The Panasonic cameras have image stabilization which increases the cost. A worthwhile feature.
The Fujifilm S5500 takes very sharp photos and can serve you well.
Lower cost versions of the Panasonic are now hitting the stores in the USA.
FZ4 (4 megapixel) 12X
FZ5 (5 megapixel) 12X
Both have image stabilization.
See if they have showed up in the land down under.
I was originally planning to purchase a Fuji Finepix S5500 simply for general use and good value for money but when a friend pointed out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 i had to look twice. Besides the cost factor (S5500 AU$539) and (DMC-FZ20 AU$899) i dont know which one to go for! Please help if you recommend either camera and whether i should spend more money on the Panasonic or not. I have heard both are great cameras and your help would be much appreciated!! The S5500 may be all that i need but in comparison:
FUJI S5500 has 4 MP and 10x Optical zoom wheras the
PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-FZ20 has 5MP and 12 x optical zoom.
Its a hard choice and for all those that can help, please do!