My old Olympus 500 literally fell apart (I've been carrying it in my purse, all the time, because I shoot some photos for work) so I'm looking for new, for both me and my job. Budget: Max $400, prefer 300 ish or even less.. Size: medium (it's a big purse) Features: macro capability, easy to see screen, some opportunity for manual control--choice of aperture or shutter priority, etc, but want point and shoot capability as well. How many megapixels will suffice for you? Five would be plenty * What optical zoom will you need? 8x or higher * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)8 Do you care for manual controls? some, see above. could live without if need be General Usage * What will you generally use the camera for? nature shots, (flowers, birds, etc--hence the desire for macro and high optical zoom. ) For job, will use to shoot events, people shots, both close up and far away Also will use for ebay; want to be able to do macro for small items, trademarks, etc * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? Not Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? Possibly Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? Catching birds in flight would be nice... Miscellaneous Are there particular brands you like or hate? I like my olympus and would like to be able to use my current XD memory cards, but am open to suggestion. Are there particular models you already have in mind? Open (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) Image stabilization if I'm going up to the higher zooms. Would like it to be sturdy--I do like to keep it with my all the time. Delighted to find this forum; used laptop reviews.com for the computer I'm using at this moment. I look forward to the same friendlines and expertise here!