I read many reviews by customers on most all the pocket zoom cameras and this camera had pretty good reviews and many options on this camera. I am replacing an older Kodak digital camera. I have had it about 3 weeks and love it. It has a great zoom, wide angle, panarama, and the best of all the EXR feature which I feel is great for using the camera on fully automatic. You can also use many manual features with this camera if you wish. As far as the flash not poping up all the time, I feel that is a great feature. If I feel I need the flash, I can pop it up. I have read reviews on other cameras and the flash poping up every time you turn the camera on was a negative. If you are somewhere where you are not allowed to use a flash, you don't have to remember to close the flash or turn the flash off. If you don't pop it up manually, you don't have to worry about it going off. If you are taking pictures where you need or want to use the flash, when you turn off the camera, the flash retracts automatically. It also takes very good-excellent low light photographs. Very satisfied with no negatives. Battery life is as good as other pocket cameras. I also purchased the carry pouch (on Amazon)(great price) which also comes with a great little tripod for zoom shooting. Great camera!