Digital Cinema New Wave: Part 2 - The Canon 7D

05/10/2009 23:21

Things are moving very quickly in the world of DSLR HD, or HDSLR as the format has now been termed. It seems that every month a new camera enters the spotlight, and now Canon is fighting back with the new 7D. The Canon 7D is not a replacement for the 5D Mark II, it's a new camera that is even more video oriented. First off, the sensor is smaller that the 5D, which means that it is not quite as sensitive and won't perform quite as well in low light. Second, the depth of field won't be as shallow as it is on the 5D, and third, lenses intended for the 35mm chip size (as in the 5D) won't be as wide on the 5D. So, this new APS-C sensor is smaller, but it's actually the same size as the RED's sensor, and 35mm motion picture film (which is smaller than 35mm still negative, go figure). In that case, from the point of view of a filmmaker, it's not really much of a loss. Plus, even though the depth of field is not as shallow, the difference is enough to make it easier to focus but not enough to loose that 35mm movie look.

But the news doesn't stop there, the 7D has a real 24p mode, and 30p, and 25p all in full HD 1080 resolution. Next, it also has 720p60 and 720p50 modes, meaning that if you don't mind going down in resolution for a shot, you can get real slow motion! Other fantastic video friendly features include a dedicated video button, manual exposure controls and better monitor output. It's also $1,900, which is $900 less than a 5D.

So, for a filmmaker, the 7D is definitely the right choice when it comes to a Canon. It may not be as high end of a still camera, but for video features, it has the necessities of a film camera. Here are some great samples of what you can do with the 7D in the right hands:


Sugar Cane. Canon 7d slow motion from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

But how does it compare to another strong rival, the Panasonic GH1? Well, that's a story for another day...

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