The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of canon unifying the 7D and 5D lines. Think back to before the 1Dx announcement. Canon's lineup has 3 (4 with the entry level body) 1.6 crop cameras, a 1.3 crop and two full frames. That meant that they have to spread a bunch of features across a large range of cameras. Even if you discount the lowest level camera (the 1100D), that's a lot of tooling they have to maintain in their factories and a lot of sensors to develop. They also risk confusing consumers over the difference between the bodies.
They've already united the two "1D" lines into a single camera, and I think it makes a lot of sense to consolidate the 7D and 5D. Right now the 5D offers some usability upgrades over the 60D, but I've always felt that the 60D had features held back to keep it "below" the 7D. Canon has also made users pick "sport" bodies v.s. "landscape" bodies (to generalize), which has also hurt them. Combining the 7D and 5D would let them have 4 easy to understand product catagories:
- The 1D line: Professional quality used by professionals.
- The 5D line: Near professional quality for about half the price. Not the best, but excellent.
- The X0D line: Enthusiast quality for ~twice the entry level price. Controls and features an experienced shooter will appreciate, without the quality (or price) of its FF brothers.
- The XX0D / XX00D lines: Entry level SLRs with prices to match. A good deal, but experienced users will want more.
The more I think about this, the more I think it makes sense. If they can deliver similar frame rates on a full frame sensor, sports shooters can crop down if they need more range (or canon can introduce a "crop" mode a-la nikon).