With the introduction of the 7D, Canon has fit a camera neatly into both the resolution and cost gaps that had formerly existed in their DSLR lineup. Now there's a smooth progression of resolution from 10 megapixels to 21 at roughly 2 or 3 megapixel increments, and a $1700 camera to fill the gap between the $1100 50D and $2700 5DII.
The Canon EOS 7D is an interesting mix of features - on the one hand it brings a new level of performance to the Canon line with a new AF system, new viewfinder, new metering system, new sensor with dual Digic 4 processors and an 8 fps motor that screams "professional" (or at least loudly proclaims "advanced amateur"). In the next breath we find things like 2 auto shooting modes that could have been pulled right from your daughter's Point and Shoot and a face detection live view shooting mode. Huh?
Fortunately, the serious side wins out in the end and Canonistas have a nifty new body to move up to if they're shooting at the entry level now, or a legitimate budget backup to their pro body at the other end of the scale. It's hard to call a $1700 body-only camera "budget", but considering the overall performance of the 7D it's pretty close to being a steal.
The autofocus is pretty good, image quality is very good, and ISO noise is good considering the resolution. The camera zings along at 8 fps when it needs to and will do that all day before the buffer fills if you're shooting JPEGS. There's true 1080p HD video if you're into that sort of thing and the whole package is well built and designed to resist the elements.
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