questionsquick: which camera?

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dpreview.com is an excellent source for comparisons and reviews. Also, read the Amazon customer reviews for further insight.

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I'd say it's between the two Coolpix models. The lower end Canon models don't compare as favorably as they used to.

What the s4100 has that the s3100 doesn't:
1) More camera body colors

2) 3-in., high-resolution 460k-dot, wide-viewing angle TFT LCD monitor (COOLPIX S4100 only)
The touch panel makes operations easy and intuitive with features such as the Touch Shutter and Subject Tracking. In addition, text and decorations can be applied to photos taken with the camera, and a sliding finger motion can be used to view photos one at a time. What's more, the shooting display has been streamlined and is easier to use with the adoption of a new graphical user interface (GUI) that uses a tab system so that the menu icons displayed with shooting are visible only when they are needed.

Got it from: http://www.nikon.com/news/2011/0209_cpx-s_02.htm

I'd say the $15 more for the much better screen is worth it. The s3100 screen is 2.3", half the resolution, and no touch.

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I agree with what @omnichad said. I've had nikons for years, and have been very happy with them.

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Thanks all. After weighing the options and doing some more research (and some testing) I decided that nothing in my price range was going to be much better than what I already have.