You know when you take a photo of something in backlight and the thing you wanted to capture comes out way too dark? Well, then you can adjust the white balance to make it lighter. This works on a regular compact camera too. At least on the Canon I have.
BEFORE: A globe standing in the window at home. The only thing you can see is a black silhouette.
Quite a difference huh? At least you can see the globe now. These little tricks are so valuable. Earlier I've been using the trial and error method pushing every single button on the camera not understanding what's wrong.