I think you're using digital zoom, Annisa. Stick with optical, you won't have that problem!
Nice camera, convienient size, very good quality for price. Offers program & priority modes for more advanced use. Video is very handy and easy to use. Almost instant power on. Not too small, but still fits in pocket and has a nice grip (unlike ultra compacts.) Optical viewfinder is very handy, particularly in bright situations when LCD is hard to see, although parrellex error must be accounted for (as for all range finders.) JPEG artifacting is very low.
Image stabilization is very helpful in low-light / longer zoom, but not a life saver - good shooting technique is still needed!
Look at my gallery for examples.
CHDK -- free firmware enhancement software -- is highly recomended for more serious shooters. Adds JPEG+RAW, wider ISO / Apperature / Shutter settings, exposure & focus bracketing, battery charge indicator, better/more histograms, etc, etc.
-Highlight clipping / blooming can be severe at metered exp in high contrast situations (sunny mid-day shots, particularly) Use exposure compensation or bracketing w/ CDHK & process RAW
-4x optical zoom is not enough.
-High ISO noise above 400.
-Lag time from shutter press to shot taken, particularly in longer end of zoom.
-Very long flash recycle time in low light / long subj dist.
All in all, I love this camera, although I wish I had gotten the A720IS for the longer zoom.
However, I just purchased a D80 which I expect will become my main camera for postings here soon!