Should I buy a Canon 5D Mark II or a Canon 7D? What's the difference between the Canon 5D and the 7D anyway?
Both cameras are aimed at the so-called "prosumer' market. Amateur photographers who want professional looking photos and professional photographers who don't want to spend the money (or sometimes carry the bulk) on the highest-end professional gear.
Here are the key facts and figures of the 5D Mk II vs the 7D for a head-to-head comparison
5D Mk2: FF 5616 x 3744 (21 megapixels)
7D: APS-C 5184 x 3456 (18 megapixels)
5D Mk2: Digic 4
7D: Dual Digic 4
ISO or SENSITIVITY RANGE
5D Mk2: ISO 50 to ISO 25,600
7D: Auto, ISO 100 to ISO 12,800
5D Mk2: 3-inch, 920,000 dots
7D: 3-inch, 920,000 dots
5D Mk2: 98% coverage
7D: 100% coverage
5D Mk2: 15-pf auto focus
7D: 19-pf auto focus with an entirely re-designed technology
5D Mk2: yes
5D Mk2: 3.9 fps unlimited/14 with UDMA card
7D: 8 fps
PRICE (body only)
5D Mk2: USD 2,700
7D: USD 1,700
THE CANON EOS 5D MARK II
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR Camera was released in late 2008 and instantly became a must-have upgrade for any Canon EOS fan. Since then it's become known not just for its photo-taking qualities, but it's also become a huge hit with the videographer crowd. And we're not talking cheap wedding videos or anything like that. The movie-capture capability is in true 1080p high definition with stereo audio, and it works in live view mode too. There's a minijack input for an external microphone. Rather famously, the season finale 2010 of the popular TV series, House, starring Brit actor Hugh Laurie, was filmed on the Canon EOS 5D Mark 2.
The director of House, Greg Yaitanes gave a Twitter Q&A where he called "it the future" and discussed the richer look and shallow depth of field.
THE CANON EOS 7D
The Canon 7D DSLR camera was released in 2009. The marketing hype says that when researching the Canon 7D, Canon sought the feedback of over 5,000 photographers. One of the key points of feedback was versatility: photographers wanted different levels of creativity according to the conditions. That's why the 7D contains two DIGIC-4 processors so you get speed of response, plus a frame speed of 8 frames per second. The Auto Focus mode has been completely re-designed to allow for faster and better results - one of the key innovations is that the 7D will know at which angle you are holding the camear and automatically select the right AF point for you. Smart stuff if you're someone who regularly relies on auto-focus mode.
The camera body has been reinforced in terms of waterproof sealing and reinforcement, so it's a great camera for those phototaking in extreme weather conditions.
IN CONCLUSION - SHOULD I BUY THE 5D Mk2 OR THE 7D THEN?
Both the 5D Mark 2 and the 7D are excellent cameras, so there's no need to agonize for a long time about this.
The 7D is a fine camera and is considerably cheaper, and it's newer - so if there's just one recommendation to make, I would say go for the Canon 7D. Use the savings to buy the whole range of Canon prime lens and the 17-55 f/2.8 IS zoom lens. The 7D is just an incredibly versatile and hardy camera.
However, before you make a final decision, consider these factors:
If you're filming in harsh and extreme conditions, the 7D has a sturdier and more weather-proof body.
If you are going to film a lot of video, then the 5D Mark II edges it just slightly. I mean, there's a reason House chose to film on it over the 7D. There is a shallower depth of field and wider angles which will give you a professional, artistic looking touch. But...do note that the 7D offers smoother recording and different fps.
And finally, don't forget that both the 5D and 7D are aimed at semi-professionals so they will not have the shooting modes of 'portrait, macro, sports, landscape' etc. You DO not need these modes with just a little bit of photography know-how, but I just thought I would point it out.