I just returned from a week in RI on the coast. Before we went I decided it was time to purchase a new camera as I was really tired of tweaking the color I got from my old DSLR that I inherited from my son. It was an OK camera, but a dial used for selecting exposures and settings got to the point where it worked when it wanted, and I was never happy with the colors it gave me.
I was looking at some of the cheaper DSLR's and some of the super zoom point and shoot cameras. I was ready to get the DSLR, but my wife came home with the super zoom, saying that if I wanted a DSLR, she would but the super zoom. Well I decided since we now own the super zoom, I would wait on the DSLR to see if this will do what I want.
I am significantly impressed with the camera so far. I was really dubious about the quality of photo's it would take, especially with the zoom factor of 42x. What I came back from RI with I would never have been able to capture with any of our other cameras. The zoom is really spectacular for wildlife photos and does the trick for my needs. I don't want to spend thousands on lenses and gear for getting images like this from a DSLR. I'm sure they are probably better, but for me these are pretty damn good. Many of the photos I posted here are at maximum zoom. A couple were on a tripod, others were shot while sitting and propping my elbows on my knees. There is image stabilization in the lens (don't quite know how it works) and the image titled "unidentified" was taken in a moving kayak with no support and at full zoom. Colors are great and the images I get are 16megapixels, so print quality should be no problem. I have yet to try it in the studio. This camera looks to be a keeper and I may just drop the idea of a DSLR.
Oh yeah, I saw that tree on a hike. Couldn't identify it but it sure looked like some nice turning wood. I shot a pic of the leaves. Maybe someone here knows what it is.