If you haven't seen the first two posts in the series,check them out here:
Although I started with a Canon Rebel T3i, It didn't take me very long at all to discover that I needed a little more “upmf” out of my camera. Although I have heard and seen visual evidence that many people can do amazing things with an “entry level” DSLR, I felt that for my need a more advanced camera was appropriate.
I researched the differences in some of the higher end cameras and of course price also played a big factor. I really enjoyed how the Canon brand felt in my hand and so I decided to stay within that area. I knew full-frame was going to be a better sensor and would have higher ISO capabilities but the price tag worried me. In the end I chose the Canon 7D for my first step up.
Right away I enjoyed the difference. So much so, that even though I had a photo shoot two days after the camera arrived, I used it with ease. The ability to change aperture with your thumb instead of bringing your camera down from your face to adjust the setting was huge for me. Now I could adjust all three (ISO, SS and aperture) without taking the camera away from my face. This was the biggest difference for me between an entry level and more professional level camera body. It may seem like a small difference, but it made everything about shooting that much quicker and intuitive.
The one thing that threw me for a loop about the 7D was the use of a compact flash (CF) card as opposed to an SD card. I didn't even know what a CF card was and the camera didn't come with one in the box!! I quickly ordered one on Amazon and also discovered how much pricier they are as well (about $50). I understand much more now about CF cards and SD cards then and am still slightly embarrassed that I bought a camera without even understanding the difference.
I used the 7D faithfully for about 6 months until there was a really great special on Amazon for the Canon 6D. (With Canon, the lower the number, the “better” the camera.) 6D was a full-frame camera with fantastic high ISO capabilities and the price couldn’t be beat. Even though it wasn’t the coveted 5D Mark III, there were only two real differences between the two that I felt would even affect me: the dual card slot and the focus points. While I would certainly prefer both of these features, the price difference was well over $1000 and I just couldn’t justify that for those two things.
I LOVE my Canon 6D. It is lighter than the 7D, I prefer the positioning of the buttons on the back over the 7D and the sharpness and lack of noise at high ISO is fantastic. I can easily push to 2500 with little to no noise at all. I am quite sure I will be using the 6D with my 7D as a backup for a few years to come and by that time we will see what else is on the market to play with.