Almost a year ago, I had $18,000 of gear stolen while in LA, and was not covered by insurance. It totally killed a project I came here to work on. I had a 7D, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 11-16mm Tokina 2.8, Canon 17-55 2.8 IS, 1.4x and 2x TCII's, 580 EXII, pocket wizards, remotes, filters, zacuto z-finder, etc. I shot mostly wildlife back in the day, and more recently some models, etc. My focus though, has been motion pictures. For the first time in over 20 years, I've been without a camera. It's been very hard. Financially, it hasn't been possible to buy everything again, and I haven't been able to come to terms with buying something cheaper to tide me over. I also want something weather sealed, since I do a lot of work in humid, misty and/or coastal environments and had a bad experience with two failed 40D's in Central America.
I rent or use other people's stuff for films right now, but need to get something. I'm dying. Particularly not having something decent for stills. I still have a lot of my support gear, tripods, follow focus, matte box, slider... But I need a new body and lenses. My first instinct is to go with what I new and get another 7D. But since the 5D II and 7D are so close in price now, and since I'm hoping to try and pay for some gear by doing head shots, I am thinking I'm better off with the 5D II. I know I'll lose some focusing for BIF and such, and I've done some excellent portrait and modeling shots with the 7D, the shots from the 5D II just seem cleaner right out of the camera with the same lenses.
I'm interested to what others think? That $600 could really help towards a decent lens. Any suggestions for a primary head shot lens for either body would be greatly appreciated also. I suppose if I can get some head shot work under my belt, I could always upgrade later. Dang. Depressing starting over.
Wow, that really really sucks.
How was it stolen if you don't mind me asking?
Regarding the 7D vs 5D2 I'd get a set of lightly used gear and go with the 5D2 because it will save you around $400. Specifically get a 5D II on fredmiranda for $1200, it will come very lightly used at that price in my experience. The 7D is slated for a price drop so it's a really bad investment. They go for $999 though but full frame pro lenses can sometimes be cheaper than crop lenses as you need f/4.0 for the same light and bokeh as an f/2.8 crop lens, a 5D2 & 24-105mm should work for pretty much any task, add a 70-200mm f/4.0 IS and you've got a killer cheap combo.
You can buy all of that for:
Add a 85mm 1.8 if you need even more bokeh.
You'd need a Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 7D and Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 OS to match that combo and you'd end up paying $3100-$3300 used for that setup. You'd get worse IQ, worse zoom range, and worse performance all around. I've had both the 7D and 5D2 and if you're using the 5D2 center point it takes more work but I've never had any trouble with keeper rates.