My son's birthday is the 9th of May, mine is the 1st. My wife bought me a Nikon N75, and I bought our son one. I got a tripod, basic UV filters for both, carry cases, batteries and some film. Total outlay was kept in the $700 range thanks to some deals online. Yeah, I like to buy local but when we're talking a difference of $300 and even then I would still be dealing with a major 'player' (Wolf) I go where the low price is. Anyhow - totally happy with the N75 thusfar. I was going to get a field view camera for myself and work on my actual photography skills vs. letting the camera handle it all. Well, it doesn't handle it -all- there's still MUCH to be said for composition (it's everything, really - a shot isn't much without it), but I have found a few things out. 1. When with our son I don't have time to fiddle with a camera. I'm too busy, frankly. Having fun, talking - being dad (new experience for me - he's my stepson - at 16, and me 27). Plus we have the same thing, so it's easy for him to look to me for what I'm doing. 2. Point and shoot is definately a plus with kids around, younger and older ones. They do the funniest things, and they won't repeat it for you. Shot's gotta be pretty close to right within a few seconds. Enter the automatic modes. I need to work on my skills, so I can take better photos. But the reality is I'm an amatuer photographer. I don't get paid for my work, and frankly I need to be a professional dad first. For this kind of work, I HIGHLY recommend this camera. Shots thusfar have been excellent. I'm told almost universally that it's THE BEST point-n-shoot SLR for full-auto fun (in the sub-$300 range anyhow). I'd have to agree. Pictures come out well considering the effort put in (almost none). Despite all this the few shots I've taken my time at have come out quite well. I have 11 exposures of Meerkats in B&W from the zoo. They're quite close to you, so I'm hoping for some good detail and relief of the subtle contrast between them and the background. They're also pretty cute. Sometime later in life I'll perfect my viewcamera technique, or at least have fun with it. It's easy to get buried by the "WOW, look at that picture Ansel took with his 8x10 view camera" feeling when you're shopping for equipment. Don't let it happen. Stay within your budget and leave some left over for processing (film or digital or just batts, which digicams eat quick) and a trip somewhere worth taking pictures of.