Canon EOS 7D: Nikon’s Worst Nightmare Has Begun

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 7D

Bruce Wayne saw bats flying towards him out of a very bright light, haunting him every night during his sleep. The image above shows what is currently haunting every Nikon executive in their sleep at night, causing them to wake up screaming like girly men while bathing in their own sweat. For Bruce Wayne, things got better. But for Nikon, the worst is yet to come.

I know I’m a bit late with my introduction of our new 7D camera, but I have been very busy here at the office with all kinds of preparations for what is yet to come. We are heading for some very exciting times and let me assure you that the 7D is just the beginning. If you’re thinking about getting a 7D, be prepared to have your patience tested to the extreme. While the 7D should hit stores by the end of the month, chances are that this camera will be continuously backordered until the end of time.

We’ve just released the official 7D brochure, so you might want to download it and start drooling. You’ll notice that the marketing department got a little carried away while compiling the text for the brochure, and frankly, I don’t really blame them this time because the 7D is an exciting product. But when you see stuff like the following, please forgive them:

On Page 3: “Canon EOS SLR cameras have consistently featured cuttingedge AF technologies and the EOS 7D takes them a step further.”

I had to chuckle when I read that. OK fine I admit, I LOLed. Consistently featured cutting edge AF, huh? Yeah… I printed that line on a large banner and it is now hanging high up on the wall behind me in my office. Funny how people can so easily forget about the Great Fiasco of 2008. I think most of them just got so traumatized that they blocked 2008 out of their memory completely. Just thinking about 2008 sends chills down my spine every time so trust me when I say that it’s not easy for them. I mean really, all of you who are regular readers know that not too long ago I was crying here on my blog in despair, mentioning how I was coming home drunk every night because the future seemed very dark for us here at Canon. I was just totally wasted every night. But at least it wasn’t so bad that I woke up in the morning to find a tiger in my bathroom, a baby in the closet and David Sparer asking me why he’s missing a tooth, all while not being able to remember what happened to me the previous night.

Bradley Cooper and Chase Jarvis - Seperated at birth?

Bradley Cooper and Chase Jarvis (right) - Separated at birth?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have to really do yourself a favor and go out to see the movie “The Hangover,” starring Chase Jarvis as Bradley Cooper as Phil. Even if it’s just to see Chase taking Mike Tyson’s tiger from behind while yelling “Let’s fuck this tiger!!” I know it sounds bizarre, but seriously, I’m not kidding. On top of that you even have Canon Inc.’s Masaya Maeda, Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication Products Operations, making an appearance when he leaps out of the back of a car, totally naked, and starts beating the crap out of Chase with a crowbar.


Chase lying on the ground after taking a beating from Maeda

"You gonna fuck on me!!??"

"You gonna fuck on me!!??"

There’s just something really funny about watching a gay looking Canon executive beating the crap out of a Nikon photographer.

Hangovers aside, things are starting to look pretty good for us here at Canon thanks to the Japanese at Canon Inc. in Tokyo finally listening to us. Even Vincent Laforet, peace and blessings be upon him, mentioned in a recent interview that Canon is finally starting to listen. If you’ve looked at the specs, you know that the 7D really introduces many exciting new features for Canon users. It’s funny how the 7D comes with a brand new and fucking awesome viewfinder design with an intelligent LCD display, getting rid of the focusing screens, when I just wrote about the state of the art “‘On-demand’ Viewfinder Gridlines Projection System” two months ago. Unfortunately though, the 7D still features the very advanced “Eyepiece Closing ‘Mechanism’“, arguably one of humanity’s greatest achievements, but I guess that it would have been too good to be true if that was also replaced with something better. 

However, the introduction of the 7D has led to the discovery of one of the most important formulas since E=MC2, a formula that holds great promises for the future. You can see it below in all its glory:

The Formula

There’s not much else I can say about this right now, I just hope you and Canon Inc. know your math.

Overall we’re getting some great responses about the 7D. Jeff Ascough posted some sample images and mentions being very pleased with the 7D so far. I also got an email from someone who’s been on our case for a long time now. For some reason the content of the email cracked me up, so I’m just going to include it here without permission and be done with it:

Hell has frozen over! John Harrington has posted a TFP request for female models on his website!

My first positive blog post about Canon in a very long time:

I’m just going to call that guy “Moses” from now on, as his predictions appear to be spot on. And when he writes positive about Canon, you know Nikon is going to have serious issues. Even Rob Galbraith had to admit that “Canon has a winner on their hands with the EOS 7D.” And then he went on to mumble something about the autofocus system. I don’t know what the fascination is with Galbraith and our autofocus systems. The guy just refuses to let it go. At some point he even mentions the following:

We also used the EF 85mm f/1.2L II, and focus was all over the place. The same lens exhibited the same unstable AF on an EOS 5D Mark II, suggesting the problem was more a function of the lens than the camera.

Am I the only one who slapped my hand on my forehead, shook my head and asked myself why Galbraith had to include this in his article? This is about the same as saying the following:

We also poured a couple of gallons of sulfuric acid on the 7D and it started going haywire before completely dying on us. The sulfuric acid had the same effect on the EOS 5D Mark II, suggesting the problem was more a function of the sulfuric acid than the camera.

Sometimes I fear for the future of humanity. I really do.

Now, I know a lot of you have written in to complain about the noise in images taken with a 7D and if I want to be honest, I can only admit that personally it also worries me a little. But let me remind you of what I said a while ago in reply to a Tech Tips question:

What is it with all the noise on the recent cameras? I thought image quality was important to Canon. Now I have to spend time cleaning up noise even at ISO 100. It’s getting crazy you guys better do something about this!

Thank you for your suggestion. If you’ve been following this blog long enough you already know my personal opinion regarding noise in images: I don’t like it myself. However, at Canon we think that noise is an important part of digital photography and certainly with regards to image quality. More noise in larger images is actually an improvement that contributes a lot to good image quality, as we have clearly demonstrated with the EOS 50D and the EOS 5D Mark II. Going forward, we expect noise to continue to play an important role in digital photography here at Canon with future advancements in sensor development, which will allow for even larger resolutions on smaller sensors while bending, and indeed completely trashing,  the laws of physics and causing a rip in the space-time continuum.
Other industry leaders have also recognized the importance of noise in images. For example, Adobe has demonstrated to share a similar view by including filters in Photoshop that add noise to images. As a result, images made with older cameras that offered noise-free images can now be improved by adding noise to them. I expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately the Japanese, while they do appear to be listening a little more to us now, are not willing to give up the megapixel race just yet. At this point I’m just hoping, praying to God even, that the noise problem will not ruin the 7D for us like it did with the 50D and to some extent also the 5D Mark II. I’m also hoping that the new AF system actually works. If the Japanese fuck this one up again, all hope will be lost. According to recently acquired intelligence, Nikon is also planning something big. Something really big.

Nikon Headquarters

Nikon Headquarters

We’ve got some exciting new stuff coming very soon as well. This time even I don’t have all the details as Japan has gotten more and more secretive about future plans. But what I’m certain about is that you’re going to see a very fierce battle unfold in the next few months. We are at war, make no mistake about it.

Finally, I want to mention that I’m celebrating my first birthday this Sunday, September 13th. On that day it will be exactly a year ago when I first started this blog. Amazing how time flies. I hope you’ll all be here with me to celebrate.

Gotta run now, lots of work waiting for me.

39 thoughts on “Canon EOS 7D: Nikon’s Worst Nightmare Has Begun

  1. I don’t see how canon marketing decided to name this camera 7D.
    The single digit name should have been preserved for FF cameras.
    Hope for them that the sensor will not be too noisy this time…

    Happy birthday fake Chuck and brace yourself for the next Nikon announcements 😛

    • > The single digit name should have been preserved for FF cameras.

      The 1D mk I, mk II, mk IIn, and mkIII are all 1.3 crop. Canon’s single-digit cameras now include one APS-C, 4 APS-H, and 2 24*36 sensors.

  2. The only thing I’m hating about the 7D are the marketing images. Seriously Canon, is that the best you can do?

    At least they heard us and finally made a decent APS-C camera ❤

  3. Happy birthday Chuck! Aside from the noise, I’m beginning to wonder why I paid $2700 for a 5D II when I could have paid $1700 for a 7D. The autofocus sounds great and I think the built in wireless flash control was a stroke of genius. Saves the $200 cost of an ST-E2. I’m thinking I might sell my old 5D on eBay to pay for a 7D, but I’ll wait for a verdict on the noise.

    • You’re definitely not the only one wondering that Tony. Might as well sell the 5D2 asap while you can still get enough $$ for it.

  4. Grunt! Naming convention sucks! Grunt!

    Let’s see – cropped sensor 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D
    Full Frame – 5D, 5D Mk II

    And then 7D… cropped? Yes, it is messed up.

    Glad to have you back, FCW – we’ve missed you here.

  5. Pingback: Canon EOS 7D: Nikon’s Worst Nightmare Has Begun – Fake Chuck Westfall @ Photo News Today

  6. According to this report:

    Obviously, 2006-2008 was the darkest period for Canon in the general prosperity of digital era. Being almost beaten (at least bitten) by other followers, the KING of Digital Photog is finally fighting back.

    Let’s hope the worst time has gone and Canon’s back to make us proud, starting with 7D in 2009; 1D4 and 1Ds4 in 2010; 3D/5D3 in 2011… Ammunition Reload! 😛

  7. Chuck Stephen Eastwood posted some images shot with the EOS 7D hyping the fan base over there and he demonstrates your point: you can see lots and lots of noise in the shadows even at ISO 100 YAY!

    But I have a question!!!!!!!!!!! Noise as you say is important now more than clean images, so: when we will have a picture style to add even more noise to our images?????????

    • Interesting. Definitely noisier than the 5D II, but less banding at high ISO. But it’s true that there is banding and noise at ISO 100 in some images. And off ISOs – like 2000 – give huge amounts of noise. WTF Canon? What is this shit? My 5D II gets this crap too, SOMETIMES. I only wish it were predictable. You gotta cure this issue. It’s like some random curse.

      Feeling less love for the 7D after seeing these images.

      Let me put it as clearly as I can: Image quality is job number one, period. Everything else is just ‘cool features’.

    • > when we will have a picture style to add even more noise to our images?

      You allready have it – it’s called “ISO 6400” (don’t forget to switch off noise reduction) 🙂

      • But I need creative freedom! like a picture style that allows me to change the orientation of the banding, or to increase further the color noise, or to smudge more details at ISO 100 =)

        Think of the beautiful possibilities in the noisy noise utopia of noise picture style!!!!!

  8. ….sitting here with my old 5D, putting money aside and waiting for a decent replacement from Canon. With the long waiting I’m afraid to put together too much money, just enough to spend my money in Solms for a cosy Leica M9 and kicking the rest of my Canon stuff on Ebay.

  9. Hi Chuck,
    i’ve readed the official 7D brochure, and this part really scared me: “The EOS 7D’s CMOS sensor incorporates a unique on-chip noise reduction technology to deal with both fixed pattern and random noise.”
    What?!?! Are they saying that we see all that noise and the images are already processed twice? (So that’s why it’s called Dual NR System or similar)
    And even more interesting, can we disable this HW NR?
    If we can’t disable it, what’s the point in shooting RAWs already processed?

    Happy birthday 😉

  10. About canon offering cutting edge AF: No joke…. That is why everybody left Nikon and shot sports etc with Canon for many years before Nikon finally got their act together and came up with cameras matching the hype of the brand. My 1DIII still matches any Nikon on AF even though it is old tech by now – despite the fiasco referred to.
    The 7D is a crop factor camera for a reason. If you need FF, get a 5Dii or 1DsIII. Or wait for their replacements.
    Anyhow. I sold my 40D and pre-ordered my 7D. It is going to be the ideal partner to my 1DIII for bird photography.
    And yes. You see all that noise even after it has been processed in hardware. A CMOS sensor is more noisy than a CCD. But thanks to Canon, the only people who stuck it out with CMOS in DSLR’s when everybody else shouted CCD, it was proven that the fact that you can process signals on the sensor in CMOS (unlike the case with CCD) you are able to deliver quality images that exceed CCD for a given price point. Every Raw image contains some basic processing but it is not like you imagine noise reduction software does. So no – there is no point in turning it off. You need it.
    Great post. I enjoyed reading this and the replies.

  11. I am with Canon for more than 20 years. I was so serious think of moving away from Canon in last 2 years. Now, my hope is back. I hope Canon can keep up and I will be always with Canon.

    Great jobs and it is a joy to read these. Looking forward to see the 3D, 1DMK4 and etc. Thx man.

  12. Hey, cool that Canon is making videographers happy with their cameras. I dumped Canon for Nikon because I had the exact same issues Galbraith did. I shoot stills.

  13. I found your blog somehow and just love the way you write and express yourself. I’m quite frustrated with Canon. To be honest I’m almost selling every piece of gear to jump into Nikons line. The nikon d700 is amazing! A friend of mine sold his 5d markii to get the d700. He just loves it. No complains at all. I know that Canon is making some major improvements over the AF issue witch is a good thing but can’t forget to have a better control over noise. Hurry up Canon cause Nikon is rocking!

  14. I actually was curious if Canon finally had managed to scatter those many focusing points all over the viewfinder. But, no, of course not, that would be too helpful for all those non-absolute-beginners who dare to position objects not directly in the middle of the pic. I´m looking forward to the first Canon AF-system that features 100 focusing points right in the middle of the focusing screen. Until then, I hope Nikon soon comes up with a 17 mm Tilt-Shift lens, that´s the last reason to stick with Canon

  15. Chuck, you’ve been sharing a lot of grim stuff on the 7D via Twitter. Time to write another scathing post to get Canon off their asses to fix the issues with the 7D before it becomes yet another debacle.

  16. Hi chuck, i’m going to get 7D next week, but my concern is lens

    I love the 135L F2, love it so much after using a short time with my friend’s 5D, but what do you think when i using it on the crop factor (portrait for example ) ?

    135×1.6=216mm is quite long right ?

    Any suggestion, should i buy it or not?

    I have the 50 1.4 already and deep in love with canon primes

    • Yes Canon L Primes are like drugs.

      The 135L is fantastic, but indeed a bit long on the crop. You’d have to maintain some distance. However it is quite excellent to shoot candids at events.

      Perhaps the 85mm f/1.2L is an option for you, although it is almost twice as expensive (but very much worth it).

  17. Just in time for Halloween — ghosting in the 7D images. Another great Canon innovation, just in time to f*** me over as my new 7D is due to arrive tomorrow. Can’t wait to spend time installing new software patches for the first few hours. Dumbass mothers.

    If I see any ghosting in my first tests, that SOB is going back to Canon and I’m done waiting to make the switch back to Nikon. If they haven’t already figured out that the Mark III fiasco left them ZERO room for fuckups in the 7D, I can guarantee the Mark IV will be a total piece of crap, because Canon will have demonstrated that it thinks it can keep cranking out shit and people will keep on buying it.

  18. Pingback: Aut-O’-Focus « Fake Chuck Westfall

  19. just to add my 2 cents worth here.
    its like the old chevrolet vs Ford vs chrysler debate with camera gear.

    my take on the whole issue is that they are tools for our photographic endeavors. I realize that you can’t just switch system’s because of the lens mount, but it does not really matter what camera took the photo, its the person behind the lens taking the picture which is the single most important element in the equation. I’ve owned both nikon and canon they both have thier strong points.

  20. Hi Fakechuck,

    A lot of people are complaining about low iso Banding on 5D mark II.
    (see DPR)

    Please tell fakeMaeda to fix it.



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