Photography is one of my greatest pleasures. I've always loved pictures and my interest grew when I was hired at 17 to work in a photography shop. Being surrounded by professional photographers was an experience that I am grateful to have been given.
I've always used a SLR with various detachable lenses. That was back when we had no choice but to use film. When digital came along, I was skeptical. I couldn't imagine how it could be as good as some of the films I had learned about and seen results from. Yes, I was definitely a skeptic.
A couple of years ago my husband bought me this little point and shoot digital camera. I looked at it as if it were diseased. I appreciated the gesture, but my first reaction was to return it to the store. However, not wanting to hurt my husband's feelings, I carried it around and began to use it around the house, but never for anything that was really important to me.
After a while, I got tired of looking at the pictures just on the back of the camera, so I began to print some. I was totally shocked at how good they turned out. The colors were bright and clear, while the pictures were sharp. My attitude towards this little camera totally changed.
I now carry this camera with me everywhere. It has worked well in almost every situation. The only downside for me is the lack of zoom. It has a 3X zoom, which is nowhere near what I'm used to having. I love to see things up close. So, on rare occasions, I still use my old camera for those times when I need the extra zoom, but that's really not very often.
There are settings for flash in various conditions, resolution, preventing red-eye and other settings you might want to play with. I haven't found the need to change much from the way it was when I first used it. One other option that some people like is having the date on the front of the picture.
The Cyber-shot is small enough to fit in a purse, shirt or coat pocket. It's very easy to use, as all the various settings are right on the top dial, such as close-ups, people, low light, landscapes, etc... It also has a video feature which will record for 15 minutes. It's easy to transfer the video to a CD or DVD. I happened to use it when my dad started singing while hospitalized, just days before he died. If I never had it for anything else, it was worth having it for that.
Like most cameras, this uses a lot of batteries. It takes 2 AA batteries, which I usually carry with me. I can't tell a big difference in usage time between regular batteries or rechargable camera batteries.
In general, I am usually happy with Sony products and this is one that not only didn't disappoint me, but it exceeded my expectations.