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Canon 7D Offers 18MP Images, HD Videos
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posted on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:26PM

Canon 7D Offers 18MP Images, HD Videos

By Emily Raymond
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • New APS-C 18MP CMOS
  • 8 fps burst mode
  • New AF and metering systems
  • $1,699 body only
(Credit: Canon)

Canon introduced a new DSLR today with the announcement of the Canon EOS 7D. The DSLR borrows several features from its EOS siblings, the 5D Mark II and 50D, most notably the 5D Mark II’s fully manual HD video capability and 50D’s CMOS sensor size. The Canon 7D’s 18-megapixel APS-C sensor is redesigned and paired with dual Digic 4 image processors that enable features like fast 8 fps burst shooting. It will retail for $1,699 for the body only, or for $1,899 with a 28-135mm kit lens included, at the end of September.

The Canon EOS 7D has a standard APS-C CMOS sensor, but it has been improved to have better dynamic range, according to the company. Canon made adjustments to the positioning of the microlenses and photodiodes, bringing them closer to one another and thereby improving the signal-to-noise ratio. The new construction complements the other sensitivity features on the camera, particularly the ISO settings that are now expandable to 12800.

As with other EOS digital single lens reflex cameras, the 7D’s sensor has a dust reduction system that includes a special dust-repelling coating, a vibration system to shake dust off the sensor itself, and a “dust delete” function that allows users to easily eliminate spots of dust from photos in post-production.

The CMOS sensor is backed up by two Digic 4 image processors that combine powers for a quick 8 fps burst mode. The 7D can shoot up to 15 RAW shots in a burst, or up to 126 JPEGs when using an UDMA card. Like the 5D Mark II and 50D, the 7D uses CompactFlash I and II cards, Microdrive and UDMA media.

The Canon 7D boasts HD video recording with 1920 x 1020-pixel resolution that can be set up to 30 frames per second and comes with options for lower resolution and higher frame rates. The shutter speed, aperture, and ISO can be set in the movie mode. There is an on-board monaural microphone in addition to a port for external microphones. These are all features available on the 5D Mark II, but the 7D includes more on-camera buttons that make it easier to use.

Canon included a 19-point cross-type autofocus system on the EOS 7D that is quick and responsive, according to the company. The 7D has a predictive autofocus mode, like other EOS models, along with new zone and spot autofocus modes. The metering system is updated on the 7D to measure in 63 different zones: Canon calls it the Intelligent Focus Color Luminance metering system, or iFCL.

The new DSLR comes with several “firsts” for the EOS lineup. The 7D has a 1x viewfinder, something never before seen on EOS cameras, that has 100 percent coverage. The viewfinder also has a transmissive LCD – another first – incorporated into the viewfinder that allows photographers to view several overlays such as composition grids, the metering circle, and auto focus points. Another brand new feature to the EOS line is the 7D’s dual-axis electronic level that appears on the viewfinder or LCD screen.


(Credit: Canon)

The Canon EOS 7D’s LCD screen has familiar specs with its 3-inch measurements and 920,000-pixel resolution. The screen shows less glare than previous versions and is more effective in bright light, according to the Sept. 1 press release. Canon attributes this improvement to “removing the air gap between the LCD’s protective cover and the liquid crystal” and to a sensor near the screen that measures ambient light and automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness accordingly.

The Canon EOS 7D has a built-in flash unit with manual control and wide 15mm coverage. It is also compatible with all Canon EX Speedlite flash accessories and even has an integrated Speedlite Transmitter. The 7D can connect with computers wirelessly using the $699 WFT-E5A optional accessory (available starting in November), and is compatible with the more than 60 Canon EF and EF-S lenses.

The Canon EOS 7D fits in between the 5D Mark II and 50D in the Canon EOS lineup. The $2,699 5D Mark II trumps the 7D with its full-frame 21.1-megapixel CMOS sensor. The new 7D takes the cake in other areas though: the 5D Mark II shoots only 3.9 fps and has only 9 autofocus points with a single cross-type sensor. The $1,199 Canon 50D has a more similar APS-C CMOS image sensor, but with only 15.1 megapixels on it. It has a single Digic 4 image processor, a 35-zone metering system, 6.3 fps burst mode, and 0.95x viewfinder with only 95 percent field coverage. All three Canon EOS DSLRs have a 3-inch, 920k-pixel LCD screen.

“The EOS 7D represents a completely new chapter in digital photography and Canon product development,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager for Canon U.S.A.’s Consumer Imaging Group. “This camera stands alone as the most functional and innovative DSLR Canon has released to-date, bringing together all of the best professional features offered, along with numerous user requests at a price-point everyone can appreciate.


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