This is one nice camera!!!
I compared to the Nikon 300S and the only a couple of features were better on the Nikon. The Nikon has a better exposure lock. Canon’s exposure lock times out after a few seconds where as Nikon’s will stay locked until released. For what it is worth, the Olympus E-30 exposure lock can be toggled on/off with a button press. Some will say HDR is more difficult with the 7D than the Nikon 300S, but there is a work around using the Mode Dial that is pretty easy.
I have been wanting to upgrade my T1i for a while now, but decided to wait until the 60D was announced to do anything, and then ended up buying a 7D soon after the announcement. I was waiting/hoping to see if the 60D would have features that I wanted for cheaper but…. no such luck.
I will probably still try to get my hands on a 60D when it comes out to see how I like it and to give it a review also, but for now I just wanted to express my extreme delight in the 7D. If I knew this camera would be this good, I would have bought it a long time ago.
I say that I’m delighted with the camera for one very big reason: the auto-focus system. It’s astounding and better than any camera I have tried yet. I shoot a lot of action shots and wanted a camera that I could quickly attain focus on fast moving subjects. Someone who shoots mainly still/landscape shots or who has no use for the quick autofocus might be satisfied with the T2i or 60D for less money or much happier with the full frame 5D mkII. For me, my decision between the 60D and 7D was made up as soon as I heard the 60D had the same autofocus system of the 50D – a decent 9 point all cross-type autofocus system, but one that can’t touch the 19 point all cross-type 7D system. I would have really liked to see at least a slight improvement in the 60D over its predecessor.
The autofocus system on the 7D is nothing short of brilliant and I am attaining close to 10x the number of usable shots than what I was with my T1i before. it allows you to choose several different modes of using it’s 19 points. The 19 points on the 7D’s system cover the same area that the 50D and 60D’s systems do, but they offer more density in that area, which allows you to use modes like point expansion and zone auto-focus. In the point expansion, it uses one point to monitor for focus, but it if can’t attain focus based on that one point, it will look in the four surrounding points also. The zone system uses set zones of points to look for focus in. These 2 features have helped me a great deal where before I would be using a single point and hoping to attain focus with it, or use a general all point autofocus, which was not anywhere near as quick. In addition, the 7D has a new spot autofocus feature that will hone in one a particular point that is much smaller than the normal single point autofocus. This helps a great deal in still photos or in action shots where you know where the action will be.
The brilliant autofocus system of the 7D sold me almost immediately, but it also has a wide variety of great features like wireless flash control, a magnesium alloy body (60D is plastic), a horizontal and vertical level (the 60D only has horizontal), and above everything else except for the AF system: a fantastic viewfinder. It offers 100% coverage and 1.0x magnification with a transmissive LCD screen. What this means is that what you see in the viewfinder is what you take a picture of – unlike several other cameras that cut off the edges in the view finder. The transmissive LCD allows you to overlay autofocus zones/spots and grids when you are looking through – very useful.
Now, my one negative aspect about the 7D might actually be a plus for many people: the size and weight. It’s pretty hefty and for a person with small hands like me, the camera feels pretty big. A lot of people like the feeling of a large, solid camera though.
There are numerous features and aspects about this camera that I could touch on, but for the sake of brevity, I will just say that I am very pleased with the ISO sensitivity/noise ratio – although I probably won’t take too many shots above 1600 and try to stay below 800. The burst rate of 8 shots/sec is fantastic, but for both that and the high def video, I recommend a compact flash card above 133x. I have been using a 133x with okay results, but have overloaded the buffer a couple of times. I will invest in a faster card soon.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the 7D and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who wants to take nice action shots.