I probably mentioned this when I joined, but ages ago, I used to be, what I suppose was, a typical amateur, with a 35mm camera (Pentax in my case) and a bag with various lenses and filters and stuff (80-200 zoom, Cokin filter system, TTL flash etc). Wasn't very good at it as I didn't use it nearly enough, especially due to the cost of film processing. Digital cameras, and a busy life, caused me to buy a P&S and sell my old 35mm gear.
I had a few different P&S cameras, until I bought my current Fuji s2500HD. I bought this because it was going very cheap secondhand, and it looked cool However, I also bought it because it gave me back a little of the manual control I had with the 35mm Pentax camera and more than replaced all the macro and zoom capability I used to have. Also, importantly, it gave me a viewfinder I could use in bright sunlight, even if it is electronic. To be honest, there are really 2 more things I REALLY wish it had - proper aperture control and manual focus.
I am currently reading reviews of new cameras, DSLR, compact system cameras, and bridge cameras. I know I will just have to upgrade sooner or later. I keep being attracted to the bridge cameras because of size, because of not having to spend more to get lenses, and because they seem to be adding ALL the things I might have wished for. I know Fuji doesn't feature high on the list of the big names like Nikon, Canon, etc, but yet I see so many things to like about the Fuji HS30/35/50 cameras for example.
Maybe I will buy an entry level DSLR next, but it's not such an easy decision as I thought it would be. I thought I would post this, and see what others think. Are bridge cameras a real alternative, these days, for the budget conscious amateur?