From P&S to DSLR to M 4/3 to DSLR...
I started reading through the DPR forums some weeks ago and I am quite amazed by the body of knowledge offered, the very nice pictures posted and the at times furious discussions.
As I just registered I wanted to post straight away. Although the question might not be too special, I hope that I am not boring you.
I started shooting with a Canon Digital IXUS 4 (as it was called here in Germany) about ten years ago. I managed to get some quite decent shots with it. About three years ago, the IXUS 4 broke (probably a sensor issue) and I got myself an IXUS 120 IS. Sometimes I thought that the 4 took better pictures than the 120 (the latter being a bit too pleasing, if you know what I mean).
About two years ago I bought a Canon EOS 550 D (Digital Rebel T2i) as I wanted to really get into photography. The camera was fun to use and I liked the pictures. Unfortunately, my spare time was limited and I essentially left the EOS at home most of the time.
You can already guess where this is heading...
Two months ago I sold the EOS (with the kit lens) and bought an Olympus E-PL5. I thought that the smaller form factor would ensure that I take the cam with me. I must admit that the pictures are very nice. Unfortunately, the camera's ergonomics are quite bad. When I am really using it, I find it to be way too small and menu-driven. Furthermore, although I thought I would not need a viewfinder, I actually do.
I think that more button-and-wheel controls suit a beginner better.
I was quite looking forward to look at the Panasonic Lumix G6, as a kind of small DSLR. But there are some major issues as well. Sensor quality is not the most important thing IMO. But the G6 uses an older sensor. Besides, I do not like the really "plasticy" look of the G6. The G5 felt way more solid.
The Lumix GH3 or the Olympus OM-D are too expensive for me.
So I reread some pros and cons of mirrorless cameras and DSLRs. Some things drawing me back to DSLRs are the optical viewfinders, the faster AF, the better ergonomics, the greater lens choices, the better accessory choices, the possibly better prices. Furthermore I am a scuba diver and I would like to take great UW shots some time (when I can afford respective gear). Right now I use an Intova IC-12, which is quite cheap and keeps me struggling to frame fish etc. I understand that UW gear is primarily on offer for DSLRs.
All in all, I think that DSLRs will be a better choice for me and the right system to invest in after all. I am aware of the fact that I will be throwing some EUR out of the window by selling the knewly-bought E-PL5 now. But the consequences of camera system choice are too important to let this guide my decision.
The new camera should be a decent allrounder, maybe with a bit more weight on the landscape and architecture side, plus capable of shooting fast moving objects (sharks etc.).
So far I have been looking at the Canon EOS 650 D (Digital Rebel T4i), the Canon EOS 60D, the Nikon D5200, the Nikon D7000 and the Pentax K30.
Is the IQ of the D5200 really that superior if you compare it to the rest or is it just DXOMark and marketing? How often does one really need a touch screen? I read a lot about AF and dust issues with the D7000. Would it be a safe choice to buy now or should one stay away from it? Are there similar quality control issues with the D5200? Does Pentax offer enough good (and affordable) lenses? Do you have any other suggestions?
I would be quite thankful if you could share some personal experiences.
Greetings from Germany