DP Review just released it’s compact camera buying guide for 2008. You can see the review here. Click DP review. All of these cameras are less than $150. This is one of my favorite web sites. I will not buy any euipment until I have read the reviews on this web site. I am constantly getting stopped and people are always asking me camera buying questions. This site should be very helpful to you. This particular review tests cameras under $150, perfect for kids and family gifts. Remember that Megapixels are not the only standard of quality for a good camera. Each camera sensor reacts differently to color and light. You should focus your attention towards image quality not megapixels.
One of my favorite compact cameras is the Canon G10. I am a Nikon photographer but this Canon camera is amazing. It’s purchase price is $459. This camera has many professional features and it also can take movies. The hot shoe on top allows you to add a more powerful flash if you need one. The G9 model was $899 a couple of years ago. Canon added more features and upgraded the sensor to 14 megapixel then lowered the price – amazing. Check this camera out!