Canon rejuvenates the EOS 7D, acknowledges 40mm lens issue


posted Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 5:24 PM EST

Canon's EOS 7D digital SLR. Photo provided by Canon. Click to read our Canon EOS 7D review!Canon USA has today issued product advisories noting new or upcoming firmware for several of its products. Key among these is an updated firmware release for the Canon 7D digital SLR that--as promised last June--makes extensive changes throughout, with numerous new features seen in more recent models.

Key among the changes in EOS 7D firmware version 2.0.0 is an improvement in burst shooting depth for raw files.  With a UDMA CompactFlash card, Canon previously rated the 7D as capable of 15 frames in a burst, at ISO 100 with the Standard picture style. Using the same settings, Canon says the new firmware will allow as many as 23 frames in a burst. (If using a UDMA CF card, this increases even further to 25 frames.) In RAW+JPEG mode, a depth of 17 frames should be possible, a dramatic increase from the originally-rated six frames. JPEG-only burst depth will also increase slightly, from 126 to 130 frames on a UDMA card, and from 94 to 110 frames with a non-UDMA card.

Another interesting change is a wider range for the maximum ISO sensitivity available to the EOS 7D's Auto ISO function. Previously restricted to ISO 100-3,200 equivalents, this will now allow ISO 6,400 equivalent to be selected, as well, leaving only the ISO 12,800 expanded setting outside of Auto control.

Movie shooters will be pleased to find that they can now set audio recording levels before capture commences, just like in the EOS 5D Mark III. A fine-grained selection of 64 recording levels will be offered.

Fans of geotagging will also approve of the new support for the Canon GP-E2 hotshoe-mounted GPS receiver accessory. This both allows the automatic tagging of images with their capture location, altitude, and direction, and can correct the camera's clock automatically. You can also record GPS track logs, so you can review your route at a later time.

The new firmware also adds access to in-camera raw processing and JPEG resizing functionality via a Quick Control menu, as seen in later Canon SLR models. The raw processing feature includes the ability to adjust exposure compensation, white balance, picture style, noise reduction, and distortion correction settings. Additionally, the Playback mode now allows image rating and faster scrolling between images. The new update offers simple time zone settings, and makes it possible to change the first four letters of file names used by the camera, much like the EOS 5D Mark III can do.

Finally, one change not previously noted has been made in the new EOS 7D firmware: a bug that could result in slow shutter speeds when firing intermittent, consecutive bursts of external flash has been resolved. More details and the Canon EOS 7D v2.0.0 firmware update itself can be found on the Canon USA website.

Alongside the new EOS 7D firmware, Canon has also revealed another update for the Wireless Transmitter WFT-E5A, adding support for the Canon EOS 7D with v2.0.0 firmware installed. The new WFT-E5A firmware v1.0.7 can be found here.

And lastly, Canon has acknowledged an issue with the just-released EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens, which it intends to address with an update. The company notes that the lens' autofocus functionality may stop working, if the lens barrel is pressed on while mounted to the camera, such as when attaching the lens cap or carrying the camera in a bag. A firmware update fixing the issue is planned for late August, and in the meantime Canon recommends simply reseating either the lens or the attached body's battery to clear the issue.