So I've had about 4 days playing with this new-fangled thing and I've got some further observations. First, it's much less forgiving than any digital camera I've ever shot with, well, at least if you want to get the most out of it. The past few days, I've likened it to being a driver and you get a nice new sports car. You know it handles better and lets you go faster and ultimately makes you a better driver, but at first it can be a little tough to control.
The amount of detail in sharp shots is amazing, but that means that you've got to get sharp shots to begin with. Camera shake, non-perfect focus, slow shutter, soft glass. All of these things become your new nemesis. And even though there are times when the light coming through the lens isn't up to the sensors standards, the extra pixels still make for a better image. There is a smoothness to the files which, and I know this sounds like hyperbole, that I can really only equate to medium format film. Just something about the dimensionality it gives. I've been struck by the improvement in this regard from each move, from a Digital Rebel to a 20D to the 5D to the 1D but this definitely meets the highest standard. I'll probably spank myself in a couple years for saying this, but except for special circumstances, I can't imagine needing any more pixels. It's just beautiful.
Noise is good, and certainly for the resolution it's excellent. I try not too shoot at 1600 or higher unless I have to, and you can always use Noise Ninja or such if you have to, or down-res to squash some of the noise for that matter. However even at low iso, the files are not quite as noiseless as the 5D. This is not a criticism really, since the small amount of texture reduces any sense of the "plastic" look people bitch about. This might be a RAW conversion thing too, I'll have to do a little more research. I'm also looking forward to trying out the highlight retention functionality.
More thoughts to come over the next week, but I'll just post them as they come to me.