Hi, you could read this post (all of it) , it might give you something to help on our descision..
Went to Ireland 1.5 years ago, picked up my first digicam, a pany fz7superzoom. Got some great pictures and loved to be full zoomed in,but didn't like shutter lag time and it's performance in low lightwithout flash(or with flash really, wanted natural light picture, notwashed out on body flash picture), or with almost anything thatmoved. I can't get a picture to come out of anything in motion, so Ireally only get landscapes with it..
The lens is f/2.8-3.3 and from the review, it looks like ISO 400 should be fine for small prints. And it has image stabilization. If you're having problems with subjects in motion, IS won't help; the reasonably fast lens and ISO 400 should result in reasonably fast shutter speeds; you might shoot a DSLR happily at ISO 1600 (maybe ISO 3200 even compares to ISO 400 on this camera) which buys you 2-3 stops, but that's offset by the slow lens speed. You can pick up a midrange f/2.8 zoom (Tamron 17-50 or 28-75) for ony a few $$hundred, or something like a 50/1.8 but at the tele end, you'll almost certainly be shooting a slower lens unless you buy a very big, expensive lens. And these lenses aren't likely to be stabilized unless you buy Sony/Pentax/Oly ... Canon & Nikon offer f/2.8 stabilized lenses, but those might bust your budget..
One option is to pick up a DSLR and a midrange zoom, but keep the FZ5 around for tele shots..
You could upgrade the digicam to get a faster camera; I use a somewhat newer Canon A610, and if I prefocus (half shutter press) it's pretty responsive and I can get moving/action subjects reasonably well..
I want a dslr because it's geeky and versatile..
It's versatile, but exploiting that versatility can cost money..
I'm going toArgentina in Oct for my honeymoon and figured now would be a goodtime to get one..
OTOH, I'd be tempted to leave my DSLR home and carry a good compact on a honeymoon .
I'm being offered a 30d with kit lens all accessories and 2gb cf, andafter playing the ebay/ms-live rebate game can get it for ~$470 withunder 1500 actuations. But I'd need to get a telephoto (?Canon EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM $145?). But money is getting a little tight,and I'm concerned I'm trying to throw gear at my failings,.
Right ... and as mentioned, the kit lens is slower than the FZ5 lens, so you're not going to see that much of an advantage to shutter speeds (plus you won't have a stabilized kit ... assuming the lens with that 30D isn't the newest version of the kit lens)..
Should I just stick with my superzoom and get a pocket camera and notjoin your sick world of f-stops and apertures and debt?.
Camera responsiveness is definitely going to improve, and you could always pick up a fast prime to shoot in low light with limitations ... that 30D kit plus a sub-$100 50/1.8 coupled with your FZ7 could make for a very capable kit..
Here are a handul of pics from my fz7 I uploadedhttp://picasaweb.google.com/mm...z7?authkey=ksI99Zufw2M.
Good examples showing motion blur & fuzzy low light pictures ... do you know what ISO was used for the kitten pics ? If ISO 400, then I'd suggest a DSLR at ISO 1600/3200 *could* improve things, but only significantly with a faster-than-kit lens..
- DennisGallery at http://kingofthebeasts.smugmug.com..
If you intend to take a new camera on your honeymoon and use the opportunity to learn how to use, you had better plan to have your bride in most of the photos. Pick the best and print them for framing. Don't let your photographic interests interfere with romance..
Having said the above, keep in mind that you will need to photoprocess your photos when you get home..
Don't know whether my notes would help you:.
I had a look at your gallery. The shots appear semi-serious but generally "shot from the hip". Getting a DSLR may not automatically improve your shots if you only shoot from the hip - you will need to spend more time on each shot while shooting and maybe a bit more time post processing after you shoot..
From reading your post, I believe you're not ready to take on the learning curve needed to truly enjoy DSLR photography at this point in your life. If you want to look like you are using a DSLR you might consider one of the Sony models with their Liveview. You can treat it like a big point and shoot. Not my cup of tea, but it has it's uses..
I'd look seriously at the Canon G9 or similar compact. The G9 takes superb images and can be used manually as you learn, if you wish.Cheers, Craig..