I tested several digital cameras in the last two years and found
Panasonic to be the manufacturer of excellent cameras.
They use optics made by Leica, one of the worlds most famous brands for cameras.
I´ve been using the Pansonic DMC LC 40 for almost two years and was
never disappointed, the image quality is superior to most digital
cameras and the built-in automtic programs will give the best results
in almost all cirmustances in photography.
Point and Shoot ? Yes, but with excellent results.
The camera cost about $ 800 and was therefore out of your budget. But
as it is not manufactured any more it´s available at $ 199,95 at
The camera has the following features:
"4-Megapixel CCD yields up to 2240 x 1680 pixel images
LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 3x f/2 zoom (33 - 100mm 35mm equiv)
1.8-inch color LCD
320 x 240 QuickTime Movie mode w/audio up to 75 secs
Auto, Program AE, Aperture-priority, Shutter speed-priority and Scene
Auto Exposure Bracketing of 3 or 5 frames
Multi or Spot metering
Built-in multimode flash
ISO sensitivity; Auto, 100, 200 or 400 fixed
Five second audio notes can be attached to images
A/V output with selectable NTSC or PAL video
Epson PRINT Image Matching compatible
Secure Digital or MultiMediaCard removable storage
Lithium rechargeable battery 1400mAh and charger included"
( http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_reviews/lumix_lc40.html )
All you need (beside this great camera) to be able to take about 80
pictures is another Secure Digital (SD) Storage Card with 64 MB
available at the same shop as before for less than $ 50 as there´s
only a 16 MB card in the cameras standard supplies. The rechargeable
battery pack will have enough power for many more pictures.
The camera is delivered with easy to use transfer and image processing
software and connects to a standard PC with an USB cable.
I´m sure your father will be very pleased with a $ 800 value camera !
I hope this solves you problem. Please post a clarification request if
anything should still be unclear.
None, personal experience of the researcher.