It is time to declare my camera dead.
I have always been hard on cameras. They're dropped on pavement, they live in field bags populated with hard/heavy objects, they spend long days outside in the sun/rain, they get grit in their innards...
I got this camera in early 2008, right as I was starting my thesis fieldwork. Considering what it's been through, it's sort of miraculous it's lasted this long. And technically it's still useable even though all the silver paint has worn off the corners, most surfaces are scratched, the flash only works with fresh batteries, and it no longer communicates with my computer so I have to take out the memory card and put it in another device to download pictures.
My dad is a photographer and has Ideas about what sort of replacement camera I should get. Ideally, I'd ask for a new camera for Christmas, but I'm not sure I can wait that long.
I have a few major camera requirements: must be durable, must be easy to turn the flash on/off, and must have good optics/a decent optical zoom range (for a point and shoot model). At this point in technology, the number of megapixels available is sort of beside the point.
I know that at least a couple of my readers are fairly serious photographers. What's your current gear, and what do you like/dislike about it? Do you even still have a dedicated camera, or do you just use your cellphone?