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The Canon 7D
[7D]

From £1,325.00

 

Phone order only Postage included

01603 219119

REVIEW OF THE 7D

The 7D arrived safely from Canon and after unpacking both myself and my wife Jill began to familierize ourselves with the various shooting and auto focus modes. My first impression was that Canon had clearly designed a very good camera for every day use for the serious amateur.

Our Observations 

The body is quite light compared to 1 series and can be carried comfortably with the Canon strap either over the shouder or around the neck without causing too much discomfort. (Jill has arthritis so comfort and weight is a fairly major consideration.)

The new navigation features  of the 7D are impressive and we found it easy to get started even before reading the manual. The various operational settings can be found with the touch of one button marked Q and appear together on the large LCD screen allowing easy navigation to quickly change the most commonly required settings, such as ISO, white balance, shutter speed etc.

Quality setting has its own button on the back to change quickly from JPG to raw. We found this a bonus but did on occasion find the setting had changed from session to session due to an accidental knock therefore it is advisable to check settings before use. But as photographers we should do that anyway!!

 The various options available for auto focus meant that the user can set the camera to his or her own shooting styles, Rob found this a little confusing at first as there is limited selection on the EOS 1. The auto focus is quick and locked on to the subject with very sharp results. If you have only used a camera with one focal point, it takes a bit of getting used to as it has up to 19 but it is worth taking the time to master this to get the best results

 Manual focus is required with a 2 x extender and the 600 mm lens, but with a crop sensor of 1.6 effectly turning a 1200 mm setup to 1920 mm nearly 40 x magnification. This is really quite amazing, as the recent images we took of a nightingale at Minsmere show. The clarity is exceptional. We very rarely use  a sharpness filter on our images and rely on the initial focusing to get special images so we are particularly impressed by the sharpness this camera produces.

Nightingales shot a 1/50th second at F25 with the 600mm lens. The third picture for comparison is as taken with the 28-300mm IS lens.

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This third shot was taken with the 7d from the same distance with the 28-300mm IS L f/3.5 lens

 so you can see the difference. All three shots are full frame as they came from the camera. 

These two images of a male Willow Warbler were taken at Strumpshaw RSPB and I was extremely pleased on how the 7D handled low light conditions with a bird in deep undergrowth. They were taken at:

600mm lens F4 IS L plus 2x extender. 1/160th of a second at F16 ISO 400ASA

  

Samantha, our daughter, also tried out the camera and took this picture of her kitten with the first couple of shots. It was in very dark light and we hadn't played with any of the settings so the depth of field is not that great as she is still learning, but it is another good example of the camera in really poor light.

 

The built in motor drive is excellent with 8 frames per second  and the shutter is much quieter than the EOS1 and 40D which will be very useful in minimising the disturbance to wildlife. The capture rate was far quicker than earlier models, such as the 40D and 400D which again is very useful for capturing moving subject especially when using the motor drive.

Photography is about capturing a moment in time to make it last forever. With the 7D you can now shoot amazing HD movie which look stunning on a large LCD television or Monitor. This  is great for the family as well as for projects with a bit more ambition.

After using still cameras and video cameras it feels awkward at first using the 7D as a video camera but it is quite easy with a bit of practice to get superb footage. Focusing using the screen can be difficult especially in bright sunlight as you can't see the screen clearly.

Possibly the best method of shooting video, without spending extra on a viewing hood and other available equipment, was to focus the lens manually by looking through the viewfinder and then selecting the movie mode and attempting to hold the focus by the use of the live mode. This was quite difficult, especially with a moving target such as wildlife, but with continued practise stunning results can be achieved. Robert set the camera up in manual mode and used a shutter speed of 1/50 and the largest depth of field as possible. The depth of field assisted the focus as there was greater scope of achieving sharper footage.

Our shop has a small studio so we also tried the camera using studio lighting. Although it worked well for a camera designed for serious amateurs, we found it did not handle light metering that well. We did successfully use it for a few passport photos.

See also review for 28-300mm IS L F/3.5 lens for further images taken with this camera.

Summary

  1. Light weight body
  2. Fast capture rate and large buffer for writing images to card
  3. Fast motor drive
  4. Quality images and and amazing HD movie mode
  5. Easy Navigation of Camera settings

Conclusions

We  highly recommend this camera for the serious amatuer or as a back up camera for any professional using any of the older Canon models. It is available from most retailers for around 1299.00 with some cheaper so its best to shop around.

Technical details supplied by CANON

Canon EOS 7D
Digital SLR Camera

 

Built to match the passion of photographers. With an 18MP sensor, 8fps shooting, ISO12800, Intelligent Viewfinder and Full HD 1080 movies, the EOS 7D offers performance with unprecedented versatility.

Features

  • 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 8fps shooting
  • ISO range up to 12800
  • 100% Viewfinder
  • 19 cross-type AF points
  • iFCL metering system
  • Dual \"DIGIC 4\"
  • Full HD movie
  • Integrated Speedlite Transmitter
  • 3” Clear View II LCD
  • Magnesium alloy body with environmental protection

    18 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
    The EOS 7D offers superb resolution thanks to its 18MP CMOS sensor. Offering the photographer the choice of flexibility and creativity.

    8 frames per second
    Shoot 18MP 14-bit images at 8 fps as standard, in a burst of up to 126 large JPEGs; photographers can capture both detail and action.

    High ISO
    For handheld shooting in low light, the EOS 7D offers ISO speeds of up to 6400. Expandable to ISO 12800, for low light scenes where using flash is undesirable.

    100% Viewfinder coverage
    The 100% coverage viewfinder with 1.0x magnification provides the most complete and natural view of your subject. The Intelligent viewfinder offers shooting information never before seen in an EOS, including the Dual Axis Electronic Level to ensure perfect horizons.

    19-point cross-type AF system
    A newly designed AF sensor with Zone and Spot AF modes gives the photographer new ways to select AF points. All points are cross type with the centre point offering both f/2.8 and f/5.6 sensors.

    iFCL metering system
    A new 63-zone dual layer metering sensor analyses Focus, Colour and Luminance information, providing accurate and consistent metering.

    DIGIC 4
    Canon’s Dual “DIGIC 4” provides the EOS 7D with the power to deliver outstanding colour reproduction from its high resolution CMOS sensor. DIGIC 4 also delivers 14 bit processing, excellent noise reduction, long battery life, Face Detection AF and Full HD movie recording.

    Full HD movie recording
    Complementing outstanding still imaging capabilities with Full HD 1080 video recording including selectable frame rates and full manual control.

    Integrated Speedlite Transmitter
    EOS 7D includes the ability to control multiple Speedlites without an ST-E2 or 580EX II, and includes a built-in 15mm wide angle flash. Expand your flash photography.

    3.0” Clear View II LCD
    The 3.0” Clear View II LCD features 920,000 dot resolution, a wide viewing angle and new solid structure for improved image viewing in bright conditions. Live View displays real-time images on the LCD, offering three auto focus modes.

    Magnesium alloy body with environmental protection
    The magnesium alloy body offers weather sealing equivalent to the acclaimed EOS-1N, EOS Integrated Cleaning System and 150,000 release shutter durability. The EOS 7D has been designed from the ground up to be used by the most demanding photographers

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