7D Video Disappointing - First impressions

Started Dec 6, 2009 | Discussions thread
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AndreasOberg Contributing Member • Posts: 541
7D Video Disappointing - First impressions

I got my 7D yesterday and have of course been playing with it all day.

First off its a super cool camera and for still images it is very impressive compared to my 500D. The auto focus works very good as far as I can see.

My first impression of the video is big disappointment. My first feeling is that the quality is so low that I can barely use it for hd videos. Im working with nature movies in 1080p. It's great to be able to switch lenses and use filters etc. I don't mind the hassles with always using a tripod and focusing manually. However I do expect the image quality to be really good, and this is where I'm having issues.

Test situation:

  • 100 ISO is used for most shots.

  • All the tests were used without a tripod, will do more tests with tripod when I have it around.

  • Firmware 1.10

  • 100 2.8 Macro lens which has superb quality. Some use of 17-85 IS for wide angle.

Some of the problems:

In 720 slow motion. Slow motion is very exciting for me so I was really looking forward to this. Problems:

  • In some of my movies the aliasing is extreme. Some of the pixels are at least 2 pixels wide and some of them have almost 3 pixels resolution. That means any lines will have extreme jaggies. This also makes small details like stones pop in and out of the image. Weirdly enough some movies look decent, while others looks horrible.

  • Chromatic Abberation. There is an extreme amount of chromatic abberation. Purple, red and blue is popping up very strongly along some lines, making everything shimmer.

  • mosaic patterns. On a road the whole pavement is shimmering with a strong pattern.

All in all, this makes the slow motion feature hard to use for anything that you plan to playback in high resolution

In 1080

  • blurry details. There is not much detail in the image, like on a wall it will just be a bland wall with little texture.

  • chromatic abberation happens here too.

  • aliasing is much less problem here.

I knew that the 500D similar issues, but I hoped that the 7D would deliver much better. However looking at these results the image quality is not better, maybe even worse. Of course you have 30fps in 1080p and manual settings which are extremely valuable.

All in all I'm unhappy since I was really looking forward to beginning filming more seriously.
My plan is:

  • do more of these tests the coming week.

  • Put up some images of the films in 100% for you all to see like I did previously.

  • figuring out what situations works the best. It seems like some motives work fine, while others looks horrible.

My first test indicates

  • If I will use this camera for filming I have to lower my expectations a lot.

  • the 5d may be quite a lot better than the 7d for filming.

  • a cheap camcorder for say £400 like Canon HF200 will have more details and better quality (but won't have the cinematic effect of short depth of field and other cool things).

I feel a bit like Hitler in that joke video where he hears about the new 7D and he is like "... I guess I could do internet movies instead".

Now please don't post any LOW res videos showing how great the 7D can film. I know plenty of great films in 800x600 resolution on the net, but really I was looking for 1080p. Before you bash me please do your research.

Will post more information day2.

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