I've had the Kodak Z8612 for about three months. I've owned a few camers over the years but this is by far the best of them all. This camera gives you plenty of settings choices, whether you want Smart mode, Scene mode, ISO, or manual settings. The 12x optical and 5x digital settings are an added plus. This is a great camera for a beginner and beyond. I take pictures every chance I get and never leave home without it. I've shot pictures at church, at home, in the clubroom where I live, in the business office and various scenes outside. I've always gotten great pictures, no matter what setting I used. The scene setting works really well. I was taking pictures at a church program and started using the Smart mode and was not too happy with the results. I quickly switched to scene mode, used the manner/museum setting, and the pictures came out crisp and clear. After seeing some of my shots, a friend asked me to shoot pics of her daughter in the Bluebonnets when they came into bloom. The same friend recommended me to her aunt to shoot an upcoming wedding. I am very happy with this camera and I am not a professional. i just enjoy taking pictures of whoever, whenever. The only drawback I have found is the battery life. The battery they recommend, which is non-rechargeable will give you about 300 plus shots, depending on setting. Don't make the mistake I did and shoot a video, which cut the life of the battery by more than half. I have found that rechargeable batteries will work as long as they are AA 1.25V 1800mAH. The photo I uploaded was taken from approximately 12 feet or so, using scene mode, manner/museum setting.