Does anyone have any recommendations?
I'm a complete novice on the subject. Whayt should I be looking for in terms of pixels, memory, LCD size etc. Also, for traveelling around Oz, is it better to have one that takes AA batteries, or a built in rechargeable battery?
Hi Fun Bobby,
I categorize cameras in 2 - Digital SLR and Regular non-SLRs. An SLR gives you the best control and output. They've got a lot of features and generally cost more than regular digital cameras.
If you're looking to take up photography as a hobby, then go in for an entry level SLR. A couple of good options are Nikon D40 and the Sony EOS 300/Rebel.
If you're just looking for easy to use, point-and-shoot simplicity along with good results, you could go in for a Sony Cybershot or Nikon Coolpix. Sony's forte is the lens (Carl Zeiss), although, most of us wont be able to tell the difference unless we enlarge a photograph to poster size.
Dont get too obsessed with pixels as they would only govern the size of the image created. Anything over 6 MP should be good. Memory is something to take care about. All cameras have expansion slots for memory, so go in for one which uses standardized memory cards.
Not big on photography so just want a good clear shot so that i can send pics home to friends and family and let them know how I'm doing.
In that case, I would recommend a Sony Cybershot or Nikon Coolpix. Look for something over 6 MP, AA battery run (u could always use rechargeable AA batteries). Best thing about these is u'll never get stuck looking for a power source to charge the battery.
Many stores offer packages for camera + bag + memory card or something like that. They are good buys.
Don't look for something over 6 MP. You'd be paying for something you'll never take any advantage of (unless you're planning to do that enlarging to poster format thing). If the camera which has all the features and offers the quality you're looking for happens to have more than 6MP, oh well, take it anyway, but beyond that: anything more than 4MP should be enough. (Either way, you'll need to resize to smaller size for emailing and uploading anyway, or you'd be sitting behind that computer for ever.)
Go to dpreview's feature search and pick what features you think you'd make use of - then read the reviews of the resulting cameras, or just skip straight to the conclusions. If you can, pick something which is "highly recommended". Definitely stay away from all cameras rated as "above average" (as that actually means they're far below average).
Beyond the camera models mohit_sa already mentioned, canon's powershot series also has a couple of pretty decent models.
I agree totally with Sander on the megapixel thing. Anything within the range of 4-6MP is good enough for what you want to do there. Unless you're some really serious photographer, shooting anything above 6MP is usually a waste of memory space. A 4MP size photo is good enough to print on an A4-size paper without seeing all the pixels blown up. So if you're not going to print anything larger than that, there's no reason to shoot beyond 6MP. There's more to a camera than the megapixels alone.
canon S2 IS hands down for ur specs, great image quality, respectable 5mp, not to big, not to small, good zoom if u wanna pull things in close, runs off AA batteries and nice and compact, and of course canon's awesome optics and build quality.