It has been years since I started bitching about my DSLR, the Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D). Released by Canon early 2005 and bought late October 2006, I hate its tiny screen, the poor ISO performance, the inaccessibility of some functions, its built quality, etc., etc. 3 years old and a mere 10’000 pictures later, it was time to switch.

The 50D did not completely fulfill all my wishes, notably the Wireless flash triggering and the viewfinder. A year later, the solution finally appeared, and yesterday it arrived, under the form of a brand new Canon EOS 7D (thanks to my wife :))

The Canon 7D

The Canon 7D with the 135mm f/2 attached

Rather than going in details and prepare a full review (I do not have the expertise for it anyway), I simply list here what I love, like, dislike and hate about this new body.

Loves:

  • The large screen, very bright. The definition is huge and really allows to review images on the fly
  • The viewfinder! The new overlay (grids and AF) are very well integrated
  • Great high ISO performance. At 100% the noise is visible at 1250 ISO but with 18MP it will never be noticeable in prints. The built-in high ISO noise reduction seems to give good results, though I have not used it much
  • The built-in levels. I use a ballhead on my tripod and sometimes it is difficult to know if you are crooking the whole thing or not. Now I have a solution, really well integrated hence easy to use.
  • Customization! At first it seems a bit rough but the Picture Style function and the C1-C3 mode really makes thing simpler to access… Once you have setup everything
  • The Wireless flash trigger works wonder. With ISO performance it is one of the main reason I wanted to purchase this DSLR, and I am not disappointed at all on this matter
  • The video mode is very easy to use and gives great results. A wide opened lens gives a bit of a challenge in terms of focusing but the output video is just “WOW”
  • Coming from the Rebel series, now it is just very fast to take picture. No more menus to change basic settings (ISO, metering, White Balance, Exposure compensation, etc.)
Mimi wondering about my ney toy

Mimi wondering about my ney toy

Likes:

  • The autofocus options. In my mind there are a little too many and I need time to understand them well. the overlay in the viewfinder is really clear
  • The switches to turn on the Live View and the Video mode
  • The Bulb mode ! Finish the time of going from 1/250 to over 30” with the dial

Dislikes:

  • Even though many people mention the comfort of the 7D, I find the space between the lens and the right hand side hold too narrow
  • No metering mode information in the viewfinder, hence this parameter cannot be changed without looking at the screen
  • I like to have a nice resolution but RAW files of 24MB is a bit bothering me
  • No buttons backlight like on the Pentax
  • I used to have a grip, I will need one of those soon
  • The new On/Off switch position. Perhaps I need to get used to it but I prefer being able to turn off my camera with the right hand (grip owners understand I suppose)

Hates:

  • Nothing, really… I’ll update later if I find something 😛

Here a few sample shots ; unprocessed (only some crops)

Curtains

On this one I tried the Picture Style option ; here with a maximum saturation. Quite happy with how it turned out.

Suki... again

Cats in my house are the easiest models for shooting around. Here I was trying the metering modes which somehow, their labels/icons do not make sense...

Book shelf

A try with "high" ISO setting ; noise is very smooth and colors remains richful.

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