Originally Posted by Athens954
I'm thinking of buying a digital camera for xmas. I'm new to the scene so I really don't know. I'm looking for something in the all round. I found the Cannon A60, A70 & A80 to be good as well as the Nikon CoolPix 2100 & 3100.
Some advice would be good because I'm going round & round in circles with this and really can't decide.
Just about any of the point-n-shoot cameras will take good daylight shots (landscapes, people, etc). Where the P&S models do poorly is in low light (when you have to use flash) and for action. The built-in flashes are generally good for subjects less than 20 feet away, and the proximity of the flash to the lens means "red-eye" is not just likely, but almost guaranteed. None of the models are particularly good for shooting action; the shutter lag makes it a difficult proposition.
However, unless you're willing to step up in price to ~$900, a P&S is your only option. At the minimum, you should consider a model that has at least a 3 megapixel sensor; a 2 mp model just won't capture the detail, and won't be good enough for 8x10 enlargements. Look for a model with a "hot shoe"; this feature allows you to attach a bigger, more powerful flash unit that will greatly improve your indoor photos, and reduce the likelihood of "red-eye". Finally, if you can do the research, look for a model with a very fast/short shutter lag. Shutter lag is the amount of time between full depression of the shutter release button and the actual actuation of the shutter, and is measured in miliseconds (the lower the number, the better). Unfortunately, not many of the P&S models have low shutter lag.
I like any of the Canon "G" series (G3, G4, G5). The higher end Nikon Coolpix models are good, too. If you find yourself getting up in the $700+ range, immediately stop and reconsider...or just go ahead and spring for a Canon Digital Rebel.
Good luck, and have fun with it!