For starters I am looking for recommendations on a pair of reasonably inexpensive fairly durable cameras that take very good pics. After having two point and shoot pocket cameras that have required a special connector cables, I really just want one that connects with a standard mini or micro usb cable so if I forget it on a trip I can just buy one at any store or borrow one. I am leaning toward the Casio Exlim series because my buddy has one and despite it being the same "mega pixel" the pictures are far superior when compared to my samsung even if we sat in the same spot and took pics of the same thing at the same time. Anyway I am planning on being in the $150 each range (but a little flexible) for these cameras and open to ideas. It would be nice if there is multiple colors available so I can tell the difference between mine and my wifes.
The other thing that I am looking for is one of those cameras that seems to fit in the middle between the fancy interchangable lense cams and the pocket ones like I mention above. We are willing to spend 300-400 on a decent camera. I would like it to take good pics, offer a little bit of entry level adjustability if there is such a thing. More or less somthing that will provide decent (10x minimum) optical zoom without all the bulk of the multil lens full feature cameras. I want to take some higher quality pics on my outings and I know that I will not carry a bigger camera, but I am sick of getting home and looking through a bunch of pics that just don't seem to catch the scenery anywhere near how I remember. One feature that I think would be nice is the rapid fire setting where it will keep hammering off pics for either a burst of x amount of pics or one that would just keep firing untill you released the button. My kids are into sports so being able to catch the goal in sequence would be a highly desirable feature. Sorry for me not knowing the technical features/terminology but I honestly have about a million other things I fill my time with and I likely will continue to be a dunce on this subject, thats why I have you guys here to point me in the right direction