I am now the proud owner of a Sony Cybershot DSCW-55, which I’ll use for the remainder of my trip around the Bay Area to take some photos, after my Canon Powershot failed. I got it from Best Buy for the bargain price of $240 including a 1GB memory card. Not bad for a 7.1MP camera, especially given that current exchange rates almost halve that price when converting to pounds.
Easy-to-use Sony design - the build quality seems pretty good too. Normally I avoid Sony in the same way I avoid Apple - I just don’t understand the fuss (sorry Apple fans). This time, the bargain price swayed it for me.
Much slimmer and lighter than my Canon.
Goes all the way up to ISO 1000 (my Canon only does ISO 400). It remains to be seen how much noise there is at this level, but it’s still nice to know it can do it. I shoot in low light a lot, and hate compact-camera flash almost on principle.
Not quite as many features as my Canon. It won’t do aperture-priority, shutter-priority, etc. I can do without these for the time being.
No gravity sensor. It remains to be seen how annoying this will become, but Picasa makes rotating easy so hopefully it won’t be a big problem.
Only a 3x optical zoom. Not sure what this translates to in old numbers, but it ain’t much.
US charger - of course I didn’t expect anything different, but will have to solve this in the UK somehow.
US-only warranty - didn’t expect anything different either, but just decided to take the risk - that’s an easier decision to make with $240 than the ~$1000 the 400D would have cost.
I’m really not sure what I’ll do when I return to the UK. It probably depends on how many the Canon will cost to fix. I might sell it on Ebay once fixed and part-buy an SLR with the proceeds (I really should have followed Adrian’s advice originally and bought the 400D in the UK). I don’t really want to keep it; I’m most unimpressed with Canon now, and I get the impression the Sony will probably do everything I want from a compact. We’ll see.