What about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10? Panasonic is not a name I’d associate with cameras, but I’ve read a couple of good reviews.
I really should add a little about what I’m looking for here. I need something that is fairly fully featured, and would suit someone (i.e. me) who is fairly camera-savvy but likes something that is reasonably easy to use. It will mainly be used for work, so it needs to have a good macro capability, allowing me to get a full-frame shot of an individual flower or flower head. It also needs to have a flash so that it can double as a general workhorse for record shots and day-to-day snapping. And, because the photos are likely to be used for posters and larger size printing, 4 or 5 megapixels would be preferred – 3 is not enough.
One of the problems that I have with all three of the cameras that I’ve looked at so far is their size – the Panasonic in particular is quite bulky, and since it will often be carried with me when I’m travelling, it would be useful if it was small enough to slip into my laptop bag. I think the Panasonic fails that test.
More research needed.