Your Mom is going to be an Aunt...and needs to buy shiny things!
...and has wisely chosen to live at least 500+ miles from all other members of her family for reasons of sanity. While sanity is an undeniable perk, I do fear that it will really makes it difficult to go out and see my soon-to-be Niece more than once or twice a year if I am lucky. After a bit of pondering, I decided that the best purchase for my sister's birthday/Mother's Day would be a digital camcorder. However, my technical know how in this realm is sadly lacking...
Here is what I am looking for:
* Reasonable picture quality
* Ease of Use by anyone with a reasonable amount of computer skill and ability to read an instruction manual
* Ability to upload data via USB port or memory card onto the computer for storage/youtube-age
* Ability to mount the camera on a tripod
* Relative budget of $200 - $400 for the camera itself, with additional money in the budget for memory card, tripod, camera bag, etc.
Can anyone offer some suggestions on a quality product to buy here?