So I got myself a Canon 450D. It was a great camera, I loved the 50mm f1.8 lens, but I realized over time that I hardly take it with me because of size. Lugging all the lenses, and the camera was not fun anymore. Not that I didn't like the quality of images it too, rather, that it was a hassle, and even the Camera with the 50mm lens was heavy, when hiking for 4 hours. So I'm still in the process of selling it :). The 50mm lens is gone, but the Camera and the other lenses are still available.
|Canon 450D, 2x batteries, charger, and wired remote|
|from left to right 75-300mm, 18-55mm, 35-80mm, and 50mm|
In the mean time, before getting the Olympus E-PL5, I got another Bridge Camera, the Panasonic DMC-FZ200. Oh do I love that piece of machine. It's great size, has an excellent reach up to 600mm Full Frame equivalent, and at f2.8 hard to beat. Now I know it has a small sensor, but I've been taking great pictures with it, and love the Zoom reach. So now I can say that my 2 main camera's are the Panasonic, and Olympus. The Olympus has a bigger sensor, but it is even smaller than my Panasonic, which makes it even greater. Image quality is excellent, for my needs. The Canon is still around, but mostly until I can sell it. I hardly even use it. It's too bulky.
I had the opportunity to test drive the Olympus E-PL5 for 2 weeks before buying, and it was worth it. If you are in the market for a Camera, ask friends, if anyone has it, try it for a few days. I love the image quality of the Canon, and that sweet 50mm lens, but it's bulky compared to the Olympus. If size is not an issue, then I think you can pick any camera that falls in your price range. I'm not a fan of the Canon vs. Nikon, or Sony vs. Pentax or what ever vs another camera. Each has it's strength and weaknesses, and you need to pick based on your needs. Low light performance, weather sealing, Video recording capabilities are what could swade your choice to one manufacturer versus another.
Another detail to keep in mind is the lens availability. Sigma, and many other manufacturers make lenses for most camera's. My next purchase will probably be a Bright fix lens, thinking of getting the Sigma 19mm F2.8, yeah it's not that bright, but fits my needs.
After all if you are a Professional photographer, thanks for reading this far. If not but you like taking pictures, and enjoy sharing online, and maybe print a few out, I think it's safe to say that any modern Digital camera will fit the bill. I don't make a living of my images (even though I tried to sell a few) so I'm sure I don't need the latest and greatest camera.
Thoughts, if you have anything to add, please don't hesitate to comment.