So I gave it all a rest and just let it percolate in the back of my mind.
Today, as I was working through my infinite to-do list, I began to put together a series of price lists of basic camera gear, consisting of a body and one lens from Olympus (what I had before it was stolen), Nikon, and Canon. For me that one lens is a "normal" lens, either prime or zoom. A prime lens is usually one where the focal length equals the sensor diagonal (22mm for 4:3rds, 43mm for 35mm film). A "normal" zoom is one that zooms around the prime normal's focal length, such as 14-42mm for 4:3rds or 24-85mm for 35mm film/sensor. I usually opt for the zoom solution as it covers the prime focal lengths I'm interested in and usually work with: 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm. The tables that follow are the simple short lists of the three camera systems.
|Camera System Pricing - Base - Olympus|
|E-5, body only||$1,699.00|
|Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4 zoom||$999.00|
|Camera System Pricing - Base - Nikon|
|D600, body only||$2,100.00|
|Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR AF-S zoom||$599.00|
|Total||$2,699.00 ($2,596.95 introductory price)|
|Camera System Pricing - Base - Canon|
|6D, body only||$2,100.00|
|EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM||$999.00|
|Total||$3,099.00 ($2,899 introductory price)|
All prices are from Amazon.
I'm well aware of the optical quality of the Zuiko 12-60mm. I owned it for 3 1/2 years before it was stolen. It is indeed a superb zoom lens and one primary reason I kept my 4:3rds system for so long. The other two reasons were the Zuiko 50-200mm zoom and Zuiko 50mm macro. With the E-3 and two zooms gone I'm no longer "bound" as it were to Olympus, 4:3rds or µ4:3rds.
What's interesting is the pricing. Nikon is currently the low-cost leader in this simple comparison, especially if you consider the introductory pricing. The Canon system is a good $300 higher (or more if not at the introductory price). I'm sure somebody will comment that the Canon zoom is superior to the new Nikkor, but don't bother. I don't care all that much, and I have a feeling that unless the Nikkor is grossly inferior I won't be able to tell the difference between any of the three unless I pixel peep, and that's not why I take photographs.
What I'm after now is a move away from the smaller sensors back to 35mm photography. I want to be able to use a focal length of say, 50mm, and know that it really is 50mm, not 75mm equivalent on APS-C or 100mm equivalent on 4:3ds. And I want to go back to using primes, specifically Zeiss primes. I can buy the same Zeiss primes for either mount (and for Sony too, for that matter), but in the end I feel the Nikon body is the better deal. I'm willing to wait for a decent 6D review or two before I finally pull the trigger, but unless there's something hugely better with the Canon I'm not aware of, it looks like I'm headed back to Nikon.