A few weeks back an unplanned string of events led me to trade in all of my Olympus gear for a Nikon DSLR. My Olympus E-PL5 and then the E-P5 served me well, but a simple request from a friend to research DSLRs for them started me on a new path. It went a little something like this:
- Was bulking up my E-P5 with a very impressive flash (FL-600R. The built in was of little use to me other than as an RC trigger.) that was bigger than the camera itself. Nice, but it would be nice to use my EVF and flash at once, but that was not an option as is. I bought an old school flash bracket 2nd hand with a cold shoe and used the flash RC. Issues: 1) It technically worked, but I had now Frankensteined my mirrorless in to a bulky bit of kit. Seemed counter intuitive. 2) When not in use the handgrip bracket looked too much like a pistol grip hanging out of my pocket and that would just not do. 3) Looking at this contraption I thought I might do well with adding a DSLR to my bag after all.
- Buy another body? The EM-10 is very nice, but paying $699 (body only) for a demi-DSLR with fewer features than the E-P5 I picked up for $600 made no sense to me. And a grand plus for an EM-1 was more than I was willing to spend. Worth it. Just not willing to spend it.
- A friend was in the market for a DSLR, liked the Canon SL1, and wanted me to see if there were any other choices. This is how I happened upon the D3300 in all of it’s 20+MP APS-C sized sensor kit glory for $649. Then it went on sale for $599. Light bulb. Instead of spending $699 or $1,000+ on another body or $1,000 on another lens I was considering (12-40MM F/2.8 PRO) I traded some disused lenses and got a whole new camera and lens for $599. No cash spent. Yes please. This logic does not work for all, but it was a no brainer for me. Oh, and my friend bought the SL1 and he is quite happy with it.
- Planned on keeping both systems. Then I took both to a singing engagement for my choir in a dimly lit ball room and the Nikon 18-55mm kit lens performed quite well. Much better than I expected in fact. Then on another day I saw a garden adjacent to where I had just voted and this happened:
- I further realized I could score a used 55-300mm lens and a new Nikon 35mm f1.8 lens for peanuts relatively speaking. Thus the balance of my existing gear was traded having not spent a dime with money returned to me at the end. Nice. Almost as nice as when I sold an iPhone 5 (nice phone) and bought myself a Lumia 920 and my wife an ASUS Android tablet (nice phone and nice tablet) with the proceeds.
I am not a brand loyalist. I will not defend the switch from the old. It was a great camera. I will not wax poetic regarding the superiority of the new. Not necessarily better. Different. Plus why not keep the corporations guessing. Most importantly I am still able to capture light for my own amusement. Still eyeing a mirrorless in my future for a more portable option in the form of the Samsung NX300. Solid reviews. Nice sample images and some nice lenses to choose from. A steal at $499 w/ a 45mm f1.8. Is that an APS-C sensor you have in your pocket? Who knows. We’ll see. A link to a gallery of images from the latest implement here.
Update: Due to the feature to cost value proposition it offered I eventually moved to (then away from and then back to) Pentax among other cameras. But Pentax (K-3 and K-1) remains my DSLR tool of choice.