Canon 7D

The Canon 7D camera

The Canon 7DMk2

After waiting for a couple of thousand years, Canon has finally announced a successor to the extremely successful and the very profitable (for Canon) Canon 7D. I'm exaggerating a little bit, but not by that much. It's been 5 years since the introduction of the 7D. There's been rumors of a successor for the last 4 years. I didn't believe it myself, which is why last year I purchased a Canon 70D for the better focusing system.

Please note, that as I write this post, I do not have access to the 7DMk2, nobody else either.

Canon 7D vs. Canon 70D, My Experience

The Canon 7D was released onto the world in the fall of 2009. Literally for 2½ year, it didn't have any competition. It took almost 3 years for Nikon to come up with something in almost the same league. What a fantastic camera! 18Mpx, a very complicated but flexible focusing system and a buffer of 15 images increased to 23 images with version 2 of the firmware (I never got the official 25 images) and 8 frames per second. With its 2 CPUs, the 7D felt lightning fast.

Fall 2013, Canon releases the 70D, with 20Mpx, 7 frames per second, and what looks like a subset of the 7D's AF system.

Canon 7D — Focus Solution

Running dog almost out of focus, Canon 7D

Running dog almost out of focus, Canon 7D

I had problems with the focus for this image. We have a black 1½ years old dog, running at “full speed” toward me. His name is “Flash”. Almost all the photos are out of focus. Here is a sample at 1:1.

The Canon Timers

The Canon 7D has 4 different timers:

  • 4 seconds
  • 6 seconds
  • 10 seconds
  • 16 seconds

The 4 seconds timer

  • The LCD panel and viewfinder information display their information after the half shutter button press.
  • The review time for the photos. Configured through the Shoot 1 (red) menu as a 2 seconds (the default), a 4 seconds or an 8 seconds.
  • Exposure compensation after pressing the shutter button
  • Metering timer.

Canon 7D Quirk

Saturday was a very foggy day on Canada's West Coast. I still went to hand feed the sandhill cranes and see if there is any way to improve my BIF skills. There is BIF, Bird In Flight, there is BOG, Bird On the Ground, there is BIT, Bird In Tree… Very few people make photos of BIF, most people talk BIF but they don't do BIF, they do BOG or BIT. I'm mostly a BOG/BIT guy, but that's OK since I do not claim to do BIF. So I decided this year to make thousands upon thousands of BIF and eventually they will be good. So I started with one of the most difficult subject for BIF, the ducks! They are fairly small and they are extremely quick. Easy to find but very hard to photograph in flight.

Please note the underexposure from the Canon 7D quirk.

Flying Mallard

Underexposed Flying Mallard  Canon 7D, Aperture Priority f/6.3, AutoISO: 160, 1/320s, Evaluative metering, Canon 70-200 IS f/4L @160mm</font size>

2013 and Your Copyrights

2013 is only 2½ weeks away, if we make it pass the Mayan end of the world on 21-Dec-2012 aka 21/12/12 or 12/12/21. As a photographers, I have a list to prepare for the new 2013 year. One of the item on my list is to update my copyrights. My problems is that I need to change the copyright ©2012 to ©2013 in too many places:

  • My website in the footers
  • My cameras
  • My various software
  • My contracts

What used to take 15 minutes now is almost a full hour.


Fill-in Flash and the Shutter Speed

Canon, like all other camera manufacturers, has a flash mode to balance the flash with the ambient light, aka the fill-in flash. You need to have the flash in eTTL and the camera in Av mode. When using the flash, the aperture controls the power of the flash and the shutter speed controls the ambient light.

Canon 7D: AF Tracking response

I like to procrastinate, but I hide my procrastination by calling it research. So I can waste my time researching on the web instead of doing the things I know I should be doing but… Sometimes, I find nuggets of information like today's when sometimes the Canon 7D has problems following the subject in the frame, but this only happens in Zone-AF or in the 19-points AF.

Canon 7D: 1st/2nd image priority

The Canon 7D is already a 3 years old camera, so Canon gave it 2 Digic-4 CPUs, once of which is dedicated to the auto-focusing. Still at 8 frames per second, the Digic-4 has its limits. It's a battle of sharing the CPU cycles between the processing of the photos and the auto-focusing. So Canon decided to let you decide how should the camera prioritize the speed of capturing the photos vs the auto-focusing. This is controlled by the C.Fn III - 2 for the configuration menu > Autofocus/Drive.

Canon 7D: The New Auto-ISO

With the new firmware for the Canon 7D, Canon has changed the Auto-ISO settings. It's now possible to control the top of the Auto-ISO range. Not only Canon has changed how set the range of the Auto-ISO, it looks like Canon has also changed the algorithm for setting the ISO in Auto mode. The Auto-ISO can range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.

For all the people that “poo poo” the concept of the Auto-ISO, I will ask the question:

How often have you used to camera to find out that it was set at ISO 1600 or higher on a bright and sunny day because the previous time, you were doing some low light…?

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