Raw numerical stats don't tell the whole picture. The differences between the 7D and the D7000 are a lot less than they may seem from the comparisons you posted. Here is a basic analysis of the listed benefits of the D7000 over the 7D:
- IQ of 80 vs. 66
- The larger pixels of the D7000, along with being a newer sensor design by about almost two years, do indeed give it a bit of an edge here.
- The rating of 66 for the 7D is VERY misleading here...scan through some 500px.com photos taken with the 7D, and compare them with shots from the D7000...the differences are imperceptible. Not to mention that regardless of the IQ differences at 100% crop, both cameras take some truly stellar photos, and thats what really matters.
- Owning a 7D myself, I would rate it more around a 72-74 than a 66, as it does lack in overall dynamic range, and its low ISO noise is a tad higher than most other Canon cameras. At higher ISO settings, noise is actually not that bad on the 7D, and it performs quite well for a high density 18mp sensor.
- Dynamic range of 13.9EV vs. 11.7EV
- This is probably one of the key significant benefits of the D7000. It has about two stops better dynamic range, and that is always a valuable thing. You can ALWAYS use more dynamic range.
- Probably not worth switching brands over, especially as Canon is releasing some fantastic new cameras this year, which seem to be pushing the envelope on every front. You might see a new 7D II by early 2013 as well...I guess we'll see when the time comes.
- Color depth of 23.5 bits vs. 22 bits
- Again, this is not as significant as it sounds.
- The differences are largely imperceptible in the vast majority of situations.
- When it comes to print, color depth is a moot point, as color depth (or density) in print is a whole different and very complex beast. Even on a computer screen, color depth is fairly limited in the grand scheme of things.
- Lower noise at high ISO of 1167 vs. 854
- This can be a confusing topic, due to the way manufacturers handle various ISO levels and how they amplify the sensor signal.
- Canon uses a base/push/pull approach. For example, ISO 400 is a native base, and has moderate noise. ISO 320 is a pull from ISO 400, and has very low noise (less than ISO 200, about as good as or maybe even better than ISO 100) at the consequence of lower dynamic range. ISO 500 is a push from ISO 400, and has higher noise than ISO 800, also with a consequence of lower dynamic range. DR loss is about 1/3rd stop (i.e. 11.7 max DR would drop to 11.3 max DR.)
- The 7D's noise at ISO 800 is about the same as at ISO 2500, which is higher than Nikon's best high ISO level of 1167.
- Nikon's noise is more consistent as it is increased in 1/3rd stops, as they do not use the base/push/pull approach that Canon does, and should produce a more consistent change in DR as ISO is increased.
- Upon visual comparison, the 7D seems to perform better at higher ISOs than the D7000. You can judge for yourself...starting at ISO800, the D7000 seems to degrade quicker than the 7D at base ISO levels, 3200 and beyond are roughly the same:
- More focus points of 39 vs. 19
- The total number of focus points are not the most important aspect of an AF system. The overall capabilities, flexibility, and number of cross-type points are usually more important.
- More focus points might help if most of the focus points are one-dimensional (single-line), and more focus points gives you more single-point selectivity when you need to focus away from the center.
- The 7D has a full set of 19 cross type points...every point available is cross type. The D7000 has only 9 cross type points, mostly clustered around the center.
- More cross-type focus points greatly assist in obtaining focus lock, especially for moving subjects and when contrast exists in both horizontal as well as vertical directions, and in low contrast, low light scenarios.
- The 7D, despite its fewer total AF points, has a pretty solid lead over the Nikon from a technological standpoint, and particularly in lower light (or smaller maximum aperture) situations. It is definitely a top of the line, pro-grade AF system that borrows a lot from Canon's stellar 1D line.
- With the numbers game, Snapsort is giving very misleading information here.
- Better Boost ISO
- Boost ISO is simply digitally enhanced exposure. This is something you can always do in post with RAW, to any degree you choose, so unless you solely rely on JPEG, boost mode is meaningless.
- Both cameras top out at a native ISO of 6400, and IMO, the 7D does a better job from ISO 800 through ISO 2500 than the D7000 (see the Vimeo links of ISO samples to judge for yourself.)
The rest of the factors are pretty minor...price is highly subjective and time dependent (I picked up my 7D brand new for $1300 on Amazon, where as the D7000 currently lists on Amazon for $1499 new.) The number of available lenses tends to leapfrog periodically, as different brands release batches of new lenses on different years, and is pretty much a moot point anyway...your never going to own all 160 some lenses from either brand, and all the critical focal lengths, designs, and lens capabilities for the essential lenses are pretty much the same for both brands. Battery life is also a highly subjective thing, and entirely depends on how your using the camera. I've had anywhere from 400 shots to over 1000 shots on a single battery with my 7D, and well over 1500 with two batteries and the Zeikos grip (which is very reasonably priced.) Video features also tend to be somewhat subjective...and are generally moot if video is not something you are even concerned with in the first place. The Nikon's ability to AF during video is intriguing, but not that useful, given that the majority of serious cinematography done with DSLR's use a proper manual focus puller device for more accurate focus that is not prone to random hunting when AF can't find its mark.
The snapsort comparison left out a few things as well. The 7D has an 8fps frame rate, vs. the D7000's 6fps. However, its more than just the frame rate difference...the 7D guarantees 8fps @ 14bit RAW with a 15-frame buffer, while the D7000 does 6fps @ 12bit RAW with an 11-frame buffer (I think it might do 14bit RAW as well with a shorter buffer...can't find any stats on that right now.) The added output bit depth is a nice bonus, but the greater frame buffer depth, along with the two extra frames per second, are truly significant when shooting action. If you don't shoot much action, then the benefits of the 7D will probably not be all that valuable to you, and sticking with the T2i might be your best option right now.