September 2005 HelpLine
On three occasions, the information I got back was similar. My seatmates were going to purchase a digital SLR and needed help finding a simpler camera. Why? "My spouse doesn't like using the SLR."
The SLR owner was the family photographer and enjoyed that role. Whenever there was a family event, he or she would be ready, but his or her spouse didn't end up with any prints! This was puzzling at first because these photographers typically had a very good-quality photo printer attached to the computer.
Then I recognized the problem. Prior to the advent of digital, after a roll of film was processed, prints would be sent to relatives and friends. Now that the family photographer has gone digital, he or she has to deal with the prints, too, which means firing up the computer, downloading images, figuring out which ones to print, loading paper and ink, and then printing. This might take some time! The "nonphotographer" recognizes it's going to be a long time before any prints are seen and has suggested getting another camera so a media card can be taken to the store for prints to be made.
So I'd recommend a small, compact digital camera that's easy to use, but one that both people would like for taking snapshots, plus a small printer that can accept memory cards directly and make 4x6 prints. Epson, Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Olympus all make great small printers that are easy to use, have simple editing capabilities and produce great snapshots.
A printer with a built-in image display is convenient, but if the printer and camera are PictBridge-compatible (most new ones are), you can use the camera to see images to be printed. The printer must be in a location where it can be used quickly.