Hi mtclimber, thanks so much for the help.
I've been looking at the Panasonic FZ35, and while it does seem like an excellent camera, it is a little bit outside of my price range. On Amazon.com the difference between the Canon and the Panasonic is only ~$40, however neither of those ship to Canada, which is unfortunate. The FZ35 would likely end up costing me close to $100 more than the SX130IS (assuming I can't find a deal). Is the difference in quality that drastic?
With that being said, long zoom is absolutely not a requirement: all I'm looking for is a half-decent camera with manual controls to help me to learn photography properly. Also, the 720p video recording of the SX130IS is a huge bonus for me, as I play music and need some way to record myself (obviously not optimal, but better than my current setup of an iPhone!) How important is the presence of a viewfinder?
I'd also like to add that, assuming I enjoy photography, I will probably be ugrading to an entry-level DSLR as soon as I can feasibly afford it, so I don't need the greatest camera in the world or one that will last forever, just one of good value. Thanks!
Last edited by Gabbo3; Feb 2, 2011 at 12:51 PM.