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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 sixth day with the Canon EOS 7D. On day 5 the 7D proved to be a very capable in terms of AF tracking speed in the Day. The day before yesterday was the Chinese Mid Autumn festival where we all gather around to celebrate the full moon. Full moon was around 11pm but before that we have the Fire Dragon. Part of the Autumn Festival in Hong Kong is the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance. With its body divided into 32 segments, the Fire Dragon is 220 feet in length stuffed with straws and incense sticks. It takes at least 150 people to lift up and it was really quite a scene!The fire dragon is a long time tradition where it is believed with its flames it will fight off the plague from the Hakka village. This tradition had been going on since 1880 and I plan to take this opportunity to put the 7D Al Servo tracking to the test and see how well it performs in pitch black!

 


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

ISO 3200
1/30s
f/9.0
55mm

 


This is a photo of lanterns at the Fire Dragon ceremony. If you take a wild guess it reads Fire Dragon Celebration. I took these photos at High ISO with a small aperture setting. I wanted as much depth of field as possible since I am unsure of AF accuracy. The place was crowded and photos were taken with live view with camera mid air!

 

 

 

 

 

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ISO 3200
1/125s
f/2.8
17mm

 

In this photo I had a wide aperture so that there is less depth of field ot draw attention to the fire dragon. The flaming dragon ball was spinning the entire time (I know...very dangerous) and with such a fast shutter speed I could not show motion. I then had an opposite approach in the next photo.

ISO 1600
1/30s
f/7.1
17mm

 

In this photo I had a slightly slower ISO and set the shutter speed to just 1/30s which is pretty slow. I really had to wait for the moment where the dragon head is still and the fire ball is spinning to show motion. If you were there it was really quite a scene.

ISO 1600
1/40s
f/6.3
17mm

 

The following two photos are examples of part of an 8 shot series in live view at 8fps. Like what many users of the 7D said when the EOS 7D is set to 8fps it is really hard to take a minimum below 2 shots at a touch of the shutter. I find the shutter button a lot easier to press compared to the EOS 1D (not that its a bad sign or anything like that!).

ISO 1600
1/40s
f/6.3
17mm

There was a lot of smoke from all the incense and it was dangerous to be up front at the sidelines!

ISO 3200
1/100s
f/4.0
55mm

 

This is a photo of part of the dragons body. there is no full size jpg here to d/l but I just want to show how much incense sticks were used.
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ISO 3200
1/1250s
f/11.0
1000mm

Finally, the Full Moon. There isn't much trick to this photo. Small aperture to have a sharp image, a big zoom lens, a fast shutter speed to prevent camera shake, and with all those settings you would need a relativly high ISO. Oh...and a tripod!

The EOS 7D was very responsive in the dark in terms of AF tracking. As you can see from the images the fire dragon looked pretty good considering there were three to four 8 foot tall chinese in front of me(they brought chairs along with them...).

There is much talk what is the best all round lens for the 7D. I always voted for the Canon EF-s 17-55mm f/2.8 so I used this lens exclusively for the entire night(apart from the moon shot of course). After tonight I would need a restate my views of this lens. I was covered in ash after this event and I did not want any ash being sucked into my lens by retracting the zoom. Maybe there are downsides to this lens not being weatherproof. My solution at the end was to keep this lens extended till I have my blower at home!

As for the moon shot, I used the Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 along with my 2x telephoto converter. It's nice in a way it gave me 2x zoom but it was a mistake I wish I never made. no matter what brand telephoto converter you buy the image quality from a 1.4x is always better than a 2x converter (we all know its best without it but there is something called photography on the budget!). As an amature years ago I thought I have the entire range...wide to ultratelephoto...but sorry Andrew there is no free lunch. the widest aperture with a 2x extender on the sigma lens is f/11. You loose 2 stops of light. I thought 2 stops wasn't that bad but to add to the list I loose my AF too! With the 1.4X you loose 1 stop of light so a f/2.8 becomes f/4.0. I think the smallest aperture value has to be at least f/8 for autofocus to work. It was difficult to take photos with this lens but with the new Live View feature I got pretty start focus. If you never plan to get a 500mm f/4.0 lens I think this is really not too bad of a choice given the budget. As you can see from photos of day 5 I still manage to achieve really nice photos with this lens for action photography!

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 Test drive with the 7D. I think my opinions are good enough to assist you with the purchase of your 7D and if you plan to get it remember to buy it through my sponcers on my website!

 

 

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