I’ve been pretty happy with my Canon 30D and then, for the last year, or so, my Canon 50D. I’m a serious amateur, so the Canon xxD cameras have fit my niche pretty well. From time to time I have lusted after Nikon gear, particularly the Nikon 300D, but have always fallen back on my Canons as I have a fair amount of money tied up in Canon lenses. I suppose that’s the main reason most folks find the “right” brand for them and then stick with it. Unless, of course, you have the resources of Scott Bourne.
And for my needs, the extra “reach” of the crop frame sensor cameras is preferable to the depth of field, lower noise and wide angle advantages of the full frame sensors. Not to mention their high cost.
So along comes the Canon 7D. Right in the gap between the xxD series and the 1D series. A crop frame sensor with good weather sealing and an advanced autofocus system. Hey, Canon even made the popup flash work as a wireless TTL flash commander, just like the Nikons have been doing for years!
Here are the key features of the Canon 7D that have convinced me to make the upgrade from my 50D:
- Popup flash as a wireless TTL commander — the Canon ST-E2 flash controller will only control two flash groups and has less range than the brighter popup flash.
- Fast, accurate autofocus system (one of the reasons I have been drawn to the Nikon 300D) — why should I have to buy a 1D series camera to get fast autofocus?
- Flexible autofocus point control — the 50D can be a little restricting with just “one point” or “all points” options; the 7D adds zone selection, too.
- Improved weather sealing (another excellent Nikon 300D feature) — these digital SLRs are expensive and a little extra protection from drizzle and blowing dust is welcome.
- Slightly better high ISO performance — which is quite surprising considering the smaller pixel size.
- 100% at 1.0x viewfinder — that will be a luxury after the smaller, dimmer xxD viewfinders.
These are the features of the 7D that are nice, not important to me, but could be for you:
- 1080p high definition video — I know its the thing to do, fusion and all, but it holds no interest for me right now.
- 18 megapixel sensor — the 50D’s 15 megapixels are just fine for me; they make a fine 13” x 19” print which is all my Epson R1900 will do. And I know I can even stretch that because the larger the print size the further you can stray from the “magic” 300 dpi target.