A: It’s no fun lugging a heavy camera around when your out and about. You should look for a fairly lightweight model. Something with single-handed operation (all the vital functions accessible to one hand) could also be useful for photos on the move.

Look for a camera with at least a 3x zoom lens so you can close in on subjects a little distance away. Buy a decent sized memory card as the ones supplied with cameras usually have a puny amount of memory. If you’re out and about for several days (nowhere near a PC to download your pictures), get the biggest memory card you can afford.

Compact cameras are now in the 16 Megapixel range, so go look for a camera with 12-16 megapixel resolution for top-notch shots. Also, get a good camera pouch that’s belt-mounted and sits on your hip when riding. Anything around your neck will just swing about and annoy you. If you want to stray into SLR territory, the Canon EOS and Nikon D-series cameras are very light as SLRs go (it’s made of plastic rather than metal) and offers up to 24 megapixel resolution.

[Update]: Mobile phones / cellphones have become ubiquitous since this answer was originally posted. Most decent phones now have 4 or 5 megapixel cameras though quality differs from brand to brand and model to model. For sheer convenience, a camera phone is probably the best option for casual snapshots, but if you’re trying to get better quality photos, then a digital SLR is still the best option as both image quality and the number of megapixels are higher.

Compact Camera Videos: