After going to a professional camera shop and answering some basic questions, my salesperson suggested the Cannon 550, 560, and 570is. After doing research online, I decided to spend the extra bucks on the 570is. The first time I really used it hardcore was on a six-day amusement park trip this summer. A few things to keep in mind with this camera:
1) Good luck finding it at any of the Big Box stores like Best Buy of Circuit City. I was trying to price-compare, and they don't carry it in stock. Your experience however may differ. Unfortunately, the Photo store did not price-match, but this actually came in handy. See no. 2.
2) Read both manuals or take both with you. You would think that the Advanced manual would cover all the topics outlined in the Basic Manual, but that is not the case.
Since it was a small photo shop, I was able to get ahold of my salesperson from Kennywood, and she walked me through how to change the resolution size which comes set way too big.
3) Get the Engergizer Lithium batteries (or comparable) instead of the Alkalines. They last forever.
If you do stick with the Alkalines, try to find a higher-end brand like a Kodak or Fuji meant for high-power usage like digital cameras. Otherwise, you'll be going through alkalines very rapidly.
4) The movies it shoots come out brilliantly, but be careful not to the turn the camera vertically (or conversely horizontally) while shooting.
Due to a gyroscope inside of the camera, the viewfinder will automatically rotate, and the rest of your movie will be in the wrong orientation. Sometimes I find I have to turn the camera to get it back in the proper orientation even when shooting pictures.
Otherwise, a fantastic camera, and the software that comes with it (for the Mac at least) is great as well.
They got it last year around the 4th of July and I took video at the fireworks from the boat, still have yet to see the video, but they say it did good video. When I have money, I am getting one like it. I just got to pay off my laptop and video camera first. *** Edited 1/17/2008 2:19:48 AM UTC by Jeff***
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