I am not sure about what type of Camera you are buying but if you are buying Digital point and shoot, try check the zoom, and take photo, at least for 10 and see the result. In fact you can't open and check the inside, but make sure that there is no defect on the lens.
The more important things to consider for me is the type of Camera that you are going to buy.. coz after you bought, normally they will give you some warranty so that you may replace it in case there is a defect.
For a "Point and Shoot" digital camera. (Home Digital Camera Type)
Anything over 10 megapixels looks great
Take a look at the Optical Zoom feature (the avg. is around 5X zoom) Digital zoom is nice but it can decrease the quality of the pictures if zoomed in too far.
Make sure it takes the standard SDHC card to save your pictures since they are easier to find.
I would recommend a digital camera with HD video recording. (720P or better) Standard definition looks horrible now days. It's nice to be able to take pictures and video with one device.
Make sure you get a camera case (preferably a hard case so it cant be rushed if it falls to the bottom of a bag.)
You may want a USB multi card reader to load your pictures onto your computer if you do not want to hook it up with the USB cable that is included with it.
If you plan to travel a lot with it you may want an extended service plan to protect it down the road.
Whether an SLR or DSLR check to see the availability of lenses. If digital 8 or higher megapixel produce very good quality enlargements.
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