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Canon 7D shooters - Canon just gave you a major upgrade!


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 07 2012 - 03:22 AM

In cae you haven't done so, go to Canon's site and download firmware 2.0 In a Canon first, they actually improved the camera by adding features in a firmware upgrade! Usually firmware upgrades for Canon (and Nikon, etc.) just addressed bug fixes. This is the first time that I can recall that new features were actually added (including one I actually emailed Canon about adding a year ago) and the performance of the camera has also been improved (max burst rate for all picture types from RAW to JPG). Here's a link to the page explaining what you get with firmware 2.0 Here's a link to the firmware update page Just select your OS and click on Firmware and choose 2.0 (don't choose Mountain Lion as it wasn't listed there yet, just choose Lion and you'll see the 2.0 firmware, use that one) Improvements include:
  • Max burst rate increased from 15 to 25 for RAW images (and corresponding increases for the other pic types)
  • GPS compatibility with Canon GP-E2
  • Manual audio level adjust (64 settings) so you can set your video recording audio level appropriately (it was fixed before)
  • Set maximum Auto ISO Level from 400 to 6400 (this is the one I asked Canon for, so when you're shooting with Auto ISO setting you can tell the camera to not go above the maximum set ISO
  • In-camera RAW processing (so you can set your white balance, NR, corrections, etc. during playback)
  • In-camera JPEG resizing
  • In-camera picture rating
  • Quick control mode during playback of images (allowing for more pic customization "on the fly")
  • Customization of file names (set the first 3 or 4 letters instead of always having IMG_)
  • Time zone settings
  • Improved/faster scrolling of magnified images
  • Improved compatibility with UDMA7 Compact Flash cards (not on the site but reported elsewhere)
And these are the ones Canon has advertised. Certain Canon user forums are trying to ascertain whether or not there may be actual picture improvements such as better noise handling at higher ISOs, etc. Stay tuned! I upgraded mine late last night, I'll take some shots this weekend to see if how it performs. The only minor bummer is that those new in-camera features only work on images you take *after* the upgrade. So my CF card filled with images couldn't be altered by the camera, but every test shot I took last night could. Happy shooting! And post your experiences here if you do the upgrade!

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#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted August 07 2012 - 01:43 PM

I downloaded the firmware upgrade earlier this evening, but have not got around to applying it yet. The only features that really interest me are the improvements to the Auto ISO function and the improved burst rate. My 5D3 has pretty much all these features already, and I never use any of them except the Auto ISO. I never cared for how auto ISO was implemented in the 7D, so this is a welcome change. I really do not see the point of the in camera RAW processing and JPEG resizing, though. Carlo, did your camera retain its customized settings after you applied the update, or did you have to reconfigure everything? I've done a bit of customization, and it would be a pain if I had to go back and do that all over again. I will probably wait until the weekend to apply this -- both because I will have more time then, and I can see if anyone has any major issues on POTN. I always like others to beta test these things for me when possible. :D

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 07 2012 - 02:50 PM

Scott - I didn't have many custom settings so i can't say for certain. I did have to reset the time and date. But ever since I had my 7D professionally calibrated at the Canon service center in Irvine I didn't have things like microadjustment settings. I did have back button focus enabled and that carried over to the new firmware so it didn't wipe that out. I think the in-camera benefit are when you're traveling light, without a laptop, but with a mini-USB to USB cable, and want to give those photos to friends without post-processing them. I think they give you enough adjustments to turn out reasonably good pictures out-of-camera to be able to give them to people who may not be patient enough to wait for you to finish PP'ing them. (says the guy who has two sets of wedding photos still untouched on his PC and really needs to get them to the brides and grooms before they celebrate their first anniversary) :rolleyes:

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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted August 07 2012 - 11:39 PM

Carlo, If your back focus button setting was saved, that should mean that all the customizations carried forward. Thanks -- that tells me what I needed to know. I may still document my customizations before applying the update just to be safe, and also to have a record of them in case I ever need service on camera. I have not microadjusted any lenses, either, but I have customized the auto focus settings and a few other things. I do not use the camera nearly as much since getting the 5D3, so it's difficult to remember exactly which settings I've changed. I can see your point on the in camera processing, but that is not a situation I ever encounter. Besides, anyone who needs JPEGs in the field like that can always shoot RAW+JPEG.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 08 2012 - 02:41 AM

One other feature I find really desirable is the ability to control the audio recording volume on videos. If you're at a loud concert you can set it really low, if you're in a low volume setting you can increase it. Your recording is no longer limited by the ambient level of noise! Wish I had that for the videos I took in France last year...

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#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted August 08 2012 - 03:12 AM

I could see that feature being useful if you use the camera for video. I am not much of a video shooter, though. The only time I used it on the 7D was to shoot a couple of geysers erupting in Yellowstone last summer. I've not shot any video with the 5D3 yet.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 08 2012 - 03:26 AM

The 7D is a surprisingly good video device! I know there's plenty of the "pro" style videos/movies shot by the 7D/5D (and Nikon equivalents) on the web, many looking like a Bay or Fincher production. But those took many hours of PP to get to look like that. I'm surprised at how good the 7D looks right out of the camera! Even in challenging low light situations with noise, the video is more than acceptable (and better than just about all but the best of the consumer HD digicams out there). I'm not much of a video shooter either, but the few videos I took in France, upon review on my laptop and HDTV, make me wish I had taken more! :D Lesson learned for next trip: buy more 16GB CF cards...

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#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted August 08 2012 - 09:26 AM

*psst* they make larger capacity CF cards nowadays... :D
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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 08 2012 - 11:52 AM

Haha I know Patrick, but last time I researched prices there was a major penalty for going above 16GB. Granted that was a year or so ago so I'm sure prices have gone down.

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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted August 08 2012 - 01:10 PM

The price of 32GB compact flash cards has become more reasonable in the past year. Anything above that seems to be where the price penalty hits now. I have four 32GB cards now, and also take along a few 16GB cards when we travel, too. That gives me more than enough storage for a long vacation with both cameras. I do not have a laptop, so all photo downloading waits until we get back home.

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 09 2012 - 04:26 AM

Cool I'll check it out. I probably won't buy any until closer to my next vacation (early/mid 2013) so prices will likely come down further. When I last bought my four 16GB Sandisk 60MB/s cards, there was an additional rebate for buying two packs which made them even cheaper. Hopefully they'll do the same for the 32GB once I'm ready to go. I'll also be looking at going at least 90MB/s (or UDMA 7) for the next cards because people have indicated better burst shooting results with faster cards on the 7D with firmware 2.0

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#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted August 11 2012 - 09:19 AM

I upgraded the firmware in both my 7D and 5D3 (a minor update) today. Everything went well. All customizations were retained for both cameras. I just had to reset the date/time on the 7D, which was expected due to the adding of a time zone.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 13 2012 - 04:12 AM

FYI, there is a new version of firmware (2.0.3) out now that fixes a bug in the version 2.0.0 release. Some 7D owners had reported issues with the camera freezing intermittently, which required a battery pull to resolve. I had not used my 7D since applying the initial firmware release, so do not know if the bug would have affected me. In any case, I installed version 2.0.3 last night with no issues.

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted September 13 2012 - 08:30 AM

Thanks for the 411. In the ten or so hours I've used my 7D since 2.0, there were two freezing incidents, both related to when I was trying to use my 530EXii. Both were quickly resolved by pulling the battery, and the rest of the time everything has worked well. I'll definitely be applying this update when I get home.

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