I had some hopes in the new Panasonic but what a disappointment.
But the FZ38 has still the tiny crappy viewfinder and the substandard 2.7" screen with the extremely limited viewing angle. (try to shoot something below the line of sight the display turns dark! It is just optimized for over head shooting.)
and try to manual focus and see if it is sharp on the displays.
And more megapixel and now stereo wow what a impressive upgrade.
Combine that with the buy only Panasonic batteries or the camera explodes and you loose all warranty and you got a total winner.
Canon had perfect stereo with wind filter already in the S2 since 2005 and big viewfinders (sadly no big resolutions) and swivel screens.
Compared to all other super zooms in 2008/09 this is the most half assed as cheap as possible "upgrade"