Thinking broke college student, I would recommend that you bypass the Panasonic G series and also DSLR cameras, for now.
But you should get ready for those cameras in the near future.
You should get acquainted with manual controls on whatever camera you get.
You can't get the full benefit of a DSLR until you know how to use manual controls.
The replacement for the Panasonic TZ5 is the ZS5 and ZS7.
Panasonic has added manual controls such as Shutter and Aperture Priority to the ZS5 and ZS7.
The main difference between the two cameras is the ZS7 has built-in GPS (global positioning system). A neat feature for some people, but not for everyone. And it shortens the battery time when turned-on.
Here is a specifications comparison of all three cameras:
I'll try to make this run-down as brief as possible, but essentially I'm having trouble deciding what type of new camera to get.
I currently have a Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ5 (10x Optical Zoom, Mega OIS, Leica 28mm Wide Angle Lens, 9.1 MegaPixels) and I absolutely love it. I was offered a deal I can't refuse where my father will buy my camera off me and give me money toward a new one. I'm just not sure if I should stick with a mega zoom like I have right now or move up to a dSLR. The third option is to buy one of Panasonic's new G series cameras with interchangeable lenses. I'd like to get another Lumix, but I might be willing to compromise on that if something else tickles my fancy. The things that I absolutely need in my camera are:
-A zoom equal or greater to my current one (10x Optical and 64x Digitial)
-Megapixels equal or greater to my current camera (9.1 MP)
-A Wide Angle Lens
-Power Optical Image Stabilizer
Do I move to a dSLR? Stay with a mega zoom? Go intermediate with the G series or another interchangeable lens camera that's not SLR? I would consider myself an amateur who wants to delve more into the world of photography but doesn't want to shell out copious amounts of money (think "broke college student")