Given that I'm an upstanding CHAP (Canon Heavenly Assurance Program) member, I know one day I'll be using the EOS-1P (Paradise). However, at my advanced age, I'm starting to lose hope of getting a great Canon camera before I die.
As I've posted previously I was patiently waiting for the 5D2 successor since I want better/faster AF than I have in my now two-year-old T2i. The 5D3 seemed to answer my need, unfortunately, Canon exceeded my skinflint factor. If I gave them all that money, I'd feel used, and I don't like feeling used. So, I scaled back and decided to go with the 7D and live in the 1.6 crop world. It's not a bad place to live.
Last week, thanks to CR, we got a link to a down and dirty 12-hour sale and I got a 7D for $1199 (from a highly reputable seller). Even with free shipping it arrived overnight, and I got out and happily starting making pictures. Unfortunately, the camera was defective. While the AF was the blazing fast I want, it could not deliver consistently focused images. Most had no focus at all. I tried all the AF options. I tried manual focus. In good light using the same lenses that give me great images from the T2i, the 7D could not deliver. Images of the same scene back-to-back would not be the same. So, I sent the 7D back, too leery of the whole thing to make an exchange.
The few decent pictures the 7D did deliver also made me wonder. At low ISO (100, 160) there was far more noise than I'd ever seen in the T2i -- and yet the sensors are essentially the same. While that 7D had some defect, this reminded me of all the comments I'd heard about 7D noise. I can shoot the T2i all day (and night) at 800 ISO and get good images. Any noise is easily compensated in LR, and I'm always happy with the results. Anyway, this is making me question the whole idea of going the 7D route. Even if I can get a good 7D, am I trading better AF for overall lower image quality?
So, then I start rethinking the 5D3. While I HATE the idea of pulling my pants down and bending over for Canon, do I have any alternative? But now I start reading about low ISO noise from the new 5D3 sensor. Shoot at ISO 100 and still have to process noise? Another image quality compromise I'd have to make? What is going on here? Canon is starting to seem like the "soup nazi."
Anyway, for the time being I'll continue happily making pictures with my trusty and reliable T2i -- and waiting. Unless someone can offer powerful reasoning otherwise, I'm back in a holding pattern. Maybe year's end will bring an acceptable solution. But then, that's six months closer to my EOS-1P. Surely, Canon can do better than this here on earth!
Disclaimer: I'm not trashing the 7D (or the 5D3 -- for some it IS worth the money) or the retailer who sold the defective 7D or CR or Canon -- and I haven't even mentioned Nikon (not interested). This is just part of a thought process in getting myself to good image quality with decent AF performance without giving up an unreasonable amount of money.
I wrote a really long reply but not really bothered.
1: Learn to use the more complex camera, in my experience this is often a problem when people go from S___ tier to upper mid tier.
2: the t2i probably has marginally better iq
3: what lenses are you using.
4: buy my 1D II if you want a fast focusing camera that works. It's been tried and tested and has a new shutter, only 500 frames.