For those of you interested in "super-zoom" compact cameras (any camera with between 10 and 12 times zoom) here's a new entry from DPReview
Since we get a lot of question about what cameras are the "best" I thought this might help. We here at TravelBlog.org love pictures but are not professional camera reviewers. Thus we often recommend sites where you can get this information for yourself. Here's a recent review of five "Super-Zoom" compact cameras: Super Zoom Review at DPReview.com
I own a FujiFilm Finepix S8100fd which has an 18x optical zoom and while I haven't taken it travelling, I really do love it.... Having such a big zoom in a fairly small and simple camera is just so incredible. My biggest advice to anyone looking at getting a Super Zoom compact is to find the balance between when you need the camera, and giving yourself enough time to get used to it because the zooms on these cameras are improving every month it seems and my 18x zoom will soon be nothing, so you may get a whole lot more for your money if you just wait a month or two....
But they really are amazing and such a good package - the only disadvantage I would say is that like smaller compacts the shutter speed is much slower than SLR's but other than that ----> they're the same as SLR's if not better :D
This topic really needs an update because so much has changed over the past 5 years. I recently purchased a Canon SX60HS which has a 65 times optical zoom which can be doubled with digital multiplication.
In the end, which camera brand and model is your choice, and when you follow reviews of cameras, the so called experts are quite divided about the best, and even more so when price vs features are weighed up.
Marg and I both love nature photography and find the super zoom camera a fantastic tool for that purpose. I can say that for a period I used a similar spec Sony super zoom, but found it a poor performer in low light compared with the recently released Canon SX60 HS. I also feel that there is a quantum improvement in camera performance and flexibility with this camera.
If you are taking photos for a quality image magazine, this might not be the camera for you. If you actually want to get a picture of a shy Carnaby's Cockatoo high in a tree feeding a fledgling, you will have a good picture that most slrs with a zoom lens would miss out on all together.