I have heard a lot of really positive things about a Canon G9. I don't own one personally, but look into it, I think you will find it is a very good camera...
When you get down to the design details, P&S cameras come in a lot of different flavors. And picking through those details is a personal process. So what I am about to say is merely personal preference, not hard facts..
In my view the Canon A650 does a nice job, lots of nice feature. However, that the rotating lcd on the back bulks up the camera so much that it is no longer a pocket sized compact. That back design makes more sense on a larger camera, like the Canon S3 IS. Which is a camera that I once owned. For a "heavy hitter" Canon compact I like their SX100 better..
Just had a play with the Canon SD790 in the store. It REQUIRES you to rotate the main control disk on the back to select scenes. With my clumsy fingers I found this to be really awkard. Kept pushing (accidently) while rotating the stupid thing. Such a push would set off one of the other functions, dropping the camera completely out of the scene settings I was trying to work with. No doubt our i-pod generation would see this issue completely differently.
My newest camera is a Fuji F45fd. Wonderfully capable, but the control scheme has plenty of quirks. For example, in my view the Auto white balance gives poor results in daylight. So I mostly shoot in Manual mode, where I can select the WB myself. Thus I would not reccommend this camera as a P&S for dummies. And yet other Fuji fans are convinced that the Auto WB does a great job..
And so it goes. The devil really is in the details. Thus make sure you purchase from an outfit that makes returns easy. Or be prepared to fork a few brand new cameras over to E-bay .....
Yeah I was thinking about the G9, but it is simply too pricey for me, and I heard that the A650 uses the same sensor and lens (just different filter) making it a very close second..
Thanks for the suggestion though...
I'll have a play with the A650 and decide on if it really is too big for me..
Regarding the 790, if I find the back wheel fine, does the picture quality stand strong against the likes of the A650? Good photos in a variety of lighting?.
Steve's site has tested both cameras -.
In both cases the thumbnails shown look Ok. You would need to download the full size files to make detail comparisons..