As for your daughter, I'm of two minds. One is that youngsters these days are very much in the digital generation, and I'm not certain she'd take to technology as primitive as film. Normally, if she was at all open to that, I'd recommend a Yashica T4 ($160) a great little 35mm point and shoot that's easy to use, weatherproof, and has a superb lens. But alas, I learned through an alert reader that the T4 is no longer made. Last time I'd checked a few months ago, it still was widely available, but no more. This is a shame. The T4 was easily the best sub-$500 point-and-shoot on the market. But I guess it just wasn't sexy enough, as it lacked a zoom lens (a plus, because it allowed the use of a high-quality Zeiss fixed-focal-length lens in place of the crappy zooms on most cameras).
Ah, well. You can find them on eBay, of course. Or, get her a Canon Elph 2 ($170). This is a very slick little camera, with a tiny metal body and a decent 2:1 zoom lens. And it uses APS film, for easy pop-in loading.
Later this spring Olympus will have on the market a digital camera called the D-520 ($300). Just two-megapixel resolution, but it's compact with an excellent zoom lens. Plus, I really like Olympus's photo software. If you have a USB port on your PC, the connection and downloading is as easy as plugging the camera cord into the port. For a digital, that would be my suggestion.
Filed To: Digital Cameras