I am considering a new camera for my upcoming tour. I have used a Cannon A560 (7 mega pixels) which is ok but I'd really like sharper pictures with more detail. I'm really not that into photography so spare me all the lingo - I'd just be interested in suggestions of a really good portable point and shoot (digital of course) that would be an improvement over what I have.
Then you cannot appreciate the information you've received so far. Rather like asking for "a recommendation for a touring bike but spare me the bike lingo."
"Sharper" pictures and "more" detail are wasted if you're going to email little jpegs from the road. You don't need 7mp. You only need about 1.5 but it's impossible to find a good low density camera these days. But it's the glass, not the mp of the sensor, that determines most performance characteristics. You don't want to pay for glass you can't appreciate but if you want glass: Panasonic and Leica.
Buy a camera based on how easily it works in full-auto, not your objective opinion of the image quality, since you don't really know or care how the thing works. Try to find a unit that has few options, few menus, and few modes.
Can you operate the buttons wearing bike gloves? Can you upload or offload the card while traveling at, say, a public library or coffee shop? Will it survive the rain, a drop, or a dip? Can you afford to lose it, have it stolen, or break it without getting all weirded out?
Make sure you purchase at least one spare battery, a good protective case, and a lanyard because you want to have it strapped to your hand or your bike or you will drop it and I've seen horrible wrecks caused by dopes trying to catch a camera.
david boise ID