For my sins I recently purchased this cam in a sale BEFORE I read some\nuser's reports that it had a few flaws. It can take some beautiful\npics but too many have things wrong. I wanted the convenience of a\npoint and shoot but with some setting I could start to use myself,\nhaving previously owned and been happy with a smaller but fully auto\nc-220. I was also attracted by that 8X zoom!\n\nSo, I heard about the awful chromatic aberration, but wasn't prepared\nfor just how bad it can be sometimes. But it's those blurry shots. any\nmovement at all is likely to cause blurring and as I have quite bad\nshakes the movement can often be me. Oh yeah, the flash is too damned\npowerful too, which can be a real pain.\n\nAnyway, what I have, basically, is a camera which doesn't like auto\nsettings, often causing over-exposure aswell as the blurring, so I am\ntrying hard to get the hang of using the manual settings. Sometimes i\nget it spot on, but often I just don't have the time to experiment\nand/or am just too tired and muddle headed.\n\nWhat I would really like, if anyone can be so kind, are some pointers\nof reasonable settings for certain conditions. I've tried books but\nthe few I have tried seem to assume some knowledge, or they point to\nsettings this camera just doesn't want to do. BTW, the focus is full\nauto! :O(\n-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\nCam has 1/2.5" CCD\n\nLens is 6.4mm to 51.22mm f2.8 to 3.4\n\nISO 100 200 & 400 (2 and 4 hundred VERY noisy)\n\nHas esp or spot meter but the spot seems to be linked to the focus\nlock... There is an AE lock, plus exposure compensation +/-2.0 in 1/3\nsteps\n\naperture W f2.8 to f7.1\nT f3.4 to f7.1\n\nshutter speed 1/2 to 1/1000 sex\nM mode 8 to 1000 or when night flash is used 2 to 1/1000\n-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\nso, if someone could help with useful settings (I know they might not\nbe precise, I would just like a guide) for\n\nIndoor family pics (kids playing etc)\n\noutdoor family pics (sunny and gloomy, I live in England!)\n\noutdoor lansdscape/buildings etc (has a lot of trouble focusing on\nclouds, specially in low light)\n\nand lastly low light or even night time photography. (Once again it\nreally doesn't seem to like this, focusing is hard)\n-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\n\nApart from the bad shakes I recently bought a monopod only to find\nthat my body kind of jerks, or even judders. It might only be a small\nmovement but obviously isn't good if I can see it happening on the\nmonopod. I have a tripod but obviously that's not much good in\nsituations like kids at play, though it will come in useful for set\npieces or night shots.\n-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\-\n\nAs you can see, I need a lot of help and if I could afford it I'd love\nto dump the thing in the bin and buy something more friendly, but I\ncan't, so any small pointers people can give, I'd be most grateful...\n\n\nthanks so much.