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chewinggumBlue Oct 7, 2006 5:19 PM

So i've fallen in love with the CasioEX-z600. Besides it being an excellent camera, I admit that i was suckered in by a bright screen, sexy sleek design, and an ORANGE frame, but now i don't think i want to spend $300(+ mem card) on my digicam. This will be my first real digi cam, but I want to be able to take good creative pics and edit them with a program. I don't want an SLR yet b/c I'm a college student and size/conveniece is a factor. I want something that will give me good quality from concerts to close-ups.
I'm looking for:
-image quality and 5-6mgpix
-manual features(especially focus)
-very fast shot recovery**don't want to have to hold poses or miss shots
-atleast 3x optical zoom(the more the better)
-around $200(maybe a little more after memory card and such)
-possibly an antishake feature

I'm willing to go for a compact instead of an ultracompact- the tiny size of the casio is great but i can do without it.
I hear good things about the PowerShot's quality, but that the video is lacking(i don't need camcorder quality though). If anyone can suggest a good alternative to the z600(or maybe defend it) that would be freakin awesome.

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