Its that time of year again and we are all dipping a little into our pockets despite the Economic situation...
Here are a couple of the better bets for the compact camera market. For a couple of models that I have found to be quite good the first is the Nikon Coolpix S560
It sells for around $249 and is a sleek little unit with 5x optical zoom and electronic VR (Vibration Reduction or anti-shake). It comes in several colours for those fashionable people!!! It boasts a nice 2.7 inch screen and has 15 nice scene modes. One of which i just discovered thanks to the Nikon rep... It has an Auto Scene type mode where it evaluates the situation and changes scene setting accordingly which makes it very simple to use... it was pretty accurate too. Overall it handles nicely and is nice on the wallet and not too big in the hand. It is SD compatible and has some nice movie feature including Time Lapse... Also Nikon has there 2 year Canadian warrenty... which as long as you don't get it wet, drop it or drive over it is usually a useful warrenty to have.
The other model i like alot is the Canon Powershot SD 1100isA little less Zoom than the Nikon but it has just as much Heart. Its pretty much a competing model with excellent Optical IS ( anti-shake) and once again in some nifty colours. It also includes and Optical viewfinder for those bright days when its hard to see the screen. It has cool Colour Swap mode and also the Colour Accent mode. Kinda fun to play with sometimes... Its price is a little less than the Coolpix, but has less warrenty (one year) at around $200 and it also takes an SD card. Both units come with Lithium Batteries and Chargers and should be good for about 200 pics... depending on how much flash you use and fooling with the menus etc....
The last model which is a really Clever unit is the Olympus Stylus 850 SW.
Very much in its own league as its the only model that can handle being Dropped (5ft), Drowned (10ft) or Frozen to -10c I believe.... Quite the achievement. Once again in some funky colours, I like the black personally. Not the best camera for too much low light work but then none of these our exceptional at that just yet.... but none the less its on my short list due to the durability and ease of use. The price point is around $269 which makes it the most expensive but then when your down on the beach next time and it falls in the sand.. its the only one that will survive!!!! It uses The XD card which is no real downside and has a lithium battery and charger as always..
All these models in most colours are available at Lens & Shutter hopefully... They seem to sell pretty quickly! Anyways if anyone wants a tour of these little beast just swing by and give me a shout...!!!! Hopefully my voice will come back to me soon... There are plenty of other models to check out with some new ones from Canon coming in really soon which i haven't played with yet.... so maybe i will be adding more to this list and these are just my views... someone who plays with them when sales are slow... the list is also in no particular order!.