oh man you can get some good deals on cameras now, 5+ mega pixels.
i have an olympus 5mp set at 2560x1920 and it does very well for it self. it was only like $250 a year ago. you can get 8mp ones now or even more i suppose for a few hundred bucks. i havent been in the market for one in quite a while.
but sorry i dont live in LA area, alltho im moving there soon. good luck