has a play logo like you see on a DVD player. I can then scroll through the various images stored on my camera using the touchpad.
The camera has 12.1 megapixels, which i have to say doesn't mean all that much to me, but it produces pictures which are a bit too big in size for some of the uses i have for them. They are great for printing and storing but when i want to upload pictures onto another site such as my blog, or ebay or any other site, the pictures are so large they either take too long to load, or the site requires me to edit the photos so they are smaller. Eg. The picture might be 2-3 MB, but i need to reduce the size of it by cropping or shrinking the image usually to get it into the KB range for uploading. While this isn't that big a deal it can be annoying if you want to upload pictures on a regular basis.
I literally use this as a point and click, but if you want slightly more professional photos you can opt to use other modes than the AUTO. This camera also has Auto Scene Mode, P-Mode, Sport, Landscape, Night Landscape, Portrait, Self-portrait, Night Portrait, Museum, Snow, Sunset, Fireworks, Beach, Party, Foliage, Aquarium, Kids & Pets, Copy, Backlight, Video, Audio, Frame composite.
One feature that has always impressed me about this camera is it comes with a rechargeable lithium battery. Our last camera took 4 pencil batteries, and went flat frequently. If we were away for any length of time we had to make sure we took spare batteries. The battery in this seems to hold its charge for a long time. We make sure it is fully charged before an important event, but other than that, every time i pick it up to use it then it is good to go. I have read online that it will take 200 photos on one charge.
This probably depends on what type of photographer you are. I don't stand around with it switched on for ages waiting for a good shot. I turn it on and start clicking and then turn it off again.
I would say this camera is pretty perfect if like me you are not overly technically minded, but you do like good quality souvenirs of the important events in your life. It is easy to use, and easy to upload images onto your computer and share with others.
If you want to be able to have more control over the resolution, the aperture, and all the other jargon, then this is not likely to be the best camera for you.