Thanks for the review.
P7000 is the 1st Nikon compact which feel the image quality is really good.
Unfortunately got some issues reported by users on focusing and slow raw writing.
Hopefully Nikon could address the issues with firmware update.
Maybe u can start off with 50mm f1.8 to see if u like to use the prime lens which are having fixed focal length.
It should offer better image quality and low light capability than your zoom lens.
Prime lens will make your legs work more ;)
Do u change lens regularly?
I think the easiest way for sensor to contact dust will be during lens changing.
Got to be careful esp. changing lens in windy or dusty environment.
Some people recommending changing lens with camera body facing down to reduce the amount of dust entering the camera.
As you described, it will be good if u could get a camera asap before your trip to familiarise with its functionalities and pick up photography knowledge.
If u consider Nikon, D90 is a good buy to start with photography.
Thanks for your comments :)
For pic #40, i should be using auto scene mode and set the focus inside the shelter.
The exposure for the bright sky and dark shelter should be auto-balanced by the Active D-Lighting feature if i m not wrong.
For the editing, i just increased the contrast.