Quoting LolaMcKitten:" What exactly is the difference with a DSLR? My dad keeps saying I should get one, but I don't know what it is or if it's better?"
DSLR = digital single-lens reflex camera. Basically, the Coolpix and other that compete with it are pocket cameras and DSLRs and the kinds that require a case.
BOTH have features that are fully automatic.
I just changed from a coolpix to an Olympus hybrid - not a pocket-type and almost a DSLR.
I like it as the quality is excellent and it can do soooo much.
The downside of the pocket ones is the speed. They take sooooo long to take the picture! i had it from when my LO was born until 3 1/2 and i cant tell you how many pics i missed b/c of the damn camera;'s lag.
DSLRs and almost-DSLRs are MUCH better for that... but you cant slip them in your pocket.