Equipment Review – Canon 7D DSLR
For my first ever equipment review I am going to start with the camera that has become the work horse of my camera bag over the last 2 years, the Canon 7D. This isn’t going to be a review of the technical aspects, but instead a simple users review, how I find the camera, its good and bad aspects that I have found from use and a simple recommendation at the end. I will include a link to a full technical review from Canon as well as a link to what I think is the best review site for all photographic equipment.
When I was on the lookout for a new camera a couple of years ago I had narrowed it down to a simple choice between a full frame Canon 5D Mk 2 or a crop frame 7D. As this was going to be my primary camera for sports it came down to frames per second choice. As I already had a 5 MK2, I got myself the 7D and now had options in my camera bag. With batteries, CF cards, motor drives and lenses all being cross compatible it was a good choice for me.
As Canon website puts it in their introduction, “The EOS 7D combines’ high performance, versatility and cinematic-style HD movies. 18 MP resolution delivers superb quality and 8 fps continuous shooting keeps you ahead of the action”. And I won’t disagree with what Canon say. The camera is an absolute joy to use and it doesn’t let you down in what it promises. The crop factor doesn’t really come into play for anything I do. I use it primarily with a 70-200 F2.8 lens on the front. For weight and balance this combination works superbly for shooting sport and even weddings or portraits!
The camera shoots superbly in normal lighting situations and you will even get a very usable shot in low light conditions, even during high action sport shots. Of course the draw back to the high ISO you will use is that the frames per second ratio drops away considerably but this is where the photographers eye for a shot or anticipation comes into play. It’s not all about the piece of equipment!
You can shoot in Raw or Jpeg, or a combination of both and file sizes are quite impressive and give plenty of latitude of printing to large sizes, I have printed a few shots up to 20 x 24 inches with no apparent loss of resolution. For reviewing images on the camera, a small 3inch screen is available but like a lot of screens on DSLRs it isn’t really ideal. Of course if an image is out of focus on the LCD screen the chances are it is going to be totally out. What the screen does allow is you to view the Histogram and this is something that has become a habit for me and something I would recommend for everyone to get into the habit of doing.
The camera has a video capability but it isn’t something I really use it for as I have a small camcorder for video, and at football matches switching back and forth is feasible so its easier to use a camcorder for video and the 7D for stills. And as such it would be unfair of me to comment a lot on the video capability but any time I have used it the quality has been ok to reasonable, the problems for me only happen when I try to upload, having to run the final video through a converter, while the camcorder can upload right from camera. I may be doing something wrong, but as I don’t use or rely on the 7D video I won’t use that as a drawback.
So overall you may have guessed I love the 7D, the controls are well laid out, menus are easy to navigate and the images are sharp and true to colour. It compares very favourably to my now aging 5D MK 2 and when the time come to replace the 5D I will have a difficult decision as I like have 1 full frame and 1 crop frame camera, but I wouldn’t go against having 2 Canon 7Ds in my camera bag.
Links to Canon Specifications:
Full Canon 7D Review and over all a great review site: