I currently have a Minolta Dimage Z1 3MP 10X zoom SLR. It is a bit bulky and the prism makes me feel like it is a bit bulky for a tour.
I am considering buying a lighter, less bulky camera. I have already spent a ton of money just getting ready for this tour and I still need to pay for the tour.
One camera I considered is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2. It is fairly inexpensive especially for a 6X zoom with image stabilization. It does not get top marks for image quality but it is a very nice size for a 6X zoom. I doubt I would be blowing images up to 8x10 anyway and that is where it is said this camera starts to loose quality.
Any thoughts on this camera or on the usefulness of a +3X zoom on tour would be greatly appreciated.
For a touring camera I would avoid a small one with zoom as the minute parts in the zoom mechanism will be subject to damage from vibration. Get one with enough pixels so you can crop the picture when you get home. AA batteries avoid the bother of having to pack a battery charger. Pack extra memory cards.
I just gave up my Nikon D50 for a Canon A620 for my tour. The canon has a lot of manual functions and the quality is almost as nice as the D50... plus it's only $200-250. You should look it up on dpreview.com