I love using small cameras, anyone who has spent anytime at all here will realise that. Weight, size, aesthetics, usability, comfort and handling all contribute to this. For some time I have been without a "professional" DSLR. As I have stated often enough, I'm not happy with the term "professional" but that really is a kind of vanity. Certainly the people who pay me for commissioned jobs, regard me as such, and expect certain standards. One of those expectations, like it or not is, that I should turn up for the work with a camera that gives the impression, accurate or not, that I know what I'm doing! For my part, its my responsibility to arrive at a job with a camera that is designed to withstand heavy use, that is capable of working quickly and efficiently and is capable of withstanding the British climate. All cameras can break down, but the sturdier the build, the less chance of that happening.
I also think it unfair to experiment with peoples lives and livelihoods. With an imminent wedding and some advertising work to do for a local company, any idea of using these opportunities to "prove a point" is arrogance on my part.
With all this in mind yesterday I bought a Canon 7D.
I chose the 7D, because of the improvements in handling over my previous 5DMkII, and the sensor crop which suits my Canon lens collection better. Having used the 550D, I'm perfectly happy with the high ISO performance. While not quite approaching the standard set by the 5DMkII, its perfectly usable. I tried ISO 12,800 and with a bit of noise reduction work was actually reasonable. Combined with my 3 f1.8 lenses (28mm,50mm and 85mm) I don't anticipate any problems on that score.
I have to say that its a very nice handling camera. Very comfortable. Its apparently heavier than the 5DMKII but for some reason doesn't feel it. Being familiar with Canon menus it didn't take long to set it up.
The speed is incredible. 8fps motordrive will be more than I need. Its also not an expensive camera considering the build and spec. Takes a decent snap too.
So, unusually for me!!, common sense has prevailed. Using the 7D with my 550D as backup gives me more of a feeling of security than just relying on the 550D alone. The improvements in handling, speed and (hopefully) reliability and sturdiness that the 7D has should help lessen the stress of photographing weddings, which is not the most relaxing photographic work I've ever done.
The arrival of the 7D is also going to precipitate one of my occasional ebay blitzes! Things have got seriously out of hand recently. A count up at the weekend revealed 8 cameras (now 9 with the 7D) and 22 lenses! Contrary to some peoples belief, I'm not in the super tax bracket so a good portion of this has to go. Mainly because its just not getting used.
I have no intention of abandoning my interest in m4/3 or Leicas and will continue to use these for my stock photography work. However the experiment of seeing If I could do all my photographic work with the tools I preferred rather than those that are right for the job, is largely over.
I suspect I knew all along that this would be the outcome.