To see some ''barrel distortion'' at the shortest focal length is not unusual. Lots of cameras show this to some degree.
Digital cameras set a new concept when compared to 35mm film cameras:
With 35mm film cameras, 50 mm was considered the standard focal length. And most 35mm film cameras came with the (non-zoom) 50mm f1.8 lens. Any lens less than 50mm was considered wide angle.
Almost all digital cameras come standard with a zoom lens that starts with a focal length of about 36mm.
That is to provide a universal lens that covers from wide angle to whatever zoom limit.
So when you are shooting at 36mm, you are actually shooting wide angle.
That is why you should really do most of your shooting at about 2X zoom.
When taking portraits, you should shoot at 3X zoom.
This is to prevent distorting the face, which can happen when shooting at wide angle or even normal (50mm) focal lengths.
Most portraits taken at wide angle (36mm) will cause the nose to look slightly larger in a straight-on head shot.
AS far as ''gaps in the storage sequence'' I don't understand the question.
1. Make sure that you never remove or install a card with the camera turned-on.
2. You might want to take a look at the write-up in the manual concerning ''Fine Number (#) Memory''.
It should be in the ''Set-up Menu'' section.
This camera has been my introduction to digital photography which means that I have no basis for comparison and rate it as better or worse than any other brand/model. I just found out that images taken with the zoom at shortest focal length, i.e., 36mm (35mm equivalent) show the sort of distortion associated with fish-eye lenses, i.e., curvature of straight lines around the edge of the frame. This is something of a letdown but not necessarily a fatal shortcoming. What has peeved me is that I've unintentionally deleted some pictures that the quickview mode couldn't playback for some reason and which I assumed (incorrectly) were gaps in the storage sequence caused by removing the card from the camera.
So, I'm left wondering what caused this mishap. Any thoughts on the subject?