Canon S3, around $250 from buydig last time I looked...
I just got a Canon S3 for myself. The numerous features are wonderful, however the EVF does not work as well in bright daylight as a simple optical viewfinder..
Also look up the Canon PowerShot A570 IS and Fujifilm FinePix E900 Zoom. Here are links to additional threads on the more serious point-and-shoot choices -.
As the recipient of a Nikon SLR at the age of 13 or so, an expensive gift from my father (admittedly after playing around with the Nikkormat camera he brought back from Japan and then begging and pleading for my own "real" camera for several years), my advice is to you is to extend your budget as much as possible, purchasing for her at minimum the D40 or a gently used D50..
30+ years later and I'm still shooting and loving every minute of it. That camera from my Dad sparked a passion that continues to this day (albeit many cameras later)..
If your daughter is really serious about photography, the investment you make now will return itself time and time again..
Now the Nikkormat is mine and that first SLR of my own, I still have it too. They both work beautifully and though sentimental I am not, I occasionally shoot with them (film!) just to re-appreciate the joy they provided as a teenager...
Does she go out with her camera for the dedicated purpose of taking pictures? if not, then it's likely to be a waste of money. a lot of people just bring their compact with them at the most. I believe the a720 at $200 has manual modes that she could use to learn. bridge cameras such as the fz18 or s5 at $330, or the older fz8 or s3 at $250, have full manual modes but aren't pocket cameras. the digital elphs are slick little toys, sd1000 at $180, sd750 at $220, sd800 at $240, sd870 at $300, though you are paying more for compactness and design than for camera. what happened to those days of just giving an ugly sweater? haha.
She can save and buy whatever she wants...
Another alternative - have her contribute to the purchase so she can buy the d40. I have a 15 year old daughter too. One reason I'd recommend she contribute besides the $ exceeds your budget is because I think if she has an investment in the camera she'll be more likely to take take care of it. I bought my daughter a sd750 in May 2007 for $275. She had it for 3 days when someone at school stole it..
But she may very well be happy with a bridge camera such as the s3 because it has the look and feel of a dslr...
To buying a camera. What about extra memory cards? A back-up battery, carrying case, etc. What about a computer to edit image files and then what about a printer?.
I find my vision to be somewhat short-sighted when I focus on only one aspect of any of my hobbies. I spent a lot of time figuring out the best camera I could get and worried about the cost of the camera. When I actually bought the camera, I didn't think twice about the other stuff I mentioned earlier..
Those additional costs add up!Matt..
Thanks for all the responses. I guess I haven't paid attention to the new cameras since I got the D70. It is amazing how much better and cheaper they are. The last one I had before the D70 was a Coolpix 5000, which I still think is a great camera, but it appears there are many models out there now that do all it did and more for 1/4 the price..
Since she doesn't live with me, I'm really not sure how serious she is. I think what I will do is give her some money and point out that she could save it towards a DSLR or get a camera now that is much nicer than the old one. Or get something else entirely.David Smithhttp://delawarewildflowers.org/..