Hi assemblerex - if all you need is 720p, the simplest upgrade path for you would be to sell your Powershot G10 and get a $380 G12
. Flip out LCD, RAW stills with the CHDK
hack. You already know how to use it as a still camera, and you won't have much of a learning curve.
Here are a few video examples from the Canon G12 group on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/groups/67458
If you want full 1080/24p for a little less money, you can get the $363 Canon SX40
. Again, flip out LCD and RAW stills with the CHDK hack
Here are examples from the SX40 group: https://vimeo.com/groups/sx40hs
I don't know whether it's important to you, but neither of these cameras have an external mic input. For that, you would have to change brands to Panasonic or get a camcorder.
The Panasonic point and shoot "bridge" camera in this price range looks a lot like the Canon SX40, but it has an external mic jack, shoots RAW stills without a hack, has unlimited video clip recording time and shoots 1080/60p instead of 24p. The faster frame rate makes action less "jerky" and also allows you to create smoother slow motion. The camera is the $450 Panasonic FZ150
. It costs a little more, but I have one of these cameras and I love it.
Here are some examples: https://vimeo.com/search?q=%22Panasonic+FZ150%22
Hope this is helpful,
BillHybrid Camera Revolution