Having been a member here for a longtime, I rarely post. Mainly because although I am an experienced photographer I am not a very good one.
Here's the dilemma:
We travel a great deal all over the world (my wife's passion, apart from me obviously). I got tired of lugging an SLR kit around and we have tried P&S, small cameras such as Leica X1/X2 (both about to be sold). Generally pictures are not brilliant on small cameras, even though I can get high IQ quite often. Things like wildlife really need zooms, maybe fast glass and certainly fast focus.
My SLR kit has been depleted courtesy of my 16 year old son, who is very into photography. He is operating with a 7D (impressive) and has "borrowed" my 28-135 (I think) L zoom, my 60mm macro (no great loss). This leaves me with a DO long zoom, Canon 40D, and whatever the kit lens is that came with the 40D. Tripod is ancient and will be junked.
I have decided it is time to replace the kit. As my son can use the 300mm DO lens, I don't feel constrained to stay with Canon: I can sell the 40D kit easily. I don't want to waste money but price is not a factor.
So that sets the scene.
Most of the photography I do is travel (street and landscape). I like doing indoor market shots. We do a fair few family snaps (some people might call these portraits). Some wildlife. I like boats so proximity to water can be a factor. We often go to high humidity places (just got back from Borneo for example). We live in England and Germany: so it always rains.
The next big trip is to see the Northern Lights in northern Norway and Finland. In March 2013. It will be well below zero.
I am looking at wholesale kit replacement. And I can't decide whether to go full frame or crop.
The options that appeal are Nikon D800 with 28-300 Nikkor (as I recall)
Or Canon 7D (preferably Canon 7D Mk II if it comes out in time, or I could just trade and swap). I would add L glass to this (24-105 IS L) and a Canon ultra wide angle as well for the night sky / long exposure work due to 1.6 crop factor
Or the new Canon 6D with same L lens as a kit: being FF this is probably wide enough and will handle 30 second exposure fine on a tripod. I am a bit worried about this camera for wildlife though
Or Canon 5D Mk III (which is really overkill for my ability, let's be frank, and quite a lot of cash). Again I would buy it with 24-105 L I expect (as there are good deals). Probably add a long tele later to replace the DO.
Tripod: I was thinking 3 Legged Thing Eddie. Any views on that?
I already have a 580EX speed light. On camera flash is actually quite handy when travelling though.
There is a huge amount of expertise and experience on this board and I would appreciate some advice. I do understand photography (have read all the tutorials on here!) and you can assume that I am fine with setting up cameras in fully manual mode if I want. Whatever I buy will get kept for a few years I expect. I might well hang on to the 40D as a spare body.
My highest priority is excellent IQ with good exposure. I am lazy about doing much PP in RAW, but will for special shots. My wife is strictly JPEG only. We use Macs (Pro, Air and iPad) for everything and hence run Aperture.
I am still not a fan of lugging gear about but am willing to invest in going to the gym.