My Sony Cybershot DSC-T500 has about had it. It had a good run, considering that I bought it four years ago and that I have taken it nearly everywhere with me. It was starting to fall apart, though, and, once I started having to duct tape the battery hatch shut, I knew I had to retire it.
I went with the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS. What sold me on it was its mega zoom (30x optical) backed with a 16 mega pixel chip, seated in an ultra-compact setting. This isn't the sort of camera that you can slip into your pocket, but it's compact enough to carry around comfortably. Think of the Canon Powershot SX500 IS as a mid-range camera that sits between pocket point and shoots and digital DSLR cameras. And, yet, the Canon Powershot SX500 IS has all of the settings of a DSLR, just without the price. The Powershot boasts the following modes: P (Program); TV (Shutter Speed Priority); AV (Aperture Priority), Manual, Auto, "LIVE" and also comes with a nice collection of fun shooting modes (miniature, fisheye, discreet, fireworks, low light, snow etc). There is also a record button on the camera so you don't have to switch the dial to video mode to start recording.
If you're just a beginner, or if you just want a point-and-shoot camera, then the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS is not for you. Casual shutterbugs are going to constantly forget to lift up the flash (it is not automatic, even on AUTO mode). Low light, high action shots seem to come out a bit grainy in AUTO mode, but, it takes great portrait shots in AUTO mode. And, if you're in the nosebleed seats of your kid's school concert and want to get a close up shot, the Canon Powershot SX500 offers great image stabilization for those situations where you're using its 30x optical zoom.
The bottom line here is, if you're looking for a camera that approaches professional quality but don't want to spend the money on a DSLR, then the Canon Powershot SX500 IS would be a good camera for you to consider. If you just want to point and shoot and carry a camera around in your pocket, then you're going to need to look elsewhere.