After a couple of days on our recent trip I realized that my Olympus Fe-130 was just causing me frustration - it took 6 attempts one day to get it to start up :-(

Time for a replacement then. Annoyingly prior to our trip I had toyed with the idea but dismissed it as unnecessary - I didn't need a replacement secondary camera, the fe-130 would do just fine - and so didn't do much research. Consequently I headed into The Shutterbug in Woodburn Company Stores without a really clear idea of what I wanted. My criteria were:
1) cheap - up to $200
2) small and light - fit into my snowboarding trousers pocket
3) take either xd or SD cards - I have both with me

I explained what I was after and the first camera I was shown was an Olympus tough which is water resistant and shock proof, takes xd cards and small - over budget at $300 though but this wasn't the real killer, after my experience with the Fe-130 I wasn't sure if I was ready to trust another Olympus yet.

We then moved on to the Nikon Coolpix S500 which fitted all the criteria, has easy to use controls and has menus similar enough to the D80 to not send me scrabbling for the manual every other minute. Over the course of the trip, this proved to be reliable, have a good battery life and take a fairly decent snow based picture.


And yes I do remember that one of my tips for photography was to never buy a camera and use it for the first time on an important occasion, like a holiday, but the unreliability of the Fe-130 - at least in cold temperatures - gave me little option.

If you're interested in seeing some of the resulting photos, take a look here