I've owned and shot with a Canon 40D for a while now, and have been very happy with it. For my personal use it is more than adequate as well. I did feel that 10MP was starting to get dated, especially when cropped - and I figured if I was going to produce 500 photos a year in 2011 I should try to be a bit ahead of the game :) As well, I wanted a bigger viewfinder. With that in mind I upgraded to the Canon 7D.
Overall, I am quite happy with it. The jump from 10MP to 18MP is real, though it doesn't make any difference for small prints. With stock, though, things are inspected at 100% so more resolution can be important for resolving fine details, and it gives you more room to crop and still results in a 'Maximum' size file.
Here are the main benefits of this camera for me:
1. Resolution. More is not always better, but I am very happy to have an extra 8MP for stock. I also like that I can shoot in the sRAW or mRAW formats and still have enough resolution to submit them. The RAW+JPG button is nice, as I can shoot jpgs for family and still quickly get a RAW capture that I intend to use for stock.
2. Buttons! There are lots of buttons on this camera and they can all be customized. I like that the Depth of Field preview can be set to toggle between single shot and continuous focus. I like that the live view and movie buttons are now separate, and the SET button can be used for the quick menu. I like the mFn button near the shutter. I also like that I can choose which dial does what in each mode so my main dial near the shutter is aperture regardless of mode.
3. Viewfinder. The new large viewfinder is nice to use, but really shines when you realize that it is basically 100%. With my 40D I would be careful, but still end up with a bit that I didn't see in the viewfinder. This always meant cropping my file a bit, but also if you sell the RAW it is still there. There are also some nice features with the LCD like a grid and the ability to not see the AF points you aren't using. That is really nice - a big clear view with a single AF point!
4. AF modes. One thing that always annoyed me on my 40D was that the AF area was larger than the indicated frame in the viewfinder. I could focus on a small object that was completely outside the AF frame. this causes issues when taking portrait on an angle, and you couldn't be quite sure where it was focusing. With the 7D there is an AF spot mode that shrinks it down... Along with micro adjust I'm getting more shot in perfect focus.
5. Spot meter. My 40D had it, but in the 7D it shows in the viewfinder when active. I like that :)
6. Wireless flash trigger. I love being able to trip my flashes without one on the camera!
7. Three custom modes. I love having access to three custom user settings. I have one setup for low light, one for fast action and one for flash. The 40D had this too, but it is a much overlooked point.
1. It is pricey, and a bit hard to justify over the 60D.
2. Big files. While the camera can shoot very fast and I find the interface improved, I do find it a bit slower than my 40D right after I take a shot. Also takes more storage, etc. across the board.
3. Noise. I wouldn't say noise is a problem, and I don't run my images through any noise reduction software other than a mild dose of Lightroom's built in feature. But I would say that I notice a bit more shadow noise at 100%. On the one hand I would argue that when downsized it is no different than the 40D, but for stock the reviewers don't downsize, so it is relevant. Never had an image rejected yet for noise from the 7D...
4. Needs good lenses. When I upgraded to the 40D I suddenly noticed the limits on some lenses and upgraded to some primes. Luckily my lenses can still keep up with the 7D - but I wouldn't expect great results at 100% with a cheap zoom. The admins have noted this in a thread
- you need good glass in front of this camera!
Anyone else loving (or hating) the 7D?
Photo credits: Brad Calkins.