Recently a colleague asked me about which camera to buy (yes, I get questions like these as well). First, he had a bridge camera in mind, with a long super zoom. Then, a bit later, he asked about the newer Nikon DSLRs, like the D7200. And in between, of course I had shown him what I’m using (both the Olympus E-PL5 and the OM-D E-M10).
All of them are good, even the D5300 he came up with, because it’s the only one in this category with a built-in GPS. I told him about the differences between phase and contrast autofocus, and that only the higher-end D7xxx series offers the possiblity to fine-adjust the phase-detection AF for different lenses. His reply was: isn’t there one which can do it all? The Canon 6D came to my mind, but that one’s certainly a bit overkill.
So in that case it’s almost impossible to give a good advice – the camera he seems to want simply doesn’t exist at this point in time. Or does it?
Maybe he would like to consider the E-M10 again after reading Andy’s test of it? This little (and relatively inexpensive) gem has quite a few tricks up its sleeves, like in-camera star trails for instance. And the also in-camera HDR mode which Kirk Tuck found in his newer E-M5 Mk2. I’ve tried it with the E-M10, and it works quite well.
For me personally, there’s no other camera body in the 600€ price range which offers more than this little Olympus (except maybe the Sony A6000 which would be slightly better with high ISO results, but slightly worse because it doesn’t offer in-body stabilization). So that E-M10 really is some kind of “goldilocks” device to me if you don’t need the much better image quality from something like a so-called “full frame” camera (like the mentioned 6D, the Sony A7 series, or the three-digit Nikon family (plus the Df of course)).
If you count it all together, then for a friend and in the mentioned price range (of about 600€ for the body, 700€ with a normal kit zoom, or still under 1000€ with a “super zoom”), this is the one I’d recommend. As does Andy from Texas, like you can read in his review of the camera.
But we’re all different of course. So the only advice I could really give was to go and to visit a camera store, and to try them all before buying. With that, and with his personal planned use in mind, my colleague should be able to find a camera which suits him.