Anyway, you wrote in for buying advice, not a rant. Obviously, you want a camera that's compact and light as possible. A sturdy case would be handy, too. Zoom lenses are useful, and those with a 3:1 zoom ratio or better are to be recommended. In terms of resolution, I think that anything less than three megapixels is a waste of time unless all you intend to do is attach photos to e-mails. So, what does that leave us with? Nikon's CoolPix 885 ($450) is a fine little camera, with 3.2-megapixel resolution, zoom lens and a compact body. I also like Olympus's Camedia 3020Z ($500), with specs similar to the Nikon. Olyumpus has particularly good software, in my view.
Or, you can be old fashioned and buy a Canon Elph Z3 ($180 street price). A terrific little camera that uses APS film for easy loading and unloading and that has a stainless steel case, a 2.5:1 zoom lens, and a compact profile that makes it a nearly perfect pack-and-go camera.
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