I've had the Canon Powershot S5IS for a couple months now, and I'm very happy with how it performs. It's pricier than many other point and shoot cameras (at about $400), but I find it well worth the cost. The 12x zoom, combined with the image stabilization, produces some great close up shots of objects you normally wouldn't be able to capture. The 8MP is more than enough for what the sensor can handle, and produces wonderfully crisp prints (I've made prints up to 8x10, and they all came out fine). My absolute favorite feature of this camera is the supermacro mode, which allows you to take exceptional macro shots. There are only a couple drawbacks to this camera. The first is something you're not going to get away from, no matter what camera you go with, but is a drawback nonetheless. There is a noticable amount of noise at higher ISO settings. Also, I think Canon went a little far with one of the design features. The lens cap is designed to pop off when the camera turns (and the lens extends). This is truly great for anyone who has a habit of forgetting to take the lens cap off before taking pictures, as it is IMPOSSIBLE. However, the lens cap is SO easy to take off that I find it coming off when I don't want it to (for example, it will come off as I put the camera into its case, if I'm not careful). These two drawbacks aren't enough to change my overall opinion of the camera. I think it's a great camera for the price (and truly, you'll have to move up to a DSLR to beat it): not too heavy (though it is a tad bit bulky), great zoom (I really wouldn't suggest going to Panasonic, even though they have an 18x zoom), and takes crisp, color-accurate pictures. I'd definitely recommend it.