One of my daughters (almost 14yo) is showing quite an interest in photography. I'm thinking I'd like to buy her a good quality camera for Christmas this year but I know nothing about the gear that is out there. I'm looking for suggestions regarding a camera that will take quality photos and have some semi-advanced functions/settings she can fiddle with to get experience figuring out the science. I don't want something so advanced she will be hesitant to use in any mode other than "auto" (that's about as advanced as I get...). I also don't need to spend over $500 if that is possible.
Something more advanced than a simple point and shoot but not top of the line semi pro gear. Is there anything out there that would fit the bill?