I use a Sony DSC-F717 digital camera with some very useful features. 

(1) A close focus distance in macro mode of 2 cm.

(2) Viewing through the lens like a SLR camera. (Electronic simulation)

(3) A fast Carl Zeiss f2.0 lens.

(4) The lens swivels from the camera body allowing shooting at ground level.

(5) An AE LOCK button to fix the exposure.

(6) A button to change between Automatic and Manual focusing.

(7) Shutter priority and Aperture priority modes.

(8) Manual exposure mode (aperture and shutter speed).

Flower Index

(9) AF lock, ie locking the focus by holding the shutter button halfway down.

(10) Hot Shoe for attaching an external flash.

The majority of my pictures have been taken during walks with friends and camera weight has been very important. While recognising the additional benefits of the new Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras they do seem to be a little heavy and I would have to think twice before taking one on a walk.

I bought a Sony DSC-F828 in 2005 but it is not as good as the Sony DSC-F717 for macro work. On the DSC-F828 I find it difficult to get good focus in macro mode and unlike the DSC-F717 where you can zoom in on your picture to check it using the full camera zoom (x5), on the DSC-F828 you can only magnify by a factor of x2 by hitting a button.