So I recently bought an HX9V and like everyone here think it's a great camera. The video is especially great.
My question is I look at the photos people post on here and they look so good compared to the quality of shots I've been getting. Why is that? I really only use the Intelligent Auto + mode, is that what I'm doing wrong? Any pointers for a newbie?
The intelligent Auto modes are perfectly fine on Cybershots P&S and usually give very nice pictures.
However, take into account the fact that pictures in the forum are usually downsized. That's probably why they seem better quality than yours at first glance.
Also, you could try using the HHT mode (Handheld Twilight), even in plain daylight. It allows to escape from the small sensor limitations, by averaging 6 shots to get accurate color information at pixel level. It's ideal for static subjects, especially in shadow areas.