I travel real light. For years that meant no camera - I get a real giggle these days from all those travellers dragging around the huge expensive digital SLRs with multiple lenses and other junk. Oh baby, they point it into the breeze on speedboats in bumpy conditions - what does that do to the lens? Operating systems? What if they fall head over turkey getting out of the boat as I did last Thailand trip - fortunately with Lady Tezza's ancient pocket cheapy, which was my backup camera (another fortunately - we got the card out real quick - saved the pix although the camera was stone dead).
The era of the compact digital pocket point-and-shoot means I'm back in the pix game. But my current >$aud100 Olympus takes crap shots: I figure the lens is made of recycled Coke bottles at that price. They aint sharp and the colours are all over the place. Okay, the basic Windows photo editor on my computer can turn them into half decent pix - but I'm after the other half.
Unfortunately I'm a bit dollars-challenged. Sub $us200 is preferrable but I'd go to $us300.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Key points: pocket sized, not expensive.
Maybe this if you are want something that waterproof to 16ft.
For something smaller
I shoot with a Canon S120. At US $449 it's a bit out of your price range. But, I'm extremely impressed by the photos it takes for such a small camera.
The entire Canon S line receives a lot of praise as quality pro-digicams. Here's the S110 at US $249 on Amazon. Just be careful about the lens error issue with this one...it plagues the 110s that were produced in a specific era. Somewhere on the web there's information on the 110's serial numbers that you should stay away from, and the ones that are just fine.
Before I had the S120 I used the Canon ELPH 110HS. I swear this thing could almost fit in an Altoids container, which is nuts considering the quality of photos it took. This one is definitely more pocketable than the S line, and it just about makes the cut for your budget.