First, to explain. I am not a terribly experienced photography, though I am not a beginner. I currently have a Canon EOS Rebel XT with an 18-55 mm lens. I like the fact that it is a DSLR and can take great quality images with high resolution while allowing me to manually change the settings. However, in a month I will be traveling to South Africa and need a camera with better zoom abilities, and would I would also like to upgrade on MP. I will be hoping to take action pictures of the wildlife there but I also enjoy doing close up macro-style photography on flora. To answer the questions: Budget * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible. - under < 300-350. Size * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you? - hopefully more compact than my DSLR. certainly no bigger. Features How many megapixels will suffice for you? - i'd like 16 MP * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x) - ultrazoom. looking at 26-30+ * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10) - 10 * Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)? - would prefer, but not a must General Usage * What will you generally use the camera for? - action of African wildlife as well as still photos of friends and touristy-things * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? - yes * Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? - not likely * Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? - sports, no. action as far as animals running, likely. Miscellaneous * Are there particular brands you like or hate? - familiar with both Canon and Nikon. not a fan of Olympus. * Are there particular models you already have in mind? - I have been considering the Nikon Coolpix P510 and L820 as well as Canon Powershot SX500 IS * (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) - perhaps image stabilization, and weatherproof would be nice, but not a must. Thank you in advance for any help and input offered!