I am on my third digital camera in seven years. I recently did a lot of research and I am very happy with my choice. I purchased a Kodak EasyShare DX 7440. It is a 4 megapixel, 4x optical zoom. I just used it exclusively on a 5 week trip an I am very happy with the results. It has great automatic settings for every situation, but it also offers full manual control. It has very fast startup, and very little shutter lag. I also like the extra large and bright LCD display. I would suggest trying different software, such as Picasa 2, rather than the included software. Oh, and it will come in well under your price range.
I am in the market for a new digital camera and have very little idea of how to begin as I have never owned a digital camera before. I have some limited experience with std. photography using fully manual SLR cameras.
I'd like to be able to take snapshots with the ability to have some manual controls if I start getting 'into it' more.
Picture quality is important. I'd like the ability to make larger prints if I actually shoot something worthwhile.
The size of camera is not that important, although smaller would be nice.
I would like a good macro feature.
Did I mention I have a budget? I would like to stay around $300-$350 before accessories.
There seems to be a ton of choices in this price range and I'm overwhelmed. Any advice and user experiences (good or bad) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.