I'm looking for a P&S digital camera for my mother (xmas present). I know very little about them.
I've done some searching here and elsewhere and have a few bookmarks to show for it. I'd love to have some input from here though. The first, second and third most important features of the camera must be ease/simplicity of use. Otherwise she simply won't use it. My mother is brilliant in some ways, but is terrified of "technology". Nonetheless, she loves pictures. So...
My price range is fairly low, but anything from $150 to $300 could be considered. Thanks in advance.
We've had 2 Casios Eilim, the wife lost the first one. Very easy to use but get one with a charger stand. It has a Li-ion battery, all she has to do is put the camera in the charger stand press the USB bar, clearly marked, and she download the the pictures. Then hit the Charge bar and the camera charges. I'd get at least a 1 GB flash memory card and 2GB wouldn't be a bad idea if she doesn't delete pictures after downloading. I'd also shutoff the digital zoom, it just deteriorates the quality of the photos. http://exilim.casio.com/browse_cameras/choose
When it comes to easy-to-use camera, Casio must be the best choice.
The best-shot mode allows you to choose from a lot of preset scenes, including even the photos for applying VISA, food, and indoor party.
Exilim Zoom series is of quick response, which is essential to snap-shot.
The compact size is also a feature encouraging users to bring the camera with them all the time.
Exilim Hi-Zoom series is of slower response of zooming, due to the design of the lenses, but an appearance even more appealing for females.
The only shortcoming is probably the low ISO sensitivity.
I recommend Exilim for all beginners.
While I agree with danmarhk, looking at the new Casios it appears most do not have a view finder only the LCD screen, which can be a problem in really bright lighting, tough to focus using the LCD screen in really bright lighting. It's usually not a problem but I have run into on occasion. Unfortunately, a lot of newer cameras are eliminating the view finder.