Looking for a Cheap Digital Camera, Suggestions?

Beeblebrox237

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Beeblebrox_237
I'm looking to get an inexpensive digital camera. It doesn't have to be really fancy, but I want good image quality and ease of use. I wouldn't mind having a few extra features, though. I would also prefer that it used AA batteries, or something easily replaceable. I've been looking at cameras on Amazon and have a few ideas, but I want to consult some experts. Of course, I want something cheap, so I'm not expecting perfection.

So, general requirements:
-Cheap, preferably less than $150, less than $120 if possible
-Good image quality, sharp, good colour
-Does not use a rechargeable battery
-Easy to use
-At least 4x zoom, but more would be appreciated
-Must not have a touch screen that must be used to take photos
-Large image size?
-A few goodies? Two listed below
--Adjustable exposure
--Adjustable shutter speed

Possibilities (most expensive to cheapest):
-Pentax Optio WG-1
-Canon PowerShot SX150 IS
-Panasonic DMC-FH25K
-Canon PowerShot A2300
-Nikon Coolpix S6100
-Canon PowerShot A1300
 
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TB

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Looking at what you'd like the camera to have, and ignoring any form factor issues, I'd suggest the Canon PowerShot SX150 IS. Including shipping it stretches your budget by about $10 but considering the huge list of shooting modes, the 12x optical zoom and image stabilization (to be able to actually use that zoom) I think it'd be worth the extra.
 

Beeblebrox237

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Hmm, I'll put that on my list of possibilities. It sounds fantastic, and has everything I'm looking for. The problem with that is that my parents are going to pay for part of it, but I don't know how much. I don't want to spend much of my own money on it, because I'm a cheapskate, and I'll be going to university next year. Which is expensive.

I've added a short list of possibilities to the OP, so that you all can see what I'm looking at. Feedback/experience with those would also be helpful.
 
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Pupik

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My wife has the Canon A1100 Powershot (bought it in 2010), and I suppose it's merely okay for a $120 camera.

I find it to be rather disappointing, with grainy/over-sharpened images, lack of color (nearly every shot seems like 16-bit color). Zooming is a joke; the image quality is very fuzzy at anything more than a slight zoom from its widest setting. You'll get 50-80 shots from a pair of standard AA batteries.

It's not a bad indoor flash camera, or if there's lots of light. It does have many different pre-set settings and a little bit of a "creative zone" exists to make slight changes on the fly. Video recording is actually not that bad for the money, and you can zoom in/out while you record.

I'm a Canon devotee, so it hurts me a little to say I think you could do better. I'm probably biased a bit due to DSLR usage, but I think the previous Kodak we had was a better overall point-and-shoot camera, in terms of image quality (it was from 2005).

If you're going away to school, perhaps something like the Pentax Optio WG-1 (about $180) might be up your alley: Waterproof, a little more shock resistant, has a neat macro feature. The Nikon Coolpix has an interesting 240fps feature, but I can't find an exact price for it; two people I know have it, and that feature alone geeks me out.
 
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Beeblebrox237

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Yeah, I've read mixed reviews of the cheap cameras. I want something I can use outside, and get good, sharp, colourful photos. I'll look into your suggestions, thanks for the input! :)

EDIT: How is the Nikon's picture quality? They have some nice, affordable models. Also, can you own it and not ever use the touch screen? I really, really don't want to have to use the touch screen in anyway when actually taking a photo, whether it be focusing, positioning, or shutter operation.
 
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Solo

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We have this as a family point and shoot and it produces some great images and is very easy to use: Panasonic lumix and it comes out right on your budget of $150
 

BobK

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Massachusetts, USA
I'm a little late to the party, but a few weeks ago I picked up a Canon Powershot A1300 and I'm very pleased with it. It's 16 MP (4608x3456), powered by two AA cells, and has a 5x optical zoom. Basically it has everything on your list except for the adjustable exposure. You can set the ISO speed but not the shutter nor aperture.

The best part is it can be found for under $100.

I got just under 400 shots from the set of alkalines that came with the camera. I have no idea how long a pair of NiMH's will last, they haven't run out yet.

One increasingly rare feature is the camera has a viewfinder; this was pretty much the sole reason I bought the camera; it was the only point & shoot I could find that had one.

The picture quality is, of course, what you'd expect from Canon.
 

Beeblebrox237

Two heads, no brains...
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Beeblebrox_237
Thanks, both Soloracer3 and BobK. I havent' bought one yet, mainly because I haven't haggled with my impossible stubborn father yet. However, when I do, I'll keep both of those cameras in mind. I was a bit worried about a cheap camera's image quality, but I'm glad to hear that it's good.