Ugh, I knew the day would come when my little Sony DSC-W80 would quit me. I complained a lot about my cybershot but now that I'm shopping around, I must admit, it wasn't a bad little camera. Not great in low light, very noisy, but it did take some nice pictures.
I jumped for a Canon DSLR for $350.00. BUT, I got it home and started opening it and realized it was HUGE! Maybe I didn't like photography as much as I thought. I took it back.
Next I grabbed the Canon PowerShot SX150 for $180.00. It was smaller, still a Canon, and reasonably priced. The pictures it captured were nice, very nice really. BUT it runs on two AA batteries which lasted for maybe fifty shots. It has a manual flash that is anything but convenient to open. Extremely slow flash recharge time and its too big for my pocket. (I realized that I need a camera that I can stash in a pocket.) Camera return number 2!
At this point I needed to read some reviews. I wanted a camera that took low noise pictures, even in low light. I wanted it to be small enough to cart around in a pocket if needed, and it needed to be fast! I've got two preschoolers for goodness sake!
My top 3 picks were:
Nikon Coolpix S9100
I passed on the Sony because I've had two break on me now. They were decent cameras but even though they boast their Carl Zeiss lens, that is what stopped working.
Honestly I wanted to buy the Canon, but no one local has them in stock (and I want it now). Apparently they are popular for some reason. ugh.
I bought the Nikon for $199.00 and have been using it for 13 days now. I need to take it back tomorrow if I'm not going to keep it. The pictures are great, its fast and compact, and overall, not bad. However! When I review my pictures the lens stays open and I don't like this. And the delete menu scares me a bit. I almost deleted all the pictures on my camera because the controls are a little too sensitive. I don't know yet. I'm going to sleep on it and decide in the morning.