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Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?

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Christopher Delaine
Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 15, 2014 at 2:06:47 pm

With it’s primary competitors in the video world featuring 4K, is the 7D mark II hobbled out of the gate when it comes to Indie video shooters?

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/standard_display/eos_7dmkii_feature



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Warren Eig
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 15, 2014 at 3:41:51 pm

It all spends what you need it to do. Price point wise, does this fall in at the lower end?

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Christopher Delaine
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 15, 2014 at 4:10:46 pm

I think it's a awesome stills camera but with the GH4 at the same price point shooting 4k and the A7s having crazy low light performance and 4k to an external recorder, I think canon may have just, at least for now, ceded the DSLR Video market. Yes their Cinema DSLR shoots 4K but it's also $15,000. There are now almost a dozen camera for under $10,000 that shoot in 4K. I don't think the pre-orders for this camera are going to sell out like the GH4 and the A7S did.



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Eric Michael Cap
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 15, 2014 at 9:46:16 pm
Last Edited By Eric Michael Cap on Sep 15, 2014 at 10:02:25 pm

I agree with Christopher. I own a 7D (& a 60D) w/Magic Lantern and I'm underwhelmed from a Video standpoint. The 7D Mk2 is a good update (great Auto-Focus) 4 Action/Wildlife Photographers but not for Videographers or other Creatives wanting a flexible Photo/Video Hybrid IMHO. The original 7D was revolutionary 5yrs ago from a Video standpoint & became very popular with DP's as a B/C Cam. This is an evolutionary product...not much there for Video other than 60p and incremental ISO improvements. I think the 70D is a more flexible Hybrid with flip-out touchscreen LCD that can rack-focus and Wi-Fi, or for about the same price you can get the full-frame 6D for 2 stops better low-light, Wi-Fi & Magic Lantern for zebras & focus peaking. The Panasonic GH4, Sony A7s and now Samsung NX1 all do 4K which produce stunning HD video when down-rezzed to 1080p and the ability to crop & pan-&-scan in post. The new Nikon D750 is going to have way better DR/IQ & low-light and has a tilt screen & Wi-Fi. I'll be sticking with my 7D & 60D w/Magic Lantern for now and maybe add a GH4 for 4k Video &/or FZ1000 (FW update enables 24p & 4k Photo mode) for concert/performance videos unless something better comes along before Christmas.



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Ryan Holmes
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 16, 2014 at 3:21:06 am

If the camera was meant for video people - yes, it would be DOA. But the camera is meant for photographers. Specifically for sport and event photography - 65 point AF, built in intrevalometer, 10fps (31 RAW and over 1,000 JPEG as long as your card is fast enough to write the data), automatic lens distortion correction in-camera, GPS, weather-sealed aluminum body, and a completely revamped and upgraded metering system. These are features video guys/gals don't care about. Action photographers do. This camera makes a legitimate run at the Canon 1D X and Nikon D4S for a third of the price (yet, there are still reasons why a photographer might want a 1D X or D4S over a 7DII).

As far as video it gets 1080p60, LiveView Mode, and Dual-Pixel AF. Yep...not much.

Additionally, they released this camera at Photokina which is a distinctly photo-centric show. If they meant for this to compete with Sony's A7s or Panasonic's GH4 they would've released it at NAB in April or IBC last weekend (and they would've needed to add way more video features to it). But this is a stills cameras, meant for shooters doing sports, action, or event photography. I believe it'll find a decent little niche in there.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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Christopher Delaine
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 16, 2014 at 2:00:38 pm

Maybe the 6D Mark II will be their 4k Sub $3000 entry perhaps. Full frame, All the features of the 70D, Make it happen canon.



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JP Pelc
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 30, 2014 at 3:48:10 pm

Photos might be another discussion, but for video absolutely. Canon was once the revolutionary force in low-budget, high quality video cameras for people entering the field. Now after all these years they have essentially not improved at all. Now you can spend $12,000 on a C300 which still shoots h.264, or $10,000 for a 1DC, or just switch from Canon and spend significantly less on cameras that shoot 4K, RAW, and higher frame rates, with focus peaking, zebras, and other features. The most astounding thing about Canon DSLRS is Magic Lantern, here we have a group of hackers who in their spare time create better firmware than this multi-billion dollar company! If it weren't for them making Canon DSLRs actually usable Canon would have already lost it's corner on the market years ago. It's amazing to me how badly they are falling behind.


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 30, 2014 at 4:14:30 pm

[JP Pelc] " Now you can spend $12,000 on a C300 which still shoots h.264"

Just to correct some information here. The C300 shoots a MPEG-2 based codec called Canon XF which is wrapped in a MXF format. The codec is 8-bit, 4:2:2. It does not shoot to and use h.264.

[JP Pelc] " just switch from Canon and spend significantly less on cameras that shoot 4K, RAW, and higher frame rates, with focus peaking, zebras, and other features. "

The push towards RAW and 4K seems very analogous to run towards HD a decade ago. Most in our industry were clamoring for more and more resolution, but having the whole pipeline in place to handle HD took years and years to arrive. New cameras, faster on board camera storage, faster recorders attached to your camera, faster computers, bigger SAN, larger LTO archive solutions, etc. 4K is great, but everything is still delivered in 1080i or 720p resolutions. I don't see broadcasters moving to 4K for quite some time, specifically because it's expensive (and I'm not talking about Blackmagic cameras here). Personally, I would forgo the whole race to more pixels and prefer more dynamic range. That could be achieved through better sensors, better compression, etc.

[JP Pelc] "Magic Lantern, here we have a group of hackers who in their spare time create better firmware than this multi-billion dollar company!"

I would put a caveat on this and define the term "better." Better in terms of dynamic range, compression, artifacting, and moire. ML is not better in terms of stability, ease of workflow, storage, heat issues, etc. I love my 5D3 with ML, but there are situations where it's not going to perform well because of other considerations - heat, storage, workflow, etc. RAW is powerful, but it's rarely practical and quote challenging on small budgets.

But like I said, the 7D2 is meant for event photographers. It's not a video camera. Canon doesn't want to play in the low-margin HDSLR market. They will continue to push people towards the C-series of cameras if they want an interchangeable, Super-35 sensor type camera. Ultimately, I would expect Sony and Panasonic to do the same as they develop their other cinema lines. The race-to-the-bottom in tech pricing rarely ends well for the equipment manufacturer.

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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JP Pelc
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 30, 2014 at 7:23:53 pm

My bad. It's the C100 that shoots to h.264. So you spend $5,000 on a body that shoots to a delivery format.

[Ryan Holmes] "The push towards RAW and 4K seems very analogous to run towards HD a decade ago. Most in our industry were clamoring for more and more resolution, but having the whole pipeline in place to handle HD took years and years to arrive."

I'm not sure that is a great analogy. Sure 1080p "Full HD" (a term that I hate, btw) seemed gimmicky at first, but before long it became the standard. 4k will surely be the same. I agree that it will probably be several years before the average user has a 4K TV, but nonetheless shooting 4K has 2 significant advantages, one being that you can shoot wide and have plenty of room to reframe in post, and another being that 4K footage downressed has higher level of detail than footage shot 1080p. Even if these advantages are slight, the fact is that competing companies are providing them to their consumers at low prices, whereas Canon is only doing so at much higher prices.



[Ryan Holmes] "I would put a caveat on this and define the term "better." Better in terms of dynamic range, compression, artifacting, and moire. ML is not better in terms of stability, ease of workflow, storage, heat issues, etc. I love my 5D3 with ML, but there are situations where it's not going to perform well because of other considerations - heat, storage, workflow, etc."

Really? These are issues with RAW, but that can be easily switched off with ML. Otherwise ML is rock solid, easier workflow than built-in firmware (at least as far as on set goes), no additional storage or heat. You can't possibly argue that the default firmware is in any way better than ML.

I do agree with you that the 7Dii is meant for photography, I guess my point is that Canon had a huge edge on the video market, and to me it's a shame they are letting it go


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 30, 2014 at 9:26:33 pm

[JP Pelc] "Really? These are issues with RAW, but that can be easily switched off with ML. Otherwise ML is rock solid, easier workflow than built-in firmware (at least as far as on set goes), no additional storage or heat. You can't possibly argue that the default firmware is in any way better than ML."

It probably depends on your shooting environments. Here in Texas it's hot outside generally when you shoot. When running ML software here my average temperature ranges from 113-125 Fahrenheit. Needless to say DSLR's don't dissipate heat well, so on several occasions the camera has just shut off while recording. Pushing RAW frames through the 5D3 creates considerable heat internally.

Again, we need to define "better." The workflow is certainly more cumbersome when using ML compared to shooting h.264 (which I'm no fan of as a codec). But h.264 is drag and drop and can be played from nearly any modern computer regardless of storage. Shooting ML creates a .RAW file which has to be unpacked into DNG files. Those files are big and to be played at realtime demand some level of fast storage (which not everyone has). The benefits to shooting ML are enormous though - dynamic range, color fidelity, sharpness, etc. I shoot ML often, but it's not a simple, fast format for the average user to use. And many low budget productions don't have the time or storage capacities to shoot with ML. My main point is that "better" is dependent on your workflow, scenario, and budget. But from a technical standpoint, yes, ML is "better."

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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JP Pelc
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 30, 2014 at 9:56:54 pm

[Ryan Holmes] "Here in Texas it's hot outside generally when you shoot. When running ML software here my average temperature ranges from 113-125 Fahrenheit."

Dang. I never noticed any increase in heat from using ML, but I guess here in the Northeast I am never in very hot conditions so there is no need to pay much attention. I'm sure RAW in those conditions is near impossible.

But with your whole second paragraph, I think you are equating ML to RAW recording. You can use many features of ML and record to the base h.264, and therefore make no increase in workflow whatsover. In fact, this is the only way I have used ML thus far. Even when using it to record to H.264 the screen overlays that ML provide are enormously helpful


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Is the Canon 7D mark II Dead on Arrival?
on Sep 30, 2014 at 10:23:25 pm

[JP Pelc] "But with your whole second paragraph, I think you are equating ML to RAW recording. You can use many features of ML and record to the base h.264, and therefore make no increase in workflow whatsover. In fact, this is the only way I have used ML thus far. Even when using it to record to H.264 the screen overlays that ML provide are enormously helpful"

Right on. I really only use ML to shoot RAW, and thus have a more complicated workflow. I'm not sure if I've ever even shot h.264 using ML...that would be interesting!

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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