I'm a just a fellow who wants to take nature photos, and my kid at soccer and stuff for eBay and such. I owned a Canon EOS 7D with fancy lenses, the whole works--about $3000 worth of Canon stuff. all I needed was this camera.
The EOS DSLR is heavy, "fixy", and not good for nature walks and plenty of mobility at sporting events. Rarely would I use the 8 frames per second shooting rates. I watched the DVDs on EOS 7D, and played with it and took some pretty artsy photos that I blew up and put in my office. It's a great camera, the pricey EOS DSRL. But it had plenty of drawbacks: price, size, bulk, complex attachments, battery life, compact flash rather than SDR cards, and on and on.
But for what I need, this Canon here is stellar, and I sold all my EOS stuff, and extra lenses on eBay!! I'm totally thrilled with the size, build, and photo quality of this camera. Frankly, it's one of those situation where, to get the highest level of quality you have to pay exponentially more (the EOS 7D), with plenty of limitations (bulk, attachments, multiple lenses, etc.), when for most of us who just want to take quality photos, this is plenty enough. I pop this into a Lowepro camera fannypack and I'm good to shoot and walk and hike all afternoon. I adore the zoom, and as the reviewer below me states, when I zoom, of course there's less light entry into the camera and the images will be "hazy". So, you must select a very bright subject at top zoom. I can easily take my son on the bench across the entire field in soccer, and it's amazing.
I wish the lens wouldn't move in and out whenever you turn the camera on, but rather just when you need zoom. With every "on" cycle, the lens does it's silent grinding in and out like it's adjusting itself, even if I want to just taken a normal photo. Battery drain, unnecessary mechanical movement, in my opinion. I wish it'd do it only when I want zoom.
Other than that, for me, the guy who might submit a photo to my local newspaper photo contest once in a blue moon, but mostly want to take excellent photos at the family barbecue, this camera is the best I have every owned. And I've owned a lot (including SONY HRs, and Fuji hand helds, and on and on). The movie capability, the size, the zoom, the battery life (very good), and the price (I paid more than this for one Sigma lens) makes this camera a winner. I will mention that this particular camera is hard to find: I think Canon may know that it'll hurt the sales of some of the more pricey, entry level interchangeable lens DSLRs they sell because, spec for spec, they are very similar.
Have a wonderful day