Gear, specs, lenses, sharpness, depth of field, image quality, megapixels... But all that doesn't matter. Overall, they are distractions from the real issue. Ansel Adams did not have nearly the technology we have today but is no doubt he is one of the finest photographers to have lived.
Let me tell you a story of how I came to own my camera, my Nikon D700.
I was in the market for a DSLR. I wanted more than my rugged Olympus and, while my iPhone was great, it was a time when iPhone photography was in its infancy and still had a ways to go. I started my search with the usual: Canon or Nikon? The Nikon D90 was one of the best cameras at the time. Canon was making inroads into 35mm sensors. Friends were polarized and passionate about which to buy.
I then looked at a Canon 50D, and then the Nikon D300, and then the Canon 5D Mark II... I decided I was just going to go all out and get a 35mm digital camera. And then (!) I looked at the Nikon D700.
I walked into Ritz (at the time) and wanted to check out the two finalists: Canon 5D Mark II and Nikon D700. A friendly associate, Brandon, help me get a feel for them. Picking them both up, I didn't notice in the moment but while talking to Brandon, I continued to go back to the Nikon. The feel and the handling felt just right, it looked nice, fantastic in low light, and was destined to be mine.
"I'm just not sure which one to choose," I said.
"I think you have chosen," he replied, "You can't keep your hands off the Nikon."
He was right. The Canon felt chunky, and looked the part too, and while the megapixel count was higher, it didn't perfect as well in low light. The Nikon was the right camera for me and to this day, despite there being newer and more powerful cameras available, it is still my favorite.
This true statement is why I have my Nikon D700 and love shooting with it, why I have my Olympus E-M5 and love shooting with it, and speaks to how one should always choose a camera. While I do tout that I'll shoot with any camera, any time, and get great results, the companion nature of one's camera must be respected.
One's camera is an extension of eye and mind; connect with it and make it part of one's self.