What setting would you recommend to take outside Christmas lights at night?
#1. "RE: V1 setting" | In response to Reply # 0
The biggest thing is time of day. I recommend dusk because you'll get a nice glow in the sky that adds enough lighting to make everything a bit more interesting. I would use a tripod - absolute must but if you can't then I would use the 10-30 lens as wide as possible in aperture and find something to brace against with ISO 800.
But with a tripod you can experiment on exposure settings. I would probably start with ISO 100, f/8, and whatever shutter speed the camera recommends initially. but it will probably try to over expose in some situations (or under if there are a lot of lights) so be prepared to use exposure compensation.
#3. "RE: V1 setting" | In response to Reply # 1
I agree that you will probably need to play with the exposure compensation a bit. I was in Taiwan recently and there are lots of colored lights everywhere. My initial attempts to capture them didn't work so well because the lights came out too white. Had to dial the exposure compensation into negative territory to see the colors.
#5. "RE: V1 setting" | In response to Reply # 3
Like everyone has mentioned, dusk is best, but I will add that I recommend RAW and no more than ISO 400, and ISO 100 if you can do it, which will require a tripod. Take various exposures and this way you can play with it more later to bring out the colors and the backgrounds.