I have a few people asking me about what might be the best compact vacation camera now (summer 2012) available in the U.S. I suppose, for the purposes of the people in mind, compact can mean pocketable or something that can be easily and comfortably carried around the neck or on a shoulder. No heavy lifting; minimal bulk. I'm pretty sure these people are talking about fixed-lens cameras, because convenience is high on their list of priorities. But so is versatility and general image quality, so that might be negotiable. I might also toss in the importance of operating performance as in speed of zoom and auto-focus, shutter delay, etc. Despite these being vacation cameras, things like GPS and wi-fi are less important. A nice, healthy zoom range would be nice, but ultra-long telephoto (600mm and beyond) is not necessary. While it may not be possible, it would be nice if the camera(s) I recommend had some kind of viewfinder - or at least a rear LCD that really and truly did well in bright sunlight. Most of us understand the compromises involved with cameras in the so-called travel-zoom class. There are several reasonable choces there. But perhaps I need to think a bit more out of the box before giving my friends and colleagues final recommendations. I could easily point them in the direction of a small micro-four thirds camera. But I'm not sure they'd be satisfied with the zoom range of the kit lens and might not want to change lenses while on a trip, or pay for something like an Oly 14-150 on top of the camera purchase. But that might still be an option. As an aside, I wonder aloud if anyone on these forums has actually used an Oly 14-150 on a Panasonic body, something like the G3, and what kind of results they got without IBIS or lens-based OIS. I can't help but think the answer would be quite different a year or two down the road as more cameras feature the new one-inch sensors. But what about right now? What do the Best and Brightest of Serious Compacts recommend? I'm keeping an open mind.