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Video

After the EOS 5D Mark II and the EOS 500D, the EOS 7D is now the third Canon DSLR to come with a video recording feature. Unlike the 500D though, the EOS 7D offers full manual control over shutter speed and aperture (the 5D Mark II did not offer manual control over video initially, but the feature was later implemented via a firmware update).

Despite the manual controls current DSLR video modes can in many areas not quite keep up with dedicated camcorders. On the other hand though, the ability to shoot movies with a large sensor (and the shallow depth of field that this brings with it) and interchangeable lenses will appeal to a large number of budding videographers.

Video specification

The 7D offers HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080P) at 30, 25 or 24 frames per second or 1280 x 720 pixels (720P) at 60 or 50 frames per second (and gives you therefore more options than the EOD 5D Mark II). The built-in internal microphone captures monaural audio. There is a socket for a 3.5mm external microphone that allows recording of stereo sound. There is also an option to cut the beginning and end of a movie in one second increments in the camera.

Sizes 1920x1080: 30/24 fps (NTSC), 25/24 fps (PAL)
1280x720 (HD): 60 fps (NTSC), 50 fps (PAL)
640x480 (SD): 60 fps (NTSC), 50 fps (PAL)
Audio 44.1kHz Mono (Internal Mic), Linear PCM
Format .MOV MPEG-4 AVC, H.264
File size 5.5 MB/sec (1080P), 5.5 MB/sec (720P), 2.8 MB/sec (VGA)
Max file size per clip 4GB, max duration 29min 59sec,
Running time 12 min for 1080P, 12 min for 720P, 24 min for VGA

Using Movie Mode

For easier operation the EOS 7D features a dedicated switch to change from other shooting modes to movie mode. Then press the Start button to start/stop video recording. Still images can be taken at any time by pressing the shutter button. A half-press of the shutter button or a press of the AF-ON button will trigger the AF. AE lock is possible as well.

When the shooting mode is set to M you can adjust shutter speed and aperture via the control dials and also set the sensitivity manually. In all other modes exposure is controlled automatically.

On previous Canon DSLRs the movie mode sometimes left the impression of being a bit of a last-minute bolt-on. With the 7D and its dedicated movie switch/button Canon has got one step closer to a more seamless integration of the mode. Once you're used to the system it is now very quick and easy to switch between movies and stills.

Movie mode displays

Movie setting menu You can choose between three output sizes. The frame rate options in this screen capture are for the NTSC setting.
Once recording has started, the red recording dot is displayed on the top right corner of the LCD. By half-pressing the shutter button during video recording you can display exposure information and ISO sensitivity. Additional information can be displayed by pressing the Info button.

Video quality comments

We had no particular complaints about the 7D's video output. Like the 500D and 5D Mark II it produces very good high HD quality footage with fairly smooth motion even at the 1080p resolution. Just make sure your computer is powerful enough to play the large files, otherwise you can end up with a shaky playback experience at full screen. The EOS 7D uses an APS-C size sensor and therefore you can't quite create the same DOF effects as on the full-frame EOS 5D Mark II but you still get a much shallower, more cinematic depth of field than with any digital compact camera. Unlike the 5D Mark II when it was first released the 7D offers manual controls which allows you to better gear your settings towards the type of scene/motion that you are capturing (manual controls were later added to the 5D Mark II via a firmware update).

When recording video in low light and using higher sensitivities the image gets noisier. This is of course what you would expect, but the EOS 7D does quite well in this respect, and due to the smaller image sizes in video mode compared to stills the noise never becomes really intrusive. When capturing video in the lower resolution 720p mode we also noticed some jagged lines on diagonal edges which are probably caused by the video engine's downsizing algorithms. It's not a massive problem but if you plan on using the 7D's 50/60 fps 720p option you should be aware of it. The effect is not noticeable at the full 1080p resolution.

Like pretty much all other video-DSLRs the 7D can suffer from distortion caused by its rolling shutter. The readout of the sensor means horizontal lines of the image are scanned, one after another, rather than the whole scene being grabbed in one go. The upshot is that verticals can be skewed if the camera (or the subject) moves too fast - the top of the image has been recorded earlier than the bottom, so vertical lines can be rendered as diagonals. On the 7D this effect is, compared to some of the competition and presumably thanks to the Dual Digic 4 processing, pretty subtle. Transition from bright to dark scenes works pretty smoothly and quickly as well. There are no obvious exposure 'jumps' as the camera adjusts the gain and/or aperture.

Sample video 1

This video was shot in 1920x1080/25fps mode and shows a high-contrast scene. It records a screen-filling high quality image with smooth motion. Make sure your video card is powerful enough for watching these large video files. On slower machines the motion can appear jerky.

1920x1080, 25 fps .MOV file. 7 sec. 37.7 MB

Sample video 2

This video was also shot at 1920x1080/25fps.

1920x1080, 25 fps .MOV file. 6 sec. 37.6 MB

Sample video 3

This video was shot in 1920x1080/25fps and shows the video performance in lower, artificial light.

1920x1080, 25 fps .MOV file. 7 sec. 44.1 MB

Sample video 4

This video was shot in 1280x720/50fps. The higher frame rate creates smooth motion but if you look closely you'll find some jagged lines on diagonal edges which are probably caused by the downsizing of the captured image.

1280x720, 50 fps .MOV file. 7 sec. 22.5 MB

Sample video 5

This sample video shows the transition from a darker scene in the shade to one that is illuminated by bright sunlight.

1920x1080, 25 fps .MOV file. 8 sec. 44.4 MB
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Comments

Total comments: 11
Phil Hol
By Phil Hol (1 month ago)

If you have a filter fitted to protect the lens try shooting without. After buying my 100-400 lens I returned to the shop after finding my images soft using a 7D. They tested my lens with a second one they had in the shop and agreed the first lens was faulty. When I got the second lens home I found it as poor as the first until I realized the second lens tested had not had a filter fitted when tested in the shop and I had transfered my filter to the second lens when I got home.
Conclusion: I only use filters for effects and I have remove all my "protective filters" from my L lenses. Why spend hundreds of pounds on lenses just to add a piece of cheap glass on the front.

0 upvotes
Girish Madpuwar
By Girish Madpuwar (2 months ago)

I am 7D user and have noticed that my images are considerably soft. I mostly use canon 100-400L lens. Initially I thought that its problem with the way I use camera. I tried all possible things. Searched lot and found many discussion about AF problem with 7D. Can someone share their experience?
It seems 7D AF is not consistent although manual focus gives considerably crisp and sharp image.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Patcheye
By Patcheye (4 months ago)

I'm a wheelchair user and have gone for the 7D because of the increase in range when using a shorter lens over full frame which means though I often cannot get close I often achieve a useable image.

Live on the coast so to avoid problems re dust on the sensor from the beach I purchased a second one a few months back which says, I think, just how pleased I am with the product. Re low iso and noise, possibly because of high light levels from sea reflection and living in a flat open area I personally find no problems but using 2.8 lenses helps. Not professional but have had people use my stuff on their websites - so for my needs the 7D works well - Oh, and if like me you have poor dexterity you'll find the raised buttons really helpful even when wearing gloves.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Ajaykdelhi
By Ajaykdelhi (4 months ago)

I have a 70D, am getting a used 7D at $ 800 next week, will provide a comprehensive review after that

0 upvotes
TahoeJohn
By TahoeJohn (4 months ago)

My Review of the Canon 7d as the owner of one for 1yr is this.I shoot Professionally and have used the 7d for just about 1yr.It is a bit bigger,heavier than my other EOS Canon's.Picture quality is top of the line.Video quality is top of the line.The Grain Factor when using the ISO at a higher number is compensated by a setting in the Menu so no problem.At 8fps continuous it stands above the others.Weather proof as well (Body only).Recently my Canon 7d was knocked over while mounted atop a 6ft tripod landing on solid asphalt.A little scratch on the body was all the damage it received.Though bigger and heavier the construction,function,image quality of this Camera is incredible.I shoot Landscape,Portrait,sports(MMA Fights) and everything in between.Canon went above and beyond with this model.A+ is the grade I give for this one.

0 upvotes
Shashank90
By Shashank90 (5 months ago)

Which one is a better model 70d or 7d , I have read numerous reviews and seen plenty of videos, even though 70d is a much newer version I would like to know from some one who has used them side by side.

0 upvotes
Jostian
By Jostian (4 months ago)

I think both are great, depends on your needs, the 7D is like a tank, the build quality is incredible, its AF is phenomenal (a cut above the 70D in terms of customization options), the 70D has slight advantage 2/3 of a stop at higher iso's, has wifi and touchscreen, the 7D has bigger and better OVF, and the 70D have awesome video capabilities. I played with both and went for the 7D (easy choice), the 70D felt like a toy and I didnt like the plasticky feel (compared to the 7D). Bit both are great, you'll enjoy either depending on your needs.

0 upvotes
EhXsan
By EhXsan (6 months ago)

what is max usable ISO on canon 7d?

1 upvote
PhotobyCarlos
By PhotobyCarlos (9 months ago)

www.photobycarlos.com all my pictures with 7d

2 upvotes
DreamRunnerPhotography
By DreamRunnerPhotography (5 months ago)

Checked your photos at photobycarlos.com. Really it was awesome :) Finally I decided to go for 7D after saw your website. Tnx !!!
please suggest me some good lenses which are more better for portrait & landscape shooting

0 upvotes
gjpuk
By gjpuk (3 months ago)

For potraits i use 5omm prime canon 1.8mm
for landscapes a sigma 10-20mm

0 upvotes
Total comments: 11