On the lookout for a digital camera

I’m in the market for a digital camera. Which one should I get? I used to own one, a Fujifilm Finepix 4700, but it drowned, and it took a while (too long) to determine a source of money for buying a new one. I bought the old camera using the same process I’ve used for all of my larger purchases over the years including computers, stereo, video machine, etc, and even the apartment: I did a whole lot of research about the available products, decided on one, and then fell completely out of touch with the market. There’s no use in knowing too much about all the cool things that become available after you’ve already bought what you’re going to buy, especially with electronics where you just know that things will be both better and cheaper three months after you buy.

So now I’m pretty clueless about the current models, price ranges, specs, etc. So I’m going to hit the online computer magazines and specialty magazines and find out what’s out there. My requirements are modest, I think:

  • Must be point-and-shoot. I don’t mind fancy functions at all, I just don’t want to have to use them all the time in order to take good photos.
  • No need for super high-resolution pictures. Very few of my pictures will ever be printed, most will just reside on my computer, and some will even be scaled down for emailing or publishing them online.
  • The old Fujifilm camera was “slow” in taking pictures. The standard setting gave OK quality and very nice colors, but it was very sensitive to shaking meaning lots of pictures were ruined. You could set it so that it took the pictures “faster” but the result was very lack-luster pictures. My boss says the answer to this point is to get a camera that has a large, high-quality lens.
  • Reasonable form-factor. I want to resume the habit of carrying it everywhere, otherwise you simply don’t get that many nice pictures.
  • Price limit $800.

Candidate camera after the first 10 minutes of research: Fuji Finepix S602 Zoom shown here on the right.

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