Found the links. First few are about smoke art, then there's a really awesome photography/lighting blog that I found by going through comments on flickr. I forget how I originally came across the smoke art, but here's the first links:
I've come to accept the fact that ultra-compact and point-n-shoot cameras like ours generally don't have as much manual adjustment as I'd like. However, instead of buying a new camera and expensive lenses and such, I'm now focusing on the photos themselves and not as much on the method of capture (it's almost always same settings, just adjust white-balance).
My point is that when your subject looks great, it's hard not to get a great photo. So many people (myself included) will try and try to take a good picture in a crappy setting when all that really needs done is messing with the environment a bit.
Shit, I'm starting to ramble, I'll cut myself off now
No prob, I'm always willing to help people out
I just googled that cam and it seems to be in the same class as my Canon SD1000 (also p/s) as far as price/features.
I'd believe those pics came from just about any half-decent camera in the right hands There's some links I found a month ago that had some really good photography tips, if I find 'em in my history I'll send 'em your way.
That photo touch-up was pretty simple with the clone tool. The specs were on a solid background so there wasn't anything to worry about trying to blend etc. Just select a spot next to the spec for your source and then click on top of the spec and you're done.
I mostly learned stuff just by fiddling around with it for the past 5~6 years, but there's some really good tutorials online at the official site.