I will be traveling to Europe this summer for vacation and figure a trip like that should have a decent camera along. My Minolta dimage xt just wont cut it for this one I think. I have been looking at the canon s1, sony h1, and panasonic fz5/7. Due to the trip I would like to stay away from battery packs so that kind of cancels out the fz5/7. I like the rotating screen on the s2 and the fact that it uses SD; although if the sony stick is reasonably priced I wouldnt shut it out, plus I like 2 AAs over 4. I am very open to other brands that anyone would suggest, but would really like AA power. I've read the reviews and all of those sound great, but really want the one that will take the clearest consistent pictures. I have never owned a good camera before so learning how to use this may be a chore, but I can figure it out I think(hope.) I've seen the S2 for $350(figure they are clearing out for the S3.)

Budget

* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible.I would like to spend no more than $550 for the camera, batteries, and 1gig min memory card

Size

* What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
Not too concerned about the size, I'll bring my XT along incase I need a small one
Features

How many megapixels will suffice for you?I figure 5 will be more than enough

* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify)hoping for a 12x zoom, can never have enough

* How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
10; I dont want to come back and find 25% of my pictures are garbage
Do you care for manual controls? doesnt matter

General Usage

* What will you generally use the camera for?

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?nothing bigger than 8x10 probably

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? probably 50/50 I would guess

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? I would like to be able to get some shots at football games or whereever

Miscellaneous

Are there particular brands you like or hate?Was decently happy with my minolta, but dont really want one going out of business

Are there particular models you already have in mind?Sony H1 and Canon S2

(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)I have kind of shakey hands so image stabilization



Thanks for your help everyone. I've talked to others and they said either of the main 2 would be good, so I'm stuck on which to actually get.