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| p.2 #6 · 5d MarkIII worth the extra $1200. |
Great questions. I am an amateur. I shoot birds, sailing, family, some architecture and nature shots. We are starting to do some traveling and I love shooting different stuff. I have gotten to the point with my 7D that I can come up with some pretty good shots but it has taken a lot of experimenting. I have not considered the 60D. I had a 40D and traded for the 7D. I like to use the outer focusing areas to frame shots and create blur in other areas of the frame.The 1D series seems really large and awkward but...Show more →
Keep the 7D for birds and nature, for the extra reach.
For the rest, you don't need the extra goodness of the 5D3. You could do very nicely with a 5D2 for sailing, architecture, and nature (landscape & macro), but even that is not necessary. The 6D (not 60D) would be a good camera for you to consider, since it is full-frame, but not fancy.
In your situation, I'd buy a greater range of focal lengths & macro for coverage / capability and a good flash with an off-camera cord for family photos.
If you really like architecture, consider spending the money on a 24 mm TSE Mark II, or 17mm TSE. They are very sharp and capable. But you can also do a lot with software correction of perspective and/or stitching.
I went the route of getting a really good tripod and really good big ballhead, which you want anyway, and a really good multi-row panorama rig, and recently a Tokina 16-28 f/2.8 zoom (for full-frame).
So, in your situation, I'd skip the $3500 on full-frame and get the $1200 tripod + ballhead, and a $1000 Canon 10-22mm zoom (sharp, great lens, perfect for crop factor, I have one). That would leave about $1300 for things like flash and pano rigs. Do you have Photoshop CS 6 / Lightroom? You can spend on that. If you stretch the $1300 you could get a 6D full-frame, in which case substitute the Tokina 16-28 for the 10-22. The Tokina has less distortion than the 16-35 Mark II, the Nikon 14-24, and the Zeiss 21, and it is almost as sharp corner to corner as they are, at less than half the price of any of the three. Great for architecture.