unrelated to audio- digital camera buffs please

sorry for the unrelated to audio thread, but I need some quickly dispensed advice on buying a digital camera, preferably less or way less than $300 for a upcoming vacation. it needs to be compact, good battery life & best pic quality possible. My wife already has a Fuji S5200 that way too big & complicated for a luddite like me. she said we already have fine pix viewer on our computer (whatever that is & buy a Fuji, it'd be compatible w/that). it will be carried on a motorcycle & see some harsh treatment based on where I'm headed. (Oregon & burningman so you get the picture) thanks & cheers!
I second the Canon suggestion. Small canon's can't be beat IMO. Good lenses and good electronics (metering etc) is more important that lots of megapixels. Canon has a very usable optical viewfinder - I use this instead of the LCD to save the battery when on vacation - can take 100+ shots per day without refueling.
What was said about having an optical viewfinder is important, both for saving battery as well as when a screen gets washed out in bright daylight.

If you're doing video, you can also follow much better with the optical viewfinder.

After having one Nikon digital camera without it, I would not consider buying a viewfinder-less camera again.
Knowing the OP has made his decision, I thought I would share a great comment on this for a recommendation. Olympus makes a great digital point and shoot rugged compact camera which happens to also be able to shoot underwater.

The pictures are good, no complaints and it is easy to use (I have thousands of dollars worth of Canon Digital SLR gear and the photos on this p&s are good).

The beauty of this camera is that it is rugged (can be dropped onto concrete from 5 feet), can not only get wet, but can be submerged in water (and yes, even take underwater pictures). All openings on the camera are o-ring sealed. My nephew just took it to Africa for a Safari/studying gorilas - an environment that kills many cameras.

It's reliable, takes good P&S pics, light and small, easy to use and you don't have to treat it like a baby. It is my most highly recommended P&S camera for people that like the outdoors. It's all metal - obviously. They came out with a new/updated version in 2010.

Don't get caught up in Megapixels - these numbers for comparison are over rated. Look more at the quality of the lense and the sensors use.
What snofun3 said! When it's sunny out, the lcd screen is very difficult to see. Must have an optical viewfinder.