View Full Version : quick first impressions

10-16-2009, 11:50 AM
Ok so after my initial scare (CF card was junk) now that everything works here are my impressions. This camera sure is big, I checked out both it and the GH1 yest in store. Not to be too negative on the GH1 but i like the size and build, whereas the Panasonic is for small hands, has buttons and plastic parts that remind me of the dvx, and the flip out screen im not too crazy about, wouldnt want to press on it hard by accident or break it off. The GH1 sure looks funny without a mirror when you take off the lens, looks "solid state". I dont know playing with the GH1 reminded me of a small camcorder but I know the important thing is image quality and workflow not looks or feel. Ive got the canon for a 7 day test drive to decide if ill stick with it.
I wanted to see how different/better operation is than my D90. Wow Canon does make everything look beautiful on the screen, didnt have a chance yet to view on PC. So Ive played around with still mode....cant complain there, as for video mode i hope I have this right. So you switch into film camera mode, turn on your stabilized lens if you have one (big difference and i think a must for these dslrs with rolling shutter issues etc), and decide whether you want to use fully manual mode or something like aperture priority. If i make a mistake here please correct me, first day of trying and i only had 30 min over lunch.
So in manual mode we get to use the wheels to set aperture, shutter speed, and iso. Aperture I get, lets say 2.8 for nice shallow DOF. Shutter speed from reading the board should be around 2x of framerate, so around 60 for 24fps. Now ISO, how exactly does that adjustment translate into movie world? Im trying to set everything to full manual because I want to completely avoid the D90-like shifts in picture in terms of light whenever i move the camera. So I figured setting ISO to auto is a bad idea reminiscent of the D90. But if i leave it at 200 the only other controls that affect light are shutter speed and aperture, which one may have a preference/need for ex. shallow DOF and fast shutter, then the only other adjustment is iso, can we freely adjust it from lowest to highest on this camera or will grain be an issue?
Its nice not to have to keep remembering to lock exposure or youd get all kinds of light changes while shooting on the Nikon.
The rolling shutter i think is much less noticeable than on the D90, i mean on that camera you move it side to side at normal speed and feel like you have jello on a plate. With the 7D i really had to move it side to side abruptly to get that effect and only in 24p mode, not something youd normally do on a shoot.
It actually isnt as difficult as i thought to learn the controls coming from a Nikon, pretty much same stuff.
The salesguy said more people that look at these 2 get the Canon for pro work but he didnt exactly say for video purposes. Im going to play around with this things some more and then decide what the cons are for me. Wish I could do side by side comparison with GH1 but oh well. Next thing will be getting an adapter for all my nikon lenses, people keep telling me I will lose autofocus and metering I hope thats not completely true.
So far feeling positive im hoping that doesnt change. Havent really had to deal with any heat or shut off issues, seems like the mirror flip mechanism is different than nikon (i think), seems like the mirror moves out of the way whenever you enter movie mode, not flips up and down constantly like with the D90, so this seems more like a movie camera not just an added last minute feature (the chapter on shooting video in the manual isnt bad either).
The GH1 does look like a hybrid though with its stereo mics on top, flip screen and what looks like a couple of movie modes on knob. Not crazy about the kit lens looks fragile and light. Even the spring in the battery compartment doesnt strike me as very durable. Oh I will be so happy if I find some cons and decide to return the Canon lol....

Glenn Przyborski
10-16-2009, 05:11 PM
I owned the 7D for about 72 hours. I purchased it specifically to shoot "B-Roll" cutaways that would be inserted into a 1080 TV program that I'm shooting on a Sony F900R. The daytime tests were shot near the Pittsburgh Convention Center. No matter what menu settings were used, when the footage was screened on broadcast monitors, it simply didn't look like high definition. It appears to be slightly soft 720P that's been blown-up to 1080. There was also a very prominent "rainbow effect" that occurs whenever horizontal or near to horizontal lines are part of the picture. This aliasing has been mentioned elsewhere in this forum, but it's very noticeable and you can't remove it in post.

I thought the color was excellent and photographic still shots were also excellent.

Before dawn the following morning, I used an "L" series 24mm F1.4 & a 35mm F1.4 to check out the low light capabilities of the 7D. Very impressive images of downtown at ISO 500, but the ever-present aliasing "rainbows" of color occurred in almost every focused scene. The effect was even present in the bricks of some Pittsburgh streets.

As long as you're shooting tight shots of faces with shallow depth-of-field, diffused backgrounds, you're OK.

As far as I'm concerned, the 7D's shortcomings all revolve around its resizing "engine" which can't properly down sample the 18MP image to 2.2MP, 1920 x 1080 video. I made no attempt to shoot at 720 as that format is useless to me.

10-17-2009, 10:26 AM
Thanks ill have to try it in those conditions, Does this mean you switched over to the gh1 or thats subpar as well? Does iso translate into video exactly as in stills on this camera in terms of grain?

10-17-2009, 12:02 PM
Thanks ill have to try it in those conditions, Does this mean you switched over to the gh1 or thats subpar as well?
The GH1 performs about the same as the 7D. Barry has already posted resolution and dynamic range tests (the same ones that he did with the 7D) for it in the GH1 forum.

Does iso translate into video exactly as in stills on this camera in terms of grain?
For a number of reasons, video should be noisier than stills at the same ISO. This will be true on any DSLR.