There are really only two times a year that camera manufacturers drop prices on compact cameras: late winter/early spring and holiday shopping season. The latter is for current-year models, the former is for clearing out the prior year models.
The five cameras below are 2011 models (well, except for the LX5, though it got a major firmware update), picked for their features and photo quality in relation to their original and current price. These aren't necessarily inexpensive models; there's a difference between a cheap camera and one that offers you more for your dollar.
Canon, Panasonic, and Nikon seemed to have the best deals going right now. However, if none of these cameras interest you or you know a specific model you want from 2011, keep an eye on prices over the next few months. That's when retailers will start making more room for spring 2012 models. … Read more