Canon EOS 7D
Slick shooter with HD video done right
Review Your possible reason for buying this camera may have changed fairly recently. The EOS 7D would have been the only way to get 'standard' and 'film' frame rates from a Canon DSLR product in HD, but no more. There is a new model which offers very much the same video functionality and output for a fraction of the cost, the Canon EOS 550D – more on this later.
Video nicety: Canon's EOS 7D
Canon is well aware that some filmmakers and news gatherers would like to shoot with its stills cameras. It seems providing this feature on the EOS 5D Mark II was just testing the water – as one of its professional full frame DSLR's was given a single HD video frame rate (30p) @ 1920x1080. Step back, and see how it goes. It goes very well; picked up by all sorts of people to whom shallow depth of field composition would help tell their story.
With the EOS 7D Canon has decided to release what surely is a natural progression; a multi frame rate video camera that also produces beautiful stills, albeit with a smaller sensor with a 1.6x crop factor. The 7D is pitched at the same audience that bought into the filmmaking capabilities of the 5D Mark II and while there was also the EOS 500D, which offered a rather strange 20fps @ 1080p, obviously the timing wasn't right, in more ways than one.
Canon has announced a firmware upgrade to address the 5D's lack of choice. Given its bigger sensor, there are plenty of people hoping they will get the same frame rates as with the 7D. Now, at least there is an estimated time for a release in mid-March, as there was no sign of it here and given the time taken to get this far, no doubt many will have tired of waiting and have plumped for the very capable, cheaper and sturdy EOS 7D.
The 7D’s 18Mp CMOS sensor is a refined hybrid, breaking new ground with stills features, as well as correcting the lack of choice of useful video frame rates with the earlier models. It records 1920 x 1080 in 24p or 25p, (30p) and at 1280 x 720 and 640x480 in 50p (60p for other markets). Its codec choice is H.264 format (Baseline Profile) and the audio is 16-bit PCM stereo at 48kHz.
Designed to be in yer face, with its easy access to function buttons when shooting
The EOS 550D, which has a similar sensor in terms of dimensions, but only one processor instead of two in the 7D – the second processor is for stills, not video – will do all the frame rates that the 7D does, at a fraction of its cost. Why? One can only guess that this is all about competitive edge, and that Canon is keen to test how important video is in this area of the market.
"One interesting inclusion is a button that switches you into RAW shooting for one frame if you are in JPEG Only or to RAW+Jpeg if you are in RAW already. It’s a brilliant idea..."
Sure, and it's old too.
My 4 year old Pentax K10D has a dedicated "RAW button" -- you can actually choose whether you want it to last for one shot only or if you want it to stay on the setting you choose. To confirm, from their manual (RAW+ means RAW -- either PEF or DNG, btw -- plus JPEG):
"If you press the RAW button, RAW+ capture and save is exited after one shot.
To continue until the RAW button is pressed again, set [One-touch
RAW+JPEG] in the [A Custom Setting] menu."
I don't know if they invented it either at Pentax, but sure it's old stuff in tech terms.
What will they be imitating next, Sv, TAv and in camera stabilization? :-)
If you have time to set up the shot (as in proper amature/college movies), it's perfect, a few minutes for a fixed scene, it is however a bit rubbish for dynamic unscripted scenes, IF it's in focus the quality is amazing on L glass.
"Even the 10-22mm EF-S lens produces amazingly flat images and can also, in no way, be called a 'fisheye', infact its a beautiful wide angle lens and well worth the money!"
10-22mm EF-S is equivalent to 16-35mm EF, so at the low end it is fishy, but you're right, definitely worth the £300 it cost me (new, not I didn't get it in the UK, is it worth £600....?).
RE:Forget the camera
I know, right??
Having built in HD video capability is handy for when you don't wish to carry a DSLR, it's lenses and a camcorder. Handy when travelling and when photographing the kids.