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The 7D? More reach? Nah. Same reach just a cropped field of view.
While there is no question that an image from the 7D or other APS-C camera body is a cropped field of view, the notion that there is no advantage to using a high pixel density APS-C body like the 7D in focal length-limited situations is pure rubbish. When shot from the same distance, a 7D with a 400 mm lens will put about as many pixels on the subject as will a 1D Mark IV with a 500 mm lens or as will a 1DX with a 600 mm lens. And numerous controlled tests that have been done by people here and on other internet boards consistently show that a 7D image will resolve easily seen greater detail than will a 1D Mark IV or 1DX image that is shot with the same lens from the same distance and that has to be cropped to the same field of view as the 7D image.
I primarily shoot wildlife, and I have done so for a little over 3 years with a 7D and for a little less than 3 years with a 1D Mark IV. I would have a hard time picking one over the other for wildlife shooting because each one shines in different ways and in different situations. The two situations in which I am likely to choose to use the 7D are a) when I'm going to be focal length-limited and b) when I need more mobility/portability and can get that mobility/portability by using the 7D with my 400 DO, instead of my 500/4 with the 1D Mark IV. When I'm not in a focal length-limited situation and I don't need mobility/portability, I'll choose to use the 1D Mark IV for all of the often touted advantages of a 1-series body. In either case, though, I have complete confidence that the equipment is not going to compromise my chances of getting the shots. While the 1D Mark IV may well have some advantages in terms of image quality, high ISO capabilities, AF, etc., those differences are not nearly as great as one might be led to believe from reading posts on the internet, and, when I look at prints that I've made, without going back to look at the file information, I cannot tell which shots were taken with the 7D and which were taken with the 1D Mark IV.
If I knew that I was never going to be focal length-limited situations and that I was never going to need the mobility/portability that comes with using shorter/lighter lenses, I'm sure that my camera choice would be 1DX or a 5D Mark III, but I do know that I am often going to be focal length-limited and that I am often going to need portability/mobility. And that is the reason why large numbers of very capable wildlife photographers who post here and on other internet boards and who have previously bought all of the earlier 1-series bodies have chosen to skip the 1DX (or 5D Mark III) and have decided, instead, to keep using their 1D Mark IV and/or 7D bodies.
I recently spent 6 months documenting and following the progress at an eagle nest and photographing the single chick that fledged from the nest. I used both the 1D Mark IV paired with the 500/4 and the 7D with the 400 DO. Below are a few shots from the nest project that show, I think, that any image quality differences between the two combinations of cameras/lenses are not as great as you would be led to believe from reading internet posts.
Edited on Sep 28, 2012 at 02:44 PM · View previous versions