I have a canon 560. It is great. . . not indestructable. 2yo threw it and now the little fold-out screen no longer works. But, it does still take pictures. . . you just have to use it the old fashioned way.
Oops - I'm groggy this morning. Had to fix the brand name from the previous comment...We bought a Nikon D40 last year and it's fabulous. It's basically an SLR type digital with a much larger aperture than your point-and-shoots) and so it takes quite good pictures indoors in lower lighting. Indestructible, perhaps not, but we did drop it once or twice (rather significantly) and it's still plugging away. No extras like video or pull-out screens.
Olympus has a couple of shock-proof, waterproof cameras that can be dropped from 6 ft and submerged in 30 ft. of water and come out just fine. I think they are the 760sw and 1000sw and 1100sw. Not 100% sure of the model names but they all include SW (for 'shock and water" I assume). check http://www.steves-digicams.com/ for further research and reviews.
The Canon family is awesome. We have the big 12X zoom camera and a smaller one. I have taken these cameras through Europe on our jobsites and they take phenomenal pictures and are easy to use.- Deb
The canon I had was pretty decent. The shutter on that was broken off a few months ago too...but I just kept it in a case (not that it matered the kids still got hold of it from time to time). Alas, I straight up lost it. I think it was a 560 or 570...or maybe 540...5 something. They have the exact same camera at the PX for about $110, which is much less than when I bought it last year. I had given my dh specific instructions to buy me the exact same one, but he brought me home a Sony instead (pink too). So now I have the Sony Cyber Shot 10.1 megapixels. I believe it was about $130 at the PX. The only feature it doesn't have is the see through lense (which the canon had). So if the LCD screen ever goes out, that will be it for this camera. But when my man thought he was bumping me up a notch in technology, so I'm not going to complain for now.
We had a Nikon Coolpix for a while. It's a nice easy camera, user-friendly, takes videos, solid construction. If you want something more professional, the Nikon D40 is incredible beyond words. I *love* mine. Even if you're not a great photographer, the camera still takes amazing pictures. Unfortunately, it doesn't meet one of your stipulations, and is currently being fixed after the lens was squished under the feet of a stomping toddler. Before that, we have dropped it a couple times with no damage done.
I have 2 Canon A560s because in the move last year I lost the software disk and I couldn't load the pictures into my new laptop so dh bought a reconditioned one off the internet. I love it, very easy to use and I let Mary (9) take pictures with one. I don't know about survivability, we haven't dropped one yet.
ditto on the Olympus-- someone else commented We have the 725 SW it has been dropped it has a "rubber camera case cover" helps when it's dropped. We've done the underwater picture with great results and protection in rain. Fits in a tee shirt pocket. bought the longer neck cord to replace the wrist cord it comes with viewer on back good size I think price wise it was $200 plus If I would read the manual I'd learn to do a lot of stuff with it besides take a simple picture! I know becuase my niece likes cameras and when she takes a picture with this it's definitely great!
one other thing, it has a float cord for espeically boating. It works when it went overboard it floated and we didn't lose the camera. We had a previous cannon loved the pictures damaged it by dropping it it was a $900 ditigal camera need I say more.
I've written about my nearly indestructable Kodak Easy Shares before. I'm on number three in about 7 years and they've ALL tumbled multiple times down hard stairs, been left in the rain, dried in the dryer, kicked across rooms, left in extreme hot and cold and they've all lasted so long and taken nice pictures. Plus, they are EL CHEAPO!
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