Not loving rented GX7. Now what? Olympus, Fuji, or Samsung?

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mp2011
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Not loving rented GX7. Now what? Olympus, Fuji, or Samsung?
5 months ago

I have posted here before, and have been mirrorless shopping since 2011 and not finding what I need. I am a hobbyist mom with a camera, shooting my kids, and my main camera is a 5D Mark iii. I usually use the 35L lens but have a few others. With the addition of my third baby, I started very seriously wanting a smaller camera. I don't plan to get rid of my 5D at this point. Here is my history:

I owned a Panasonic G3 for a long time, with the 20mm 1.7. Sold it, because I just never loved it. Hated the colors even shooting RAW, felt like I was always accidentally changing settings, just never reached for the camera over just using my iPhone. Thought I would sell it and get something that would make me happier (ha ha ha!).

Rented the Fuji x100s, and loved it except the AF is not fast enough to keep up with my kids given the amount if money I would be investing in it.

Rented the Fuji Xe2, but rented it two weeks after having a baby and didn't give it much of a chance before ruling it out. I rented it with the 35mm lens, which I now understand is very slow AF wise.

Rented an EP5, the menus were nightmarish and I realized I probably might rather have a EVF.

I bought and returned an SL1, because I found the grip painful to hold.

My husband bought an RX100 II. After several months, we both agreed it just didn't work for us at all. I really felt that camera needed a touch screen. It didn't work at all for shooting our kids. It was a camera my husband really wanted and then never used much.

I am now renting this GX7. I love the popup flash being able to bounce. I think the EVF is nice and works well. The AF is pretty good, and I like the results it has produced photo wise. But I think the grip is uncomfortable/awkward, it is giving me flashbacks of my G3 where the size of the focus point seems to change randomly, sometimes I can move the focus point while looking at the EVF, sometimes not- I know I need more time with the camera to figure out settings, but it does almost seem like the sheer number of things that can be customized are working against me rather than for me right now. I just don't love the camera for how much money I would invest in it as a second camera. If the camera has an EVF, I think I would rather toggle using the keypad vs. moving the point on the touchscreen. If I am composing via the screen, I think touchscreen focus is great.

Another weird little part of this is that my girls, ages 5 and 4, like to use a smaller camera.

That leaves me considering the Samsung NX300- it is inexpensive, I love the colors it produces and the photos in general from what I have seen, I like the price, and from playing with it at Best Buy my kids love using it (although they would like a viewfinder more, so it is like what they see me doing). I would get the 30mm pancake with it. Of course for my purposes, I worry the AF won't be fast enough. But maybe that doesn't matter since it is not my main camera. And the Samsung is so inexpensive I could get it for now and see what else comes out in a year or so.

I also can't let go of the idea of Fuji, which I would probably get the Xe2 and the 27mm also due to prices (especially right now). I like the way Fuji operates as a company, I like the manual controls. I wish there was a touchscreen, and I still worry about the AF.

Finally, I wonder if I should consider the EM10 or even the EM5, with the new Olympus 25mm lens. I think I could get past my frustration with the menus after some time with it. I know the AF would be fast enough. I am not sure if the grip would be more comfortable than the GX7 for me or not.

I don't want to rent any more cameras, I don't want to buy and return any cameras. I don't want to read camera forums, or shop for cameras. I just want to get back to taking photos. I would love any insight anyone has at this point (other than I have become rather "gear obsessed" and have OCD- I know these things :)). I am going to post in another forum too for additional responses. I didn't post in the micro four thirds forum because I know there would not be much support for the Fuji or Samsung options. Thank you anyone who read all of this.

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