If you wish to transfer digital camera pictures to your laptop you do not need to connect your camera to it.
You can use your pcmcia slot with an adaptor that will use the flash card of your choice when removed from your camera. Compact flash seems to be the least expensive.
See here click here and look for item LN 2575.
Just make sure your camera of choice uses the correct type of card for your adaptor.
Can't comment on a suitable camera, but you might try a local 'Jessops' shop for good advice.
Regards Brian j