Yes, they finally did something ambitiously bold that captured our heart with their new EOS 7D, but their decision to go with a higher megapixel (smaller pixel size) cropped sensor is not a smart move, higher megapixel count means smaller pixel pitch & lacking that full-frame feel.
At all ISO increments, other than the very lowest ones, pictures can take on a slightly harsh appearance not present in larger-pixel cameras in Canon’s lineup, such as the EOS-1D Mark III, or Nikon’s D3 and D700.
While on the other hand, just last week, Canon introduced the new Canon G11 & the PowerShot S90 that has less megapixel than its predecessor but increases their high ISO performance & Low Light Sensitivity. I could only see this as a brilliant move, Canon should consider applying this paradigm to the DSLR development roadmap.
This means that overall, 7D image quality is shaping up to be very good. If weighted against how minuscule its sensor’s pixels are, image quality is astounding. Put in charge of the 7D’s development, however, we’d have chosen something like a 12MP sensor with better high ISO performance and richer low ISO files.
Rob summed up my sentiment nicely on this:
Put in charge of the 7D’s development, however, we’d have chosen something like a 12MP sensor with better high ISO performance and richer low ISO files.