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Canon EOS 7D
APS-C Wonder Child Peter Kun Frary
UPS delivered a spanking new EOS 7D on October 8th 2009, five weeks after I placed an order at Amazon. After ripping open the package, the first thing I noticed was the solid feel of the body. This ain't your mother's 50D. Also, the contours are rounded and, dare I say aerodynamic? I had a Canon LP-E6 battery charged and ready (cockroached off a 5DII), popped it in and dashed out the door into downtown Honolulu's swirling mass of humanity and automobiles.
Bridge Tender Reflections • Seaside, OR • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6: 31mm, F5.6, 1/4, ISO 800
Canon EOS 7D • Photo courtesy Canon
Before you get deep into my prose let me make one thing clear: this is a user report on the 7D. I'm not testing the 7D but merely using it in daily shooting. So I discuss features important to my needs and ignore everything else. I'm not interested in video and probably won't use it. Okay, I might give video a whack if a spaceship lands in Fort Street Mall. If you crave a listing of features and pages of pixel level comparisons there are plenty of measurebation websites to satisfy such fetishes.
POM • Ala Moana Center • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS USM
Here are the 7D's main improvements over the previous model, the EOS 50D:
• 18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor (1.6x crop factor)
• 19 Cross-type autofocus sensors
• 100% viewfinder at 1.0X (freakin' yeee haaa!)
• Weather sealing at the level of the EOS 1N
• HD video (1080P) at 24, 25 & 30 FPS
• Pop-up flash with trigger functions (Speedlite Transmitter)
• 8 FPS maximum shooting speed
Like the 50D and 5D Mark II before it, the 7D shares the excellent 3" 920k LCD for chimpin' and Live View.
Ala Moana Vista • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 IS USM
Construction & Feel
With weather seals at the level of the legendary EOS 1N, high performance appointments and beefy construction, the EOS 7D is a class above the EOS 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D and 50D that precede it. And I sheepishly admit I owned all those bodies except the 30D.
The 7D is a serious tool and it feels like one when you pick it up. The smoothly contoured magnesium body has surprising heft and feels more solid than the 50D and 5D Mark II. The thick textured rubber on the grip and deep finger groove make for a comfy and secure feel. The enlarged thumb rest (over the 40D/50D) helps anchor the thumb and increases grip security. As comfy as the 7D grip is, I still prefer the deeper finger grooves of the EOS 3/1V. The EOS 3/1V grip melts into your hand.
While Rebels bob around in the wind, the heft of the 7D lends itself to rock steady shooting. Also heavy lenses balance well. But it ain't a friggen brick: the 7D is slightly heavier than the 5DII, albeit smaller and, at 820 grams, 90 grams heavier than the 50D and 40 grams heavier than an EOS 3. So, yep, this ain't a camera for weenies or cry babies, but you don't have to be buff to tote it. I feel comfortable humpin' the 7D, EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS USM and assorted knickknacks in a Crumpler Six Million Dollar bag all day.
Red Goose Shoes (Las Vegas) • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6: 85mm, F5.6, 1/15, ISO 400. IS helped keep this photo sharp. As a kid, I really wanted a pair of Red Goose shoes. Got freakin' Sears instead!
CF Card Door
The CF card door feels substantial as far as plastic goes and, like the 50D door, is sealed with foam weather stripping. It is unlikely to open with normal palm friction. Like previous XXD models, the door is reinforced with a stainless steel interior panel and has a metal hinge. Unlike previous models, the hinge is spring loaded, popping open when the door is released. A nice touch as it'is no longer necessary to hold the door open while inserting or extracting cards.
The plastic battery door is the weakest component of this otherwise buff camera. It one-ups the 50D by using a metal hinge similar to the 40D and 5D Mark II (the 50D has a plastic hinge). It also sports foam weather stripping.
Shutter & Mirror Sound
Shutter and mirror slap are pianissimo and softer than a 20D, 40D or 50D. I suspect it's softer than a 10D, the softest Canon DSLR made up to this point. No small feat for an 8FPS camera.
Wahkeena Creek OR • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6: 21mm, F22, 1/2, ISO 100.
The 7D interface--like the EOS 50D and 5D Mark II--is based on wheels, pushbuttons and menus. Most buttons have two functions depending on which wheel you turn after pressing it. I find this interface easier to use than the 1D series or the menu dependant and wheel deficient Rebels. I recall engaging Live View on a friend's Rebel and had to swim through a bunch of menus to turn it on. In contrast, 7D Live View is engaged by pressing a button with a little screen icon next to it.
If you've shot with the 40D, 50D or 5D Mark II, you'll feel at home with the 7D. The interface is not exactly the same but, with a little fiddling, you can figure most things out without cracking the manual. The menu system is almost an exact transplant from the 50D and 5D Mark II.
The 7D control surfaces, although descended from the 50D and 5D Mark II, sport numerous refinements: nearly every feature has been thoughtfully expanded or enhanced in some way. For example, the power switch has been separated from the QCD (Quick Control Dial) and placed on the top deck. Why? Probably to make it easier to use with gloves and less likely to be switched off by a beer gut. Also, both the QCD and Main Dial have stiffer turn resistance and stronger clickstops than the 50D. The weather seals may have something to do with the improved stiffness, but this enhancement also reduces accidental rotation. If you have a problem with your beer gut or tight camera bag unintentionally rotating the mode dial, you can pay Canon Service $100 for a locking version. I have never--not once in 20 some years of EOS use--unintentionally rotated the mode dial. Nevertheless some claim it happens to them regularly. Unfortunately I have broken the locking mode dial on other EOS bodies because I forgot to press the mode dial lock, so Canon Service will never claim a benjamin from me for that mod...
Bridge & Reflections • Seaside, OR • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS USM, F5.6, 1/3 sec, ISO 1250, -.67 EC, 70mm
The 7D bristles with buttons, more than any previous EOS. Plus, most buttons can be reprogrammed for several different functions. Want to reverse the direction of the Main Dial? How about turn AF-On into FE Lock? You can do all that and much more in the Custom Function Menu. Honestly, I didn't feel a burning desire to exchange button functions and left most at defaults. I prefer having the correct label on the button. However, I programmed the joystick thingie (Multi-controller) for direct selection of AF points.
Unfortunately the RAW/JPEG button can't be reprogrammed. The RAW/JPEG button allows you to quickly toggle between RAW and JPEG, a feature almost as useless as the the Direct Print button it shares functions with. Incidentally, like the 50D, the 7D retains your image file format as default in all modes, including Full Auto. In other words, you can shoot RAW in Full Auto.
Buttons galore • The LCD frame seen on previous models was omitted to make room for more buttons. The LCD cover is glass and more scratch resistant than previous plastic designs. Photo courtesy Canon
Quick Control Screen
The Digital Rebel series debuted the prototype Quick Control Screen: major camera functions such as AF mode, aperture, EC, ISO, etc., gathered on a single LCD screen. The 40D was the first XXD to sport a Quick Control Screen, but implementation was confusing--too many separate button and wheel strokes. The 50D and 5DII got it right with simple joystick navigation. The 7D one ups prior models with a dedicated activation button for the Quick Control Screen (top left button).
If you're merely changing one setting, say EC, you'll probably want to stick to looking through the viewfinder while turning the QCD. However, the Quick Control Screen interface excels at fast multiple adjustments in dark environments, e.g., changing ISO, AF mode and FEC consecutively. The Quick Control Screen is one of the best interface improvements in the last couple years.
Exposure & Flash Compensation
Both flash and ambient exposure compensation have been expanded to plus/minus 3 stops, making the adjustment scale look scrunched. I can't say I oft need another stop of compensation but it can't hurt.
The viewfinder shows 100% of the imaging area at 1.0X magnification. That spec is nothing short of astounding and is by far the best APS-C viewfinder I have peered into. My first DSLR, the EOS 10D, sported 95% coverage at .88x. A mere porthole. The 7D viewfinder is not huge by full frame standards but is certainly one of the most welcome upgrades over previous XXD models. Moreover, the viewfinder image is bright and contrasty.
Viewfinder AF overlay. You can go with clean 'n simple or cluttered depending on your mood. Photo courtesy Canon
There is a minor gotcha to 100% coverage: light fall-off is visible in corners. Light fall-off is not the fault of the viewfinder design. Light fall-off is merely an accurate depiction of a common lens design weakness. I only noticed light fall-off with wide angle lenses. My telephotos, e.g., EF 200 2.8L USM, have little or no visible light fall-off. If you never notice light fall-off in your images it is because Canon's peripheral illumination algorithm is a default for both JPEGs and RAW files converted in DPP.
Unlike the 5D series, the 7D viewfinder data display is large and bright. Almost too bright if I were to nitpick. Like the 5DII, it adds battery level to an already comprehensive display. I would welcome a custom function to control brightness of the viewfinder data display.
The 7D lacks user replaceable focusing screens. While this may seem like a step backwards Canon has it covered: a transmissive LCD display in the viewfinder. That's geek speak for a transparent LCD overlay on the focusing screen. And ain't it cool: user selected AF patterns, a grid or a blank screen are among the options. The brilliant red flashes of the AF point display are a bit overdone. Luckily you have several display options including disabling the red flashes. A tiny gotcha is the viewfinder is dark and fuzzy when powered down.
Viewfinder with grid and 19-point AF overlay. Photo courtesy Canon
The new 19-point AF system is undoubtedly the most significant innovation of the 7D. After only a few hours of shooting it was apparent the new AF system blew the 5D Mark II and 50D out of the water, especially in low light or with AI Servo.
The really big wow is having 19 cross-type AF points instead of 9. Basically any off-center point is able to snag almost any subject. I found myself riding the joystick and selecting AF points like a crazy person. With 19 cross sensors Canon really should have reintroduced ECF. The joystick works fine but my eyeball is faster. With that said, the joystick was fast and precise compared to previous XXD models. With the 5D and 50D I often found myself struggling to select individual AF points.
Although the AF points have more than doubled, the AF area is still the same size as the 40D/50D. The extra 10 points make the AF area into one big f-cluster. This high concentration of AF points means I rarely need to perform the lock-AF-recompose dance, allowing me to quickly work a subject from more angles.
The Flame • Canon EOS 7D & EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS USM: F3.5, 1/30, ISO 100
One unique 7D feature is a center AF point with double cross sensor. Imagine two superimposed crosses. Rotate one cross so the "arms" fall exactly in between the axis of the other. However you need a F2.8 or faster lens to enable high precision mode and double cross sensitivity. With slower optics it degrades to normal precision and single cross.
AF Modes Galore
The main thing to befuddle my initial use was all those darn AF modes: Single point AF, Spot AF, AF point expansion, Zone AF and 19-point AF. Canon usually provides several ways of doing the same thing, and changing AF mode is no exception. At first I prefered changing AF mode on the Quick Control Screen, but, after a few days practice, found changing modes while looking through the viewfinder faster. A new button (M-Fn), adjacent to the shutter release, toggles through AF modes and provides a graphic mode display on the viewfinder overlay. Once you're in a mode allowing AF point selection, the same controls are used to select AF points as previous models.
After playing with the AF modes for a few months, I found user selected AF point, Spot AF and Zone AF worked best for my shooting style (landscape, macro & travel).
Zone AF gave me lots of misses; that is, it often locked behind or in front of my target. Why? It tends to grab the brightest and/or largest parts of the subject, often not what I want. Zone AF is best used for stopped down wide angle scenes and large subjects during AI servo. It was a total bust for macro and portraits.
Bridge Reflections at Twilight • Seaside, OR • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS USM, F5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO 800, 85mm
19-Point Auto Selection
I was surprised to find the AF point auto selection algorithm has evolved to a high level of dependability. In previous models it often locked on the wrong object, usually something brighter or nearer than the intended subject. Now it usually guesses right. My big disappointment is--unlike previous EOS DSLRs, e.g., 5D & 50D--I can't instantly override the auto selected point by moving the joystick. Instead, I must press the AF selection button, press the M-Fn button button and cycle through the AF modes until I get to Single point AF and, finally, select the AF point. Now that's a PITA.
Oddly, Canon lets you choose an individual AF point in AI servo but not in one-shot mode. However in AI servo the selected point serves as a starting point for tracking: focus is subsequently handed off to each of the 19 points as the subject is tracked across the frame.
I found a nice compromise for the lack of manual override for 19-point AF: use Zone AF and assign a single AF point function to the DOF button (I choose the center point). Zone AF behaves very similar to 19-point AF, but limited to one of 5 large zones selected by the user. I can quickly shift zones and, if pin point accurcy is needed or it misses, I press the DOF button to narrow AF to a single point within the active zone: center zone uses center point; right zone uses the far right point; left zone selects the far left point, top zone activates the uppermost point; and the bottom zone uses the lowest point. Essentially it becomes 5-point AF with the DOF held down. Release the DOF button and it returns to normal operation.
For macro and portraits, I've been using spot AF exclusively and it nails focus virtually 100% of the time. Spot AF reduces AF point size considerably and, although placement must be exact, it allows precise control of the focal point, ideal for macro and tight facial portraits. With the double cross of the center point enabled, it delivered the most precise AF I have experienced.
Pink Hibiscus • Canon EOS 7D & EF-s 17-55 2.8 IS USM: F5.6, ISO 400 • Using Spot AF, I locked the center AF point on the edge of a petal.
Why not use normal Single point AF instead? For most subjects Single point AF is fine. However, an individual AF sensor is so large it may cover both the eye and eyebrow in a tight portrait. More often than not, it locks on the eyebrow (more contrast?). Reducing AF sensor size insures a lock on the eyeball.
I'll go out on a limb and say Spot AF is the most significant focusing breakthrough since the multiple point AF sensor array debuted in the 1990 EOS 10S. Spot AF is not for everyone, and many will hate the fiddly placement requirements. However, spot AF is going make a lot of marco and portraits shooters very happy.
You can remove AF modes (via custom function CF-III-6) so you won't have to toggle through the ones you never use. I find all of them useful so I leave everything loaded.
EF 85 1.8 USM • Canon EOS 7D & EF-s 17-55 2.8 IS USM: F11, ISO 400, foil & white reflectors, RC-1 & Bogan tripod. Off-center Spot AF lock on MF ring. I take pictures of my old gear so I can sell it on FM and make room for the new!
A 63-zone TTL metering system debuted in the EOS 1D Mark III a few years back and a tweaked version has finally filtered down to the 7D, the first non-1 series camera to get the upgrade. Evaluative metering now takes into consideration color data and seems better at avoiding overexposure of reds, a persistent problem for the 40D/50D. I can't say it's a major improvement over the 35-zone metering of previous XXD cameras but does a little better in tricky lighting, e.g., predominantly dark or light scenes, than my 50D. It still needs user overrides but less so than previous models.
There is one aspect of metering I found different: if I manually select an individual AF point, Evaluative metering is more strongly biased to that active AF point than earlier EOS DSLRs such as the 40D/50D. In other words, the object you focus on is given more weight in the camera's exposure calculation. This behavior hearkens back to EOS 3 metering. If I select Zone AF where a large group of AF points lock, the exposure is usually different than single point AF (more averaged).
Like all Canon XXD and Rebel cameras, the 7D houses a retractable E-TTL II flash above the pentaprism. It syncs at 1/250 or slower and has a Guide Number of 39 feet at ISO 100. Flash coverage is fixed at 15mm. The flash auto erects during backlighting or low light in Full Auto. In Creative Zones (P, Av, Tv & M), you must press the flash button to erect it.
Pop-up Daytime Fill Flash • Canon EOS 7D & EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS USM: Av mode, F5.6, 1/40, ISO 400.
Flash exposure compensation (-3 to + 3 in 1/2 or 1/3 stops increments), FE Lock (via M-Fn button) and second curtain sync (via flash menu) are available. The retractable flash is handy for fill flash and close snapshots, but not much else. But I'm glad it's there! A farty little flash is better than no flash. Wish the 5DII had one.
I tested the popup flash with the EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS USM and found no vignetting due to lens shadow (with hood off). Also, the popup truly covers 15mm and there was no light fall-off along the edges of the frame.
I found flash exposure with the popup extremely accurate. Unlike the 20D, I rarely need to apply flash compensation. Amazingly, it's pretty much point 'n shoot, even with strongly backlit subjects.
If you use auto-ISO, ISO defaults to 400 when you use flash. ISO 400 is often not high enough for balanced fill in low light, so you'll need to manually dial in higher ISO. I steer clear of auto-ISO most of the time.
Blinding AF Assist
The 7D, like most Canon DSLRs, uses the retractable flash as an AF assist light: a brilliant white strobe pulses wildly, blinding and confusing subjects just before you take the picture. I disabled the pulsing AF assist with a custom function. 7D AF is so good I rarely have difficulty snagging focus, even in dim light. Fortunately, most external Speedlites use the more civilized near IR AF assist.
Balanced Fill Flash • Canon EOS 7D & EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS USM: 85mm, F6.3, 1/250, ISO 100.
The 7D flash control menu is great if you have a recent model Speedlite, e.g., 430EX II or 580EX II. Every conceivable feature is controllable from the LCD screen. Unfortunately previous generations of Speedlites aren't so lucky, e.g., 220EX, 430EX and 580EX. They work fine on the 7D but most flash features are grayed out in the camera flash menu. Instead, you must use the controls on the flash to set features such as 2nd curtain sync. No biggie on full featured units like the 430EX but a bummer for units lacking most external controls and LCD, e.g, 420EX and 220EX.
AF Assist with 220EX & 430EX
The near IR AF assist of a Speedlite is more effective and elegant than the blinding AF assist of the 7D popup. I tried my two old Speedlites to see how they fared with the 19-point AF array of the 7D. The AF assist of the 220EX only covers the center cluster of AF points. No outer coverage whatsoever.
My vintage 2005 430EX fared much better: it rocks with all AF points in 19-point auto selection, zone and single point modes. In other words, I can select any individual AF point, including outer or upper points, the AF assist pattern projects and I get a focus lock. And, yes, it passes the dark room/blank white wall test: all individual AF points lock focus. My 5DII and 50D were not so fortunate. However the 430EX AF assist pattern is brighter in the center than outer areas, so the center AF assist has more range.
Pastel Sky & Gulls • Lincoln, OR • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS USM, F5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO 400, 40mm
ST-E2 in a Popup
The popup flash sports a new feature: wireless Speedlite Transmitter (E-TTL flash trigger). This is a first for Canon (Nikon did it years ago). I don't find it as elegant as the ST-E2 Speedlite Transmitter. Why? The ST-E2 sends signals via near IR pulses (deep red) rather than bright white flash pulses. Ditto for AF assist. Also, the flash menu is more fiddly than using the external controls on the ST-E2.
The EOS 7D really shines when you attract an EX series Speedlite to the hotshoe. With my "vintage" 430EX I found automatic balanced fill-in light a joy in Av mode, even in dim ambient light it did a fine job blending flash with background light.
At low ISO, I don't see significant improvement over my 15MP 50D in resolution or noise. That's not a bad thing as the the 50D is excellent at ISO 100-400.
One of the areas the 7D shows marked improvement over its predecessor, the 50D, is high ISO quality. For my taste, the 50D maxed out at ISO 800. The 7D yields another stop of useable high ISO with a reasonably clean 1600. It does not best the 5DII or 5D at ISO 1600, but certainly nips at their coattails. With default DPP noise reduction files are good enough for nice 11 x 17 or 13 x 19 inch prints. In a pinch I wouldn't hesitate to use ISO 3200 although a little fancy dancing with noise reduction would be in order. Beyond ISO 3200 it's strictly for emergency use only.
Vintage door handle • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 17-55 2.8: F 3.5, 1/100, ISO 1600
Vintage door handle pixel level view
The above image was shot at dusk in the shadow of tall buildings, so it was dim. I'm extremely pleased with ISO 1600 and, as the above image shows, noise is well controlled even in low mids and shadows.
Realize the perception of acceptable noise is related to both shooting style and light levels. I "expose to the right" and resulting images have much less noise than underexposed ones. Also, I only use high ISO under dim conditions, e.g., European churches, casino bars or night street scenes. These circumstances are rife with shadows and low mids, the most revealing conditions for noise. Sports shooters use fast shutter speeds to stop action and often use high ISO in fairly bright light. ISO 1600 and 3200 are even cleaner in good light due to fewer shadows and more mids and highs.
Downtown Honolulu (Tamarind Park) • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6: 24mm, F4, 1/25, ISO 3200 (no NR)
I've never drained the LP-E2 battery during a shoot. My 50D craps out after 400 or fewer shots. According to the manual, the 7D is good for 1000 images per charge. I've banged off 500 or 600 images during an outing and the battery indicator still read half full, so Canon's estimate is pretty accurate. It is a marked improvement over the 511 battery. Of course, you'll need all the juice Canon can muster if you shoot HD movies or are addicted to live view.
The main gotcha with the LP-E2 battery is you can't share batteries and chargers with 511 battery cameras. So far the 5D Mark II is the only other Canon to use the LP-E2.
Remote Controller RC-1
The Remote Controller RC-1 was released with the 1990 EOS 10S and, amazingly, triggers Canon's latest and greatest 7D, 5D Mark II, as well as recent Rebels.
The humble RC-1 is one of my favorite accessories. It can trip the shutter from about 15 feet in front of the camera or slightly behind the camera. It will also fire the shutter from a few feet above, below or to the side of the camera so it makes a fine cable release.
The range of the RC-1 infrared beam increases indoors or in places with reflective surfaces, e.g., white walls and ceilings. You have a choice of immediate release or 2 second delay. If you hate plugging in electronic releases, the RC-1 is the freakin' cat's meow. No more fumbling in the dark with port covers, sockets and my damned RS80N3 wired switch.
Remote Controller RC-1 • Kickin' throwback to 1990
The RC-1 is capable of controlling both bulb and MLU. For bulb exposures, fire the RC-1 once to open the shutter and again to close it. In mirror lockup mode, fire it once to lift the mirror and a second time for the exposure.
If you're too cheap to buy a RC-1 ($25) or RC-6, borrow one and program a TV learning remote with the IR codes. I was able to more than double the trigger range with an old Sony learning remote. A big TV remote is not too handy in the field.
The 7D is also compatible with the RC-5 (immediate release) and RC-6 (immediate release & 2 second delay). The RC-1 has recently (2010) been discontinued and replaced with the RC-6. I prefer the smaller form factor of the RC-1 (clips on your strap!) but the RC-6 is larger and easier to hold for those with big mitts. Canon claims an additional foot of range over the RC-1 (15 feet vs 16).
Lip Signage at Las Vegas • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6
I really like the 7D: it delivers the features, performance and durability I crave. If you're coming from a 40D, 50D or 5D Mark II, the 7D has an easy learning curve: a few new buttons and--gulp--all those new AF modes. The lack of DEP mode is my only gripe. Okay, I wish it had ECF but maybe this feature will evolve and reappear as brain wave activated AF in a few years...
On the other hand, the 7D is not a good choice for causal shooters: it's heavy, expensive and the plexus of controls, modes and options insure a long learning curve. And, horror of horrors, it lacks Basic Zone Icon modes. I don't miss these modes, but a Rebel or Elf convert might be lost without portrait and sports icons on the Command Dial.
Although auto-ISO keeps improving with new models, it fumbles too much to be useful for me. And defaulting to ISO 400 when a flash is attached is just plain stupid. So you need to keep dialing in ISO manually. No big news here.
The 7D is a nimble, precise, quiet and capable instrument, and a significant upgrade over the 50D. In many ways it bests both the 5D and 1D series. Build and AF quality make it more of a runt of the 1D range rather than an upgrade of the 50D. And Spot AF mode is the most useful new feature I've seen in years.
Red Barn Neon • Canon EOS 7D, EF-s 15-85 3.5-5.6: 15mm, F3.5, 1/30, ISO 100
The fact Canon managed to squeeze reasonably clean high ISO out of 18MP also warrants a good hoot 'n yelp. My 12 x 18 prints were stunning. Sure, 7D files require a little more sharpening and noise reduction than 5D or 5D Mark II files, but that's par for the course for a crop sensor.
If you're buying a 7D in the USA, avoid the kit package as the EF 28-135 3.5-5.6 IS USM is not a good general purpose lens. It's not a bad lens but is lacking wide angle, scaling to a 45-216 range on APS-C. The sharper EF-S 15-85 3.5-5.6 IS USM or EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS USM are better general use choices. And if you're spending this much money on a high performance camera, you'd be a fool not to match it with high performance lenses.
The 7D is the bee's knees for APS-C gun slingers, all weather trekkers, yuppie puppies, macho dudes and low light hounds. The great handling, beefy build and innovative features scream "Canon's best friggen APS-C DSLR ever," AKA, king 'o da crop!
Oh, and buy a Firewire 800 or USB3 card reader and stack of the biggest and fastest CF cards you can muster.
Postscript • September 01, 2012
A major firmware update for the 7D--Firmware 2.0.x--was issued at the end of Summer 2012. New firmware to fix bugs or add minor features are the norm. However, this one added major new features extremely late in the product cycle: onboard RAW processing and resizing, time zone support, GPS support, increased burst rate, definable maximum limit for Auto-ISO, manual audio (for video) and various speed tweaks. A nice surprise and a wee bit of goodwill from Japan. It also means the 7D probably won't be replaced with a new model in 2012.
Canon EOS 7 Instruction Manual (CT1-1032-000). Canon Inc., 2009.
Images taken with the 7D
10/15/2009 • Updated 10/02/2012
©Copyright 2009-2012 by Peter Kun Frary All Rights Reserved
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