|FujiFilm SL 300/305|
While the look and outward design has changed in the SL somewhat from the more traditional looking mini bridge camera design, the internals for both lines are for all practical purposes identical.
Where they most noticeably differ is in the use of Lithium batteries for the newer SL range. The trade off is a lighter camera but with reduced shot capacity. Claimed at 300 shots. No doubt with a few of the extra settings turned off this could be improved.
On the other side we have the S4000 series, which didn't receive particularly good mention from users. Using rechargeable AA batteries and for a tiny bit of extra weight you get 600 plus shots.
Both series feature electronic focusing, and an identical feature set in terms of focal lengths and digital zoom.
The new SL range sports a lens barrel switch for switching between wide or telephoto function. It also has the 460000 dot LCD as seen in the HS series but isn't articulated. These ranges offer a set of cameras at various zoom ranges, but maintain continuity of basic functions.
The SL range has a more modern DSLR look to it in its design, and all these cameras have a good size to them that should fit the hand comfortably for most folks.
For those looking for a longer zoom than the compacts these series of cameras could well fit the requirements.
Image quality is unknown at this time but hopefully is improved over the earlier models.
If they perform at least 50% better than my venerable old S5700 then they should make for a good all-round photographic solution.
For the price conscious these cameras should suit a range of budgets.