I'm on the road indefinately and do not have a computer, however, I do want to get a digital camera and wondered how that works as far as where do you go to get the pictures put on the computer. Also if someone has a camera to recommend I'd appreciate that as well. I'm doing art work and would want a good quality resolution wise but my budget screams for something in the $200 range.
I have a digital camera and love it. I take many more pictures now than I used to. I really love my Pentax Optio as it is small yet takes good pictures and has the ability to take pictures on auto-mode as well as manual mode where you can tweak the settings. However, I've had this camera almost 2 years and I'm sure there are other offerings out there that might rival this camera for the price. At the time I got it, it was about $200.
Websites with good reviews of digital cameras are:
dcresource.com, steves-digicams.com, dpreview.com, cdnet.com, and zdnet.com
I've never done this as I my memory cards have been ample for the trips I've taken with my camera, but you can stop at any Kinko's and put your pictures on CD. I know of others who have used this service. That way you can empty your memory cards and start over and wait until you get home to decide which pictures to keep, delete, print, etc. from the CD.
I also am using a digital camera -- and the result is many more photos than I've taken for twenty years or better! Mine is a Nikon 4300 (4.3 MP) and it is providing good service and quality so far -- I've had it for approximately 9 months. I've also used a borrowed Optio (a 3+ MP model, I think it was a Model 330) and had good luck with it also. I didn't know about Kinkos -- so that is good information (THANKS, Judy!)
I've had trouble locating one, but my friend who owns the Optio bought a "portable hard drive" that he carries along and dumps the photos into, to clear his cards. As for me, I simply bought about 512 mb of extra cards and I can't imagine a trip where I'd use more than those -- but again -- the Kinko's option eliminates any trouble there anyway. A 128 card gets me about 65 photos at the highest quality settings, for comparison purposes. Just about any photo shop and even the drugstore chains can probably also transfer images directly from your memory cards to a CD for you.
Finally, for good quality, I wouldn't go below 3.0 MP, and the more the better. Whatever you get, make sure you get a model that is easy for you to use. I found the Optio easier to figure out than my Nikon, but I am learning (slowly). You may be able to find a 3.0 or better camera in your price range, if you look for "last month's model." For example -- I paid $470 for my Nikon -- you can buy the same camera today for $350 or so -- as new models come out, the older ones get cheaper. So, shop around!
You can go to your local Wal-mart to get digital prints in an hour. They have a setup that can read most digital media. I have a Sony with a memory stick, and there is a slot for the card. It reads the pics and you can choose the prints you want. It works really well, but this way you wont have a digital copy of your pictures. You might be able to get a CD-rom made of your pictures, if you are willing to pay.
I take my laptop with me on trips which works great. In your case, I'd look into a portable hard drive. I have had trouble finding one for Sony, but other brands don't seem to be as much of a problem. However if you are looking at a 200 dollar budget, you wont have much luck.
Another option is uploading your shots to the internet from a public computer. I use snapfish.com and there is an option for getting a CD of your pictures.
As far as resolution goes, I have a 3.2 MP camera and it is good for prints up to 8x10. 11x17 starts to get grainy. Since you said you are doing art work, you might want to stay around this range or higher. If all you need is 4x6 prints you can go down to 2 MP easily. I spent around 400 on my camera a year ago. If you shop around you can find one with good resolution for your price range.
hope this helps