I hate to be THAT GUY that starts another comparison thread, especially one that may really seem like comparing apples and oranges and has probably already been answered somewhere, but all the research I've done has done nothing to help my indecisiveness. Here's my situation:
Main subject: sports, especially youth hockey and some high school football
Currently own: Canon T1i with 70-200mm f/2.8 non-IS
Basically, it's time for an upgrade because the T1i just can't handle the low light situations I'm in, and if I'm going to get serious about photography (which I want to) I need a serious camera anyway. I've basically narrowed my choices down to two:
Stick with Canon, go for the 7D, and buy a smaller lens to complement the 70-200 (either the 24-70 2.8, 17-55 2.8, or 16-35 2.8...haven't narrowed that down yet)
Sell my Canon gear, switch to the Nikon D700 with the 80-200 2.8 and a smaller lens similar to what I listed for Canon
I have no experience actually using either of these cameras or lenses other than what I own...but trust me it is in the works. So please bear with me as I may ask or compare things that may not matter as much as I think.
Obviously I love the ISO performance of the full-frame, so I like the D700 (I'm not a fan of the D Marks for sports). That's a huge plus, and honestly may be a deal-breaker already. But for the sake of argument, let's continue. Will I notice the slightly improved color depth and dynamic range in the D700 compared to the 7D?
For the 7D, I love the 8 fps, though I can live with the 5 fps from the D700 (anything is an upgrade from the 3.4 fps T1i...). I also like the reduced shutter lag, I feel like that might make a difference when those unexpected things happen on the ice/field and you need to react at light speed to catch it. But maybe not? I also appreciate the 100% viewfinder coverage of the 7D compared to the 95% D700. But again, maybe that's not a big deal?
My big question is: full-frame vs crop? I really like the extra length of the 1.6x crop factor because of the size of the places I shoot in, but it does make it hard to get the action that's right in front of me (typically where the best action is). If I went with the 7D, is a 16mm or so lens enough to get the players that are within 20-50 feet of me? If I go full-frame, will I be able to crop my longer-range photos in post without losing too much detail? The pixels in the D700 are massive, so I assume this helps with that?
Finally, Canon lenses vs Nikon lenses. I am a big fan of Canon glass, but haven't used Nikon so I can't really say much. Again I know it's hard to compare cross-platform, but if anyone has experience with both that could share their thoughts, that would be awesome.
I love the sounds of the 7D for sports, especially with the Canon glass. But can it handle what I need it to handle? I really want to make this a side business in the relatively near future, so I need something that will definitely get the job done.
Thanks for any and all help! I'll try to use all this equipment soon and let you know how it goes (unless you convince me to not even bother with one or the other!).