I am human, just like everyone else. I may stay strictly loyal to Olympus and probably not sway too easily, but I am also susceptible to gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) that all photography hobbyists suffer from. There were moments when I do wonder how my photography workflow and shooting experience will differ if I were to use a different camera. The fact that there are so many exciting cameras out there makes things even more difficult!
On one hand, I am a strong believer of Olympus Micro Four Thirds system as a complete, well-rounded, reliable and effective photography system. There are just too many can't-live-without features such as 5-Axis Image Stabilization, small form factor & lightweight yet robust construction, super fast & accurate autofocus, and most important of all the wide selection of available sharp and small high performing lenses. On the other hand, I cannot help but always wonder about a few other cameras out there and what they can do for me!
Here is a short list of 3 cameras that I lust for, at this moment.
1) FUJIFILM X70
What is there not to like about this camera? Small, light, same philosophies as what I have always shouted about, and the super-versatile 28mm focal length, which is one of the highly valued perspective for street photography. Oh and that killer, sexy classical look, Fuji makes beautiful cameras so easily to fall in love with at the first sight. I personally have owned and used the Fuji X100 (first version) and I simply loved the camera, despite the few shortcomings (painfully slow Autofocus, mediocre lens). Fuji X-series camera has come a long way and I am sure the AF has improved over the years. Having a fixed lens camera for street shooting is not a bad choice, and the external controls and dials (not excessively done) would aid in some quick settings when necessary. I can totally imagine myself shooting with Olympus E-M10 Mark II with 45mm F1.8 for longer, tighter shots, and switching quickly to Fujifilm X70 for all my wide angle coverage needs on the street. I have also known a few street shooting friends who regularly use the 28mm perspective for their framing. After trying my best to adapt to the 35mm focal length, I have concluded that the 35mm is just not meant for me and I should only use it when necessary. I am now shifting my shooting style back to my original preferences: wide angle and medium telephoto range. Not so much of 35mm which is neither here nor there. And yes, the 28mm works well for me and the Fuji X70 is really tempting.
2) PANASONIC LX100
There was a time, before I decided to buy the OM-D E-M10 Mark II that I have seriously considered a Panasonic LX100. What is there not to like about this camera in a true compact-form, yet housing a powerful Micro Four Thirds imaging capabilities? That built-in lens, 24-70mm at very bright apertures of F1.7 to F2.8 may be the only lens I need for 90% of my shooting needs! I could see myself just using this camera for my street shooting every weekend, carrying one body without the need to change lens! Most importantly, Panasonic LX100 has a built in electronic viewfinder, which the Fujifilm X70 lacks. Having used the Panasonic Lumix GM1 for more than a year before, I know well enough the capabilities of Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras, and I can confidently recommend Panasonic cameras to anyone. My only wish is for this camera to have touch AF capabilities (not sure why this is not implemented, as it helps a lot when it comes to changing focusing point quickly.
3) PENTAX K-1
This must be quite an interesting choice to be mentioned as one of the camera I do want to use. I have been using DSLR for at least 5 years (2008 to 2012, Olympus E-410, Olympus E-520, Olympus E-5, Sony A350, Sony A57). While I have moved on completely to mirrorless system now, and have been the forefront pusher of the tagline "mirrorless is the future", if there is any chance I am returning to DSLR now, for whatever reasons (do we need reasons to change cameras? actually we just need cash) I would choose the newly released full frame Pentax K-1. I have recently had a very quick hands-on experience with the K-1, and I liked it immediately. The camera feels great in my hands, comfortable gripping and good ergonomics. I particularly love a third dial that can be customized for a number of functions, and if I have this camera, that third dial would be set to control ISO directly. Is it not great to have just a dedicated dial for ISO? ALL cameras should have this! Autofocus was fast, the optical viewfinder was large and looks fantastic, and based on so many early online reviews out there, K-1 seems like a winner already! I understand that lens selection will be limited and commitment of Pentax to this full frame system is still uncertain, but hey, I still believe in Pentax as a great camera-making company and if K-1 is successful I am sure the system will grow in time.
I would love to get my hands on either one of the 3 cameras and start clicking away. Unfortunately, cash is limited and I am still very happy and have very little complain with what I am using now (Olympus E-M10 Mark II, PEN E-P5, 12-50mm kit lens, 25mm F1.8 and 45mm F1.8).
So tell me, do you find any of the cameras listed above as a surprise coming from me? What is the camera you are aiming for right now? Share your thoughts!