I have seen in several locations the statement that the Canon 7d is the true successor to the 50d despite the different places that they occupy in the lineup. Is this an accurate statement, and why? What is it that makes the 7d more like the 50d than the 60d is?

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    Why does this truly matter? What is the problem you are trying to solve?
    – dpollitt
    May 7 '13 at 20:29
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    @dpollitt, I don't really have any issue or problem, I'm just curious about these discussions.
    – Evan Pak
    May 8 '13 at 1:52
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    Well, according to our FAQ: "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. ", and "If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here.". Asking questions about real problems is usually better then just being curious about these discussions on a Q&A style site such as this.
    – dpollitt
    May 8 '13 at 12:45

There is no official successor anywhere, people deduce it based on model numbers.

For the 50D, the 60D is the numeric successor and it does supersede it in most features. A few were lost which is why some people say that 60D is not the right successor. This does happen from time-to-time.

The 7D is a much higher-end camera and is really for a different-level. The 7D has a 100% coverage viewfinder and weather-sealed body which neither 50D or 60D has.

DPreview has a list of differences between the 60D and 50 but the ones where the 50D is better seem rather minor except for the build-quality.

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    I think this is an effect of Canon repositioning the x0D series. Up to the 50D, if you wanted a "semi-pro" APS-C Canon body, you just bought the latest x0D. After the 7D was released, Canon realised that the 60D would eat into its market if it continued to feel "semi-pro" in terms of materials, which is why they released it with a "overgrown Rebel"-type build. Personally, I prefer magnesium-alloy bodies, but plastics have their own advantages, weight being the primary one. That said, the 60D doesn't offer much more than the most recent Rebels, while the 7D most certainly does. May 7 '13 at 17:39
  • @ChinmayKanchi - "he 60D doesn't offer much more..." Frankly that is due to how great the rebels really are. It is easy to speak down about them, but they are really marvelous pieces of plastic.
    – dpollitt
    May 10 '13 at 16:28
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    Oh, don't get me wrong, I really like the newer Rebels. I've been using a friend's 600D to supplement my 30D, and the results from the Rebel are fantastic. It does mean that there are only limited reasons to buy the 60D though. Really, apart from the dual control dials, you're better off buying a Rebel now and saving your money to jump to the 7D (notwithstanding future products). May 10 '13 at 17:44
  • The 50D has the same magnesium alloy construction and generally the same weather sealing as the 7D does. I still own both.
    – Michael C
    Jul 23 '18 at 12:57

It probably makes a bit more sense to think about Canon's product line as branching and merging over time, rather than maintaining a static relationship from top to bottom.

The x0D line used to sit neatly between Canon's consumer-oriented Rebel (in the US) line and their 1D line for pros. Just as the Rebels branched into lesser Rebels and greater Rebels (starting with the T3 / T3i), the introduction of the 7D could sort of be seen as a split of the 50D into the 7D on the high end and the 60D on the low end, though this was never articulated as an actual intent from Canon.

Canon's done the same sort of thing on the high end of their lineup, as well, starting with the introduction of the 5D, and most recently, the 6D. Finally, although Canon is best-known for forking product lines, its 1D X managed to unify the 1D and 1Ds lines, so it's not out of the question that they might bring a touch more sanity back to the middle of their lineup as well.

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    Most rumors seem to agree that the 70D is going to go back to the old formula, and as a result, that the successor to the 7D is going to be even higher end, like an APS-C 1DX. It this is true, then the 70D will go back to being semi-pro, while the 7D2 will be a full pro body. May 7 '13 at 21:20
  • I've seen rumors speculating about both the 70D and the 7D Mark II -- I think the point remains that the product lines have interwoven a bit over time, and will most likely continue to do so.
    – D. Lambert
    May 7 '13 at 23:56
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    Oh, I totally agree. I meant to further illustrate your point that Canon's product lines are fluid, not to dispute it. May 8 '13 at 4:06

In my opinion, the APS-C 7D created a space between the APS-C x0D series (through the 50D) and the APS-H 1D series. In the same way, the 60D created a space between the xoD series (through the 50D) and the Rebel/x00D series. As such, the 50D had no true successor.

For me the biggest differences are:

  • The 50D and the 7D have Auto Focus Micro Adjustment (AFMA) and the 60D does not.
  • The 7D has a 19-point AF system closer to the 1D series in terms of adaptability, but closer to the xOD series in terms of accuracy and consistency. The 60D has the same basic auto focus system as the other x0D bodies (with the exception of the 50D in terms of AFMA).
  • The 50D has a maximum burst rate of 6.3 fps, the 7D bursts at 8 fps. The 60D only bursts at 5.3 fps, which is slower than the 6.3 fps 40D and barely faster than the 5.0 fps of the 30D.
  • The 7D, like the 50D, has a magnesium alloy body that is is more durable and weather/dust resistant than the composite bodies of the 60D and the Rebel series.
  • The previous xOD cameras, as well as the 7D, use CF cards. The 60D, as well as the most recent Rebels use SD cards. Although the speed of SD cards has improved significantly over time (as have UDMA 7 compatible CF cards), they are still less adaptable to harsh temperature and atmospheric extremes than current CF cards.
  • When I bought my 50D the retail price was about $1,300USD. Three years later the price of my 7D was about $1,700USD. At the same time the 60D was selling for about $1,100USD.

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