thanks for those links. I should have just researched this myself, but I wanted to hear your take on this too.
The G7 image quality at 100ISO rivals that of a DSLR with a kit lens and that says a lot for this digicam.
I liked the H9, but I can use the G7 for some light pro use, which I would never be able to do with the H9. Also the G7 takes external flash--a huge plus. And lastly, granted the H9's screen is awesome, but is there that much of a difference between 2.5 and 3? I am not too sure.
As for the camera industry in general, there is an agenda being exercised by the big boys (Canon, Sony and so on).
If you recall before the digital photography revolution, taking snap shots was a dying hobby. People where basically buying disposable cams and that was it. Then came the digicams. As people got hooked and the industry boomed and continue to boom, the idea of expansion must be on these big companies mind. Nothing wrong with it, nor do I see it as a conspiracy. Basically they want to grab more market share and sell more products, and make larger profits. Enter DSLR and the attack of the cell cam.
Now that we are all seem to be hooked on digicams and are buying them by the millions every year, and with the help of sites like yourself and DPreview and a few others, we are being educated to discern between good and not so good images and good and not so good cameras. As we become educated about digital photography we'll become more demanding and of course for the demanding photographer only a good DSLR will do.
So, we are being educated (pulled) by the 'Net and pushed by marketing to buy DSLRs. And we are doing it, as the public, because we know how much better they are in practice.
So culturally we are going back to the time when people carried film SLR's on their shoulders and the big camera companies couldn't be more giddy about it. Since there is greater profit in DSLR's with lenses and accessories.
Lastly as cell phone cams become more powerful and are able to provide better images and video at higher resolutions, they'll severely eat in at the digicam market. However, they can't ever touch the DSLR market. So, IMO that's another reason for the push of the consumer to the low-end DSLRs, because cell cams are getting serious.