Initial thoughts on Canon 7d


OK….and remember. This is a pre-production model.

I will do a proper write up as soon as I have spent some quality time with her. Until then just my musings and thoughts and of course some video to come…

Nice handling

Slightly heavier than 5d

LCD slightly better

Dedicated video button which is great.

Different frame rates work well

No live HD HDMI out, just 480p

AGC still

Rolling shutter problems seem improved…

As expected , slightly noisier at 1600 ISO but still totally usable and very impressive. Smaller chip after all.

New menu system lets you assign buttons, I can now have iris on top dial and shutter on circular front dial.

12 minutes max in HD mode, both 720p and 1080p mode

More to come later….

Currently shooting an odd little short.

People have asked about the bit rate. Yes it is better than 5d. Take a look below and take a look at that native frame rate…SWEET!

Screen shot 2009-09-03 at 23.57.44

Screen shot 2009-09-04 at 00.01.29


  1. Phil, this is so awesome! I’ve been checking your site every couple of hours since yesterday mourning to hear what you have to say on the 7d. It’s awesome that you have one now, many people from several online communities agreed that they should let you play with it first. i’d love to hear what you think about the video quality match: mach2 vs. 7d. thx

  2. Hey Philip, If you get the chance (and have the time), can you shoot the same things (composition, camsettings, lenses) with both the 5DmkII and 7D so we can compare them as directly as possible.

  3. Would be interested to hear what you think about the 7D’s ability to emulate the famous film look. There are several discussions on 5D forums currently about the equivalence of the APS-C sensor to S35 film. Sounds exciting but I’m not clear what it means in practice.

    You’re doing an awesome job. Love the suspense – seeing who’ll get the first meaningful review out based on proper footage.

    Good luck.

  4. My major gripe is wide and standard, unlike the 5D Mk11 once you reach 50mm and below everything is a compromise and thats wrong. You can’t beat a good WA shot yet this 1.6x kills a 24mm stone dead.

  5. hey Phil! 😀 looking forward to your F-Stop vids. Quick question: I need/want a few cheap lenses for film/docu work with the 7D. I’m new to this, so it seems daunting to come at it without the ease of just choosing from the wide array of lenses available for FF35. What do you reckon?

  6. Hello Guys! There should be a solution for the audio, i mean, a XLR input. Or TC IN/OUT for sychronizing with an external sound system like Zoom H4n.
    Thanks Philip.

  7. Bloom tell me..

    Who’s the man…. thats right…. YOU are the man!

    I will keep hitting the freaking refresh button so long that it probably cost me a new keyboard by the end of the morning
    All worth it of course :p

    So many questions to ask but I’ll keep my mouth shut because I know, we know, the hole world knows that you will give us all the info we need

    Greetings from Holland

  8. Does the on-camera LCD black out when you connect an external device to the HDMI or AV port?

    I want to be able to use an LCD Viewfinder like the Zacuto Zfinder, but find it frustrating that I must choose between using the on-camera LCD for focus and composition or sending a video signal to the other people on the set (director, client). Any BASIC camera should let you see the on-camera monitor and send to the external port simultaneously, but not the 5D mark 2. Please tell me this is fixed in the 7D!

  9. Philip,

    I notice from the the photos on your blog that you have used the Rode Video mic, Rode Stereo mic and the Sennheiser MKE400 are you able to comment on the results you are getting sound-wise with the 7D?

  10. Hey Phil, it would be nice to see some beauty shots of the camera body so while you talk about some of these things you like (dedicated video button, better LCD etc.) it would be nice to see accompanying photos of the camera showing those aspects.

  11. what comes out of the HDMI port when not recording? I am interested in a multi-camera setup taking live output when not recording. The signals will be fed into an HD mixer which will output to either a Matrox MXO2 to FCP or will output to a DVCAMHD recording deck.

  12. Hi Phil – been a fan for a while – great work….
    Im confused now – just downloaded full res sofia and dublin to compare – The 5d mkII runs away with pic quality – much cleaner – no appreciable noise – and thats what makes the pics jaw droppingly zingy… 7d is good but doesnt zing!
    shame cos everything else is right re frame rates etc…Slightly disappointing.

  13. I’m an old time video shooter. I used to shoot on Betacam and even 3/4″ tape with the VTR that used to hang from your shoulder conected to a shoulder mounted camera.

    In the last few years I’ve been slowly getting back into the game. The only advantage that 24p gives that i can see is international standards conversion.

    I remember the DVX-100 24p SD video looked like jittery video, nothing more. It reminded me of guys putting fog filters on their Betacams thinking it made their videos look like film LMAO.

    Is not the filmic quality in the DOF control, not frame rate? If you’re shooting for an NTSC market why not stick with 30p/60i?

    As I stated earlier as I see it the biggest advantage of 24p is international standards conversion. 24p has far less impact on filmic look than DOF control. Even James Cameron agrees.

    1. I am also an old-timer 3/4 inch UMatic tape deck-lugging, RCA TK-76 shooting dinosaur. Only I’ve been waiting 30 years for a video camera that could shoot 24 fps. If you’ve ever shot behind the scenes on a movie set and marveled at how the acting and the action on the film are orders of magnitude more compelling than the sterile reality of your video footage, then you have witnessed the magic of 24 fps versus 30. Everybody makes such a big deal of shallow DOF. Shoot with ND on a 2/3″ video camera and you can have shallow DOF, but it’s still VIDEO! 60 fields of video is much closer to how our eyes and brains see the world, and so video looks more “real”. 24 fps slows everything down just a smidgen, and makes bad acting look better, car crashes cooler, and sexy women sexier.

      1. I totally agree with you on the qualities of video versus film Mondo. I just think it takes way more than 24p to make video more cinematic. 24p SD video still looks like like crap compared to film.

        But now with the advent of large senor cameras, HD and shallow DoF I’ve done an about face and totally prefer 24p.

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