Making of a Legend – Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 7D

In the days of Clark Kent (Superman) the young photographer Jimmy Olsen got by with a low-cost 35mm camera. It looks like an Argus C3. The more senior photographers ran about with a Speed Graphics and a pocket full of M3 flashbulbs.

Subsequently World War II came and the Japanese pilots in their Zeros plied their trade of war craft using Nikon optics.

The revenge against Nikon came from within its own nation-state, with Canon.

When the 1970s came around ‘old school’ professional photographers used Nikon. The upstart photographers went with Canon. The civil war within professional photographers was and, to this day still is based on the kilo buck expenses (investment) in distorting glass (lenses).

The price point of a high-end camera such as the Canon EOS 7D actually becomes almost nothing when you consider the lifetime investment a photographer makes in glass. This begets religious wars.

If you do not have a serious investment in optics, there is really only the intelligent choice of going with the Canon EOS 7D. while some would argue that going with a ‘full frame’ camera body is the only way to go due to its inherently better resolution, there is more to the picture.

Canon EOS Button

Canon EOS Button

At a certain point we hit more than technical superiority. It becomes a matter of diminishing returns. Certainly full frame D SLR’s make for a comfortable transition for old-school film guys. A 50 mm lens still behaves like a 50 mm lens. And after spending a lifetime with everything from shooting 4×5″ sheet film on the Speed Graphics, downed to using the Minox (A,B & C models) the smaller size yet thoroughly durable and outdoor ready magnesium body of the Canon 7D speaks loudly.

Canon EOS 7D Back

Canon EOS 7D Back

The ability to get eight frames per second at good quality with its 18 megapixel sensor blows away my experience of a Nikon F (film camera) using a 250 exposure film back with a four frame per second motor drive (which in 1970 $ the motor drive itself costs more than the 7D).

Oh and by the way, attention videographers. This is as close to a Black Magic camera as you were going to get, and you don’t have to buy SATA based SSD drives.

The part that I find almost science-fiction like is the ISO (ASA) exposure sensitivity for dim light. Starting at the low-end of an ISO of 100 and reaching out to a somewhat noisy yet breathtaking 12,800 it defines the experience persons imagination. Going back to my old film school days I did an experiment (military grade) ‘fogging’ black and white film before shooting an effective 10,000 ISO. It was a rather dangerous experiments as it involved vaporizing Mercury (the poisonous metal) onto the film before exposure.

Between the reasonable compromises of an APS-C sized CMOS sensor, a high-quality eight frame per second shooting rate that doubles the speed any AP/UPI sports photographer had with auto exposure and focus worthy of HAL in 2001 (the movie), my suggestion is just get it, and live in the science-fiction world of Tomorrowland.

Bumblebee with Canon 7D

Bumblebee with Canon 7D (TobiasKierk)

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