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Canon 7D Test Drive

18 Megapixels
APS-C CMOS 1.6x



Disclaimer:
The following review is not suppose to be some kind of a professional review. If you are looking for such reviews you will not find it in my homepage. I just plan to write a simple review with my thoughts to assist my friends with the camera they want to buy since most of the time the guy at the electronics department doesn't know much about the camera apart from the price of it by scanning the barcode. If you found my website from the internet then good for you! The reviews are just my thoughts and I am happy to share with anyone. It is possible I will make the occasional mistakes and if I do please let me know about it!

 



Introduction

This is my fifth day with the Canon EOS 7D. On day 1 the 7D proved to be a  very capable camera at High ISO. However, its action photography capabilities are not quite tested yet. Action photography involves the use of the camera’s Al Servo AF tracking function. In this mode the camera’s AF will focus continuously on the moving subject. A camera that is less capable will not be able to focus on the subject properly for fast moving subjects.


Today is 10/1/2009 and is our National Day. We have a special “DAY” race at the horse racing track as well as a fireworks display. I plan to take this opportunity to share with everyone how good the 7D is.


I am a sports photographer for Football or Swimming etc but not a sports photographer for horse racing. It was my first time taking photos at such an event and it was a lot more challenging than I thought.  I wanted to show everyone how the 7D performs with different lens (Canon  + Third Party). It takes 30mins or so in between races so it was very time consuming…you do the math.  I hope this post will be able to answer many of the 7D AF concerns for most people.


Day 5: Chinese National Day. 7D Action + Fireworks Photography

ISO 800
1/1250s
f/5.6
191mm

 


I used the Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX for this photo. This is a rare 10X zoom lens at an affordable price. EX stands for excellence and should be on par with the Canon L lenses at half the price. This was the first quality zoom lens I owned and I used it for years without needing service. Horse racing events are best photographed in the rage of 50-400mm. Most photographers choose the 50mm, 70-200mm, or 400mm for this. It's an either or situation but with this 10x lens I have it all! There are some blown highlights in this photo. I noticed my 7D to overexpose sometimes when used under sunlight. Rather than wasting time on blaming poor light metering I set exposure compensation to -1/3 or -2/3 for the rest of my photos like what most photographers would do.

 

 

 

 

 

ISO 800
1/2000s
f/5.6
119mm

 

In this photo I used the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC made for EF-s mount only. This is really one heck of a lens with x15 zoom. I bought it during a trip to Japan when my EF-s 17-55 failed on me for some reasons. I went for this option since a vacation is a vacation and I am not suppose to bring all my lenses along to the trip. We all love the 18-200mm zooms. They tend to have more distortion and have smaller aperture values but it does the job. 135mm should give you good pics of the circuis and 200mm should give you pretty gd pics at the zoo for your reference. In this photo I want to test if such megazoom lenses can be used for action photography? Look at the photo and you do the decision.

ISO 2000
1/2000s
f/5.0
145mm

 

Here I used the lens we all love. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS. It is widely used for sports as well as portrait photography. It creates very nice contrast and provides really sharp images.

ISO 2000
1/2000s
f/4.5
90mm

 

Here is another photo taken with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS. The subject is moving and photo is also taken in Al Servo mode. This is kind of a portrait photo and you can see how beautiful the bokeh is for this lens.

ISO 100
10s
f/10.0
17mm

It's a special day today and we Chinese love to watch fireworks by the harbour. These photos are taken with a small aperture setting and left open for long exposures. I took the EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 IS along to have some fun!

ISO 100
7s
f/10.0
17mm

 

Another tip is to use a tripod and cable release. Its almost impossible even if you have a 4 stop IS lens to take photos of fireworks. I did the best I could to prevent camera shake but there were so many people my tripod gets a kick from time to time so remember to watch your tripod and camera.
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ISO 160
4s
f/14.0
17mm

One last photo with a slightly higher ISO setting. Too bad there were so many people in front of me but at least I still have some photos to share with everyone!

I personally think that the AF of the 7D is quite responsive. Probably not quite the 1D but it's a big improvement over the Rebel series. There is something I learnt about the electronic viewfinder. Usually AF points illuminate in red. With the 7D bright areas show a black frame and darker areas show a red frame to show the AF point. I prefer everything to be in red so I disabled automatic VF display illumination and set it to enable (custom fcn III #8).

I hope you enjoyed the photos...If you decide to buy the Canon EOS 7D or its accessories you can get it them at B&H or Amazon by clicking on the links. It shows your support for my website so that I can keep adding to this site!

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This is the end of Day 5 Test drive. Please check back again tomorrow for day 6 test drive and I will replace this line with the new link. The Mid Autumn festival is coming up and that will be my next post! Feel free to suggest some test situations in my facebook group wall.

Day 6: Chinese Mid Autumn Festival. 7D Night Action + Astro Photography

 

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2009 Andrew Chan. All rights reserved

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