Rated 4.5 out of 5 by 11
Rated 5 out of 5 by PTNDSLR Should I Buy This Camera?
I think this question is one that most of us ask ourselves when considering a purchase of this magnitude. The question is not an easy one, and I'm not sure I made the correct decision in purchasing this marvelous piece of technology. Let me put it in perspective; I am a prosumer camera user. I love photography and take a variety of photographs including family pictures, sports photography (see photos at smugmug for gatorowl), and casual street photography. I have owned lots of cameras including film, digital P&S and DSLRs. The 7D is my sixth DSLR (including a DReb XSI that I sold after two weeks). Before the 7D, my main camera was a 40D, which I found to be satisfactory especially the image quality (IQ). The negatives of the 40D are lack of weather sealing, 6.5 frames per second (fps) repeat rate, 1600 ISO max (can be pushed higher) and some focusing issues especially in sports photography. Of course, when comparing with the the DReb series, these "negatives" immediately become positives. The 40D has better construction, much faster repeat rate, and much better focussing (the T1i has, arguably better high ISO capabilities). The 40D compares well with the Nikon D90. Both cameras are very close. The D90 has video, better high ISO performance, and is a little more compact. However, it is a little slower in repeat rate, and I found selecting D90 focus points a bit on the clumsy side. Anyway, because of lens choices, I decided to go Canon. The 50D held no allure mainly because it was an incremental improvement. So, I thought my kit was set for at least a couple of years.
Notice that in the above discussion, I never talk about IQ. Of all the 10MP or better DSLRs that I have used, there is no noticeable difference in IQ. However, after the 7D announcement and some of the preliminary reviews, I was convinced that the 7D was a quantum improvement over the 40D in every respect. I panicked, sold my 40D and bought a 7D.
So, what did I find? The 7D is a great camera and is a clear improvement over the 40D. In some respects, it is substantially better than a 40D, but IQ isn't one of those major improvements. If you look at your files at 100%-300%, you will see more detail in a 7D shot. I have a standard photo that I take in my office when I get a new lens. I had to blow the photos up to 300% before I could detect differences. There was more texture detail in the 7D and the contrast and saturation were better. However, to be honest, it's not clear how much of this difference is attributable to the camera or the lenses (I shot the 40D with a Sigma 70-300mm and the 7D with a Canon 70-300mm IS lens). Frankly, I'm not surprised. DSLRs are so good right now, differences in IQ at low ISO are marginal. However, I do feel confident that I can shoot at 1600 ISO or 2000 ISO with the 7D without a substantial reduction in quality. While I can control noise at 3200 ISO, color saturation and contrast decline more than I like. With the 40D 800 ISO was as far as I wanted to go, but I would push it to 1000 when desperate. The 7D provides is a major ISO gain.
I really love the 7D focus system. I don't know if it is as good as the Canon 1D series, but it is so, so much better than the 40D. By focusing on the exact point in a field, I feel like my creative options are substantially expanded. I was frequently frustrated by having the wrong part of my picture in focus. This need never happen with the 7D.
The 8fps repeat rate is a nice bonus. It just raises the probability that the exact frame you want will be captured.
So, the question is should you upgrade? You have to decide whether you can afford it; so my advice assume that you can afford the camera, but are looking for the camera that best matches how you shoot.
If this is your first SLR (film or digital):
I'd recommend starting with a Canon T1i or Nikon 90D. The 7D is an extremely complex camera that will take many hours to learn and dozen of hours shooting to master. Unless you have the time to invest in such a camera it will just be a source of frustration. Unlike almost every other camera I've owned, the user will obtain disappointing or bad results unless s/he truly understands this equipment. By contrast, you can take other DSLRs and just start shooting. Unlike the other cameras, the 7D has no scene modes. With other DSLRs you can take your time and gradually learn the more sophisticated capabilities. Most importantly, the quality of your pictures will be just as good.
If you are moving up from an entry level DSLR:
You need to ask yourself why you are moving up? If you are dissatisfied with the IQ, then the 7D is not your answer. Using the 7D, it will take a lot more work (initially) to become proficient. However, if you need a faster framerate, better high ISO performance (although the T1i and D90 are very good for high ISO), long for a better focussing system, or shoot in the rain or the beach, then the 7D might make sense.
If you are moving up from a mid-level XXD or Nikon D300:
As before, you're getting very little IQ improvement (wildlife photographers claim they can use the extra cropping capability, but I'm not convinced it's substantial). Buy the 7D because the features provide you with value. Also, I would seriously discourage anyone from switching from a Nikon D300 to a 7D. There has to be an absolute must-have 7D feature for you to make that leap.
As for me, I don't regret this purchase. I'll never say never, but I'm hoping that the 7D will be my last crop-sensor camera. I love the flexibility and expansion of creative options that the new features allow me. It's a wonderful camera. I'm looking forward to spending many hours becoming intimately acquainted with its capabilities.
Rated 5 out of 5 by ElGordo Incredible. Get the 5D II instead
The new 7D is great. It has a new sensor at 18 ginormous megapixels, which gives you tons of room for cropping or enlarging--up to 20x30 easily.
The new autofocus works great with extra sensors for your wide apertures to help it focus on the right subject (I can't tell you how many times in a hurry I have focused behind the subjecty with my 50mm lens)
There are now two CPUs for processing images quickly and for collecting your HD video at normal frame rates. This is definitely one up on the T1i. The frame rate is a blazing 8 fps, which makes this passable for sports photography.
It also does individual lens microfocusing for the perfectionists out there, which also saves on the costs of sending lenses back to Canon for servicing.
My one little problem is that at this price, it is not a full frame camera! Besides which, you're only around five hundred dollars short of the 5D mk II which IS full frame. The 7D has a better autofocus though, along with double the frame rate.
This camera is great for the amateur, or a primary or backup for a sports photographer
Pros: Great camera! Sweet autofocus.
Cons: Just the one downside.
Summary: I don't think it's worth that much more than the 50D for most people, and it's not enough for those of us who covet the 5D II.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Teaman2 Great price on 7D! Cheap shipping but slow.
First a comment about the product. It's genuine Canon USA new product with the warranty and full retail stock package components. The price was better than most online establishments including Amazon. They also had it in stock! I ordered it up and had it shipped by ground.
The only complaint I have about the order experience is that the web site is the shipping time estimator. It's not very accurate. It gives you a range. The min. looked like I'd have this product in hand in less than a week. It actually took slightly over a week, about 9 days. Had I known... I would have opted for the faster shipping which only cost a little more. It probably would have shaved a few days off the delay, so don't be a cheap-skate and go for their slowest option.
As for the product itself, it's a Canon. I'm still learning how to use it. There's a lot to learn. I am upgrading from the 20D which was a mighty fine camera. But I wanted a newer technology DSLR for an upcoming trip and wanted built in movie capability. It will do HD video at 720 or 1080p. That is amazing. Just be aware that the focus is not auto once the Record button is activated. The mirror is locked up to provide direct exposure to the sensor continuously which makes the manual focus only possible looking at the backside LCD. for indoors, this isn't as much a problem as when you are outside in bright sunlight and you can't use the viewfinder (mirror is blocking). It's not a big deal if your subject is farther away or distant and stationary (like scenery, etc) but subjects moving toward you will be really tricky to keep in focus, if not impossible. You can snap the shutter to take a photo which releases the mirror and allows a new focus reading on the subject. But it will interrupt the movie for a split second and may need to be edited out. I'm still learning so there may be better ways to handle this situation. If you plan to zoom the lens while making a movie, it's best to zoom in first on the subject, focus, zoom out, start to record, zoom in slowly or if starting zoomed in, slowly zoom out. If you base the focus while the lens is zoomed out, when you zoom in invariably the focus will be off. This also requires a zoom lens that doesn't alter the focal length when zooming. This would be most L series zoom lenses.
As for photo taking, some reviews I've seen have users complaining about the auto focus not working right and their getting blurry shots. I don't think that is the fault of the camera. I've taken quite a few shots already and this camera takes great shots, all but a few being sharp as can be. I suspect the issue for them has more to do with their transitioning from a point-n-shot auto-everything camera to a DSLR. There is a learning curve there... learning about depth of field (DOF) spot metering, zone metering, using aperture and speed to control DOF as well as focal length of the lens, etc.
I'm very happy with this camera and think you will be too if you are looking for a great feature-packed DSLR and know how to use one. Plan on buying lots of big CF memory cards for a trip as this camera shots at 18MP per photo. This means it consumes about 25-30MB per photo in Large Raw photo mode. Medium Raw is about 16MB +/- per photo. Plan to use Raw mode at least as that provides the maximum flexibility with the photo in post processing. You can also take Raw+Jpeg at the same time giving you both. If you only take jpeg formatted photos you are wasting the capability of this camera and tossing valuable photo information away that is normally packed into the Raw format. Use Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop or Apple Aperture to post process the images as Raw and then save/export to jpeg when done adjusting your photos for posting online or emailing to others.
For a trip plan well in advance on how you will safely store your photos. This means estimate how many photos you think will will take per day, make a conservative adjustment upwards from that, multiply by the number of days gone on your trip, multiply by the space required for the average sized photo for the format you plan to shoot with. Add that up and you will have how much space you need total. If you plan to store backup copies in case your laptop or iPad get stolen, then plan to double the space requirements. For this camera that can mean a lot of space that is required (remember LRaw can easily be 30MB per photo.) I was going to try and fit my trip on a couple 32GB iPads and a 32GB iPhone but that proved to be too little for a 3 week trip using 8GB per day minimum.
Hope this helps you in your camera decisions. Good luck! This camera is amazing piece of technology, a lot of bang for the buck! For those of you wishing for a 5D, this is $1k less. About all you give up is the full sized sensor. 5D also does not allow any EF-S lenses so if you already have some of those, you will have to replace them. That's why I went with this one.
Rated 3 out of 5 by AKCameraPro 7D has lots of noise
I've been using my 50D which is a great camera for 2 years now. I was willing to put down the extra cash and upgrade to the 7D due to the superior autofocus and the video mode. I also read that the high ISO performance is better than any other crop sensor camera Canon makes, such as the 50D.
In my 2 weeks with the 7D I found the digital noise produced at *medium* ISO (something like 1000-1200) was unacceptable. My 2 year old 50D performs quite a bit better, and anything above 1200 ISO on the 7D was completely unusable. I may have gotten a bad copy, the I returned the camera after experimenting with it for two weeks. I tried using in camera functions to reduce the noise (which I dont have to with the 50D) and also used a plugin called NoiseNinja in Photoshop and the results were just not pleasing. The 7D was losing color in the noisy areas and there is no non-professional (with a price to match) software to fix that amount of bad image.
I switched to my 50D and immediately started getting the shots I wanted again, so I returned the 7D, disappointed for sure.
As far as what worked, the autofocus was great and the video mode is superb, especially for a DSLR. However, I have a 10 week old baby and am mainly taking photographs of her, the poor low light sensitivity was a deal breaker for me as that is what 95% of my photographs are nowadays.
Walmart was great through the process, I purchased it and received the camera in two days which is somewhat of a miracle living in Alaska. I was able to return it easily to the store when I finally settled on returning it, there was no hassle like I thought there might be since the camera isnt even carried in the store.
Rated 4 out of 5 by AdamSeattle Solid camera, taking some getting used to
Solid camera, getting what you're paying for, but I do have a couple complaints:
1) Proprietary battery. You can't buy an off-brand spare battery unless you use a special charger for it. That's inconvenient as Canon charges way more than fair price for their branded batteries.
2) Location of the power switch. I have a Rebel as well, where the power switch is on the right side of the body. The 7D places it on the left, requiring the use of both hands to pick up and turn on the camera.
Otherwise, great camera.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Puttzo Awesome Camera
from the old film cameras to the now high tech Digitals i have owned both top brands and by far this is the best one yet and the fastest camera I have ever had in my hands Once you get the setting for your need with good glass and a good flash you cant go wrong I am very happy With my 7D I have owned 20d 30d 50d and the 5d Not to crazy about the micro adjustment but I only need it on non is lens! Once you get use to it you wont put it down!! Oh Yea in TV mode with flash set to High power you can shoot 8000 shutter speed with a flash Oh YEA!! That is My Mode LOVE IT!!!!
Rated 5 out of 5 by MichelAngeloPhotography Canon 7D- great camera!
Performs as promised, great high ISO capabilities, fast focusing, large LCD screen, I'm happy.
Rated 4 out of 5 by JourneyOfAThousandMiles slow delivery
Upgraded my rebel Xt to this.
Lot more features than Xt for sure.
With Bing Search 15% rebate, it is very good deal compares to all other stores. But the ship to store is slow. It took 11 business days, and tracking feature of the web site is insufficient status update once may be every 4-5 days, I still can't figure out how it took 4 business days to go from NY to VA.
As for the camera, I just started to play with it, so I can't say too much about it.
Rated 4 out of 5 by BigPoppadopaLos Awsome camera
Great camera. Battery life is shorter than my old Canon Rebel XS but this camera does a whole lot more.