I've been using a Nikon D70s for quite a while and it does everything reasonably well even with the slow kit lens. The only disadvantage is the camera is simply too bulky. The only time its convenient is when its close at hand in the car and when I'm on foot it usually gets left behind because there's no space in the backpack (or worse, carried but not used.) I've been grumbling about this for a while.
So in advance of a trip to Peru next year where I'll be living out of hand luggage, I'm thinking about replacing it with something smaller, maybe micro 4/3. But there are three things that DSLRs do very well that I really don't want to give up...
Useful Viewfinder I've tried to take photos using the LCD screen on the back of many, many, cameras and the fact is I'm simply guessing and pressing most of the time. If there's an image there its hiding. Plus I have a chance of holding the camera still if its pressed against my head.
No Delay Switch on, push button, take picture. Why do I have to wait? Of course if I was quicker on the draw (and could see the screen) I could focus in advance but I'm of the opinion that if I'm paying for auto focus, it should do it quicker than I could back when I was quicker on the draw.
Long Battery Life The original D70 battery still lasts several weeks of vacation between charges if I don't use the flash too much. I don't mind carrying a spare battery but I've seen compact cameras die after just a couple of days and I really don't want to be slave to a charger. (Other than the cost, that's the main reason I don't have a smart phone.)
The micro 4/3 format looks interesting because the cameras appear to retain all the DSLR speedy usefulness with good image quality and most have either built-in or add-on electronic viewfinders. The Olympus E-P3 and Panasonic G3 (shame the GF3 isn't an upgrade of the GF1?) would probably be prime contenders if I was buying today. Probably with the Panasonic 20mm (40mm in 35mm lingo) F1.7 prime lens as the primary lens with the kit zoom as a backup. I have no idea about battery life, whether an electronic viewfinder is actually useful or whether the autofocus is fast as they claim.
Am I going down a sensible path here or should I just stick with the DSLR and grumble about the size? Are there other options I should be considering? Alternatively can I get a DSLR the same size as my old Nikon FM/Pentax Super A? (with a fast standard lens and a small zoom.)
Thanks in advance for your help!