I think the FZ30 may be a real good choice for me. I like the lense range and the all-in-one packaging.I also like the idea of having manual zoom like a SLR. I realize the noise level is hotlydebated, but it still maybe an excellent choice for me.
If noise becomes an issue, how easy is Noise Reduction software to use? Do you use it in addition to the Lumix software? Can it be integrated? Do you have to edit every single photo or can do a whole series at a time? Does it automatically adjust or calibrate? Does it save the original so you can compare? Willusing software be primarily for high ISO and low light shots? ( I have used the search function, but couldn't find something detailing the ease of use.)
Other than the FZ30, I am looking at the Nikon D50 and Minolta 5d. I am leaning towards the Nikon, but really wonder if its more camera than I need or want. I know I won't outgrow it, but its a lot more expensive andless convenient than the FZ30 (lense changes, sensor cleaning, etc) . Any other suggestions or advice.