She just picked up a Canon PowerShot A2500 for just this purpose for her business. Something to always have and was cheap if it got broken. It takes decent photos but nothing spectacular.
If you want something better, does it have to be a SLR? We also have a Canon G12 that takes great photos and has enough flexibility to stoke a creative streak. The current Canon would be a G1x, but is priced beyond your budget so the previous generation G12 and G13 might work. This is a bigger, heavier camera with a pretty darn good lens and quality sensor.
If you want something more point-n-shoot the S100 is an awesome pocket camera, the equal of the G1x in sensor and lens but a lot smaller. If I'd have known then what I know now I'd have gotten the S95 (the previous S100 and mate to the G12) instead.
'91 Pickup - Imelda
'08 Tacoma TRD - Donna
'09 Kawasaki KLR650
'12 Gunnar Rockhound 29
"To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering." -- Friedrich Nietzsche