I take lots of images. My digital camera right now is a Canon Power Shot S1 IS. It is above 7,000 images without any problems so far in a bit more than a year. I also have a higher resolution single lens reflex digital that I use at home when I need higher resolution and for some professional work, but most of the time I use the Canon Power Shot S1 IS.
I have had 6 other digital cameras including two early Kodaks and three Nikons. One of the early Kodaks lost its firmware once but it was fixed by downloading updated firmware on line. One of the Nikons had a switch wear out in less than a year and they repaired it free. It is now about six years old and the person who bought it from me is still using it a lot. My second Nikon had one defective pixel, but has worked very well for me and the person who bought it from me. And the third Nikon is about 4 years old, was repaired free once under warrantee, but now it started making corrupted images while on an assignment in Africa (for the person who bought it from me 18 months ago).
Here are the pros and cons of the Canon Power Shot S1 IS that I use now.
You can decide if it might fit your needs.
main GOOD features of the Canon Power Shot S1 IS
a good buy at a little over $200
10 x optical zoom
Image stabilization (steadies the lens to help avoid blurry shots from camera wiggle)
Nice images (in most casees, little or no manipulation needed to fix color, exposure, etc.)
Uses AA batteries and Compact Flash memory (commonly available)
It feels secure and steady in my hands (unlike some of tiny thin cameras)
main CONS of the Canon Power Shot S1 IS
1. zoom control is a bit too sensitive (too fast)
2. bulkier than many (but this may make it easier to keep track of and easier to hold steady)
3. only 3.2 megapixels (I generally get very nice quality up to 8 x 10 prints) My web site shows an example of a large group picture that I posted for printing. If you have a fast connection, feel free to take a look.
I am in front row, third from the left. I used a tripod and self-timer to take the picture. A few Photoshop adjustments were made.
4. The lens cap is a nuisance (hangs from a string and falls off easily)
5. No way to mount an external flash (the built-in direct flash is fine, but I like to use ceiling bounce)
Canon now makes similar higher resolution image stabilization cameras (S2 IS with 5 megapixels and S3 IS with 6 megapixels). The optical zoom on these is up to 12x and the movie feature on the S3 allows up to an hour of video. You can even take a high resolution digital still shot while the video is running.