We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have the Canon SX30, which I bought for birding since it can extend out to a focal length of 800mm. Yes, that's right folks, 800 mm in a tiny, light weight package. I bought it as a successor to my Panasonic FZ28, which zoomed out "only" to 500mm. Having used the SX30 for 6 months now, I'm no longer as thrilled as I was when I first bought it. It is not nearly as sharp as my Panasonic (for the same equivalent 35mm focal length) and it suffers from a lot of chromatic aberration. Also, I like to work in raw format, and the Canon doesn't offer that. Still, I have managed to capture some nice pictures of surfers, whales, and birds to satisfy me. I just won't make this camera my first choice when going out for a casual shoot. If I'm not taking my DSLR, the FZ28 will remain my first choice unless I think I'll need the longer reach of the SX30.
Enjoy your new purchase! I assume we'll see some photos posted here once you master all the bells and whistles.
I have made the same transition. Thought maybe I'd put the FZ28 up on ebay, but after reading your note, maybe not. For real photography, I use a Canon Dig Rebel XTi with pro lenses, but fully loaded my camera bag weighs in at 27 lbs.
The SX30 is not a point-and-shoot. The SX130 is a point-and-shoot. The SX30 is a 'pseudo-SLR' -- it has most of the versatility of an SLR in a fixed-lens camera. You can use it as a point-and-shoot if you want to ... but then, you can also use a Nikon D3X as a point-and-shoot if you want to. With a pseudo-SLR, as with a real SLR, you really ought to learn something about the non-programmed modes so that you can get full use out of it.