I am not that familar with the 503 but this summer (my good it is almost 6 month ago) i got a 553elx for about the same as the 500C/M goes for and it has the giding mirror, the auto flash thing and a build in motor. Perhaps it would be cheaper than the 503CW with an additional motor? -they are to muy oppinion all great cameras and I did not miss the gliding mirror before I got a 250 mm -
The 503CW offers additional features. BUT, only you can decide if the cost / benefit is worthy of the trade up investment. Purely as a camera it's a very worthy step, but not an essential one. If you have the money you are prepared to part with and will use the added features, go for it! From a cost point of view there may never be a better time to trade up!
If you go for the 503CW ( I think you should ), be sure to look for a later model with the ISO range to 3200 for the TTL control.
I'm a huge fan of this camera because it is so modular and versatile. Coupled with the D-40 flash and a metered prism, it's a one of my favorite wedding cameras ... despite having other cameras like the Canon 1DsMKII and Contax 645.
I like it so much, I just dropped 10K into the new Hasselblad Imacon digital back to assure I'll always be able to shoot with it.
how is your experience with the Imacon back? I know that you have offered me your ProBack some time ago, but the problem is that I simply can't wait any longer with DBs, so after some consideration on maybe buying the H20 I've settled on the V96C.
That means switching back to Hasselblad again (which I have abandoned for C645 and RZ some time ago) but I wouldn't mind -- there is quite a lot used gear on eBay right now. So, are you happy with your back?
Jaques, I'm so sorry I didn't see your post before now. Not only am I liking the 96C, I hardly use it since securing a H2D with the CF 22 meg back (soon to be upgraded to 39 meg). I'll sell you my 96C for a good price because I am getting another CF39 for the V cameras.
The attraction of the 500C/M is that there are assessories that the new 503's do not have such as the pistol grip which was a favourite despite some shots showing slight horizontal blur, may be this is why is was discontinued. The beauty of it was also the simplicity and that although not having TTL conection with flash most flash sytems can be set on automatic anyway. As far a upgrading these old bodies come in use as back up. all the best, Carl