Alice Springs Photographer Blog

The 7D Test Results

Splendid Fairy Wren @ Desert Park

So I've had the camera for more then 24 hours and although I'll go into a bit of detail about the nitty gritty of the camera I will start by saying its a wicked camera.

Lets start with the ISO test

ISO 200ISO 400ISO 800ISO 1250ISO 1600ISO 2000ISO 3200










 As you can see the ISO performance is pretty good I'd certainly be happy with these levels if this was my camera and its within the range I'm after. Although if I have my 70-200 and the 2x extender on the front making a grand focal length of 640mm I'm going to need a shutter speed of at least 1/640th of a second but more realistically 1/1000th of a second to make a good image. If I need to get to this speed to make a shot I'm going to need to use every bit of that ISO even in good light. forgetting about the addition of aperture in that equation of course....

List of Awesomeness  

  • The photos straight out of the camera look really, really good the colour and tone is noticeably better when compared to the 5D2 which I find always needs a bit of a push in post.
  • Yep its fast, the frames per second is the bomb
  • The user interface is a bit friendlier than the 5D2
  • Feels good in the hand and easy to hold for a long time

List of Beige 

  • Although everyone seems to rave about the auto focus I found it a distraction, difficult to change and the high tech AF zones really pissed me off. Within 10 minutes I switched it all off and just used the ever trusty centre point and recompose method. I found that the super dooper AF system worked a treat with smaller apertures and simple subjects like a bird. It sucked when I was zoomed in and wanted the eye of the bird, it just went for what ever was closest so I don't know what the ho ha is about with the new AF system. I guess its a system designed to get a focus quicker not more accuratly.
  • BOKEH... too noisy all around. The subjects can be real crispy but the bokeh is consistently noisy even at ISO 300 so much so that if your planning on doing even a mild crop you'll see it pretty quick. This was a big problem when I was using my 50mm f/1.4 @ f/2 the bokeh was not attractive at all.
  • Diffraction was a huge issue, with such small pixel sights on that 18mp crop sensor finding and using that sweet spot for the lens was necessary for a sharp photo. This dramatically reduces the ability of the camera, I wanted to shoot my 200mm @ f/3.2-f/4 but its only getting super crispy around f/6.3 - f/9 and most of the shots outside that crispy zone were throw away and delete. I shudder to think what it would do to a landscape @ f/16 and don't even dream about f/22 unless your after a soft focus image.
  • High ISO noise, this was the deal breaker for me it does a very good job but anything over ISO 1000 is looking pretty rubbish once again especially if your cropping.

So for me the camera would be a good backup to the 5D2 and it did eactly what I wanted with the frame rate and lens extension but these are no images related features. However, and its a big however, the combination of the last 3 issues - bokeh noise - diffraction limits - high ISO noise - which do effect the image has me re-thinking.

You see none of these issues by themselves is a major downside to the camera and I still think that this is a freakishly good camera for the price. But for what I am aiming to use the camera for - birds - event (usually dark rooms) - these 3 issues add up to it plain and simply not doing what I want which I fully admit is very specific. If I wanted a camera that could do a bit everything this camera would be a good choice but I don't want a bit of everything.

It looks like I'll hold off and wait for the next 7D model or the next full frame camera that is in the $2-4000 price range perhaps the 1D4 - IN MY DREAMS - right?

Well it looks like the Epson 3880 will be my next item to add to the kit.

Here are some shots from Desert Park

Whistling Kite

Black Cockatoo

Rainbow Bee EaterWhat the Duck