OK, now I want a digital SLR and a camera phone. I think I will wait a couple of years though for a digital SLR.
(Via Tim Bray's excellent On Digicams - I want Tim's ideal digicam - pocket sized, indestructible, 5 megapixels, wide angle, extreme telephoto, instant on, no shutter lag and ISO 1600. Well I can dream, can't I? ) - From Classes of Digital Cameras © 2004 KenRockwell.com:
Yes, of course I'm opinionated and of course this page contains generalizations.
For a small snapshot camera get a $300 point-and-shoot. I have one, love it, and take it everywhere.
If you want to spend a grand for serious digital photography forget the expensive p/s cameras and go straight to any DSLR. Since you can get a far superior DSLR for what you used to have to pay for just a p/s as of 2004 I see no need for the expensive p/s digital cameras.
The reason we still have expensive p/s cameras today is because camera companies still have two sets of development and marketing teams, one for each class of camera, so there are still people at these companies pushing the expensive p/s cameras even though the DSLRs made by the same company are better for the same price. Other companies, like Sony, don't make any real DSLRs and of course they will promote their p/s cameras.
Don't waste $1,000 on a point and shoot unless you really want to trade off ease of use, speed and image quality for a little size and weight.