* an SLR would have been advisable when he was younger, but a nice,digital point and shoot will be a great upgrade over his bulky filmcamera which he has insisted on using up until this point..
Buying a camera for someone else is hard..
1. You don't mention what his film camera was. It's important not to give him something too different. Was it an all automatic thing or one with PASM controls?.
2. I don't know about his eyesight preferences but I wear multifocal glasses and I have friends who should wear glasses but won't. Find out whether he is used to putting the camera up to his eye or whether he can see the LCD clearly at arm's length. I would go for a large LCD screen and an optical viewfinder / EVF just in case old habits are hard to break.
3. How steady are his hands? Non digital IS would be an idea in any case..
4. What does he shoot? Tourist pics? From his shots, are they wide or tele - you can then choose a wider cam or a more tele cam.
5. Does he like to really grip a camera or is he ok with pack of cards size? That will tell you whether he wants a larger cam or a smaller cam..
The SD870 IS is a really nice camera and you already know how to work it. But, a larger camera like an SX100 IS or S5 IS might be easier to hold...
Agree with previous post. if he is used to a older slr he may not like having to view the lcd screen to shoot. my wife has a nice ps which I am totally lost using. I prefer my d40. take him to the store with you and let him feel and use. if you buy him a camera he is not comfortable with he will stop shooting and thats not worth anything. the new dslr with af lens are very lightweight and easy to use and may keep him in his comfort zoneswampers..
My native language is Dutch, so please, if I say stupid things, just ignore them ..
-If he was using a manual Film SLR he likely will appreciate the formfactor of the olympus e4x0 series..
- for traveling ( landscapes) and family gatherings (many people in a smal room) Wideangle option is terrific..
- old people often like their gadget of not to minaturized size: have a look at e.g. not the canon SD/ixus but the Canon powershoot a5xx, a7xx or a6xx with the later he might appretiate the swivel display ( or not).
- My Mum (65) woudl never ever use a camera without an optical viewfinder Viewfinder is important if he is needing reading glases.- what was his old camera? This might give you hints on reuqirements in lenses- if he was using the cameras of other family members: which one did he liked?.
If you do not give any further information recommendations are hard..
Some ideas:- olympus e420 for small dSLR- canon powershot for old fashioned p&S feel- ricoh gx100/200 a compact for the more creative photographer.
- nikon p50, the ONLY current option with optical viewfinder and wideangle in p&S.
- Panasonics TZ series or Ricoh R series for compact travel zoom ( tele and wideangle), e.g. for someone who had an entryleve AF-SLR with a 28-200 zoom before.....
One thing I would say is that Panasonics have the easiest menus to understand, in my view. The TZ5 might be a good choice..
For some Casio and Kodak compacts you can get a docking unit for recharging. Then no more need to fumble a battery(s) in and out of the camera..