In preparation for our trip South, and as a birthday gift from the family I recently received a new toy that I'm thrilled with! Previously I had a point and shoot 3.1 Mega Pixel Canon AS-200 digital camera, and while I was generally happy with it I found myself longing for more features and better quality shots, particularly in the zoom department. After much research, and a lot of wavering back and forth, I decided upon the Canon PowerShot S5 IS. It's not quite a digital SLR but offers a respectable 8 Mega Pixel resolution, 12 X optical zoom, facial recognition (up to 9 subjects), and many manual settings as well as fully automatic mode, all for around $450. On top of this there are available lens adapters, including a wide angle or telephoto lens that can be added to round out the options and bring this camera a step closer to the DSLRs. There is a video mode which, unlike many others, allows you to zoom while filming and many settings that I'm just learning to use. I'm really enjoying this camera.