This camera is a step up from your regular digital camera. 7.0 zoom lens with 10x digital zoomit takes postcard quality photographs. As an amateur it gives you the opportunity to experiment with manually adjusting the exposure for different effect. Great for sunset pictures. It helped me learn about PASM and f-stops etc. I have entered a couple of photos into contests that were taken with this camera. It is easy to use and easy to share the pictures.