Tuesday, 1 September 2009

News - Canon 7D & 100 f2.8 IS L macro lens

So the next Canon body and a new macro lens have been announced.

Firstly some thoughts about the new body. It is an 18MP, APS-C sensor size, so a 1.6 crop, at 8fps, ISO up to 12800, 100% viewfinder, 19 cross type AF points, with centre one f2.8 sensitive, a new metering system, dual Digic 4 processing, full HD movie mode, a new 3" LCD screen, an integrated wireless flash transmitter and some environmental protection. More details here.

So is it a scaled down 1D type? Well here are some first thoughts from me.

Apparently Canon sought the views of 5000 photographers to arrive at this spec. Well I see the views of lots of photographers on a number of forums and nobody has been going on about the need for even more mega pixies. Apparently, there are new gapless sensors and better signal to noise processing at the sensor sites. Well forgive my cynicism, but they said that when they launched the 50D, a 1.6 crop with 15MP twelve months ago. Now I tried that body out earlier this year when I went to Mull in February. Sure the AF was pretty good and an improvement, although never found too much wrong with the 40D with good fast glass on it. But the noise was appalling and definitely a retrograde step.

So I will reserve judgement, but on the face of it, it looks like a step further the wrong way. Most views I see are asking for less noise and a greater dynamic range - so Canon stop falling for your own marketing hype and give more credence to those views.

However, there are some really good new additions, on paper, to this body. I like the idea of grid and level overlays in the viewfinders - finally caught up with Nikon on that.

If there really is better noise performance with ISO capabilities up to 12800, that too will be a good move.I personally have never found too much wrong with the Canon metering system, or maybe there is I can work my round it without thinking about it - but OK if necessary then.

Any AF improvements are always worth having, and I guess 1D users will be happy for a different type of user to trial the AF before the next 1 series gets launched.

Dual Digic 4 I guess is needed to handle that amount of data at that frame rate, particularly at 14bit.

Full HD movie mode - well you either want it or you don't. As a wildlife shooter, I can see the benefits, particularly when we are shooting interesting behaviours.

The integrated wireless flash transmitter could be great - my only reservation would be on how easy it will be to use in practice. Will it be multi levels down in the sub menus or easily button pushable, like the STE-2 already is?

There is also talk of better environmental protection. So is it capable of being used in heavy rain or not?

Time will tell.

I see it is up at £1699 rrp in the UK. Well again, I would not get to worked up over that, although many will. Time and availability will drive the price down to more realistic levels.

Just wish they really would listen to photographers, instead of saying they do, and just stick to sensible MP numbers and giving us better noise and dynamic range.

On the lens front, there are a couple of new Ef-S zooms. Aren't there always!!!

But the best looking is the new 100mm f2.8 IS L macro lens. At last, it has an L category, and IS will be a welcome addition.

But again I would say that if Canon were really listening to customers, then where is the replacement 100-
400. The Canon community are still waiting.



  1. Good review and comments that I agree wholeheartedly with. I certainly won't be replacing my 40D with a 7D having had a look at the high iso shots on DPReview. Colin.

  2. They almost completely made this a copy of the Nikon D300s. But they missed the feature that would have been the very easiest to add:

    5-9 shot bracketing.

  3. Martin, just one question, which nobody will answer for me.
    100mm f2.8 IS L macro lens, what does the L stand for?
    I have only been using Canon for about 6 months, and don't yet understand all the bits and pieces.


  4. Hi David,

    My understanding is that L stands for Luxury for some reason.

    I think it means 'L'oads of Money really.

    There is a useful link here for you