I am using a 2-year old and well-dropped Kodak P-850. 5 mega-pixel, 12x optical zoom, continuous image stabilizer. It;s got it's scratches and a new lens cap, the feature to take many pics in a second is broken, but the lens is clean and the battery holds a long time. I carry backup battery, backup card, lens cloth. It does the job clearly, and I don't even know a thing about how cameras work.
Also have a Samsung P.O.S something 99$ camera for short course, rain, when I don't feel like lugging a bigger one around.