When we spoke to a representative from Fujifilm we said we needed a high quality digital camera that could do what an SLR does without being one.  Since we were going to be in some horrendous dusty, windy conditions just about the whole time, we couldn't afford to be changing lenses, risking the CCD, not to mention the chunky equipment set that goes along with an SLR.

Fujifilm have kindly provided Steppe by Steppe with a FinePix S8100fd, which has 10.0 million effective megapixels, and 18X optical zoom.  Perfect!