Replace 20D with 7D or purchase 100-400 MM F4-5.6L instead?

Started Feb 20, 2010 | Discussions thread
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tangram
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Replace 20D with 7D or purchase 100-400 MM F4-5.6L instead?
Feb 20, 2010

Thanks again to those who gave me the information/opinions to choose a 7D over a 5D Mk II as a replacement for my 20D. I now have one last dilemma - replace the 20D with the 7D or use the money to purchase a 100-400 MM F4-5.6L. I like to shoot everything, including active kids, landscapes, sports, and wildlife. I need a versatile all-round camera. The 20D was just that in its day. Great camera and still a joy to use but we are aware of its limitations BUT ONLY IN LIGHT OF WHAT IS AVAILABLE TODAY. Five years ago I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I replaced my film SLR with the 20D.

Fast forward to today. I have a decent complement of relatively inexpensive but good lenses (all Canon):

50 mm 1.8
60 mm macro
24-105 F4L
70-200 F4L (not IS)
Kenko 1.4X tele

I have been thinking for some time about replacing the 70-200 with the 100-400 to give me IS and a longer focal length, especially for bird photography.

For me, the limitations with the 20D are mostly related to the poor high ISO performance (400 acceptable, 800 not acceptable) and slowish autofocus and I find that when I put the tele on and a circular polarizer (which is frequent) I end up with a setup that can only be used hand held in good light. So here's the conundrum. I would actually be going UP an f-stop at max focal length with the 100-400 but I would be getting IS and the longer reach that I desire. My 20D is capable of taking some high quality shots with the 70-200 (photos included have not had any PP) and the 8 MP sensor generally suits my needs as I only enlarge up to 11 X 14:

What would YOU do give the scenario I have outlined. Don't worry too much about things like price differential and selling the 700-200 (it is so inexpensive and such a good lens it may just stay in the bag). I just want to start a discussion. Are we getting carried away by the latest and greatest in camera technology while forgetting that the cardinal rule has been to invest more in lenses that we will have for a very long time and which do not get replaced every six months, rather than in bodies? Five years ago isn't that long; after all, the 35 MM film camera I replaced was purchased when I was 15 and happily used for 25 years! Thanks in advance.

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Canon PowerShot G3 Canon PowerShot G11 Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II +7 more
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