Fairly regularly people ask me about what kind of camera they should get. I don't know! :-) But, in case you are looking for a digicam and want a good one at a great price then I thought I would tell you about the one I bought a couple of weeks ago. I got the Canon A590IS for only $110 and free shipping from Amazon.com. I am a big "bang for the buck" sort of guy and this one is quite good. It isn't one of the tiny digicams, but isn't big either. Also, it isn't the sexiest design -- just very functional with controls easily accessible so you rarely need to do any menu diving. It is designed more for easy use than as something to be put on the shelf and looked at. :-) Unusual for these days it also has an optical viewfinder (OVF) in addition to the typical rear LCD which can be used as the viewfinder. I don't want a digicam without an OVF because often outside in bright light you can hardly use the LCD. Actually, I use the OVF almost all the time. Also, this camera has image stabilization (IS) so that helps to get sharper shots when the light is a bit low since it can counteract some of the camera shake when relatively slow shutter speeds are used -- IS can't, of course, stop subject movement though. I have seen it advertised locally here in Honolulu for $150 a lot lately, but on the internet you can find it for less.
It uses 2 AA batteries. I never use the alkaline AA batteries that you use once and then toss. I have a bunch of nimh rechargeable AA batteries because not only do they hold more power so that you don't have to change batteries as often but also they can be reused over and over. Some of mine are 6.5 years old and still work. You can usually get 4 of them for about $8-10 and a charger will cost $10-20. Often you will see a charger + 4 nimh AA batteries for $15-25. A few months ago I bought a Rayovac charger that included 6 2,100 mAh AA batteries and 2 800 mAh AAA batteries for $15 at Fry's Electronics! One other good point is that if you forget to charge your batteries or have no place to charge them then you can buy a pack of alkaline AA batteries anywhere and you are good to go.
In 2006 I bought an earlier version called the A540 for $180. Nice little camera. In 2004 I bought the A70 for $280. The Canon A series digicams just keep getting better and cheaper. I like that. :-) The two earlier ones did not have IS though and, of course, fewer megapixels and fewer features. Of the three this one is my favorite. Of course, this is a digicam with all the advantages and disadvantages that is inherant in that. For me the good points of this one far outweigh the not so good points. For you the balance might be elsewhere. Keep that in mind!
These little digicams are my "always in my pocket" camera that I take pretty much everywhere. Speaking of pockets, it easily fits in my shirt pocket but is a bit too heavy there. I keep it in the side pocket of my cargo shorts -- which is what I wear pretty much 100% of the time in Hawaii (the rest of the time is generally a swimming suit).
Anyway, for those who are more technically minded then here are some reviews:
And here is a short video preview so you can actually see what it looks like in someone's hands:
Anyway, today as I was walking down by the beach and taking a few photos with this digicam it occurred to me that maybe at this time of year a few other people might be looking for a digicam and with the worldwide economic mess a good price might also be important!