updated 12:35 am EDT, Tue September 1, 2009
Canon EOS 7D Box and Price
As promised, Canon tonight launched the EOS-7D, its most advanced crop-frame digital SLR camera to date. The camera not only shoots at 18 megapixels, one of the highest resolutions for a camera that isn't full-frame, but also gives it two DIGIC 4 processors that help it shoot more quickly than other cameras in its class. It can shoot bursts of 8 frames per second for up to 15 shots in RAW or 126 shots in JPEG. The advanced processing also gives it video advantages over even the EOS-5D Mark II: it can record 720p at up to 60FPS or 1080p at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second, letting filmmakers capture at native speed without having to convert later.
Optical quality regardless of mode has been given a boost with 19-point autofocus (up from nine on the 5D Mark II) with a special Zone AF mode that simplifies the selection into five areas, making it easier to track a moving subject without having to scroll across all of the points. This precision also applies to point expansion, which groups together points to track moving subjects, and a spot AF mode that narrows down an individual point for a very specific focus. A new macro tracking mode recognizes an appropriate lens and increases the amount of sampling to prevent blur at such a close range.
Extra improvements bring a new LCD overlay on the viewfinder that brings more information into the shot, a two-axis digital level to assist in orienting the shot, and a 63-zone, two-layer metering system that checks both the actual light and the coloring. It continues to offer an external mic input like the 5D Mark II and has light sensitivity between ISO 100 and 12,800.
The 7D arrives at the end of September at the rumored body-only price of $1,699. A kit version with a 28-135mm EF lens will cost $1,899.
New to the mix, the WFT-E5A (shown below) is Canon's first wireless transmitter add-on and gives the 7D both 802.11g Wi-Fi and gigabit Ethernet that enable network shooting: users can trigger as many as 10 different cameras either on the local network or across the Internet, even from a smartphone. Bluetooth is onboard and can pair with a GPS-aware device to geotag photos without attaching a GPS add-on to the camera proper. The peripheral doesn't show until early November but should cost $700.
Three new lenses are also shipping and are headlined by the EF 100mm f2.8L, Canon's first ever Hybrid IS lens: the extra compensation for both angled shaking and shifting makes it possible to shoot very stable macro shots even when completely handheld, Canon insists. Also coming are a 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 general purpose but wide-angle lens and a low-cost 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 lens designed for moderate telephoto shooting while still allowing reasonably close shots. The macro and 18-135mm lenses ship in late September at prices of $1,049 and $500 each, while the 15-85mm lens appears in late October for $800.