Nice shots Paul!
I really wanted to get a 7D because its smaller than the 1D but when i compared it I still found the aging 1D to be better i was very sad, I really hope the 7Dmk2 fixes up the sensor
and I am sure they will give it the 61pt sensor too, I'm pretty confident the 7D2 will stay APS-C as much as i wish for an APS-H small form factor i doubt i'll see one
also unfortunately I expect any 7Dmk2 to come in at around $2500 which will make alot of people unhappy
me included but that seems to be the way of things
Ideally it would be nice if it were closer to $2000 but thats wishfull thinking
I posted some pics from the 1D3 with the 600f4.5 FD lens here
Yes I can imagine that even an ageing 1D body will have some advantages over the 7D. However for me, the 7D hit the right balance, between handling, image quality and price. While I have plenty of disposable income to afford a higher end camera, I aim to be a good steward of money - particularly donating to worthwhile causes around the world.
When I compare the 7D to my 350D, the level of improvement on noise quality isn't that much, but it does have the advantages of more pixels and higher ISO settings. The biggest improvements for me were much superior AF, handling / usability, etc.
I bought the 7D quite early on at a 'bricks and mortar shop' - so prices for it were fairly high; but I needed to as I am the designated photographer for charity camps I lead. These camps are for children in vulnerable situations. So I wanted a camera body that would work in that setting (good AF, solid body, higher ISO than my 350D could offer), and so the 7D definitely does very well for me. Also purely as a camera when used for the personal 'hobby' side of things, it does very well (my main genres are landscapes, wildlife and macro).
While the sensor isn't nearly as good as the 5D or other FF versions, when it came out - it was the best APS-C camera on the market, and still is one of the better handling and suited AF systems of crop sensor camera bodies. I really dislike the 5D and 5DmkII AF points all being clustered in the centre. The new 5DmkIII 61pt AF (same as the 1DX) is a big improvement in this regard. I'm not sure that the 7D will inherit this though.... I'm happy with the 7D's current 19pt AF - as they are all cross-type and very responsive.
I agree with you that the 7DmkII won't use a APS-H sensor (personally I think Canon won't produce another APS-H sensor). I prefer the APS-C anyway - and look forward to some improvement in the replacement (mainly in ISO noise, sharpness and dymanic range). I don't want / need more than 18MP. Even slightly fewer MP would be ok by me.
If such an improved 7DmkII will initially retail around AUD$2500 and will reduce a bit over time, that suits me (if I will need to replace my 7D... but it could be I don't need to!)
Thanks for your kind words on my photos..... I looked at your photos in your 600f4.5 FD lens thread, and posted a reply there too. Good wildlife shots!