UPDATE: I took a few pics with this camera and the issues are the same. I also bought at another warehouse that starts with the letter C, the Coolpix S8100, as that also has good reviews and is fairly zippy in the speed department (bootup, shot to shot and burst mode). The difference is night and day. I am going to post up a picture of a comparison shot I did, with the S8100 right out of the box. Let me put it this way, after two L120's (I REALLY wanted to love this camera), on this one shot of the S8100, I took 8 shots with the L120, and NONE of them came out as clear as the S8100. Only one came close, and after looking at it on the display, I redid the shot, same settings and it was more blurry than before. EIGHT SHOTS!!!!! I ahve a 16GB card, but EIGHT SHOTS for none to come out clear???? Unacceptable. I'm not a fool, I've taken digital photography courses, and know how to hold and shoot a camera. But the quality was unacceptable. I'm glad some of you have taken great pictures. Maybe Sam is getting junk at his club, but TWO???? C'mon. Look for the picture of the Toy Story cups. Its sad to see this camera go, but it must.
I bought this camera after extensive reviews. Everyone generally seems to like it and only a few complain about the quality and the blurriness of the photos. I am now in that complaining group. We got this camera because our old Canon A540 died on us. I know the wife was the reason as she always complained about the slow shot to shot speed of that one. So while she wanted something faster, I wanted something that had a better zoom, and actually felt like a camera. I was hoping, before it died, to replace it next year, with the Lumix GF3 that was coming out next month. I figured next year's tax money would pay for the camera. However, we couldn't wait, nor did we want to spend $600+ on a camera. sooooo....
I bought the camera from one of the big warehouse stores. I LOVE the camera in terms of how it feels, the options, etc. The continous mode was great. very speedy. I've held and tested various Fuji and Kodak models, and I wasn't impressed with the menus of the Fujis and the Kodak, i've always felt something was missing. I was told Asthon Kucher used this in a commercial so I joked I would take it back then. since this was the first dSLR-looking camera we had, I started to read the manual to try and figure it out first. I am the one that usually figures the settings out, and the wife usually does the auto.. So, I'd take a few pics of the kids on various settings to see which was better. Throughout it all, the camera was very hit or miss in terms of quality.
Let me explain. On some shots, like of the kids from about 15 feet away zoomed in, I'd do the Easy Auto and it would be ok. slight blurry of them. I'd move to another mode, and really blurry. I'd go back to the easy and it would be blurry. I'd do several, just to make sure the kids didn't move (while telling them to not move) or I moved, but each time they'd get blurry, some more than others. Same thing with using flash. I don't like how I cannot dial the flash down, like the A540's, but the camera did take better shots without the flash in some instances, than the A540. However, again, sometime the camera would get blurry. I found that in many instances, if the kids were anywhere close, the Auto mode, with Flash fill worked best. But then again, sometimes it was good, others not, but usually it was.
Outside was better. I took pics of the kids running around in the sprinklers and they generally came out ok.But it wasn't as good as our old pokey A540. For the price of the camera, the pics should have been better. Taking longer zoom pics generally were blurry, even with the vibration and antishake enabled. I tried changing the focusing modes, ISO, etc, and it didn't help. The wife wanted to get rid of it before and get a cheaper one, but I insisted to give it another try as the cheaper ones wouldn't be as fast. However, the quality kept being a disappointment.
Since I REALLY want to like this camera, I took it back and got another one, which was fine for me, as the price went down, and as a result, the extended warranty did too. So for less then the camera in the 1st place, I got the camera and extended warranty.
Initial shots showed the same issues, but we will see this weekend. I'll post up an update. However, I am now looking at the Nikon S8100 as it has a 10x zoom, and is very speedy. I may buy that one and do side by sides when I use them both to compare. I also like the Canon S4500 too. Who knows.