The default setting for digital zoom is OFF.
If you have not turned it ON, it is already OFF.
You turn it off/on by a setting in the Menu.
If you look at the index in the Instructions Manual, probably under "Advanced Recording" you should find Digital Zoom.
Digital zoom degrades the quality of the photo.
Somewhere in time, someone thought digital zoom was a good idea. Anything digital zoom does, can also be done with software. Software does it better.
The LCD will see just about anything your eyes can. If it is too dark for your eyes, it is too dark for the LCD.
If you are trying to take a picture of the moon at 12X and you are hand holding the camera, it only takes a slight movement to completly loose the moon in the LCD. First look at the scene at no zoom, then add a little zoom, and continue to add zoom and notice that the more you zoom, the more the moon jumps around. For that type of shot you should use a tripod.
For fireworks shots, I have never seen a fireworks show that needs any more that 3X of zoom.
I don't know of any site that does a step-by-step on any particular camera.
I bought the camera and have 8 days to make a decision if I want to keep it or return it for a full money return. I read the manual several times but still do not know how to turn off the digital zoom. In my research, as well as the clerk, advised me to turn off the digital zoom. I cannot locate this switch. Why have digital zoom if you are going to turn it off. What is its purpose? Also, I tried to take a picture at night with NO LUCK. Did not see anything through the LCD or viewfinder. With the ole Kodak LS443 (3x optical zoom), I took some photos of the moon reflecting off the lake and was hoping to take even better with this camera since it has some much more zoom. Also July 4th fireworks are just around the corner and again I got some great pictures last year of firework show while sitting in our boat. Any advice or helpful links would be greatly appreciated. Any other suggestions about this camera would be appreciated as well as links to sites that go through this camera step by step. I am just an amateur. Thanks again. Jen