Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams
Why would I want to use 720p outside of broadcast video environment?
I was afraid you would ask that. A an old friend of mine, and a two time Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, told me that during a seminar for pro photographers Canon technical types told the pros to always use 720P and why. But he does not remember why.
I have a 7D and there is zero question that 720P video "looks" better than 1080P. If I had to guess I'd say it's due to less upsampling/interpolation at 720P. I've been told and noticed that stills shot in "small" jpeg look identical to "large" jpegs even though the small jpegs are about 1/2 the size, sometimes smaller than that, in memory size terms.
My 7d is advertised as having an 18 megapixel sensor. That's a lie, the sensor is maybe 9 megapixels upsampled to 18. Everyone does this. I think this is why stills/video taken at closer to the sensor's native resolution look as good as or better than pushing the sensor and brain to the max.