I'm looking to buy a camera for my girlfriend this Christmas. I'm buying in China, so everything's generally available for prices similar to the US, but US sale prices do me little good. She's a kindergarten teacher who often needs to take shots of kids, so fast shooting and sharp action shots are important. She really wants a DSLR, but she's not a technically-minded person. Although I know she'd get better pictures with a DSLR than her current off-brand 8 megapixel point and shoot, I'm not sure that she would actually bother to learn the skills to really utilize its functionality. However, the DSLR option is bolstered by its "image factor" - a wisely-chosen Point and Shoot isn't as sexy to her as a DSLR, it's a status symbol thing. In the end, the status and functionality arguments kind've cancel each other out, so both options are good. I don't see any video questions down on the form. High quality 1080p video would be fantastic, and being able to zoom in and out while shooting video would be tremendous (regardless of video quality). Non-video: manual focus would be another plus. On to the form. * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible. Up to $1000 if it's out of this world, maybe more like <$800 preferred. * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you? Up to and including consumer DSLR size is fine. In cameras with like functionality, smaller is probably preferred. How many megapixels will suffice for you? Not important. * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x) Interested in all comers - I've looked at DSLRs with 18-55mm lens packages and ultrazoom P&S's with 50x and everything in between. Normal usage won't call for particularly high zoom, but it would be used on occasion if it's there. * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10) 7-8? This is kind've a wacky question, though. Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)? This is part of the DSLR vs. P&S argument IMO - not a current skill, but maybe one we could learn to utilize if the motivation is there. * What will you generally use the camera for? Primary use will be shooting kids 2-6 years old at kindergarten. Vacation shots would be number two on the list. * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? Not regularly, but a ton of smaller (i.e. 4x6) prints. Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? Indoor will probably account for 75% of usage. Low light, not regularly. Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? Sports, rarely, but 2-6 year old kids are always on the move. Are there particular brands you like or hate? Had good luck historically with Canon (except that their pocket-size P&S's go through the washer too easily ). Open to anything. Are there particular models you already have in mind? If it's DSLR, I'm mostly thinking T3i/600D or T4i/E650D with the 18-55mm lens kit (the 18-135mm kit for the latter is $300 more here, which puts it within $100 of a 60D w/18-135mm lens...). For Point and Shoot I've been pointed to the Canon G1X (balk at spending that for a P&S) or the Nikon P7700 or the P510. I'm open to anything, though. (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) IS would be important, the others (except hotshoe) would all be nice extras, though I'd probably only specifically pay extra for weather/waterproof. Thanks in advance for the assistance!