FZ50 for travel camera?
Very good advice, ngari & SterlingBjorndahl.
I just thought I'd add the COST factor and the fact that the FZ50 should be a LOT easier to learn since the OP already has a Panasonic (same menus). And if the Wife ever wants to use the Big Boy, that will also be easier. (And an easier "sell" to her in her role of Finance Minister)
I'm thinking hard about the K10D, but for now I went with the FZ50 (from the FZ20) because while it can far-exceed my skill level, I don't have to learn a whole new system, new menus, new lens systems, carry the extra weight that I know I'd end up with, and be scared to death if anyone got within 10 yards of it. And did I mention that my otherwise Wonderful Wife is prone to dropping things? One last point here, I don't much like lens-slap, but that's one of those "comes-with-the-territory" things.
I find that the FZ50 can do almost everything I want it to do, even the low-light shots that I want. It can also do a LOT that I haven't learned how to do yet (Full manual mode is a time-consuming ordeal for occasional-use people like me).
And, with an easy-to-carry-and-attach Raynox 0.66(cheap too), I can get down to 23mm, lower than the 18-200 would give in the DSLR's mentioned (27mm). And I'll just mention 420mm, Extended Optical Zoom and a TCON-17!
And I would DEFINITELY go with two lens on any DSLR(pay 'til it hurts), and maybe three, two zooms and a very good WA Prime. Ok, maybe another prime for portraits if you're into that. (see what I mean about "what I'd end up with"?)
Good luck Hume, we want pictures from that trip!
It depends on what you want your photos for, and how often you'll
be shooting in low light. For a typical advanced amateur
photographer I think the FZ50 would do the job more than 90% of the
time, at a significant savings in weight & convenience. Unless you
take a lot of low light shots without flash.
I would not hesitate to use the FZ50 for that kind of trip. When I
needed low light shots without flash I would shoot RAW, and
wouldn't expect to see those shots in National Geographic (but
they'd look just fine as a 4x5 and maybe even bigger, and would be
great on the web).