After 4 years of solid use, the time has come to say goodbye to the trusty Canon Powershot G3 and upgrade to a DSLR. As the last 2 digital cameras had been Canons, then I'd assumed I would remain true to the cause and remain a Canon girl. I have no lenses and therefore free choice at the moment.

My initial thoughts were to go for a Canon EOS 400D, and so I headed off to Jessops to try it out. I got on ok with the system, but it felt a bit too plasticky, and felt somewhat unbalanced with a larger lens on it. I began to think that I needed something in the "semi-pro" range instead of the prosumer range.

I continued to read up on options, and to ask about for recommendations. The next stop was to go into Clock Tower Cameras, here in Brighton which was a master stroke. The gentleman behind the counter was knowledgable, and patient and extended my models to consider by introducing me to the Pentax cameras. As always I'd headed off armed with 2 memory cards - one CF and one SD - and so proceeded to snap away and try them out. What became apparent very quickly was how much more robust the Pentax 100D felt in comparison to both the Canon 400D and the Nikon D40. Based on that, and the ease of use, in this range the Pentax would be the one.

But now I'd started thinking about the next range of cameras, so the Nikon D80, the Pentax K10D and the Canon 30D, so back to Jessops to hold and try. In this range, the Nikon and Canon catch up on robustness, and so there was no clear winner on this factor. I plugged all three models into the Digital Photography Review side-by-side comparator to get an idea of the differences.

The flickr Camera Finder has proven useful giving the ability to see what photos have been taken with each of the cameras:
Pentax K10D
Nikon D80
Canon EOS 30D
Unfortunately, it doesn't break it down by lens, but does give an idea.

After reading the reviews, it is between the Nikon and the Pentax (read the hands-on report), so a complete change from my original thoughts, I am leaning towards the Pentax at the moment, but I think another trip to the camera shop is required, to try a few more settings based on what I've read - including the Adobe RAW format on the Pentax K10D as all my test shots were taken as JPEGs.