camera research

After selling my Fujifilm F30 to my dear mother (yes, it's ok to do business with your mother), I am now in the process of buying a new compact digital camera. I've been doing quite a bit of online research and after breakfast at Mother's today, Jen and I went to the local Camera World store. Usually, I find it quite informative to hear what a local camera expert might have to say. Today I did not. Nor did I talk to an expert.

Here's our conversation:

Mario: Tell me, what's your favorite compact camera?
Camera non-expert, holding a venti Starbucks cup picks up a Nikon S51, throws it in the air, let's it drop onto the floor before picking it back: This one.
Mario: Wow, you just broke that camera.
Camera non-expert, still holding a venti Starbucks cup:
Nope, do it all the time. All these cameras are shockproof. Some choose to advertise it, others don't.
Mario: Why is it your favorite?
Camera non-expert: Best bang for the buck. Most camera for the money.Hands down.
Mario: Ok, what's your second favorite?
Camera non-expert:
How much underwater shooting do you do?
Mario: Ahem, none.
Camera non-expert: Ok, so no need to look at this one then (pointing at Pentax Optio).
Mario: that camera shockproof?
Camera non-expert: Nope.  

Needless to be said, I didn't buy a camera today. Here are the three cameras that I am considering. What do you think?

Nikon Coolpix S51

Canon SD 870
Panasonic Lumix FX 30K

Next entry is #1,000. Stay posted.