For travelling, I would have (until yesterday) recommended the Sony Cybershot series. I say until yesterday, as the lens of my Cybershot DSC-T20 vibrates, the whole camera shakes, and basically won't take a photo. I bought this on Hong Kong when they first came out, just over a year ago. After looking it up on the net, turns out there was a product recall on the very same model, with the very same problem. Unfortunately, Sony are only acknowledging select serial numbers, and guess who has a different serial number?
Though they take a relatively crisp image, (see my Hong Kong photo's) this doesn't last long. To make matters worse, it's not just this model; it seems all the cybershots have had their problems, right the way through the range...in short, steer clear.
Just thought I'd throw something in about DSLR's, in case anyone was looking into getting one. Though I'd outline the very basics, cos I was very confused when first getting into the world of DSLR's! There's loads to consider, and lots of hidden costs. Also so much to read you end up going in circles.
I'd say that my Canon 400D is a very decent camera - The one thing that surprised was that it's actually pretty small!
Although DSLR Canon bodies are pricey, it is ALL about the lens. I can take shit photos on my £400 camera by just sticking a rubbish lens on it, and equally, you could take an amazing shot with a £2,500 lens.
Turns out loads of people were raving about the new 'kit' lens that comes bundled with most Canons now - as opposed to the shitty plastic ones they used to put on them. I think its called the 18-55 IS lens? Mixed reviews from what I've read, but I love it, takes a lovely sharp image.
One of the best lenses ever is called the 'nifty 50' - the f.1.8 50mm canon lens - mine cost about £50 and it is amazing, especially in low light..so it is possible to do well on the cheap...
Coming into DSLRs new, I'd definitely go with the 400D, and spend some extra cash on guaranteed sweet lens or two. Without going into how lenses operate, its hard to tell you much about lenses...
In short, the 'faster' a lens, the lower the F number, which means the 'less' light it needs to take good shots. EG f4.5 compared to f1.8 - the 1.8 can take decent shots in relative dark compared to the 4.5.
Sometimes this can make ENORMOUS price differences. The same 'zoom' lens, the 50mm, is about £60 at f.18, and about £400 at f.1.0!!
Landscapes - you need wide angle to get as much in - ie lowest zoom mm numbers - the kit lens is pretty wide at 18-55 (but remember its x1.6=28mm - normal human vision is kinda 35mm). That'd do you.
Batteries and memory cards obviously to budget for.
Canon's own battery is £60. Balls to that - I got two 'non brand' canon copies for £12 and can't tell the difference when it comes to holding charge.
Memory coming down massively. I went for several lower GB cards rather than one giant one in case of catastrophic failure and losing all photos off one card.
Unless you're prepared to pay silly money, a 'full frame' sensor camera is out of the question - you'll be getting a crop frame (mine is also crop), which means the sensor multiplies the image by 1.6 - so a 100mm lens actually zooms in at 160mm. Good for long distance, bad for wideangle - my wideangle lens on my film camera is amazing, but less wide on my digital camera, takes in way less, almost looks normal.
In short - 400D with kit lens, plus maybe a 50mm 1.8 for £60 would be pretty damn good. for under £400.
Huge review there, sorry...just got started and didn't know where to finish!