I didn't mention the European equivalent models, as i think at the moment they are more expensive than the UK versions, as the Euro has just dropped below the GBP. Most cameras are sold in each country for about the same number of units of currency, such as £500 = $500, but its the exchange rate that makes it better or worse. I used to sell cameras as a side line in about 2000 - 2004, I would buy them from USA for the same price in dollars as you would sell them for in pounds here, so i would make the profit on the exchange rate. EBay has killed that market though. Also what difference would there be between a 2.8 lens on a compact camera or an SLR with a small APS-C sensor like used in cameras with a 1.6 magnification (such as the SLRs we have been talking about in this thread, 450D, 1000D etc), and what advantage is there of buying a compact over an SLR? To get the whole object in as close to full focus as possible because of Depth of field, you need to have a smaller aperture such as F32, not wider such as 2.8. In product photography this doesn't matter as you just lift the exposure time and pop the camera on a steady ground such a s tripod or bean bag.