Hello everyone, I'm happy to have found this forum since I'm currently looking for a new camera. Herein lies the problem...I know virtually nothing of digital cameras, I used to play around with an slr many, many moons ago. Now, I'm a point and shot kinda girl and am very much in need of an upgrade. I currently have a little Nikon Coolpix 4600 which is okay, it is what it is. I really want a camera that doesn't leave me hanging from shot to shot as this one does when recycling (is this the correct term?) and with more features for me to play with.
On to the required questionnaire...........

Budget

* What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? hmmm, around $300.00 or less would be my preference; but I'm willing to go higher if necessary.

Size

* What size camera are you looking for? I would like to continue with a small camera; again, I can increase the size, depending upon your thoughts.
Features

How many megapixels will suffice for you? I'm thinking 6 or more

* What optical zoom will you need? Standard optical zoom should do the trick.
* How important is “image quality” to you? Hmmm, image quality is a plus, I think, 7 or 8.

Do you care for manual controls? oh yeah, manual controls are fun to play with.

General Usage

* What will you generally use the camera for? I do a lot of knitting and take pictures for my blog, etc. I also take photos of family and pets like most of us do, I'm sure. I have tried (not very successfully) to get photos of my dog running around playing ball...the resulting pics left a great deal to be desired.

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? not likely, certainly nothing larger than 8x10 and that will be rare.

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? yes, this is where I've run into a big problem with my camera, it takes forever and a day between shots while I assume we are waiting for the flash to recharge or something.

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? not likely...the dog playing ball is as sporty as I get with photography

Miscellaneous


Are there particular brands you like or hate? No

Are there particular models you already have in mind? I have been reading a good deal about Canon A540, A620 and A700, I had almost decided on the 700 and read a few negatives about it on here so I thought it best to ask your opinions.

(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) I don't think that I need any of them..but, you know, if the recommended cameras come with these perks, that would be just fine

Many Thanks,
Rebecca