I'd decided on a Canon S5 IS because it appeared to have almost everything I wanted in a point-and-shoot camera: good macro setting (even super macro), decent wide-angle and zoom, can be used like an SLR if desired, image stabilization (for those shaky days) and face detection technology, and other things I can't remember here. Oh yes, it had to be under $450, and this one was $329. I hadn't handled one, so that had to be a big consideration, the way it would feel in my hands.
I'd have loved to have a DSLR; some of them are reasonably priced, but with a telephoto lens, which I'd have to have, I just couldn't hold it steady. Since I take lots of photos of far-away stuff, that just wouldn't work. So I opted for a nearly-DSLR.
I've only taken a few photos with it; it was getting dark when we got home last night, and I really have no idea how to use it for even the simplest photos. I was trying to photograph the yarn on my desk but had a difficult time getting a clear picture, so who knows what I did to the settings when I played with it.
I took some pictures of it with my old camera, which will soon be on its way to J. If/when I learn to use the new one!!!
I didn't realize till I got it home that it has a USB card reader with it, so I don't have to hook up the camera to the computer and waste batteries uploading photos:
This is what I have to wade through in order to learn how to use this camera. Auuuggghhh!
What it came down to, though, when choosing a new camera, was the batteries it uses. I really wanted a Sony H7; it has really good reviews, has so many manual settings and longer telephoto plus 15x zoom; this one has 12x zoom, which is close enough. But the Sony H7 uses a proprietary (read: expensive) lithium ion battery, which no doubt will last a lot longer while shooting photos, but the expense is what stopped me. A spare rechargeable battery is $60. The Canon S5 IS uses 4 AA batteries, which I can find anywhere anytime. I know that in the long run I'll end up spending a lot more on AAs than if I bought the rechargeable, but AAs are just so much easier to deal with. And if I want to, I can use rechargeable AAs; somewhere I have some batteries and the charger.
So. I have my new camera. I've done my part to jump-start the economy. Now I just need to learn how to use the thing!