The lure of the 7D could no longer be resisted. My T1i is now listed on Craigslist, and the 7D is enjoying it's new home in my Lowepro Fastpack. Here's a pic of the new kit taken with the old My first impressions: - It's heavier and bulkier than the T1i as everyone knows. However, sans lens, it's not that much heavier. It is much easier to grip without contorting your hand into a claw. It looks like a pro camera and doesn't seem dwarfed by my 17-55 f2.8 lens like the T1i did. - The added buttons and rear control dial are a huge advantage to ergonomics. Making adjustments to nearly any setting is much more direct and intuitive now. The extra LCD display is a nice benefit also. I don't know how many times I was temporarily blinded by the rear LCD on the T1i coming on or failing to go off when I put my nose to the camera in low light conditions... not an issue with the 7D as it's only on when you want it on. - The focus system is going to take some time to master. It's super sophisticated. I love the flexibility and it's very easy to change modes and focus areas/points. I may finally stop from using the old method of center-point focus and recompose. So far, Zone AF seems like a great focus mode when taking snap shots while Spot AF seems like the ultimate in getting accurate focus on a very particular spot. The accompanying single-point AF which uses a slightly larger area for focus than Spot AF, seems to have enough of a mind of it's own that I will avoid it for now. I haven't used auto point selection (nor will I ever) and I haven't had time to explore AI Servo and what Zone or AF Point Expansion can do for moving targets. - The metering has some interesting differences from the T1i. As I've read in at least one review, the 7D underexposes compared to the T1i (and the 50D). I'm seeing this as well. For example, where the T1i would choose a shutter speed of 1/30th, the 7D will use 1/40th; where the T1i would use 1/125 shutter speed, the 7D will use 1/160th. It tends to result in less blown highlights in the few test shots I've taken resulting in less use of the "recovery" slider in Aperture. I'd therefore conclude it's actually better metering and more accurate. The other interesting factor is that the 7D appears to give more weighting to the focus point or zone when metering the scene than the T1i. I seem to get more expanded variations in exposures with the 7D moving focus point selection to dark or light regions compared with the T1i. - The viewfinder... it's shocking to me that a 100% view finder is a rarity on a DSLR. I despised the small, dim, less than full coverage viewfinder in the T1i. No need to worry about that any longer. Also, the electronic level is surprisingly helpful as well, when setting up your camera on a ball-head tripod. - While I was blown away by the low-light performance of the T1i compared to my old bridge camera, the 7D sets a new standard for me. It seems to be significantly better than the T1i at high ISO. Here are some test shots with only a single tea-light candle burning on the dining room table. Here's the T1i and then 7D at 1600 ISO (email@example.com) 0EV (BTW, this is somehwat brighter than the scene would appear to your naked eyes) Here's the T1i and then 7D at 3200 ISO (firstname.lastname@example.org) +1EV Here's the 7D at 6400 ISO (email@example.com) +2EV Just so you don't take this for granted, and realize just how dark the room was... here's the same shot on a Canon PowerShot SD1000 (Program Exposure) Here's the point-and-shoot with the ISO maxed out at +2EV (as bright as it could go)... All the above images were shot RAW, imported to Aperture and then exported to Zenfolio as JPEG's without any additional processing. Things I don't like about the 7D: - The shutter sound on the 7D sounds cheap and plastic like. The shutter sound on the T1i actually sounds more "electronic". I'm not sure if the T1i augments the real sound with something artificial to make it sound cooler, but it's definitely more appealing than the plasticy click you get from the 7D. - I thought I would hate CF and I really do. My first digital camera in 2000 had CF. I can't believe it's 10 years later and my state-of-the-art camera uses CF! Of course, moving from the T1i to the 7D necessitates me disposing of my investment in SDHC cards and buying a CF card. Thankfully, I've found one that seems reasonably priced for the performance, but it's still a completely unnecessary expense. Add to that the fact that you really need a reader as well and it just compounds the expense of switching formats. It's also unnecessarily big, and therefore so are the readers. I had a beautifully minimal SD reader that was literally a USB thumb stick with an SD slot on the side. I could plug it into my keyboard on my Mac Pro, my MacBook Air, or take it travelling. No such luck with CF. I haven't had a chance to explore a lot of the features of this camera yet... I'm really just getting started. It certainly is a beauty and rich with capability that will allow me to grow into it over time. If you're still reading at this point (you are clearly a gear-geek! )... and you own either camera, I'd love to hear your comments. In particular, I'm very interested in what focus modes and points 7D users exploit the most in their shooting.