The other day I had to go to the local Post Office, so I took the Canon 7D along with me. All these shots are taken at 800 ISO at f/8 with a EF24-70 2.8L lens.
I’d not expect to print such images at any great size, but I was interested to see how the new metering system of the 7D performed. It’s winter sunshine with a clear blue sky in parts. Colour temperature (white balance) varies widely, so I was also interested in how accurately the camera was estimating it for shots.
A warning – don’t read too much into details of softness in these images, you are seeing massively reduced web images (jpegs). I’m firmly of the opinion that most images you see on the web. particularly in forums, are essentially worthless for making detailed comparisons. I’ve sharpened some of the full frame images slightly, since to do otherwise would merely show how reduced images on the web need some sharpening. I’m trying to give an impression of what I found the camera like to use.
The pictures are just things that caught my eye in the street. All raw files processed in ACR 5.6
With the crowded streets, lost cat notices are often found on lamp posts.
The bright sky in the background has just clipped and the image needed a bit of recovery and shadow light to balance it.
This is a great shop – You can buy almost anything there.
The image has only clipped for a few specular reflections – a 100% view showing shadow detail
Yes, you can buy all kinds of things down Narborough Road
and more household ‘stuff’
A large range of budget priced toilet rolls for example.
A 100% crop shows shadow detail – I know my old 1Ds would not be so happy at 800 ISO here
Assorted foodstuffs as well
And fried chicken too
Very little clipping at all, the intense red and northern sky would confuse my 1Ds3 somewhat
A 100% crop at 800 ISO (ACR standard NR) – slight noise would be easy to clean up if need be.
It seems that Big Brother is alive and well – this sign in a shop window advertising a room.
Warmed slightly – clicking on the white paper gave a WB temperature of 14500K
Why not pop into the office and discuss your needs
Once again, exposure pretty much spot on.
I decided against the £3 haircut
Or I could buy a bed
Combination of weak winter sunshine and deep blue sky handled well
I walked on a bit further, where all the bars are
This image was processed in DxO Optics pro, using the lighting controls to balance things.
At last, the Pump and Tap – my local pub since 1989. Built in the 19th Century
This is all that’s left a week after it closed…
Some 7D thoughts
The AF and metering work fine – the metering even seems less phased by strong bright colours that my 1Ds Mk3.
I still find the AF point boxes too prominent in the viewfinder (the lines are too thick IMHO). The camera is easy to use and the quick setting modes quite simple to get the feel for.
The viewfinder is streets ahead of those in xxxD cameras, and I found it comfortable to use.
I have quite large hands and found that the balance of the 7D (albeit with a big lens) meant the bottom corner pressed into my palm a bit too much (after carrying it for a half hour or so). I’m told that the battery grip really does help if you’ve larger hands.
I also missed the side strap I have on my 1Ds3 – this allows me to hold the camera comfortably for much longer while walking around. This strap actually came with my 1Ds a few years ago, and was promptly swapped over the the Mk3 when I got it.
Minor gripes, though, since I have to say the camera just ‘feels’ a lot better to hold compared to some of the previous XXD and XXD cameras I’ve picked up.
I charged the battery once and have taken several hundred images (frequently reviewing images/histograms and exploring menus) If I was out all day, I’d want a backup, but like with my 1Ds3, I suspect I’d not often need it.
The camera has a built in flash – given I’ve used on camera flash in my professional work twice this year, I didn’t explore this very widely…
Still no Mirror Lock Up button, but unlike some, I really just don’t care about this one – it’s within easy reach, via custom settings, and I suspect that the proportion of the 7D target market who would know/care why you’d use it are well in the minority … as ever YMMV ;-)
Do you want a 7D?
Depends a lot on what you do with your photography. For myself, I’d find the smaller sensor an issue for my interior and architectural work. I make good use of the TS-E17 and that FOV has got me some stunning shots.
For more general (professional) use I’d see the 7D as a good camera for wedding/portrait work, where the high ISO sensitivity and AF -might- tip the balance against the 5D2. For sports work I’ve seen some comments liking it, but given I don’t do sports/weddings/portraits, I’d suggest spreading your reading a bit wider ;-)
I’ve included all the reviews and 7D information I’ve found, on a specific 7D Info page.
Video – the elephant in the corner of the room
I’ll be honest, I’m still not sure what I’d want to do with this feature. I know enough about cinematography to know that I would need to learn a lot more to get good results. Having done a film acting course, I know how long it takes to plan and fit everything together for even a short feature. As someone who dislikes tripods for landscape work, I just don’t have the patience for long involved setting up (I personally regard landscape photography as large scale street photography and try for some elements of immediacy in this aspect of my work)
Sure I can get high definition video (with somewhat tinny sound) of Karen in her office telling me to go away and stop pestering her, but moving images that -anyone- else would want to see?
Read up about DSLR video on the web and you’ll see lots of talk about mixed media and blurring the lines between still and moving – that’s fine until, like some news agencies, you discover that finding one person to take stills, write the story -and- film it is a tall order.
I’ve conveniently put off video until I get a 1Ds3 replacement, but the 7D has made me think about it.
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