Owners of Canon’s EOS 7D camera are about to receive a number of new features and greater functionality, thanks to an inbound firmware update that will be available at the beginning of August.
The update, which will be freely available, brings more advanced shooting options, including an increase in the maximum number of burst images taken in the RAW file format (from 15 frames to 25 frames) as well as the ability to process RAW image files directly in the camera and the option to set a maximum ISO setting in ISO Auto mode.
The firmware also adds the ability to adjust up to 64 audio levels manually prior to recording video, supports custom file naming, and allows for compatibility with Canon's newly introduced, optional GPS Receiver GP-E2.
Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group of Canon in the US, explained that the latest firmware for the EOS 7D Digital SLR enhances the capabilities of the camera and brings new possibilities to its users, making it “a more valuable tool for their craft."
Buffer capacity increased
To this end, while the EOS 7D is capable of taking photos at a high-speed burst rate of up to 8 frames per second (fps), the new firmware enables the camera to capture up to 25 consecutive frames when shooting in RAW, and up to 17 consecutive frames when taking RAW+JPEG images.
It further enables RAW images to be processed directly in the camera, allowing dynamic adjustment of exposure compensation, white balance, picture style, noise reduction at high ISO speeds, distortion correction, and other processing parameters.
The company explained that the ability to adjust RAW images quickly and re-save them as JPEG files can be a huge time-saver for mobile photographers, as opposed to downloading files to a PC
and making adjustments later. The camera will also be able to re-size JPEG image files in-camera.
These features will be accessible through the Quick Control functions. When viewing images on the camera, image files can also be given a star ranking for easy sorting during post processing. The firmware will also enable faster scrolling of images when displayed in a magnified view on the camera's LCD screen.
Additionally, the firmware update offers photographers greater control over the maximum ISO speed when the camera is in ISO Auto mode, by setting a maximum ISO range.
The reasoning behind this feature, according to Canon, is that in certain low-light scenarios, such as during a sunset, where light changes each minute, photographers can lose the brilliance and colour if the ISO setting is too high. It elaborated that the new feature addresses this, by enabling photographers to ensure that their ISO setting will remain within specific parameters.
Additionally, the available ISO Auto range receives a bump up from 100-3200 to ISO 100-6400.
In addition to these enhancements, the new EOS 7D firmware further enables manual adjustment of audio levels prior to recording video, similar to the functionality found on the EOS 5D Mark II
. Videographers will be able to manually adjust up to 64 audio levels on the EOS 7D so that they can refine the captured audio to match their particular needs.
In yet another similarity to the features found on the high end EOS 5D Mark III
, the EOS 7D firmware update delivers a new submenu, which enables photographers to modify the first four characters of file names, in the camera. This is aimed at making it easier to use the EOS 7D in multi-camera situations, by providing a way to identify the files coming from a particular camera, without opening each image individually.
Mapping your images
Additionally, the firmware v2 adds support for Canon’s GPS Receiver GP-E2, which attaches to the camera’s hotshoe and enables photographers to geo-tag their photos with longitude, latitude and altitude data as well as the direction in which the shot was taken. This information is then included in the EXIF file of the image.
A GPS Logger tracks movements by downloading GPS data at regular intervals, and compatibility with Google Maps means users can easily view their route in Canon’s free Map utility software.
“Building on the camera’s high speed, advanced handling and creative versatility, the new firmware provides photographers with a host of new benefits including higher maximum RAW burst rate, in-camera editing functions, user-definable Auto ISO and support for Canon’s latest GPS Receiver, GP-E2,” commented Roger Machin, product manager at Canon SA.
To the point
While the update and the benefits it brings are exclusively pertinent to EOS 7D users, Ishizuka’s next comment was more relevant across the board.
"By introducing this firmware we want our customers to know that we are always looking to enhance the user experience for all of our current products in the marketplace," he added. This is certainly heartening, particularly as Canon shows no signs of letting up on its release of different EOS cameras for different market segments.