Canon finally released the new 7D firmware 2.0 update this week which adds new features like improved burst mode and audio input level controls. The Canon 7d now has most of the same features out of the box that are included in cameras like the 60d and t4i.

In the past the main reason to buy the Canon 7d was for its higher output HDMI signal, burst mode, flash controller, and rugged design. If you wanted to record audio directly into the camera, you would either have to put up with the AGC or use an AGC disable device. The new audio control feature is nice, but with no on screen level meters and no real way to monitor the audio being recorded by the camera, the 7d is still crippled compared to the t2i with magic lantern.

If you already own a 7d the new features are handy, but if you’re in the market for your first DSLR camera or an upgrade to an older model, I don’t think I would recommend the 7d if your primary focus is HD video. For about a 3rd the price you can pick up a t2i and add the firmware hack or for about the same price as a new 7d body you can buy a used Canon 5d mark II with better low light performance.

I still plan on holding onto my 7d body, it’s good for fast moving events, the large .jpg burst mode is great, and it turns my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS into a 112-320mm f2.8 lens. If you are covering sports, the 7d still has Canon’s fastest frame rate in a crop sensor body, and if you’re shooting in a studio the built in flash controller can be very handy. If on the other hand, those features aren’t on your must have list, even with the 2.0 firmware update the 7d might not be for you.

Take a closer look at a used Canon 5d mark II if you are looking for better build quality and low light performance. Consider the Canon t2i or 60d if you’re on a tight budget. The 7d only fills in the gaps if you really need some of the above listed features.


Tags: , , ,