Please read through all of the below before recommending anything :)
Alright i've been doing this research for days and I can't seem to find a single P&S camera under my budget that is widely recommended. The opinions vary a lot and there are too many options!
I would have brought one of those, but two of my friends already have those and I really don't wanna bring another one - that would be quite boring. Also, the review on CNET doesn't really seem to like L810 either (and what's a bridge?)
This will be my first personal camera, and my only experience is taking photos from my friends' above mentioned cameras and a little bit with some other friends' DSLRs.
So basically I want a camera that's : close to DSLRs in terms of image quality (mainly best image quality within the budget), better than my friends cameras (obviously), and with maybe a little bit of more manual control so I have more control over the pictures I take rather then the automatic results the camera provides me with (but this point is flexible. Main requirement is good image quality). A good FPS and resolution for videos is also preferable.
I've read a few things about aperture size, focal length etc but im still a little confused about them. But it seems like I would want larger aperture size. Also preferable would be higher ISO for low light and less noise (so megapixels would make a difference her)
But each of these factors seem to have these pros and cons, which is where I need your help.
What I DON'T care about are things like : Size (ease of carrying), weight, design, features like touchscreen, etc.
I did a LOT of research, and have narrowed down a list of cameras. It would be nice if you could go through all of them and provide your recommendation, or get an idea of my choice from them and maybe suggest something under the same budget that I might have missed.
Also, im a little confused between the shape of the lense that different cameras seem to have. It would look like the L120 would be more powerful because of its larger - looking round lens than the squarish lens in the canon sx 260 hs, but the reviews don't seem to say so. So does that particular difference in the shape of the lens make a difference? IMAGE COMPARISON -
So anyway here's my narrowed down list (all are links to CNET reviews as I found those pretty helpful) Please take a look :)
Sony Cybershot DSC HX200v (hyperlink not working. Link - http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/sony-cyber-shot-dsc/4505-6501_7-35152783.html)
Sony Cybershot DSC HX100v (Link - http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/sony-cyber-shot-dsc/4505-6501_7-35152783.html)
Olympus XZ -1 ( http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/olympus-xz-1/4505-6501_7-34469429.html)
Canon Powershot Sx260HS (http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/canon-powershot-sx260-hs/4505-6501_7-35137435.html)
Sony Cybershot DSC W290 (http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/sony-cyber-shot-dsc/4505-6501_7-33528936.html)
Panasonic Lumix DMC Zs20 (http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/panasonic-lumix-dmc-zs20/4505-6501_7-35133418.html)
Canon Ixus 1100 HS (http://www.flipkart.com/canon-ixus-1100-hs-point-shoot/p/itmd2wqh3v24sh8s)
Thank you for your help!