Canon Powershot SX170IS is an affordable compact ultra zoom. For around $200 you get a 16 megapixels sensor and 16x optical zoom with image stabilization. Compared to previous SX160, the new one has a small but important upgrade: it comes with a Li-Ion battery and a charger unlike SX160 which used AA batteries; most users prefer Li-Ion. Design and features remained mostly unchanged so you get a standard set of shooting modes as well as full manual control in case you need it what makes SX170 a great first camera. The more you learn about photography, the more manual control you will want to have.