Just trying to keep it real. It's fine to go chasing after gear if that's your thing, but most people want certain specific things out of their gear.
I'll give myself as an example. What I really wanted out of my camera are:
- Really good, flexible autofocus with rule-of-thirds coverage.
- Autofocus that can be calibrated per-lens (this feature was an answer to my prayers).
- Artifact-free high ISO performance that's useful in the low light situations I might typically find myself in.
- Solid, artifact-free low ISO performance.
- 100% viewfinder, so I don't have to guess about what's going into the shot.
- Sufficient burst speed to capture action I might shoot with it (6 FPS is perfectly good for me).
- A really good fit for my hands.
I started off with the 30D. I found the autofocus on the outer points to be lacking. The 40D looked like a really promising upgrade, so I went for it. I really liked that camera, enough that I was going to stick with it, but it did have frontfocus/backfocus issues with some of my lenses. So I went for the 50D, primarily because it took care of that problem (and also took care of the problem of servo not being terribly good for still shots). That decision was a difficult enough one that I rented a 50D first, and found that it was also slightly more comfortable in my hands. I was going to just stick with the 50D, but then Canon released the 7D, a move I did not
expect based on their prior history.
The 7D has everything
I want in a camera, save one minor feature: autofocus-linked spot metering. Other than that, it is essentially perfect
. It's fast. It has awesome autofocus (spot focusing is particularly useful). It has gloriously film-like high ISO performance. Its low ISO performance is likewise excellent
except for banding in the very deep shadows (a blemish on an otherwise flawless camera, and one shared by every Canon camera since, though perhaps not quite to the same degree). It has a beautiful, large, bright, 100% coverage viewfinder. It has resolution to spare. It has cat-like reflexes.
As a result, the 7D is the last camera in the Canon world I'm buying for any reason other than attrition, precisely because
it's so incredibly good -- enough that I bought a spare.
Of course, not long after I bought the second 7D, my longtime friend bought me a D600 for Christmas, a truly evil thing to do to someone who had just settled on a camera for the long haul.
I may wind up upgrading the D600 to its successor if its successor is sufficiently better in some of the ways the D600 is lacking, namely the lack of rule-of-thirds coverage. While I've found that the autofocus points that are there are reasonably close, I'd still like better coverage. Beyond that and the very high ISO banding (ISO 12800 and up, which can be dealt with via Nik DFine if necessary, and which seems to largely disappear upon downsizing), the D600 is likewise perfect for me, and I expect its successor will
be that perfection.
So I went chasing gear for a while there, but it was with a purpose. Nothing really
met my needs/desires (the 50D came reasonably close) until the 7D came out. But now that the 7D is out, I really don't feel the urge for anything more (while I wouldn't mind spot metering linked to the autofocus point, that is something that isn't even present in the 5D3. It's something I expect to never see on anything other than the 1D series in the Canon line).
If my 7D dies and Canon doesn't have an equivalent replacement at that point in time, I will be most
unhappy. It's one of the biggest reasons I bought a second 7D, and why I'm hanging onto it despite the fact that I now have a D600. I can easily see Canon abandoning the 7D line, simply because such closeness to perfection is "too close" to the 1D series, and Canon has always been primarily concerned with keeping their cameras uncompetitive with each other.