Recent plans have been adrift, planning without verifying. Once again I was buying bargains, but if the system is not the best of fits it will all be re-sold so 'bargain' is less the correct term. I had figured that the possibility of using a viewfinder would make a big difference to her over the Samsung body she has now. But no - my wife really likes the NX300, and she has now made that clear. This means we have NX as our mirrorless system, and µ43 gear is all wrong as a second camera.
The little Olympus (and Panasonic) cameras go great work, and I've been impressed. However, a second mirrorless kit is not a sensible answer. I sort of knew this and grabbed some 4Thirds 'bargains' too - and I enjoyed it for a bit until I found myself stranded in an ideal photo shoot with less-than-ideal gear.
The E500 simply cannot do action or low light, which is precisely where I found myself when a crowd of pelicans visited a local pond. Even the NX300 with PDAF on the sensor could have outdone this - though right now I can only go to 75mme with that camera, so the pelicans would have been absurdly smaller compared to these taken at 350mme. Very sad to be stuck between systems at this moment, but it's a learning experience that will stick with me. I have a K-01 (yes, another mirrorless body) that might have improved on these, but holding its VF-free body steady with a larger and equally-slow telephoto lens could easily have produced fuzzy birds too even with its SR system working.
For surrealism I like this second image.. but I'd greatly prefer some frozen pics of flying pelicans at iso4000 or so. And none of the gear that I have now cannot manage it.
A final spasm of financial pain came as I was learning all this, and in a flurry of deals the µ43 gear has pretty much all departed. The 4Thirds gear is still here for a while; I had ordered spare batteries and cables so until they arrive they aren't much of a package. Hopefully I can get most of my ill-planned investment back once the package is fully assembled; the Zuiko 11-22mm is very much a sought-after lens in the Four Thirds and adapted world. That sale plus the pending IRA funds will put us in a better situation for thinking things through and moving on.
"Moving on" comes in two steps. Part One is a second NX300 so that my wife and I have matching kits. Those bodies are still at around $200 for a decent used copy which is what hers cost. I had considered an NX30 instead, but those tend to cost more than I deem reasonable for our needs. The 50-200mm ois telephoto can be had for $150, so I might as well have a shareable copy of that. And the 10/16/30 primes might come later if they strike me as great deals.
Part Two is clearly Pentax.
I know their gear, like it a lot, and still have a few good lenses for it. The 28-90, 100/2.8 and a 300 mirror remain in the closet, and a few others could hang about as well. I will seek weather seals so either an 18-50re or 20-40 Limited zoom would be fine, with 16-50 or 16-85 as outside odds to join me. With the 300 mirror I could be satisfied with a 50-200wr, but we'll see when the time comes.
The body - well, the pelican shot suggests that an AF upgrade would serve me well at times. The K-3 has far more AF points within a similar screen area, and its logic systems outdo the K-5 combos as well. Many other features hide within as well that I'd like, and while slightly heavier and harder on battery life the body size is very K-5ish. That's where I'm leaning for now, with K-3ii and K-5ii as outsiders and the K-01 a disappointing fourth. The extra $1000 is too much to bear in the near future, not to mention more grams and lens requirements. The temptation is great though!