This is not comprehensive. I simply thought I would relate my experience in selecting a digital camera, so that others might benefit. Basically it is an email exchange, in which I asked a friend, who is knowledgable about photography, for advice on selecting a digital camera. I ended up buying the Olympus XZ-1 (see my review on Amazon; a link to the product is below). I have pasted below the e-mail exchange:
My email to him:
Hey Alex, I just met up with [NAME] for lunch, which reminded me to
solicit your opinion on digital cameras. This one looks good (see
below). But my only worry is that I might be locked in to using Sony's
proprietary memory sticks. What do you think of this camera?
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V 16.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Still Camera
with 16x Optical Zoom G Lens, 3D Sweep Panorama and Full HD 1080/60p
Lucky you -- DPReview just published a comparative test featuring this Sony:
You'll see that Canon and Nikon win, and Sony follows close behind. However, I see very little reason to buy ANY of these cameras. I simply see ZERO use for the superzooms of such cameras. I also don't understand why in the world you would need 16MP, or anything above 10MP.
In my opinion, the absolutely BEST compact camera on the market is Olympus XZ-1. Primarily because of it's excellent lens, which allows to take quality pictures in relatively poorly illuminated conditions without the need to bump ISO (which ALWAYS results in noisy pictures).
BTW, CNet is a terrible place to read camera reviews. You don't want reviews from gadget people, you want reviews from photographers. Here are photographer reviews of XZ-1:
And here is DPReview take (DPReview is the oldest and probably most reputable photo equipment review site):