I've needed a new camera for a while now. The one in my phone just won't cut it, and some of you may remember how crappy the last several pictures I've posted have looked. I try to be a smart shopper and do research online before I buy anything, but I don't really know much about camera hardware. I've been looking around at reviews, but I don't feel like I'm getting as much as I should from them. I know there are some photography geeks here, so what should I be looking for when I look at specs and reviews?
I basically need something that will take clear high quality pictures, though I realize that's horribly vague. I don't need insane resolutions or bells and whistles that won't actually make the pictures any better, nor do I need it to fit in my pocket. I would, however, like the overall picture quality to be a bit above par. The ability to handle different lighting environments especially well would be a plus since the lighting in my room is awful for photography, but that's a secondary priority. I assume the main things I need to look at are the lens and the sensor, but I don't know too much about such things.
I'm initially shooting for keeping it within a few hundred dollars, but that could be negotiable if I find something that's that much better. If I end up getting back into photography, it would be nice to have a camera that's a bit better than what the typical person has lying on top of his or her dresser.