I've clearly been spending too little time on the forums since today is the first time I saw this thread. I've always liked the Canon A-series point and shoot cameras and have had three of them over the years. One of the things that I liked about them was they all had optical viewfinders which is definitely useful for outdoor photography. The one that I have now (got it about a year ago) is the SX-130is and it's my favorite one to date. It doesn't have the optical viewfinder but the LCD is very bright and works well outdoors. The thing I love about it is that it has a long zoom (12x) with optical image stabilization. This is great for a small P&S. It also has a full range of manual controls for when you want them but works very well in full auto. There are lots of good choices in P&S cameras these days and I'm sure that the ones that others have suggested are equally worth considering. Always good to get first hand opinions from people that you know. Good luck with whatever you decide on. We'll be looking forward to seeing the pictures!