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Looking at the Canon EOS 7D

  |   Articles and reviews, Camera testing, Canon 7D, Photography news, Review, Rumour camera test   |   9 Comments

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Trying out the Canon 7D

Canon have kindly lent me a 7D body for a few days.

I’m not going to be doing a detailed Canon 7D review – there are plenty of good sites that do that for a living!

However I do intend to give it a good try out and will be posting some of my thoughts here on the blog.

It’s the first time I’ve used a crop sensor DSLR, so I’m looking at it from the point of view of someone who’s used to carting round my 1Ds3.

I may not have used a smaller DSLR before, but I do come across them a lot during my photography training work, where I teach property and product photography for small businesses.

First thought on picking up the body, is that this feels solid. A slight coolness of metal, when taking it out of the shipping box – just like I’m used to. More importantly, it feels well weighted and comfortable in my hands. No ‘plastic’ feel that I associate with previous small Canon cameras I’ve picked up.

I’ve not got a lens supplied with it, so the first one I’m going to try is my EF 14mm 2.8L II. This gives a nice 24mm equiv. field of view.

Second thing, is the viewfinder – only a bit smaller field of view than the excellent one in the 1Ds3. It also feels to have slightly more eye relief, but I’d have to look in the specs for that.

Menus were much as I’d expect – I’ll get round to reading the manual later.

Since I’ve no idea what might have been set before I had the camera, I reinitialised it and set a few quick options like grid lines and visible AF points – I’ll sort out more later.

Anyway, enough of this – I’ll have a walk out and see what it’s like

Canon 7D and 1Ds3 for size comparison...

Canon 7D and 1Ds3 for size comparison…

Please do feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line if you’ve any questions?

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  • Keith | Dec 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Charles – it’s certainly up there on the quality side with the 1D3, but if you look at the photo of it with the 14mm lens on it, you can see how close to the 1D it is in size too.

    I suspect that what I’d like for a true walk round camera would be APS-C sized sensor at least. I find the image quality limitations of a lot of small cameras the biggest issue – it doesn’t matter for many pictures, but when it does…

  • Charles Outcalt | Dec 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Here’s a question, Keith, one that’s maybe hard to address in any quantitative fashion:

    I always carry one of two extremes: a 1D3, usually with an L bracket, which feels like a tank. Or a Lumix LX-3, which is adequate, and nicely tiny, but far from the 1D, of course.

    How does the 7D feel as a daily camera, something you would want to have with you at all times? Is it still a beast? Or small/light enough to be truly portable?



  • Keith | Dec 1, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Thanks for the questions!

    I’m doing a few more notes for the blog, and will try to address as many queries as I can.

    I can now see why they’ve left out some of the whistles and bells from the 1D4 – I like the feel of the camera, but (as someone used to the 1 series) I do already find myself liking a ‘simpler’ approach in some areas.

  • Jan I | Dec 1, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Hi, Keith!

    I’d like to see the 7D under challenging lighting conditions.

    I do a bit of photography in e.g. pool billiard halls, and I try to avoid blown highlights on the pool table, yet retaining some kind of detail in the human faces that are off the table.

    Here are a few examples of the kind of trouble I find myself in, the first one is well-lit:

  • Ray | Dec 1, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Keith, I have a 5DmkII which is great for high ISO but it’s not much of a speed demon. Much like Mark I’ve been pondering the 1DmkIV for 10 FPS, high ISO and weather sealing but have wondered how the 7D would fare comparitively. I thought I had read that if you shoot RAW bursts that it will get less than 8 FPS but I could be mistaken. Some of the new features look intriguing as well (video button, level, gridlines etc) – how useful do you find those “consumer” features they included but left out of the 1D since they focused on making the 1DmkIV core functions rock solid?

    Ray from Dallas, TX

  • Martyn | Nov 30, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Im just interested in how you find a non-1 series body after only using the flagships.

  • Froetter | Nov 30, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    If I read some tests and compare the results it looks to me, that the 7D has an image quality in respect of noise and texture which is comparable to the EOS 1DmarkIII. Is this stupide and just a misunderstanding of vaulues? Can you give some light at the end of the tunnel?

  • Dean | Nov 30, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    I was using the 7D on the weekend for some World Cup Skiing events. It was great interms of speed and AF. But I found the WB to be a bit off.

    Please report if you find the same with your copy.


    Dean in Calgary

  • Mark | Nov 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm


    If you’ve got time to try taking some pics of moving stuff I’d appreciate your thoughts on the autofocus stuff.

    I’ve been contemplating a 1DmkIII for ages for photographing cycle racing – but now the 7D is around I’m pondering it instead of a 1DmkIV.


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