This is the best digital camera out there for taking a variety of types of professional grade photographs in my opinion. While it is a little heavy to take on vacation, it can be set to automatic for snapshots, family pictures, or event photography, with one flip of a switch you can switch to manual. There is also the option to use the automatic focus, which is extremely sharp and responsive, by half depressing the shutter.
There is also the choice to shoot your pictures either in small, medium or large format jpgs, for the casual snapshot, or in Camera Raw format (an 8.4 m file), which allows you to completely manipulate the image's temperature, exposure, etc., in software programs like Photoshop CS 3 or the included imaging software. Before shooting, you can select your white balance and temperature based on local conditions. Depending on what size your memory card is, you can shoot over 100 Raw files per card.
The display can be difficult to determine actual colors, since tilting the screen at an angle changes the hues, but it is better than many others that I have used. Navigating the menu may take some time to grow accustomed to, since certain functions require that two buttons be pressed silmultaneously. Once the manual is read, this will become clear, but don't worry if you don't understand all of what the manual says. It's unlikely that you'll use every function that this camera offers, though it is worth it to learn if you can.
So if you want a professional level camera that is light enough to use at family functions or other events, (but not traipse around with on vacation) this is the one for you!