It has not been 24 hours since the announcement of the Canon 7D and we are already seeing some very strong reactions in the blogosphere. Those who did not purchase a 5D are happy like kids at Christmas while 5D Mark II owners feel betrayed and frustrated to various degrees.
First, if you own a 5D Mark II, it is as good today as it was two days ago. You can still take great pictures and video with it, the release of this newer model did not affect your capabilities to take great shots and make money out of them. If you were pleased with your camera, you should still be. I know this sounds obvious but that is something people tend to forget when a newer model is released.
Now some of my observations…
30p vs 24p
I find it interesting that so many people talk about 24p and how it makes the 7D so much better than the 5D MarkII for video. Yes, it makes it better, but to what level? Most people I know can’t see the difference between 24 and 30p unless I put the two clips side by side.
Be careful about the echo chamber effect the internet can have on your judgment. To me, 60p is a much more desirable feature than 24p because it gives me more creative control over my work. It is always possible to emulate 24p from a 30p clip, but 60p is much better for time remapping.
I am taking a wild guess here but since the 7D has a smaller sensor, the frequency of each pass should could be faster, resulting in a reduction of the jello effect. Of course, this is something that will need to be confirmed by experimentation. For explanation of the jello effect, check this clip.
Why not in the 5d?
A lot of people (me included) are hoping a firmware update will bring some of the 7D features to the 5D Mark II. Variable frame rate being the main point of interest. While I have no sources on this, I find in hard to believe that it can’t be done from a strictly software point of view. So, unless there are some hardware issues with this, we can always hope!
Mitch from planet5D and some of his contacts think otherwise. It would be great if they could be proven wrong and me right for once!
Should you still buy a 5d Mark II?
To answer this question, you have to ask yourself: Do I need a full frame sensor to do my work? Do I need the best sensor for low light work? If you answered yes to these questions, the 5D is still the camera for you. After some discussion with my photographer friend, it seems like only wedding and portrait photographers would answer yes. Pretty much every other photographic field is better covered with the 7D. Of course, we will have to wait for more people to try the camera to see its actual performance (anyone remember initial 50D reviews?).
Another cool thing about the 7D is how cheap it is. For the first time in my life, I will advice people to actually get the kit lens! For about 200$ you get a decent lens which can always be resold for the same price of more afterward. On a crop sensor the focal range is decent and versatile.
If you just bought a 5D and are having some remorse, just think about people who went into the Nikon or Panasonic system recently!
Note: 7D are back order on Amazon US already!