Hi Neil, further to randomagain's post about weighing up DSLRs against compacts, it boils down to comparing the features and seeing which suits you the best. The following is taken from our earlier G1 preview.
There are a number of similarities: both cameras come with stabilised optics, have full manual control, composition with either electronic viewfinders or screens, support for RAW recording and Panasonic’s latest Intelligent Auto mode.
In its favour, the FZ28 obviously comes with a huge 18x optical zoom lens with optical stabilisation, equivalent to 27-486mm. So that starts with roughly the same wide angle coverage as the G1’s first kit zoom, but then gets even closer than the optional telephoto zoom without having to swap lenses and risk dust entering the body. The FZ28 also features movie recording facilities, including an HD mode which captures video at 1280x720 pixels. The FZ28 is additionally smaller at 118x75x89mm and lighter at 370g (without battery, but including lens).
In its favour, the G1 has two extra Megapixels and a considerably bigger sensor, which allows far better performance in low light at higher sensitivities. It has a bigger and more detailed screen which flips to any angle, and an electronic viewfinder that’s larger and much more detailed too. The kit zoom may only be a 3.2x model, but you can remove it and fit other models. The G1 also has a flash hotshoe and HDMI output.
So with its bigger sensor, the G1 gets the quality vote (at higher sensitivities anyway), and the ability to switch lenses also gives it great flexibility. But the FZ28’s 18x zoom already arguably covers virtually every situation, there’s a movie mode, and the camera is smaller, lighter, and comfortably cheaper.
Also note the new GH1, launched todays which adds movie recording to the G1... See our preview on the front page!