michael, pick D700 and do your comparison, 5D is very good but old technology, so you unfairly compare modern 40D to 5 year old model IMHO
Until DSLRs seriously improve their dynamic range IQ will not increase with regular viewing between DSLRs. Maybe if you pixel peep hard enough you'll see a difference but if you want to improve your images or go for a different look then the way to go is either post processing, alternate lenses, or different techniques. Bodys may have different features that make life easier but the end result will not drastically change.
The process of taking pictures is also a huge part of the hobby too. How comfortable you are shooting, how easily you can navigate the settings.... but where do you draw the line? is the screen on the 30D good enough? or do you need the 3 inch screen on the 40D? Does the AF on the 20D work well enough or do you need the AF of the 1D mkIII? That's all up to you but I can work around some short comings if it means I get a fisheye or a TS or a film camera because stuff like that actually changes the process of taking pictures.
I was really surprised how differently people react to me while I'm shooting with my P30 in public. Not only does the camera provide a different IQ and a different look but it also changes the actual process of taking a picture. Stuff like that is starting to be more important to me then things like FF vs crop or pixel peeping IQ differences.
So I'm sure the D700 kicks ass but I still wouldn't jump ship even if it was the best camera ever and Canon never upgraded again.... That's assuming I could even afford the thing! lol.
will the d700 have better IQ than the 5d ? well, that is already a known quantity considering the d700 has the D3 sensor, so the d700 will produce results identical to a D3. is that better ? 6 of one and half dozen of the other.
i think the question to be asked here is what is IQ really ? once you get to that level, (FF), you're really pixel peeping to find any differences...if there are any to begin with. a more appropriate question is which is more comfortable to use and which has the feature set that most suits your style/ needs.
this really gets back to a discussion alot of us has been having. the camera manufacturers have forgotten about DN as a major selling point...or worst still...given the s5's lack of success, perhaps we as consumers are not as committed to IQ as we think.
The 5D eeks out a little better IQ (very small difference at low ISO) and I often find that the the benefits of using the 40D body is more important than the small IQ benefits of the 5D. Now, if I'm shooting at ISO 1600 then I would choose the 5D due to the superior noise performance, but that's not where I'm ususally shooting at.
I just feel like I'm the only photographer on the planet who has made the jump to FF and said "so what?". FF is definitely nice for high ISO and narrow DOF, but for landscapes and most of the other things that I shoot, I don't see much of a difference yet.
The new 5D will likely address many of the issues I have with the current body, but I do wonder - is it worth the money or should I just stick with the 40D for now?
Got this printed and framed 24x20 Matt for my niece's birthday:)
It should turn out to be quite a surprise for her parents as they have no idea I took this shot:D
Looking nice Vicky Mamu!!!! :D :p
This gives me an idea...my Niece's Birthday is just around the corner...
I feel photography is more to do with the person holding the camera than the camera itself. Yesterday I saw a 10 year old (or maybe he was 12) clicking away pictures with a 450D while I watched his parents window shop. I've seen so many people like that over here who get the latest cameras (synonyms to toy for them) in there hands and they still can't get decent shots out of it. I always believe that a picture is framed not through the viewfinder but through our eyes. Everyone has a different perspective about how to shoot, some just don't have one (seriously dumb as a brick). It totally doesn't matter what your holding, it matters how you look at it.
Personally I'd love to have some super sharp lens in my bag but that won't change what I shoot. If I used to shoot crap, a lens won't change that. Neither will a camera. The only thing it allows you is to get a sharper, cleaner image of the crap (which isn't really something you'd always want ;) )...