Posted on July 22, 2010 by

Canon EOS 7D – First Impressions

Here at Fishing Fury we’ve never been afraid to talk about our camera equipment or just how much we’ve loved every one of our Canon cameras. All of our original content from about 2004-2006 was shot entirely on two great Canon point-and-shoot cameras; the Canon Elph SD10, and the Canon PowerShot G5. I could go into an entirely new post just about how useful those two cameras are. I won’t do that now, but for those interested that covers features and galleries from Toronto Islands, Mystery Lake, La Paz, and even our first trip to the now legendary pike kingdom of Little Vermilion Lake. And it was after that trip to Little Vermilion that we realized our camera gear needed a serious upgrade to keep up with some of the things we wanted to do.

Now the Canon 7D is not the first camera you would jump up to from a regular point and shoot, both Clive and I have owned several midrange models in the Canon EOS Rebel line, and we loved those too. In fact in 2007 we returned to Little Vermilion Lake with a Canon EOS Rebel XTi, and the difference in quality really shows. The Canon 7D is the newest and most impressive addition to our long list of cameras, this new semi-pro level Canon DSLR was first announced in September of 2009 and comes with a hefty price tag of about $1700 for the body alone.

So what are some of the new pro level features of the Canon 7D that set it apart from previous models and might make it the perfect camera for the outdoor action photographers of Fishing Fury? Continue reading to find out!

Body and Lens

My first impressions of this camera began as soon as I pulled it out of the box. The body is made of magnesium rather than the plastic of the Rebels, it feels solid- if not a bit heavy in comparison. The lens is also of much higher quality than the Rebel kits. This 7D kit lens has an EF-S mount specifically designed for the APC-S 1.6x crop sensors, as well as image stabilization, and as a focal range of 18-85mm. The same as your average Rebel kit so I know it’s wide enough to work on small boats with big fish. The 7D body is fully dust and weather sealed, features a 100% view finder, high durability shutter rated at 150,000 cycles, and 3 inch viewing LCD at the back.

MegaPixels, Autofocus, and Continuous Shooting

The Canon 7D expands its range with some serious DNA upgrades. Inside you will find an all new faster 19 point autofocus system, an 18 MegaPixel CMOS sensor, and dual DIGIC 4 image processors. The 7D is the first camera that I know of to include dual digic processors, and it uses these two processors to perform continuous shooting at 8fps for up to 126 jpegs or 15 raw images. This high speed continuous shooting is above and beyond the average 3-4fps in most of Canon’s line up and should prove very useful for catching intense action shots and sequences.

Sample Shots

Here are a few sample shots that I took walking around downtown Toronto on the day I bought the camera. The circled areas are enlarged to 100% to show detail.

Full HD Video

The most exciting feature of the new Canon 7D is the ability to shoot video, and we’re talking full HD 1080p! DSLR video is relatively new to the market but has quickly exploded as amateur filmmakers produce some of the most amazing and compelling videos through the optics of a DSLR, but it’s not just amateurs anymore, the season finale of House MD was shot entirely on a Canon 5DmkII.

Sample Video

Here are two sample videos I took, both are handheld with no tripod, one is in full daylight and the second is in pure darkness. You’ll have to click through to Vimeo in order to watch them in full HD. You might also want to turn down your volume as they can both be pretty loud.

Studio Features

The 7D also offers several features that I think of as mostly “studio features”, and I say that only because they’re probably not going to be the features of the camera that I will use in the field, but will use more at home or indoors for things like high quality product shots. Features like the built-in wireless flash transmitter and digital level will probably see more use in those scenarios or times when I’m using a tripod.

Price

The kit I purchased from Downtown Camera here in Toronto came with a Canon EF-S 18-85mm IS lens and cost about $2200 before tax, add a 16GB compact flash card and a high quality polarized filter and we’re talking close to $3000 out the door. The camera is definitely aimed at the semi pro, and packs some serious features to warrant the price tag. That said, if you’re looking for an entry level DSLR that can still shoot full HD video the Canon Rebel T2i comes in under $1000 though you lose all of the pro level features in the 7D.

Stay tuned for the full review of the Canon 7D.