I first got my feet wet with digital photography with a cheap little Canon A430 pocket camera. At first, I just used it as basic snapshot camera, then I began to experiment with macro and different modes. This lead me to want "something a little better," so I bought a Canon SX10 superzoom "bridge" camera in 2009. And THAT'S when I began to get more adventurous! Love the SX10 and it lead me on the path to DSLR's--the T3i and then the 7D.
This is a common path for a "bridge" camera user, as it whets the appetite for more flexibility and control, so it often leads one to wanting to get into a DSLR. Yet I've never lost my affection for the classic Superzoom bridge cameras. I bought a brand new in the box SX50 some months ago, from Kijiji (a sort of Canadian Craigslist), for only $200 all in.
I must say it's impressive--not a replacement for a DSLR and good lens, but Superzooms give tremendous versatility in a small package. If my primary goal is photography, then my two DSLR's come with me. Usually with a general purpose lens, like the 15-85 or 40mm pancake on the T3i and the 100-400 on my 7D. Under those circumstances I may also have the SX50 and/or Panasonic FZ200 in the car. Sometimes I'll just take one of the SLR's out with me, with one of the Superzoom's along as a "just in case" the lens on the SLR isn't right for a sudden, and unexpected situation.
An example, if I expect even-odds on both Telephoto and wide-angle shots, then the T3i with general purpose lens and the 7D with 100-400 go with me. This is a heavy and bulky combo though, but worth it if I KNOW I want both wide angle and telephoto. But, if I am primarily after one type of subject, then I choose whichever DSLR fits the primary goal and use one of the Superzooms as a contingency second body. So, if I plan to do some landscape shots, I might take the SX50 or FZ200 as an "emergency" telephoto camera, in case a hawk or animal suddenly springs up where I don't expect it to. It may not be as "good" as the 7D and 100-400, but it beats the 15-85 or the 40! Or, if I am primarily after a telephoto target, I might bring along one of the superzooms as a contingency wide angle camera, to take a shot of an interesting building or vista I didn't expect. It is a lot easier to carry an SLR and superzoom than it is to carry two SLR's! And I've kicked myself often enough for missing a shot for want of the appropriate focal length selection!!!
Another use for the Superzooms is to have a versatile camera with you when you aren't in the mood to haul bulky and equivalent equipment with you. If I'm going for a walk where photography is NOT the primary goal, and I don't feel like lugging a pair of SLR's and their lenses around, I grab one of the Superzooms. I may take few shots, or none at all, but at least I've got a camera with a very useful range of focal lengths with me, in case the singing frog from the Bugs Bunny cartoon makes an unexpected appearance!!
And it can be so liberating to "travel light," yet still have the ability to shoot from wide-angle to super telephoto with one (relatively) small camera.
I often bring out the Superzooms when I just don't feel like hauling a lot of equipment with me---especially when I'm longing for the simple "good old days" when the old SX10 was my pride and joy--a single body with a 28mm to 560mm reach. It didn't take the same quality of photos I can get with my DSLR's (or as the newer SX50 and FZ200 for that matter!), but it did still take some gorgeous photos. For stationary subjects in good light, it worked very well. I got some great shots of herons with it, and the two new ones have also worked well as "backup" wildlife and landscape cameras.
I bought the SX10 new in 2009, but both the SX50 and FZ200 I purchased for VERY good prices off Kijij. In addition, I also bought a Fujifilm X10 from Kijiji as well--which has a fast lens and makes a very good low light camera that is compact and easy to take places where I wouldn't want to carry a bulky SLR. It's rather challenging to change cameras and systems (the FZ200 layout is logical, but designed to frustrate a long time Canon user to no end! LOL), but that's part of the "fun" as well. I'm not a pro--I shoot as a hobby and FUN is where it's at for me. I find using different pieces of equipment and deciding which camera is the right tool for the moment at hand is a part of the "fun." I also clearly have a bad case of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) but hey, that's a part of the FUN factor for me too!
Regarding the layout of the SX50, I concur that it's too easy to hit the wrong button. As a matter of fact, it's amazing how much better the old SX10 fits the hand than either the SX50 or the FZ200 do. It's larger than either, and it has a much larger, deeper and more comfortable grip than either, so the new cameras don't have it ALL over the old one.
I'd like to see a larger camera in the SX60, but I don't think that's likely as there is a strong bias towards compact electronics. I'm quite anxious to see how the SX60 performs when it does arrive. It's not "in the centre of my RADAR" the way the 7D II or the 100-400 II are, but it's still something interesting to me. Superzooms are great as a "bridge" for the novice shooter towards DSLR's--and they can remain compelling and fun tools, even after you've 'graduated!'