I guess this thread is more about Nikon owners patting themselves on the back so they can feel good for owning what I consider a boat anchor.:whistling:
I don't own a boat.
However I like my F5 best of the 35's I have shot. The best part is the personal defense aspect of it. You can take photos of the damage inflicted for the trial when the beating is over.
"comparisons are odious" the "best camera" is the one that you're most used to that you can operate without concious thought.
Check out the website www.kenrockwell.com
You'll find equipment reviews that are unsponsored, independent, but personally biased toward ease of use and image quality, informative and entertaining articles and essays. For example, he raved about Canon's EOS 5d but now considers the Nikon D600 the best all-around DSLR available; he similarly wrote a good review of the Nikon N90/N90s, but picked the F100 apart eighteen ways from Sunday.
I confess, I spent a few years at measurebator level on his "Seven Levels of Photographer" scale, and I learned more from one of his articles on composition than anything else I've read on the subject. He raises the hackles of some, apparently aggravating the slavish Leica devotees the most, and may not be everybody's cup of tea [I enjoy the site, as you may have guessed].
imho best 35mm SLR is the EOS 1v - no bigger or heavier than it needs to be + 100% visibility in the viewfinder + have dozens of lenses that will work on the lens mount with inexpensive adapters + good battery life & masses of bells & whistles if needed.
also it's not hard to find a good used one at a reasonable price + you can still purchase them brand new!
I own three different systems, Nikon (manual and AF), Canon FD and Yashica, and couldn't care less which I'm using. Each delivers sharp images within the limits of a 35mm negative or transparency. My preference is for reasonably compact, fairly light cameras, if only for the fact I'm more likely to carry one with me, but hauling a metal bodied manual camera can be fun, so long as I wasn't expected to do it habitually.
Perhaps it comes down to whether you believe photography is something that fits into your life, or life has to revolve round photography? My best shots often come while doing something else, so some photographic compromises have to be made regarding the range of lenses carried and weight of camera bodies. I rarely feel under-gunned with an SLR and a 50mm 1.4 lens, but a 24mm acts as a comfort blanket in another pocket. For the times even an SLR is too much, my Olympus Mju II is as minimal as a 35mm camera can expect to be.
My fave SLR camera would have the optics of Contax, the build quality of a mechanical Nikon and the size of a Pentax ME with pancake lens.