I am not entirely sure what I will be shooting the most, but I like the IDEA of a wide angle zoom (24mm opposed to 35mm) for indoor and landscape shots. This is my main concern is this flexibilty worth the lack of AA batteries, swivel lens
Am I missing anything by not choosing the 24mm zoom and longer zoom, RAW, and future expandability? Also it seems the P880 MAY be better at focusing/dumping buffer with a POSSIBLE firmware upgrade, any thoughts here?
If you mean lenses which retract inside camera with that "swivel lens" you don't find any longer zoom camera with wide angle, also unless you want even less than half useless menu surfing/button tapping "controls" such compact cameras are big no.
Well... if you go to standard pocket cameras or ultrazooms you'll miss/loose about 1/4th from height and width of wide angle's field of view.
Only very few manufacturers make any firmware updates and mostly to more expensive cameras... in reality very few cameras ever get firmware update, most manufacturers do those updates by stamping new bigger number to camera and put BS department to advertise it as new. So I wouldn't count getting new firmwares for fixing deficiencies.
(especially from any manufacturer mostly concentrated to doing me-too dozenware cameras which market is already full of)
And remember that zoom number really doesn't mean anything solid.
Bigger number isn't necessary better, especially when all ultrazooms lack wide angle. (Samsung 815 is that exception which aproves the rule)
I've myself used two cameras with 28-200mm zoom (just 7x) for three years and there's no way I would buy any of those so glorified ultra-zooms.
And how big memory card you have? Unless it's at least 512MB I wouldn't put any weight to support of it in camera requirements.
If you can give up the wide angle, the Canon S-2 IS is an excellent camera... probably on of the best video capabilities among P&S cameras
Not really anyway special video capability, for video mode being good MPEG4 is only useful compression, not some MJPEG.
(with MJPEG even 1GB card holds only much under ten minutes of video)