But -- I'm just not yet convinced that this 18MP "new" sensor is actually new. Absent are statements such as "new, low-noise", or other magical terms, which I would have expected -- not just a spec list of ISO ranges, which to me sounds more like they slapped Digic 5 on top of the 7D sensor. To be sure, we'll have to wait a few days for the field testers to really discover its ISO performance. I worry that Canon took the same, tired old 18MP Sensor, re-fabbed it for phase detection AF, but made no real step forward in the technology cycle, i.e. ISO performance. I certainly hope I'm wrong; just being pessimistic.
what am I missing here (besides DxO telling us it sucks)?
I sincerely hope you're wrong
As far as I've read, yes, sensors are different. The old one counts 18.7 total MP, while the new one 18.5. I take it for a hint that they're produced differently, although I cannot tell if differently means better too. Maybe Canon is reserving the flashiest marketing strikes for higher-end cameras.
But we're going to discover it quite soon anyway.
ok this is good -- the first real evidence that the sensor itself is a different animal, i.e. that we have an 18.5MP beast instead of 18.7. I sincerely hope I'm wrong too -- this would be very good if the 18.5MP sensor actually represented the next generation in ISO/IQ from the sensor itself. I would even do the hokey pokey; just not here
I get a little bit frustrated, I see some people say they shoot 1600 on a 7D all day long, and others complain... same with just about every other camera I see... I've been considereing 5D2, 7D and 70D for a while and I see all sorts of different things.
I see a picture from a 7D at ISO 1000 or so and say to myself that looks nice, and then see 5D2 owners saying how horrible the 7D was at anything above 200. I myself have a 450D so I have no clue what to think at times.
People who say that the 7D has a bad IQ and can't produce sharp pictures should seriously consider another hobby. Probably photography is not their thing.
That said, it depends a lot on what you do in post-processing. If you start pulling out details from the shadows, sharpening, tweaking things around... then yes, the old generation of crop sensors shows its limits. I never get fully tweakable images above ISO 400. After that it's all a matter of compromise. Images @ISO 800 are ok if they're good to begin with, otherwise not so cool. They can still look fine, even @ ISO 1600 and 3200, but only if you down-size them a lot. If you want to get sharp large prints at such ISO settings you need a FF. Or a better crop sensor. Now, raise that limit from ISO 400 to 1600 and I don't know what to do with a FF
yea thats not a lot different from my 40D, although there is still a clear advantage to the 7D. also -- 7D has monstor pixel density and very find pixel pitch, which means support and vibration control are all the more important. I'm really hoping this new 18.5MP sensor can, along with digic 5, deliver reliable/usable 1600 a cut above today's 7D.