Today's compact cameras are technical marvels, and the image quality you can get from them is outstanding — provided you set your expectations appropriately. Your particular camera is about the size of deck of playing cards, yet includes a lens that zooms from almost ultra-wide angle to decent telephoto. And, the low-light quality will easily exceed what you could have done with color film photography a few years ago.
But, amazing as it is, the camera can't do miracles. And, because it is so small and so cheap, the camera has a very tiny sensor, measuring only 6×4.5mm. 16 million photosites are packed into that little sensor. If you view the resulting image at the pixel level (100% view) on a typical monitor, it's as if you made a print of the image about one meter square and looked at it very closely. That's really unreasonable. Try making 4×6" prints from your low-light photos, or scaling them down to the size you might share them on social media, and I think you'll actually be pretty pleased.
The results will never equal what you can get from a camera with much more expensive larger sensor or with bigger and brighter (and more expensive) lenses. But, of course, that's also an unreasonable expectation.
And, in addition to adjusting your expectations, there are things you can do to get better results. Fundamentally, what you need is more light.
There are four factors that affect the outcome of your exposure. They are:
- The ISO sensitivity. This basically amplifies the signal coming off of the sensor, without increasing the light received. Don't be afraid of doing this as necessary to get the shot, but because light isn't increased, your images will be more noisy. So let's look at other possibilities....
- The aperture setting. The aperture controls how much light is let in at once. On a DSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, this might be your main concern. On a compact camera, you don't have much control over aperture, and it can't really do much anyway. On your camera, you have no modes which let you set this manually, but if you can get closer and use a wider zoom, the lens design is such that the maximum aperture is greater zoomed-out — f/3.1 instead of f/5.9 at the zoomed-in end, which is more than 3× the light.
- The shutter speed. If you have a still subject — or if you can ask your portrait subject to hold still, like a Victorian-era film photographer — you can leave the shutter open longer to increase the amount of light recorded. On your camera, you don't have any shutter priority mode, which will give you direct control, but you do have a two night scene modes, Night Portrait and Night Scenery. Either of these will cause the shutter to be held open up to 8 seconds, letting in a lot more light. A tripod will make this work best, although this is also where the image stabilization feature of the camera comes in.
- The light in the scene itself. If you can add more, your results will be better. With a fancier camera, you might be able to invest in a hot-shoe or off-camera flash, but unfortunately that's not an option for you here, and also unfortunately, the on-camera flash will probably be only useful in emergency situations (and not make very nice photos). It's worth at least trying it in the night portrait mode. Even without flash, often you can make the light better by changing the scene, or just the framing of the scene. Flip on a light in the room — it will help.
In summary, while it's true that your camera is limited, if you keep your expectations reasonable and use the features it provides for low-light shooting, you should be able to get your money's worth out of it.
If you're still disappointed, and willing to invest more, a more expensive camera will have a) better inherent characteristics useful in low light and b) more manual control,
which lets you better adjust for the conditions to make the photographs you want to make.