So first of all, before I create another thread about GAS and cameras and sensors and yada, yada, yada, I want to legalize it with a photograph. You know, to keep myself reminded of the end goal. It's also important to include because this is the kind of image I love creating, and where my perspective comes from. Your type of photography may have totally different requirements. For this shot, I was hiking with my friends, one camera (GX7) and lens (11-22mm) slung over my shoulder, no tripod, no filters, no other photographic accoutrements besides spare batteries. I was carrying food, water, a camp stove, and warm clothing instead. It's a handheld 5 or 6 portrait image stitch @ 13mm f4.5, merged and edited in Lightroom, and then re-stretched to fit and cropped in Photoshop. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. There's more I could do to fiddle with it, but it's "okay" for me. But it was a fair bit of effort to get there. I bracketed the exposures to give myself latitude for working in post, and then tweaked and fiddled with the optimal exposures from each before merging to maintain maximum dynamic range. And I find that time and time again, dynamic range is the limitation that I find with M4/3. Resolution is not really that big a problem - handheld panoramas are easy - this is a 44MP stitch, and it wouldn't be possible to produce without a panorama, so that's plenty big enough for me as far as working files go. Low light could be better, but I've made peace with it - I've got fast primes, and ISO 3200 or 6400 are usable for me, though not nice for group shots where faces are made of relatively few pixels. But dynamic range is a killer. I feel like I'm always struggling to maintain the tonality I want in the skies. I like shooting into the sun, it makes for dramatic light, and often times the best compositions in my environment end up with the sun in the frame, so that's not something I can work around (nor is it something I want to, if we're honest). So it's times like this, after labouring over a file, that my mind starts to wander to other systems. But every time I do it, I always seem to come up with dealbreakers, usually in terms of features or ergonomics that don't justify the relative improvements in image quality they offer. 1) The A7 is the obvious "step up" camera. But while the original model is available for under $1000, the low light performance is only marginally better than M4/3, the lenses are all expensive and heavy (and several are mediocre despite it), and they lack touchscreens and fully-articulated displays which I am discovering is my biggest pet peeve about my GX7. I also appreciate IBIS, though the GX7's is not great, and the A7 II is twice the price as the A7, with the same dealbreakers. No weather sealing is also bothersome for a camera at this price. 2) Nikon FX DSLRs seem to do a much better job with the same sensor than Sony mirrorless, and in my city, I can buy a D610 for the same price as an A7, which spits out much better dynamic range and cleaner high ISO. But then I don't get any screen articulation at all, no touchscreen, a lame AF system, a big heavy camera, and none of my legacy primes - that are still quality lenses - are compatible, so I'd be rebuilding from scratch. 3) The D5500 seems like it may be a sweet spot - thanks to Nikon's superior image processing, it has image quality from APS-C that pretty much matches the A7, and has a fully-articulated touchscreen! Still no weather sealing, only has 1 command dial, and no AF-fine tune. I'd also still need to get lenses to go with it thanks to the long-flange Nikon F mount, and there aren't a ton of great DX lenses. And the viewfinder is small, especially by mirrorless standards. No bigger than my GX7's in 4:3 mode. Still, this seems like the best option so far... 4) Pentax SLRs like the K-S2 tick a lot of boxes and remain super affordable. Weather-sealed, IBIS, fully articulated screen (but no touchscreen!), 2 command dials, high quality OVFs by APS-C standards. But the 20MP sensor really gives me no benefit in terms of dynamic range, and barely anything in terms of noise compared to M4/3. Swing and a miss...Ugh! 5) ...? And so it appears that there's not much out there for me that satisfies my very particular set of wants and needs. As it stands, that's probably for the best. Since ultimately, I can still make images that I like with my current gear, and while they have some compromises, the secret is that there is no perfect camera on the market, and certainly not at a price I'm willing to pay. It's nice to do this exercise every now and then and realize that while what you've got isn't ideal, the grass really isn't greener on the other side of the fence, the brown patches are just in different places. Maybe if there's a crazy sale I'll try and find myself into a D5500 (my first DSLR) but we'll see. Otherwise, the E-M1 II might be a siren's call from the future. If trends are any indication, it will almost undoubtedly have a fully articulated touchscreen with the touchpad AF I've grown to know and love on the GX7, weather-sealing, PDAF (to set my poor 11-22mm free at last!), deliciously effective IBIS, and a 20MP sensor with a modest bump in DR...and if it has a handheld high-res, that will be pretty hard to resist. That might also mean the opportunity for hand-held HDR with no artifacts! It still won't be perfect, but it looks like it may make the fewest compromises of any of the cameras on the market for me, and I guess that's saying something.