I still haven't found a camera to replace the one that broke. I think I want too much. I need something that is small enough to fit in a handbag so I can whip it out when I see something I want to snap. Because I want to carry it with me, it must be tough (the husband is convinced the old camera broke because I stopped using its case and have been keeping it with me in my purse; of course, that's the reason I suddenly started taking more spontaneous photos). I don't really care about the megapixels; for my purposes, the 5MP of my broken camera were adequate.
What I do want is a better zoom (most of the point and shoot cameras only give you a 3x optical zoom; of course, a lot of that has to do with size and lens), less shutter lag... and I don't want to spend a lot of money.
The Panasonic Lumix model I saw at Costco comes closest to what I'm looking for, but it's not perfect. For one thing, it's larger than I would prefer (but it has a 10x zoom). I can live with its size and the fact that it's not the most attractive camera I've ever seen, and the price is right: $179. But it has a drawback that might be categorized as a deal killer: There's no viewfinder. And the camera reviews I read stated that the image represented on its LCD screen are not accurate. So this camera would take some time to get used to.
A number of friends and family members have suggested other models that look good, but are lacking in other areas (such as that pesky zoom thing I've gotten hung up on). I'm afraid that I can only get the features I want in a camera like the one the husband got for his birthday, or an SLR -- and I'm not willing to spend THAT kind of money on this (nor would those cameras be easy to carry around in a handbag).
So I've put off the decision. And attended Megan's meet on Saturday armed with our video camera. And discovered that with this new computer, I finally have the capacity to easily play with video capture (there simply wasn't enough hard disk space to work with on my previous notebook).
So yesterday, I finally came late to the YouTube revolution. Here's my beautiful daughter on Floor, Vault and Bars. This was NOT her best performance (I decided to leave the Beam out entirely), and you will have to put up with my crappy camera skills (I blame it on camcorder design and my left-handedness -- it's just hard for me to hold and access the controls with my right hand). But it should give you an idea of what $330 per month plus meet fees and coach expenses is buying us: