Originally Posted by HybridCore
Really? It says a 3.8 optical zoom. That's merely any. I usually take lots of photos far away from things. Not just like a couple meters.
that is the typical zoom range for a compact camera. if you get a longer range (more zoom) camera in a compact camera you are sacrificing IQ (image quality) for the range.
you may seriously want to reconsider limiting your options to <12mp camera. given that higher mp generally mean higher noise, technology of sensors also plays a huge factor into the IQ. buying a <12mp camera generally means you are buying an old generation camera.
personally i would recommend the nikon p7000, its larger then most PS and a bit pricey (399 at BH right now)
or the canon S95 (or its more expensive brother G12) are also excellent PS.
for compact cameras you can also look at the sony w570, panasonic FH25 (all have over 12mp sensors, canon 100hs they all have more zoom then the s95 but are far more "consumer".