Kathryn, I too am looking to get a good camera for myself, same idea as the one you want. I liked this site http://www.digital-photography-tips.net
. When you go to the site, there is a list of other things on the site on the left hand side, go to Comparison Guide. It takes youthrough diffent steps to help you decide, not exactly which camera, but what you want in a camera, and then you can narrow your search down. It also explains what a lot of those extras are, and how to figure out which camera is better.