Photographic classes are great.
They teach you what a camera can do.
There are many cameras with manual controls in your price range.
Here are some for $300 and under:
Fujifilm has the following:
F710 (Europe/England only)
E550 (Take a good look at this one)
Canon has the following:
A95 (This one has a swivel LCD - many possibilities)
Kodak has the following:
DX7630 (this one is normally over $300 but it is being discounted right now ... shop around)
I'm looking for a camera that can be used as a very good point and shoot, but I would also like it to have some manual controls (focus, exposure, etc.) so I can practice being artistic with the few things I learned in the photography classes I took . I also need it to be less than $500, preferably around $300 or less (of course).
I found the Fujifilm FinePix F700 which seems to have about the right qualifications, but of course the review on cnet says that it might have bad compression and will sometimes leave artifacts. Is that really something to worry about or will it most likely not happen that often?
Gladly accepting any comments about the Fuji or any recommendations ~ Thanks.