Ladies and Gentlemen, meet my camera, Little Fighter (yes, he's named!):
In the words of Matthew Morrison (yes, that Matthew Morrison aka Mr. Schue on Glee): "That camera's been through hell!"
Indeed, Mr. Schue, it has! I can't even remember when I bought this camera but I think it was 2006. To give an indication, it's a PowerShot SD750 and I know SD1400s now exist. To his credit, I drove to 3 Target stores before I found Little Fighter because back then this model was sold out all over. It has been a good, loyal camera-friend, even after I dropped it on its face mid-photo-snap and busted the lens cover on Halloween 2007 (Gasp, right?!). But it's time to grow up and get a new camera.
Technology has vastly improved since I bought Little Fighter and I am so not camera educated. Clearly DSLRs are the big thing right now and I kind of feel like it would be stupid to not get one. But (as you can see from my pictures above), I'm a throw-it-in-your-purse-so-you-can-whip-it-out-at-a-moments-notice kind of picture taker. Obviously since The Great Camera Debacle of Halloween 2007 I permanently affix my safety strap to myself and when Little Fighter was new it was in the most protective case you could imagine. So I'm not a total camera moron.
With Black Friday quickly approaching and myself being a borderline Black Friday Maniac, this is prime time for camera buying! Ideally my camera budget is $350 (because it's Black Friday). This may be wishful thinking with DSLRs but you never know what kind of insane deals Best Buy & Target might throw my way come November 25. I don't really know how to stay within budgets anyway, so it's almost as if anything goes under $600 (because I can buy a reasonable DSLR right this second on Amazon for that price).
Here's where you come in: anybody have any advice?! My main use would be personal (family, blog, vacations, etc) and I would want something that will maintain quality for a long time (so long as I don't drop it!).
Right now I've been leaning toward the Canon Digital Rebel line or Canon EOS Rebel line but I've also looked at Nikon's D3100. As far as simple point & shoots go, the Canon PowerShot S95 has caught my eye. I'm not against getting both: a DSLR for myself & a cheapie-ish point & shoot from my mom since she wants to know what I want for Christmas around $200. I am so confused & need more Black Friday ads to leak (Target, I'm talking to you!)!!
Thanks for your help,
11/25 UPDATE: After studying cameras in my price point & scouring the Black Friday Ads, I got the Canon Rebel T3 for $449 with kit lens, a free camera bag & 8GB memory card on Amazon on Black Friday! WOO HOO!! I couldn't be happier!!