I need a point and shoot camera. Consumer Reports has the Canon PowerShot SD1400IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera as it's recommendation. I just wish it had a higher zoom and a view finder. A lot of people have told me they like the Nikon CoolPix, but my 13 year old daughter had one and the photos were terrible. Very grainy. I won't buy one again, even though I love my Nikon D50.
I'm taking it back. It takes too long to snap the photo. Esp. at night. When I tried to take a shot of my daughter jumping in the pool, she was already under water by the time the camera decided it would bother to take the photo. Maddening!
P&S cameras take longer to focus. Consider an entry level DSLR if you want fast focusing in order to get the shot or prefocus on the spot where you think the action will occur with a P&S. The DLSR can fire off several shots before the P&S is ready to open the shutter. Shutter lag has always been the bane of P&S cameras.
Maybe my D50's shutter speed has spoiled me. Does this mean my pursuit of a faster shutter speed P&S will be in vain? Do you know of a good comparison listing site? I haven't had a P&S in my hand in years!
Your D50 has definitely spoiled you (or showed you what is capable with a DSLR).
If you want action shots stick with your DSLR. If you want candid shots at the restaurant or shopping, movie clips of kids (or grand-kids), a camera you can carry in your pocket or purse for those "Gee, wished I had a camera now" moments, get a compact P&S camera. Better yet, get both. I use my DSLR for 95% of my photos but do love my compact for carrying with me about town.
P.S. it isn't the shutter speed that you should be concerned about. The P&S probably has shutter speeds as fast or almost as fast as a DSLR. What you are experiencing is shutter lag - the time between the time you press the shutter and the time it actually takes the picture. A DSLR is very fast ~ usually 1/10 of a second or less while a P&S may be a second of longer (older P&S cameras were very slow). A second is fast but for action shots you might miss it in that amount of time.
The other variable is start-up time. If your camera falls asleep, then for a P&S camera the start-up time might be several seconds while a DSLR is very fast.
Your info. and links are great and helping. I'm still looking at them and deliberating. I think I have my mind set on a Canon for some reason. Maybe the S90. The reviews plus the fact that photo examples I've seen of Canons are so CRISP. I'm down-loading the Nikon photos today and seeing if they are as crisp as I want. (The photo lag was reduced during the day photos, naturally, but not as good as I'm use to so I will have to adjust to that.)
I remember my first 3 cameras (Kodak, Nikon, Kodak to replace the bad Nikon) were all P&S / bridge cameras. If I knew an action shot was coming up then I kept hitting the shutter button to keep the camera awake and ready (once it fell asleep then I would have to power up again costing valuable seconds). Then I would prefocus an area (like a roller coaster or carousel) so I would hopefully catch the right moment (a lot of times it didn't). A DSLR delivers in these instances.
I have a Kodak DX3500 2.2 mega pixel camera I got at a Kmart that was going out of business years and years ago. It was 70% off so I bought it on the fly since I was living paycheck to paycheck back then. It takes amazingly good photos. The problem is, due to years of dropping, you have to hold the battery compartment and your mouth just right to get one, maybe two, shots off before it turns itself off. I wish I could fix it. It would be a great starter camera for my daughter to carry around with her on her hikes in the woods, to the beach on vacation, etc..