Hello guys and girls,

I am new to this forum and would like some advice from you on recommending me a digital camera from a set list of criteria I have set. I have a budget in mind also and hopefully I can get the ball rolling as I know very little about cameras in general. I will try and give as much detail as possible so that you all have more information to work with. Here goes...

Firstly, my budget is 150 but I don't mind paying anything just over if need be. As long as I am spending under 175 I will consider any options.

Secondly, I will be using the camera for taking pictures when I go to Manchester next month and will mainly require the camera for everyday general use. I don't have any particular one area in which I will need the camera for. I will be photographing buildings, landscapes, football matches and so on. Also, I would be taking the camera with me on nights out to pubs, bars and clubs etc so will be taking pictures of people and groups of mates etc.

I require the camera to be compact to the extent that I can carry it with me anywhere I go. I would like to ideally get one with an optical zoom value of at least 8 as I will be taking close up pictures of the football match and landscapes etc. I have been told that for football matches where there is always movement going on that image stabilisation is important and although I fully appreciate that a digital SLR would be more suitable, I know there are cameras out there that will produce good quality images in this scenario.

Megapixels aren't too important to me and I always usually take notice of the optical zoom. In a nutshell, I would ideally love to purchase a camera under or around 150 with an optical zoom of 10 and image stabilisation. HD video would also be an excellent addition but if I am being unrealistic, please feel free to recommend some slightly more expensive cameras so that I can save a little bit more and buy something that is worthwhile.

I think I have everything covered here and I have had an Olympus fe-280 for a couple of years which had an optical zoom of 3 and I found the pictures I took using the maximum zoom were always of an average quality and this is an area in which I would like to improve on.

Thanks for reading