Canon EOS 7D Sample Video And Experience

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Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR With Video I was impressed enough with the pre-production Canon EOS 7D that Canon sent me a few weeks ago that I pre-ordered one from my local pro shop (Pictureline). Since I picked it up last week I’ve been hustling to put the auto focus and video mode through their paces. Based on the EOS 7D studio tests I shot with the pre-production camera Canon loaned me, I’d already decided the image quality was a solid improvement over the EOS 50D. So my main interests are seeing how much improvement they’ve made with the auto focus, and playing with the video.

I’m only a half step above a beginner when it comes to video. So I’m trying to learn about video in general as much as I’m trying to learn and test the camera. That’s my defense for those of you who know it all and are going to tell me my video sucks. Fine, I’m a video beginner and I’m just figuring it out. Beat me up if you need to – I’m cool with it. But I made a concerted attempt to film some different subjects in different situations in order to create a 7D video buffet, if you will. Part of the reason I bought the 7D is I’m interested in making more video content for the site. I’m committed to learning so you can look forward to more and better videos from me. If you’re an experienced videographer and have some advice, I’m all ears (or eyes – it’s the Internet). Feel free to critique the video or give technical advice in the comments section here, on the PhotographyREVIEW YouTube Channel, or on our Digital Video forum.

Here’s a bit of detail on how I shot the clips in the Canon EOS 7D video sampler, as well as a few observations about the video mode and shooting video with a VSLR (video-enabled digital SLR). I used three lenses for this video, the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di and the venerable Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L. The first clips were shot handheld with the 18-200mm IS lens. Observation – even with IS, camera shake is dreadfully obvious when shooting video – best to use a tripod if at all possible. Using the video mode is stupid easy. I used it in auto mode the first couple times and then switched to manual exposure so I could control the shutter speed and aperture. No auto focus while filming isn’t that big of a deal as long as you plan your shots in advance with an eye to where the action is and where you need to be focused. Manually focusing on the fly is tricky though, and something I would avoid, if possible.

The biggest issues I’m having have nothing to do with the camera. As a video novice I’m having the most trouble with editing and exporting videos. The video workflow is very different from managing and processing still images and all the different formats and codecs make me dizzy. It could be that I’ve been doing digital still photography so long that it’s become second nature. Regardless, I feel like I’m in kindergarten again when it comes to video editing and processing. I’m also having trouble figuring out what subjects will make good video. I mean, shooting some simple action is obvious enough (although lack of continuous auto focus offers some challenges). But how do you capture a landscape with video? It’s a dynamic medium and motion is critical. The 7D sampler video is actually my first attempt to shoot subjects other than in-studio box openings or video product reviews. It was a challenge to find and shoot simple, moving subjects in an interesting way. It’s got me seeing at the world a little differently and I’m looking forward to experimenting more with my 7D.

I hope my Canon EOS 7D video observations and sampler video were useful to you. That’s not all, though. This is sort of a review in progress and there will be more. I think the 7D is the most interesting camera Canon has introduced in a while. Although the video feature is cool, I’m still primarily an outdoor action sports still photographer and the most important part of this camera for me is the auto focus system. So my main focus (rimshot) is the 7D’s new auto focus features and performance. I’ve already posted some 7D action test shots on our Sports Photography forum and there are more in the works. I’ll be shooting a cyclocross race this weekend so you can look forward to action photos and videos from that event. I expect the race to be a worthy adversary for the new camera…

Canon EOS 7D Preview Article
Canon EOS 7D Studio Sample Photos
Canon EOS 7D Sample Photo Gallery

Related Content:
Canon EOS 7D User Reviews
All Canon Digital SLR User Reviews
All DSLR Reviews
Canon Cameras Forum
Digital SLR Cameras Forum
Digital Video Forum
More Canon Camera News
Canon Digital Cameras Web Site

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • handytasche says:

    This camera is looking like a gem.From the video,it looks that it has provided great quality work and advanced features to the professional photographers.

  • Moses Ma says:

    Thanks so much for your efforts, which shows terrific depth of field for video. What would be even more useful is to stress test the camera is a few additional dimensions:

    1) Shoot while moving your camera, slowly – this is called dynamic camera – and it would be good to see how choppy the footage looks during a slow pan

    2) To show off the DOF, do a “rack focus” – where you change the focus to shift attention from one object to another.

    3) Shoot in low light and in overexposed situations – or ideally both in the same shot, so we can see how much latitude there is and how much data is available in the dark or blown out areas.

    Finally, shoot side by side with the 5D and contrast the differences.


  • wvgasguy says:

    I’m perfectly happy with my 40d. Do mostly nature shots and grandchildren. However with the option of video and the ability to shoot short clips of my Granddaughter with shallow dof my interest in the 7d made me immediately place my order.

    I look foward to you sharing the progress of your learning. The fact that you can change the shutter speed on video went completely over my head. I’m starting to understand all this better as I research, but having someone that is just learning it and making mistakes teach you is better than hearing an expert that forgets the minor details that he assumes we must know.

  • Mike says:

    I have the 7D now and the biggest issue I am having (sports photography) is keeping video of moving subject focused. I am accustomed to a continuous AF on a video camera and have never tried manually focusing and zooming at the same time. Is there any way to keep my video in focus when filming canine agility and flyball where the subjects are running toward you with the 7D? I know it’s a DSLR, not a video camera that takes stills.. just wondering if I’m missing anything. I love the camera.. the stills are so good it’s breathtaking compared to my old EOS-20D.

  • Dustin Cantrell says:

    I love the 7D! Check out my video

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