Upgrading My Camera

I've always loved photography, but for whatever reason (probably because they are ridiculously expensive and I've been a poor college student much of my adult life) I had never purchased my own nice camera.  Two years ago, my fantastic husband did his research (consumer reports, I'm sure)  and bought me this fantastic camera for my birthday.. and I cried: 

He gave it to me early so that I would have time to learn more about how to use it prior to our European trip.  I took an extremely brief and broad 2-hour photography class and learned words like aperture and shutter speed, and the instructor urged that we all take our cameras off "auto mode" and learn how to shoot with it in manual. With what little information I had, we left for Europe and I was able to take some pretty decent pictures.  Unfortunately, the instructor didn't really stress the importance of proper lighting, so I found myself getting extremely frustrated with my little camera for not being able to do the things that most camera's struggle with.

This camera is very portable, and is capable of taking very fantastic photographs of scenery and still objects, but I have a desire to upgrade for a few reasons: 
1) there is no eye piece, so it's hard to tell in certain light how the image looks on the screen (this has led to adjusting the contrast to much and having washed out images). 
2) in less than ideal light, it is kind of sluggish and tends to take blurry photos.. especially of people... especially of moving children. (I'm sure this is partly my own error)
3) it's structure make it a little difficult to adjust in the manual mode.. there isn't a top wheel to rotate. 

"I'm heading out to buy my new camera!" 

So I've been saving up for awhile now, and reading  about various cameras.  I had a specific Canon DSLR in mind, that may or may not have inspired by A Beautiful Mess,  but I wanted to speak to an actual human being about it.  I drove out to Bethesda, Maryland and when I arrived, a kind gentleman asked me several questions (regarding my experience), and then ushered me right over to the Olympus "mirror-less" cameras.  He spoke so highly of them that I knew I wouldn't be walking out of there with the Canon I had in mind.  One of the big selling points for me, was that he said that since I'm a beginner and just starting to learn about how to shoot well in the manual setting, that the Olympus camera allows for you to see the adjustments on the screen in real time, where as for the Canon I had selected, you only see the numbers move on the screen but the image does't adjust until after you've taken a photo (or at least that's what I understood him to say). 

I left empty handed, and have since been contemplating my next move. I read up a bit on various sites regarding the difference between mirrorless and dslr cameras, and for my purposes, I think the kind sir helping me was probably right.  I mean he literally talked me out of buying a camera that day at his store, so I I felt as though I could trust his opinion. I'm not trying to become a serious professional photographer, but I do want a camera that is portable for long trips, and to be able take amazing photos for myself and friends/family. 

I've considered just buying an eye piece and a new nice lens for the Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2 that I have, but that alone would be several hundred dollars.  So instead, I think I've decided that I want my next camera purchase to be something that I won't feel the urge to upgrade anytime soon.  So i might as well spend what I've been saving on something that I'll want for years to come.  I can barely understand the difference between these two cameras, but I know they both emphasize their video  capabilities, which I originally wasn't even considering, but now I think I like.  There are other OM-D models that are far less expensive, but they don't emphasize the video feature as much, and I know that if/when I have a child I'll probably want to take high quality videos and photos, and it's quite convenient to have both in one device.   

Current (potential) CONTENDERS:

Olympus Om-D E-M5 Mark II

Olympus OMD EM1

Thoughts? Suggestions?  Do you have a DSLR or Mirrorless camera or a lens that you use most frequently? Did you make a major camera purchase that you regret? Have you taken any helpful classes?



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Al @ HerBearings

<650 square feet. (and the one thing I miss).

Now. i'm a runner. (or at least I was for a week)