I took the camera along to a Halloween party, and came away having learnt a number of lessons:
  • I should change my playback setting back from 'auto playback' to '2 sec'.
    I had originally set this because I was annoyed at looking at the picture and turning the scroll wheel to zoom or hit the left arrow to compare to the previous shot, only to find I'd jumped back to camera controls. However, this is a fairly minor irritation compared to applying a deletion lock instead of spot-metering, which I did a couple of times.
  • Remember to check the gradation setting!
    Oops! I had it on 'auto' from before sunset, and forgot to change it when shooting at high-ISO later on. I wish there were a 'max auto-gradation ISO' setting in the customisation menu. As it is, I'll have to live with it.
  • ISO 3200 isn't as bad as people make out.
    Coming from compact-sensor-land, ISO 3200 looks reasonably for on-screen display. It's not great, and I wouldn't want to print the results, but it's far from the unusable mess sometimes described - even with auto-gradation enabled.
  • Low-light focussing is reliable and fairly fast.
    Even in light conditions where ISO 3200 was very helpful, focussing generally took around a second. I didn't use the focus-assist strobe - having carried out a few experiments it normally takes a couple of cycles to lock on, and the focus was locking on that quickly anyway. Also, I was taking photos of people... I'm not sure if the strobe is useful except when shooting inanimate objects in complete darkness.
  • The Grainy Film Art Filter loves the night
    ISO 3200 - just have to be careful not to blow the highlights too much! Shooting lit faces against a dark night, that means either spot-metering or dialling in -2/3 EV or more of compensation.
  • The E620 can be really easy to use
    A four or five year old wanted her picture taken and then asked to take one of me in return. Using live view with face-detect on and flash - it took her both hands to hold the camera up, but she was able to aim it and get a decent shot. The camera really can be go fully automatic when needed.

One thing I've been pondering - should I have shot in raw? The conclusion I've reached is that it wouldn't have been worth the post-processing hassle - I'm still working through the photos as it is. I also don't think I've got the tools or the knowledge to make my pictures much better by developing from raw myself rather than taking the OOC jpegs. Maybe someday - but for now I'd rather concentrate on learning the camera!