When I went to Africa a few years ago I bought a camera with a lot of optical zoom so I could take photos of the animals. I thought about buying a digital SLR but the cost was a bit much to swallow, plus in addition to the camera I'd have to buy a zoom lens that cost about as much as the camera. So I went with this sort of better-than-the-typical-point-and-shoot camera. I haven't used it much since my trip because it's pretty big and the rechargeable batteries have really gone downhill. But I recently got both the camera and the manual out and am hoping to use it more to take photos. The zoom is great for getting Mario shots from across the room (so long as the lighting is okay). I have this new saying, "If you want Mario to stop doing something, just point a camera at him." A lot of times he'll be doing something adorable but gets really camera shy once I get it out and ready. Maybe this will help with that.