I am very pleased with my new Lumix FZ150. Its not a digital SLR, but has a 24X optical zoom and its seems to handle low light conditions better than the FZ5 and FZ18 that I have owned.
The camera cost $650 AUD and sadly does not take the same batteries as its predecessor. I purchased an ultra (Class 10) sanDisk to maximise image transfer and will purchase a couple of spare batteries.
I also agree with ZaminOz - save some credit for good binocs. I paid $280 for a pair of Bushnell (Birding series) 8x42 and have been very pleased with them on 2 safaris.
Here are a couple of photos from my first outing with the new camera. It was a very dark, overcast afternoon on the Hobart Domain when I took these and they have been editted in Picasa.
I was also interested in this discussion over at Birdforum which confirmed my choice of the the FZ150, http://www.birdforum...highlight=FZ150
and here are some other threads discussing the Canon SX40, http://www.birdforum...archid=12308022
I think purchasing cameras is one of the most overwhelming experiences one can face!
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.