Monday was my birthday.

My parents and grandparents gifted me with what has been par for the course for my past couple of birthdays — money.

And once I had that money, it was burning a hole in my pocket something aweful because I knew exactly what I wanted to use it for.

A new camera.

I’d had my old camera four about 4 years, and it even new, it was never super high-tech. Lately, it hadn’t been working correctly either, and with a bambino on the way, being able to take better pictures was high on my priority list.

I checked out my options and ran them against my budget, and decided on a point-and-shoot, rather than the SLR I originally thought I wanted. The winning camera? Sony’s new 10.2 mega-pixel Cybershot with 10x optical zoom.

I decided on this camera over an SLR largely due to the price. Also, the Cybershot meet all of the things I was wanting my camera to do, which were:

  • Take clear, sharp photos
  • Be able to take great, clear photos of small things and up-close photos
  • Have good zoom capabilities
  • Allow me to have some control over settings with a manual mode
  • Be able to capture clear action shots (the Cybershot can shoot 10 frames per second in burst mode!)

I was also worried about the learning curve with an SLR, and figured this point-and-shoot could give me a lot of the qualities I liked in a SLR, but would still work in a way I’m familiar with. So far, I have been incredibly pleased. One of my favorite features this camera has is a panoramic function, that will automatically create a panoramic photo for you. This will be great for photos of hiking vistas, rooms, etc. and I’m excited to put it to good use!

I know lots of bloggers have SLRs and love them, so it was a little hard to give up the dream of having one, but for me right now I think this was the right choice. What about you? What kind of camera do you have?