I nearly research for two months. You can see my queries in the sony H9 forums. Gordan was kind enough to answer all my questions.
I evaluated Pana FZ50, Sony H9, G7 and Canon S3 & S5.
First canon S5 was on top then Sony H9 came in as my past thre compacts were sony. Was impressed with the pacakage that sony gave and the advantage of having batteries and memory sticks with me.
H9 went out of the race bcoz of its image quality. I already had a feeling of Ixus performing better in night than sony W70.
Then it was Pana FZ50, its sensor size is teh biggest amog all(equal to G7) i went tried my friends FZ 50, I was too big for me, the LCD is very small when compared wit others. So I dint like the feel of it took few snaps was the same as others.
then came back to Canon. Now decided that I am join the canon family. then G7 or S3 or S5. After looking at superzooms with an intension of going for a much advanced ones to compact, dint get convinced to the fixed screen in G7. I had some great photos, by this time Ihad realized that ultimate detail is only from an SLR, all other are somewhere near the 'smeary' side only!!!. More over G7 dint have Raw and the difference in the zoom. so the G7 was out.
then S3 or S5. S3 was a very good camera, S5 is next in the series, though arguments are on about its extra image processing (Digic III) there are lots of other features, bigger screen, more video recording time, face detection was to its advantage. Saw lots of photos of S3 and S5 the colou of canon was great among all and S5 and S3 were same or very close so my choice was S5 I have one now with 4gb SDHC class 6 memory card, hama tripod, and canon adapter + hood kit.
- some S5 photos my my cam, (see for the S5 tag below the photographs)
hope this helps pls ask any specific queries