Canon have announced their latest prosumer level dSLR, the 7D. This 18 megapixel, APS-C sized sensor model aims to bridge the gap between the world of the 50D and 5D by adding features like full HD video recording. The 7D also adds some exciting new features that will appeal to pros and enthusiasts alike:
- A new 19 point autofocus system that allows multiple focus points to be used together in "focus zones" to allow easier tracking of moving subjects or assist focusing on a static one.
- The exposure system in the 7D is now colour aware.
- A new LCD viewfinder overlay show focus points and zones with on-demand grid lines and spot metering circle.
- A dual axis electronic level built into the camera couples with an artificial horizon overlay on the LCD display helps to get the camera level for architectural or panoramic photography.
- The 7D features a built-in Speedlite controller to allow control of multiple off-camera flash units.
- A new intelligent macro tracking mode changes the behaviour of the AI Servo to account for forwards and backwards sway in the photographer or subject when shooting up-close.
I like the sound of all these new features and wish they were on my 5D mk2. I'm particularly keen on the new focusing system and the addition of the built-in Speedlite controller which brings Canon flash functionality in line with Nikon at last. I'm less convinced by the colour aware exposure metering - it seems there are too few details so far on how this improves things.
Canon have also announced the WFT-E5A wireless file transmitter which adds digital connectivity to the 7D not only for sending images back to a central computer but also for remote controlling multiple cameras.
The 7D should be delivered to US dealers at the end of September and is expected to retail at $1700 for the body only or $1900 bundled with the EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens. An excellent hands-on with the 7D is available at http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E7D/E7DA.HTM.