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Our family is looking to buy a new camera. We always get the crappiest cameras that take awful pics. Hopefully, this time we can find a good one.

What brand would you recommend? Probably want to spend between $100-$300 on it.
 

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MayTheForceBeWithYou
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Here is a list of of options you should think about for the next camera:

1. Optical zoom, at least minimal (2x - 3x).
Digital zoom: just forget about it. It doesn't exist for you (digital zoom actually is software. You can do same things on your computer)

2. Vewfinder (better optical).
Cameras which have only screen are not good enough for you.

3. Pre-set options: Portrait, Landscape, Sport, etc.
You will be able to take pictures with correct settings if you want to do it fast.
Pre-set options are very useful, but they have very little to do with learning.

4. At least minimal manual control over exposure settings (ISO, Shutter-speed and Apperture). Better if exposure compensation provided.

5. Number of megapixels is not so important for you on this stage, but I wouldn't recommend anything less than 4 megapixels.


i would list pros and cons of all your options.
 

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I have a Canon SD1100 that I bought a year ago based on the great reviews. I remember it be rated one of the top electronic items of 2008 on Yahoo's frontpage.

Canon has a 1200 out now but ironically the reviews I saw on the Canon website were lower than the 1100 model.
 

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http://dpreview.com/

It's a little over your price range, but the sensor size is the difference between the professional cameras and the small ones.

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/olympusep1/

And the lenses on the small ones aren't as good either. And they have problems with taking blurry pictures and in low light conditions. There are also 2-3 year old DSLRs that would be better than newer point&shoot cameras if you aren't as concerned about the size.
 
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