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I don't find the extra pixels on the 7D to give that much better "reach" because the 5D pixels are just better. Others will disagree but most tests show a cropped 5D2/3 image to be very similar to a 7D image.
I'm not sure what tests you are looking at, but every controlled test that I've seen gives a clear advantage to the 7D with regard to resolving detail in focal length-limited situations. I have no doubt that the 5D Mark III is an outstanding camera and that it can do a better job than the 7D in many situations, but focal length-limited situations are not included in the list of those situations,
As an owner of both a 1D Mark IV and a 7D, my assessment would be that the 1D Mark IV is, without question, a better camera than the 7D, and, in non-focal length-limited situations, the 1D Mark IV is my camera of choice, but, just like with the 7D-5D Mark III comparison, in focal length limited-situations, the 7D is the clear winner.
If the OP is interested in a second body that will be used in focal length-limited situations, the 1D Mark IV will give only marginal advantage over the 5D Mark III that the OP already has, but the 7D will give significant advantage in those situations. Much of the shooting I do is in focal length-limited situations. I know that, when I'm not focal length limited, I will choose to use the 1D Mark IV, but, when I am focal length-limited, I will choose the 7D every time and it gets me quality shots that I would not be able to get with the 1D Mark IV.
I find it amusing that those with "internet wisdom" will virtually always move to the knee jerk reaction of telling others asking for advice that they should spend (more) money on the 1-series body. Again, the 1D Mark IV is an outstanding camera, but, for use in focal length-limited situations, one can make a strong argument that the 7D will not only give some distinct advantages, but it will keep a couple of thousand dollars in one's pocket.
Even though the thread that I am linking to concerns itself with 7D and 1D Mark III comparisons, the same general arguments for the 7D in focal length-limited situations apply to the 1D Mark IV comparison, too. If you read my posts and those of others in that thread, you will see those arguments.
If the OP were not concerned with a second body that would do better in focal length-limited situations, my thoughts on the best choice of that second body might well be different.
Edited on Aug 19, 2012 at 04:55 PM · View previous versions