Budget Less than $300 Size Small and compact. Able to fit in a pocket. Features How many megapixels will suffice for you? Any megapixels on a modern camera ok. * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x) Standard * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10) Important: 8 or 9 (relative to compact camera image quality) Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)? The more control the better, but not necessary. General Usage * What will you generally use the camera for? Outdoor scenery, children, animals * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? Might use photos for calendars Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? Some indoor, but mostly outdoor. Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? Children and animals. Miscellaneous Are there particular brands you like or hate? I've had Canon and Casio. I like Canon, but brand doesn't matter too much if it's a well known established brand. Are there particular models you already have in mind? Canon 870IS, Panasonic FX35 (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) I'm looking for wide angle and Image Stabilization. This might be a strange "feature" but I prefer cameras that are metal. I like the weight and feel of them as well as the build quality. The last time I did research (earlier this year) the Panasonic FX35 seemed to be the best choice. I'd like to find out if that is still the case or if there are newer models that might be better. I read about the FX500, but for the price and features the FX35 still seems good. I noticed Canon has new models as well and have been reading reviews, but they have so many different models with hard to understand naming (850, 890, 870, 770, 1100, 790). I can't even tell which one is the new model and which is the old. I do know I was looking at the 870IS. I'd like to find out if there is a model that is better than the 870IS.