Got my D7 today! (Sweden)

Started Jul 25, 2001 | Discussions thread
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Tegenfeldt Regular Member • Posts: 170
Got my D7 today! (Sweden)

I got my D7 a few hours ago... I have been following this forum since the first day the D7 was announced, the waves have gone back and forth, sometimes overly positive and lately overly negative.

I unpacked it and put batteries and a CF card into it, switched on and took a shot, and another and another. The "RTFM" part is not necessary to handle the camera, it is quite easy to figure out the controls and most of them are both intuitively and conviniently placed. It works like a charm!

I have had a CP950 since its first day, and got one of the first CP990, and what can I say? The D7 blows them away, even as a "wow-first-use" thing the D7 really is a big step forward. The D7 solves almost any and every drawback and complaint I have had on the CP9x0 cameras!

The D7 is VERY responsive! I love that. I often have to wait for the CP990 to store images (if you take another shot immediatly after the first you can do that, but if you wait just a teeny bit too long the CP990 locks up and flushes the buffer and you got to wait). There is no such thing on the D7. I shot lots of pictures in my living room at the "fine" full resolution setting, I never felt like I had to wait for the camera.

I also loved the quick review function, if you don´t alter the setting to always show a review (2 or 10 secs) then the camera is ready to take the next shot almost immediately.

There has been reports of "missed" shutter presses, I found this is a non-issue, it is due to operator misunderstanding... If you go into the menues and set the camera to show (review) the taken picture THEN you need to press the shutter one extra time to first return to shooting mode and then to take the picture. This is almost certainly why Phil wrote in his review about the double shutter (missed shutter press) thing. It is just a misunderstanding and something You can set so it fits your style.

The zoom ring is stiff, but I think that is very good! The zoom will stay in place even if you tilt the camera, a thing that always irritated me with a Canon EOS 100-300 lens I have for my EOS system. The stiffness feels like a good stiffness, a designed one not due to poor build quality as some seem to think. Two fingers are required, but that is what feels natural for my anyway.

The focus ring is quite close to the body but still easy to handle, responsive and seemingly easy to get accurate focus.

The EVF is very good, the lag is small but you can detect if when moving the camera or your hand in front. This is no sport action camera, but I think you can do a lot of that kind by just looking directly beside the camera to decide the crucial moment and just use the LCD for framing.

The EVF goes into hyperdrive when its too dark, it gets black and white and noisy, just lika night-vision on Sony videocams. It works great! I tried it in a dark room and found it easy to work with, the CP990 is hopeless in such circumstances!

The EVF "fuzziness" in the corners are there IF you adjust the diopter... If you adjust the diopter properly according to your eyes, and this is somewhat tricky since your eyes autofocus in a wide range! But when you get the diopter right (for me it came perfectly fine in midrange), there is NO lack of focus on pixels in the corners of the EVF. This is one statement I think is due to hasty reviews.

I found that it was possible to see the EVF from a half meter away, of course you can only see the middle part of the image, but still it let me use it waist level and still see enough to take a shot.

About EVF or LCD for manual focus, I can´t comment on that as yet. I tried some manual focus shots and they all turned out okey. However, I haven't found about how to make the 4x (virtual) zoom that is said to be there, I just got a 2x (actual) digital zoom. I gather there is a menu choice or something, I have to find it.

The AF focus is good, it may sometimes take a bit long but mostly it is very fast. Anyone having to wait for a CP990 hunting AF focus all over the place and still don´t get it, will probably appreciate the D7. It isn´t perfect, but even my EOS fails to AF sometimes. It is not as fast as a EOS AF that is obvious, but the CP9x0 I have used very extensively and very happily for a few years now seems to be worse than the D7.

The AF managed Cokin filters just fine! I put a 49-52mm adapter on the D7 and a Cokin holder then various filters. Some of the filters are "nasty" when it comes to AF, such as 5-split images, "speed" or radial blur filters. I tried to get it fooled but it still managed to focus quite good. So, the use of filters on the D7 is a "go!". The Cokin filters are just about the right size for the D7 lens and I finally get some use for my bunch of Cokin filters gathering dust (since I got my CP990 the filters weren´t of any use, the CP990 lens is too small and 52mm filter thread to 28mm thread was just ridicoulus).

The built in flash cannot be used when the 3600 flash is on top. If it can be used if the flash is off camera I do not know. Since I cannot find any menu choices for this (as there is on the CP990) I gather it cannot. But you can use several off camera flashes... I may try this tonight if I can.

The remote shutter release worked well, nothing fancy, just works.

About build quality it feels good. Okey, it is plastic surface and the feel of that is of course plastic... BUT, as I and most other do associate "plastic" with "cheap" and poor quality, the word is definitely ill chosen. It feels as good or better than the CP990 and not far behind my EOS.

My EOS with a 28-105/2,8-3,8 lens weighs 1200g and the D7 (with batteries and CF) about 660g, even with the 3600 flash it is just 995g! I love that, and by back loves me for it :-).

The ring for the neck strap is in the way for the CF door as several already have commented on. But I just removed it! First, I never use a neck strap, I always use a wrist strap. I plan to get one and fasten it directly to the D7 without using the ring, then the wrist strap won´t be in the way of the CF door. You could the same thing for the neckstrap if you want that thing.

The buttons aren´t loose as some have said, instead I found them better than all the buttons on the CP990. The buttons work fine and give you a distinctive feel when you press them and go over the "click" point.

About heat, yes it gets hot. The heat is NOT near the battery compartment, it is on the back part of the handle, just by the CF card. I ran the camera until it felt warm (hot is too strong a word for this), then I took out the batteries and they were just luke warm, in fact colder than I manage to get the batteries in the CP990 sometimes... I believe the heat from the batteries are spread in a well designed way. The CF card was hot, but again not any hotter than I have had the CF cards in the CP990 many many times. In fact I felt that the CF card was just about the same temperature as the outside of the camera at the point where it was hottest. It seems that some power hungry electronics are placed in near vicinity of the case and thus the heat buildup at the handle region. After running the camera intensively for a few hours I can´t see this as a problem, I´ll just accept the fact.

The tripod screw isn´t at the nodal point, but then again, what camera has that? It is metallic and on my tripod the stability was good enough. I am just glad that the D7 doesn´t block any of its doors when on the tripod as the CP990 blocks the battery compartment... Or the CP950 blocked the CF card...

I have tested a few CF cards and timed those for RAW in D7 and TIFF in CP990, the timings are for one shot from shutter release until the camera returns fully to shooting mode. Timings are given in seconds as D7/CP990. The CF cards were empty.

27/-- Sandisk 16MB (as supplied with the D7)
32/29 Lexar 8X 128MB
34/45 Sandisk 64MB
39/58 Sandisk 128MB
48/45 ScandinavianPhoto 128MB

Smaller cards seems to be faster than larger (for Sandisk anyway).
Lexar is a fast card and you get shorter timings in both the CP990 and the D7.

I finally made a hasty test of putting a 49mm to T adapter ring onto a eyepiece for my ETX90 astronomical telescope. It mounted fine but the vignetting was bad, the D7 lens is just too big to handle this. The CP990 in full telezoom just barely handles this without any vignetting. So, the CP990 is still the champion for telescope/microscope eyepiece use!

Tomorrow I will leave for a weeks vacation, guess I will fill up a few gigs in my portable... This is a trip without any electricity for a week, which will surely put the battery issue to a ultimate test! Fortunately, I have a rich supply of NiMH...

In short, I already love this camera! I´ll return in a few hours...

Clas

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