Ming Thein really has a good analysis of what is available. Ideally, you want to buy one lense when you are 21 and then pass it on to your grand kids. Lenses are one place where you can really do that. His post on dSLR lenses is right on (IMHO) where he basically says validates all the research:
- If you are starting out fresh, then you should buy Nikon for your big 36MP monster. For a long time Canon had the lead in noise and so forth, but right now the D800E is probably the leader in image quality, so the best thing to do is probably to sell your Canon lenses in the still strong after market and move on. To what is the next question. And of course the big question is do you need a big dSLR anymore any way 🙂 The wild card is Sony which is rumored to be revamping their A-mount line for launch in early 2014 to shake up the market. Makes it pretty clear it is time to move off of Canon and if you have to move now, then go to Nikon, otherwise, wait to see what Sony is up to. Certainly the SLT-A99 is a pretty amazing camera and Sony does make the Nikon sensors 🙂
- For most people, you don’t need a medium format camera, then actually the new ILCs and the choices are much harder. Basically the Nikon 1 isn’t high enough resolution for professionals, the Canon EOS-M is slow focusing and hard to use, if you are true afictionado, the Leica M (if you can afford it!). The Micro 4/3 is the most mature as Rennie knows!) with high ISO comparable to dSLRs of years past (but not current ones), so this is his choice right now although he does wonder a little bit with Sony being Olympus’s biggest shareholder.
- Sony NEX is the other contender for the best ILC system with great image quality, but the lens lineup is limited with a lack of fast lenses, so right now you just get the base lense or maybe a fast prime like the Zeiss 24mm F/1.8. He’s right I think, but the upcoming NEX-9 which is supposed to be a native full frame E-mount that can also accept A-mount and Leica M-mount, they are apparently trying to make Sony universal (makes sense as they are behind Canon and Nikon in lenses).
- Fuji X. He thinks it is just too slow even though the XE1 is faster although opinions vary.
- Samsung NX. The main issue here is the ergonimics and image quality is pretty good (although not as good as the NEX or OM-D)
- Compacts. His last point is that many compacts are really good now. Some good candidates are the Sony RX100 (but have an extra battery) because is has a 1″ 20MP sensor and a 28-100MM zoom which is a fast F/1.8 at the wide angle end. And as an aside, it is small enough to put on a DJI drone.
With my Canon 5D Mark II dead, it might make more sense, to see about selling all those lenses and then starting with an RX100 and then waiting for the Sony NEX-7N (24MP with 1/2 stop improvement in noise, 3.8M dot EVF, touchscreen, hybrid contract and phase detection AF, and Wifi) or the NEX-9 (which is rumored to be a full frame mirrorless like the Rx-1!) and wait for more lenses to come out and trying a Fuji XE-1 to see how it really is.
If you need a camera now, I’d say it would be Nikon D800, Sony NEX-7, Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Sony RX-100 although the NEX-7N, NEX-9, OM-D E-M7 and Fuji XE-2 are around the corner according to Nippon Camera, so the main safe choice right now is the RX-100. Isn’t technology wonderful!