I would particularly welcome advice from people who already own one of the following models, but anyone with some photographic knowledge is welcome.
A little about me: I am a keen amateur photographer and I have had a succession of beaten up old SLRs in my time. I like to take shots that are something more than just snaps - the word I'm trying to avoid is probably 'arty', but I do strive for something well-composed and beautiful. I'd like to be able to play about with over-rides.
I'll probably be putting images on LJ a lot but I'd like to think I could print them out to a reasonable size if need be. I'd also like something I can take quick shots as well as composed pictures with.
land_girl recommended the Canon Ixus I as being compact and value for money. It is 4 megapixels. Comments on Amazon seem to bemoan the lack of an optical zoom, but are otherwise enthusiastic. It's quite good-looking too. Oh and it has a function that allows you to take pics without a delay between pressing the button and the shutter release.
And all by myself, I had plumped for a Canon Powershot A70 , only 3 megapixels (but I understand that is enough for most peoples' needs?) and with an optical zoom. It's a bit more bulky, but that is down to its AA batteries - might seem like a downside, but many reviewers mention it as a bonus, as these batteries can be bought anywhere.
Hmm - advice please. My paycheque came today and it's burning a hole in my pocket!
Oh, also, if anyone has recommendations for/experience of a fairly cheap tripod, that would be very welcome too.