A friend, who was looking to buy a new Canon DSLR to replace his aging 300D, asked me for a recommendation. The short list included the (full frame) 5D Mark II and the recently released 7D. After some deliberation, we decided on the 7D (with a couple of caveats).
The 7D offers very impressive features:
- dual DIG!C 4 processors, which not only aid in high fps, but also in improved in-camera image processing
- 8 fps continuous shooting speed (which is pretty darn close to the blistering 10 fps of the 1D Mk IV)
- a new, super-sophisticated AF system with 19 cross-type points
- 100% viewfinder with 1.0x magnification -- every photographer should *demand* this feature!
- ISO sensitivity up to 12800 (perfectly usable at 6400)
- a new, 63-zone, colour-sensitive metering system
- wireless flash control
- 18 mp resolution for when you need large prints
- the best HD video feature on the market -- just in case you *ever* need video
- the best weathersealing short of buying a pro camera such as the 1D Mk IV
The 5D Mark II falls far behind in terms of features. And my friend values the 8 fps shooting speed and 1.6x crop factor more than full frame Image Quality. The wireless flash control is also a major attraction.
The 7D costs C$1,000 less than the 5D Mark II, a very significant difference.
The first caveat is: the 7D's AF system seems to throw a lot of owners off, so be prepared to do your homework. RTFM and be sure you understand how to use the new AF. It's not rocket science, but less acute minds will falter over this.
The second caveat is: the 7D has only been selling for 6 months -- much too soon to buy. All Canon cameras need time to sort out initial problems, esp. the high-end DSLRs. I would recommend delaying your purchase until the fall.