I got a Canon A70 over the summer. 3.2 Megapixels with a 3x zoom, lots of manual controls or full automatic and pretty compact. I see them for around $299, but you could probably find it for less on the internet. Try to find a deal where they throw in a memory card free, at least 128MB.
Mine came with a 16 MB card which wouldn't hold many pics. The 128MB card was included during a sale at officemax. I checked Newegg.com and you can get a 128mb card for around $35. Check the sunday ads for Staples, Officemax, Officedepot, Bestbuy, etc and someone usually has a sale on them. Get the camera first, since there are different kinds of memory cards available, like Smartmedia, compactflash, Sony memory sticks...
I have the Olympus 10X digital camera. A great little camera but it's double the price that you are looking at...
Try looking out of New York at some of the mail order camera stores... You can find them in the back of any Photography Magazine.. I bought mine in St Thomas and saved quite a bit. I will be going there again this coming March, 2004..
beware of cameras from New York, and other places, which are considerably cheaper than other online sites.
Many times they are what is called grey market merchandise and not covered under Warranty by the manufacturer. They are usually imported from other overseas markets.
some online stores have amazingly low prices, but after you order they will try and get you to buy overpriced accessories they say are required. (and aren't).. then I've heard where they'll do a recheck on the stock of the item you ordered.. and amazingly after you don't buy their expensive add-ons, the camera you ordered is out of stock. funny how that works. I read a bunch of articles about it when I was buying my camera almost a year ago, but don't remember the sites now.
maybe for a $200-$300 camera I wouldn't worry so much about a lemon, but when buying a $700 camera the last thing I wanted was defective merchandise and no one to turn to.
just be cautious when ordering online. if the price is too good to be true, it just might be.
I agree with you about new York but if you call them and ask for a US Warrenty at the time and if they are in stock you shouldn't have any problems. I have ordered through New York and only 1 time have I had a problem with an order. Just my .02 cents worth..