7D Reviews: Shit are happen!

Hello and welcome. This is your favorite camera guru reporting to you live from my office here at Canon USA. I’m sitting here burning some really good ganja so there’s a lot of smoke in the room, and in fact visibility is so low right now I’m having some difficulty seeing my monitor. Yeaaahh mon. I figured I needed to relax after all the shit that’s been going on recently. And it’s either getting high and relax, or snapping and picking up my double barrel shotgun to do some serious damage around here.

I thought Halloween was over, but apparently that’s not the case. We released a fix for the ghosting problem on the 7D, but as it appears, that’s the least of its problems right now. The horror stories keep pouring in. There are some more reviews out right now and it doesn’t look good. All those people who were writing in to me complaining about the noise seem to have been on to something. I was trying to ignore those complaints hoping it would just somehow go away, but it seems like it got worse instead.

As you all know I did my best for this not to happen. I talked to Tokyo several times about easing on the megapixels now, for the sake of our users, but the Japanese don’t want to listen. Let me remind you of this chat I had with Maeda a while back:

Shit are happen!

That’s how it basically kept going every time. Thank God they didn’t put 21MP on the 7D or else we’d have an even bigger problem right now. I fear for the 7D Mark II though. They might even take it to 24MP.

But anyway, let’s take a look at some of the reviews. First up we have the 7D review done by Darwin Wiggett. Here’s essentially what he has to say about the 7D:

Again to our eye the 7D files look soft and mushy compared to the snap in the other two files. Of course we expected the flagship Mark III to outperform the mid-priced 7D but we did not expect the entry level Rebel to better the 7D especially when the Rebel’s 12MP files were interpolated to 18MP!


The files from the Canon 7D were so disappointing to us that we began to wonder if we had received a dud camera. We borrowed a different body. Off we went for round two, again shooting numerous scenes with both the 7D and the Rebel XSi. We got the exact same results:  the little Rebel bested the 7D every time in terms of file quality. The second 7D body performed as ‘poorly’ as the first.

So… we got a THIRD 7D body and ran more tests.


We looked on the web for reviews of the Canon 7D and almost every review site RAVES about the camera both in terms of features and performance (we agree) but also in terms of file quality (huh?).  Also on photo sharing forums a lot of photographers think the file quality of the Canon 7D is awesome. Maybe our expectations were too high? We thought the 7D should give us files better than a Rebel or G11. Maybe we are just too anal?

Yeah, as the technical advisor at Canon USA, I too expected the 7D to give us better looking files compared to the much older, cheaper and entry level Rebel and G11. But as we can clearly learn from this, our expectations and the reality dictated to us by Tokyo rarely match. And this has been true for the last 4 years. Perhaps I too am just being “too anal”, as Darwin puts it. But it’s hard not to be “too anal” when we have Canon Inc’s gigantic corporate cock up our collective asses here at Canon USA.

Let’s anal-yze one of the images from the review below.

Mushy 7D image

On the left you can see the 100% image crop from the 7D and on the right from the Rebel XSi. As you can no doubt observe, the hay appears to be melting and almost forming a single body of hay on the image taken by the 7D. Based on my calculations it could be that the 7D image was taken after the Rebel image, at which point the hay reached sufficient temperature to start melting. However, I was just told that hay doesn't melt, so we have no choice but to conclude that the 7D might be fucked.

I’ll have to ask Tokyo what happened to the extra resolution that the 18MP sensor from the 7D is supposed to offer the next time I call them. I hope you realize that now uncle Bob on the wedding you’re covering with your 7D and 24-70mm f/2.8 L is going to be making better looking pictures with his cheap Rebel XSi plus kitlens, which he got on Ebay in what had to be a pretty good deal too. And I suggest you have some excuses prepared for when they ask you how little Timmy’s photos from his G11 look so much better compared to yours. And I’m not trying to summon John Harrington here, but think of the far reaching consequences this is going to have on the photography business when people start to realize that their own uncle Bob and little Timmy can take much better pictures and they don’t need a $3000 charging “professional” to cover their event. In the end, it’s the person behind the camera and not the camera that makes the picture, right? Right??

Next we have our very own Moses with a review that put a smile on my face. I tell ya, I thank God for people like Darwin Wiggett and Moses because they make my work so much easier for me. Now I have some material to use in my arguments with Tokyo. Moses wrote down a lot of words on his website to essentially just make the following point, and I quote:

Now the 2 year old 40D costing round $800 delivers better image quality than the ’state of the art’ 7D which costs $1700. Does this make sense to you? Not to me!

It doesn’t really make sense to me either. But I’m willing to bet the Japanese think this makes perfect sense. Now in case this isn’t sinking in yet, let me summarize for you what we’ve just learned:

  • The EOS 7D produces less detailed images compared to the entry level, cheaper Rebel XSi and G11 cameras, even while having more megapixels.
  • The EOS 7D produces noisier images than the two year old EOS 40D while being twice as expensive.
The Best Camera

If you're a 7D owner, this book will make you angry.

Looks like if you’re a 7D owner, the best camera really isn’t the one that’s with you.

Kaan joo now understaan why am burning di ganja here right now in me office, mon? Yeaah mon, like a reel Rastaman!

Seriously though, this really sucks.

Our only hope right now is the 1D Mark IV. But to be honest, I’m afraid of what is going to happen and my confidence in Canon is at an all time low at the moment. I am still trying to do my job as best as I can under the circumstances, but it’s not easy.

My latest Tech Tips have recently been published over at the Digital Journalist. And I also got interviewed by Photo Induced about the 1D4, check the movie below.

I was just about to get drunk when those guys from Photo Induced showed up. I already had a few shots of whiskey but I think I still managed to give a pretty decent sales talk. You’ll notice that I look much older and I’ve lost some weight as well. All the recent problems here at Canon are taking their toll on me I have to admit. I’m already starting to think about retiring too. I don’t know how much longer I can take this. And yes, before you ask, the 1D4 sample I was holding in the video had it’s CF slot glued.

Meanwhile the Nikon D3s is available and people are already raving about the great image quality it offers. I’m quite sure that our 7D would have matched the D3s if it was kept at 10MP. But we all know how that worked out. Wildlife photographer Moose Petersen wrote about his experiences using the D3s on his website. Imagine that… a wildlife photographer called Moose… Anyway, if you look at the D3s samples on his website, it becomes clear that the 1D4 is going to have tough competition. I do know from my own tests here at the office that certainly ISO 102,400 on the 1D4 doesn’t look quite as good as ISO 102,400 on the D3s. Perhaps this is why Japan ordered everyone to take down all 1D4 sample images. But if they think they’re going to fix this with noise reduction we’ll have another 7D type of situation on our hands very soon. I tell ya, I’m not looking forward to this year’s holiday season, that’s for sure. I’m just waiting for our shipment of production 1D4s with production firmware to see just how bad it’s going to be.

Bradley Cooper / Chase Jarvis

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

But those fucks at Nikon are so cocky and self assured right now they’re giving away $100,000 through photographer Chase Jarvis for the best movie made and submitted to them. I’m willing to bet they’re doing this just to give us an extra kick in the nuts after Japan ordered us to take down Laforet’s video “Nocturne”. I imagine the morning briefing at Nikon the following day went somewhat like this:

Nikon Executive 1: Hey guys, did you hear about Canon Inc. taking down that new Laforet video??

Entire Meeting Room: LOL ROFL LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!

Nikon Executive 1: Oh God, what a bunch of fucking morons! Unbelievable!

Nikon Executive 2: You know, I think we should use this opportunity to post even more of our own videos, just to piss those Canon USA guys off!

Nikon Executive 1: God damnit, that’s a great idea! Hey, even better, we give people money to post their videos!

Entire Meeting Room: LOL ROFL LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!

So now we can’t post videos here at Canon while Nikon’s giving away $100,000 to do exactly that! This is just fucking childish behavior on their part. Just rub more salt on our wounds will ya? Fucking wankers. And they couldn’t have picked someone more suitable to do this either. That Jarvis guy’s on crack 24/7. I wish we had him on our side to promote our products. Did you see the videos he posted on his website? Boy that’s something else. A world of difference between those videos and my boring 1D4 sales talk.

So you see now why I need the whisky and the ganja, right? Nikon is encouraging photographers like Chase to use their equipment and even giving away tons of money doing so, while we are here shooting down talented people like Vincent Laforet, peace and blessings be upon him, and ordering them to take down their videos taken with our equipment. Boy that really has to have a positive influence on any good will they have towards us.

And I’m not even going to mention the new Nikon iPhone application. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, keep it that way.

I’m telling you if I wasn’t a mentally strong person, I’d have snapped a long time ago. All I’m trying to do right now is to somehow make it to my retirement without going insane.

Fuck! Looks like the fire alarm just went off. Gotta go.

47 thoughts on “7D Reviews: Shit are happen!

  1. Darwin’s Review was pretty devastating, and there have been threads in the DPReview forums about similar focusing issues/image softness. However, both the images in the DPReview review of the 7D and the images at imaging-resource.com look plenty sharp.

    That puts in the in not-a-flaw-but-a-QC-issue camp on this one. I think there are plenty of people out there getting the full resolution out of the 7D, and there are those having amazingly poor sharpness.

    • Darwin tested 3 7D bodies. Quality control has to be pretty fucked if all 3 of them were bad. Then again, this is certainly a possibility.

  2. Pingback: 7D Reviews: Shit are happen! « Fake Chuck Westfall | The Click

  3. The sad thing is, Fake Chuck, I’m sure most of the people at CUSA are ignoring everything you say. Why would CUSA or Canon Japan give money to people to showcase their products? Shouldn’t THEY be paying Canon for the honor of using the equipment ahead of time?

    I’m also quite positive that Maeda is polishing his seppuku knife for when the number of fuckup notices exceeds the length of his dick (in millimeters) which can’t be far off based on my reckoning (of notices) and my assumption (of his junk size.)

    The sad shit is, this goofy Apple commercial could just have Maeda in place of John Hodgman and replace Windows with the Canon body du jour and be just as fucking accurate:


    • Dpreview is just paid advertising for selling Amazon goods. Ask them who pays them. Ask them where they get their review cameras from. Ask them about their NDAs. Ask them about their financial interest in the paid advertising. This would all be illegal in the USA without full disclosure under the recent new rules. I’m amazed anyone still takes Dpreview seriously.

      • Yes I could do that, on the other hand someone could repeat their tests and see how it comes out? I’m supposed to believe some random tests from some random website instead? Why would Amazon care enough to say that Canon 7D came out better than Nikon D300s? They make the same amount of money either way.

        If dpreview and Amazon are so in love with Canon why did they show the 50D as worse than the 40D (which actually caused me to buy the 40D)?


  4. Will the forthcoming problems with the Mark 4 send our hero around the bend, never to return?

    Here’s hoping not. This blog is an internet treasure and always worth reading.

    • You could run the Unsharp Mask filter in Photoshop over your image at least 20-30 times. I suggest making an action for this to make it easier to process 7D images in your workflow. Chances are your images will look seriously fucked, but I do believe that a sharp fucked image is better than a mushy looking fucked image.

  5. whether Darwin Wiggett’s review is accurate or not, i’m greatly disappointed by some canon defenders who use “diffraction” as an excuse, “the reviewer shouldn’t have used f5.6 or smaller” ??

    bang head against wall.

    • relax dave, get yourself some good ganja.
      the fanboys are going to find anything to bend reality in Canon’s favor. that’s why we’re here.

  6. I’m still convinced it’s a QC issue. And I’ve decided to sell my old 5D and buy a 7D as a backup body (to my 5D II).

    Could be a stupid decision, but if I gets one that shoots soft, I’ll return it until I get a sharp one.

    Maybe I’m living in the past, but I still think Canon produces excellent cameras (or is at least capable of it).

    • keep us updated Tony. I would strongly advise against selling your 5D though. just have a look at what a new one costs right now.
      first get a 7D, and then if you know it’s good maybe sell the 5D.

      • Chuck, I need to sell the 5D to be able to afford the 7D. I’m 99% happy with the 5D II, so if the 7D isn’t great, it’ll sit in my bag as a backup body.

  7. I have been a Canon 50D owner for the past year. I am a LOYAL Canon user and I’m here to say that as far as the ‘noise’ factor is concerned, IT IS A REAL PROBLEM!

    The camera’s ‘noise reduction’ function is NO where near what is suggested to the potential buyer and it’s all I can do in Photoshop to try to correct the problem. Canon raves about how good it is and I’m here to say BULLSHIT! I have owned and used the Canon 50D for a year now and I have not recommended it to anyone and don’t expect to do so. Anyone care to buy my 50D and 4 quality ‘L-series’ lenses from me so that I can convert to Nikon?

      • 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm 2.8 and a 400mm. All less than a year old. If I don’t decide to pay the big bucks for a better Canon, then I’m seriously considering going to Nikon. I will say though that I do like these L-series lenses. We’ll see..

  8. I have the 7D for a month now and I like the soft images it produces. Saves me from having to buy a large sized soft focus filter. Plus I still have my AE-1P for backup.


    OMG! Can’t believe Canon pulled the plug on their sponsorship of THE DIGITAL JOURNALIST!


    Where are we going to read some ‘formal’ replies from you after that? Is it because you’ve been so outspoken here on FCW blog that Canon Japan have decided to throw you in the freezer now?

    Well, at least please continue this blog so we can keep getting some ‘insider info’ on the dark side of Canon. Thanks for your hard work, FC!

  10. It seems that 7D is soft by design, a review confirms this:

    “The 7D images are softer than the other DSLRs at the same sharpness setting – repeated testing confirms this. There is no focus error here and the examples use an aperture wider than the DLA. A set of examples processed at a DPP sharpness setting of “2” shows similar sharpness to the T1i and 50D. Also noticeable is that sharpening sharpens the noise which makes it more apparent. Thus, equal sharpness results in the 7D losing some of its lead in the high ISO noise comparison. “

  11. Pingback: The End of Tech Tips: A sign of the times? « Fake Chuck Westfall

  12. Fake Chuck – I couldn’t make this stuff up. Apparently, Canon USA no longer acknowledges official Service Notices….copy/paste from today’s email exchange follows:

    Errr…..Liz, while I do really appreciate getting a response, I should point out to you that you are mistaken: Canon USA has indeed issued at least one service notice for this model based upon a defect….errr, “phenomenon”!! It was from the Service Notice that I got your email!! Text follows.

    Service Notice: EOS 7D: Residual Image in Picture

    Thank you for using Canon products.

    We have confirmed that in certain camera settings and shooting conditions, the phenomenon described below may occur in images captured by the EOS 7D Digital SLR camera.

    Canon is currently investigating and analyzing the cause of this phenomenon, and we are planning to release a firmware update to address this issue.

    Once the support measures have been established, we will post the relevant information on our Web site.

    We offer our most sincere apologies to customers using this product who have been inconvenienced by this issue. Going forward, we will spare no effort in our quality management to make sure our customers can use our products with confidence. We hope our efforts will earn your understanding.

    In images captured by continuous shooting, and under certain conditions, barely noticeable traces of the immediately preceding frame may be visible. This phenomenon is not noticeable in an image with optimal exposure. The phenomenon may become more noticeable if a retouching process such as level compensation is applied to emphasize the image.

    Affected Product
    EOS 7D Digital SLR

    This contact information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

    Thank you,
    Customer Support Operations
    Canon U.S.A., Inc.

    Contact Information for Inquiries Canon Customer Support Center Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 midnight. ET, Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., excluding holidays Phone: 1-800-OK-CANON (toll free) 1-800-652-2666 TTD: 1-866-251-3752 (toll free) Email: carecenter@cits.canon.com For additional support options: http://www.usa.canon.com/support

    On Nov 17, 2009, at 3:15 PM, Canon Support – 2 wrote:

    Dear Canon Customer:

    Thank you for writing to us. We value you as a Canon customer and
    appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

    Canon USA does not monitor, confirm, endorse, or attest to the accuracy
    any information posted on third party web sites. It seems many
    customers are overwhelmed by the barrage of information (or
    misinformation) being posted on unregulated, non-Canon web sites.
    Unfortunately, this is not something over which Canon has any control.
    We are able only to confirm the performance of our products based on our
    own testing.

    Canon USA has made no announcements regarding any “known issues” or
    “defects” with the EOS 7D. This camera has not been recalled, and no
    service notifications were issued for this model.

    As with any manufactured product, from time to time there are
    circumstances that require technical support or perhaps even repairs.
    We can do some standard troubleshooting procedures to determine if we
    can correct this for you.

    There is a one year limited warranty on the product. If there is an
    issue with the camera, the camera may be sent into the Factory Service

    We hope this information is helpful to you. Please let us know if we
    can be of any further assistance with your Canon ProductS.

    Thank you for choosing Canon.


    Technical Support Representative

    Special Note: Certain issues are very difficult to resolve via email.
    If you would prefer to speak to a technician for additional assistance,
    you may call our special toll-free number for email customers with
    unresolved issues by dialing 1-866-261-9362, Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m.
    – 10:00 p.m. ET (excluding holidays).

    If you prefer to continue to communicate via email, reply to this
    message and we will respond as quickly as possible.

    Original Message Follows:

    Wow….I was prepared to upgrade to the 7D today, but after reading
    several reviews showing poor images compared with even the 40D, and
    Canon’s ghosting and other issues….it may be time to join the legions
    of people moving to Nikon.
    I don’t relish such a move – I’ve got lots of your red-striped glass
    that will be expensive to switch. But I did it a decade ago when I
    walked away from Minolta G lenses and joined Canon, and now if Canon
    can’t produce a camera body that focuses on a high quality image, then I
    probably will.
    What happened to you guys?

    • Denis, thank you for posting this.

      Here’s the important part of the email:

      “Canon USA does not monitor […] any information posted on third party web sites. It seems many
      customers are overwhelmed by the barrage of information (or
      misinformation) being posted on unregulated, non-Canon web sites.”

      Now, wouldn’t you think that Canon USA would monitor info on third party website ESPECIALLY when they see that customers are overwhelmed by the information on these sites?

      No wonder we’ve been out of touch with the market. We don’t LISTEN TO WHAT CUSTOMERS WANT. Thanks to our arrogance.

      • Well, FCW, it turns out that Nikon takes a different approach (surprise!) than Canon. The following was just posted at Nikonrumors.com. Wow. Monitoring third party websites and providing official responses to help customers. What a concept.

        Official response from Nikon Canada
        By [NR] admin | December 7, 2009

        I just received an official statement from Nikon Canada regarding my previous post “Bad news if you are in Canada and want the Nikon D3s”:

        “Dealers are currently fulfilling orders of the D3s against deposits. We do not anticipate any shortages of the D3s with the possible exception of higher than anticipated sales through the December period. If this should happen, there may be a one-week shortage.
        There is no requirement by Nikon Canada for a form to be signed stating the camera will not be re-sold. People are possibly confusing the original D3, which was in extremely short supply.”

        I just would like to remind NR readers that this blog is based on rumors and predictions and that nothing is official unless it is confirmed by Nikon Corporation. I would like also to thank Nikon Canada for their response and clarification on this topic.

  13. Hi Chuck, my other message didn’t show up so I’ll try this again. Here’s a website I just came across and I though you and your readers might get a kick out of it:


  14. This post is so fulla shit! I’ve seen photos on both G11 and XSI… no way do they give images quite like how this claims it to be. I for one say this post is shitloada BULL. Clearly a Nikon-lover spitting at Canon-fans. Loser!!

  15. OK, Chuck, my apologies, but I am flip flopping (again). I am back to loving the 7D. Check out this review that is positive towards the 7D, and makes fun of Wigget:


    Wigget doesn’t know dick!!!

    So my finger, is now pointed towards Wigget:





    ……..(’(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)


    ……….”…\………. _.·´



  16. We see, that into screen of the MSN chat two diffrent persons – C@non M@ster and Masaya write with bad grammar.

    Maybe C@non M@ster chat himself from second PC


  17. Chuck,

    if you look at this thing, I can´t get rid of the impression that the D3s has a banding problem in the bokeh parts of the pic

    12800 looks great though…

  18. Pingback: On the fence about the 7D | Andrew Kelley Photography

  19. Well, there is not much tto say about the 7D. I was hoping it would be a replacemeent for my XSi; however, after reviews of the weak image sharpness (which doesn’t look like a firmware fix) and the need for an imediate firmware update to fix the “ghost phenomenon”, things do not seem promissing and I will stay content with my XSi. And it is sad that Canon can easily dismiss a production flaw for being a phenomenon. The 1D series would be nice but the point of the 7D and xxD series are for low budget people who want to upgrade without the price of more serious models. And the 50D was full of red noise, so in both cases the best upgrade from the xxxD series would be a 40D. Thanks a lot Canon. Nikon is begining to a temptation to buy since I do not yet have a warehouse of Canon lenses.

  20. Geeze… Is anybody taking photos and enjoying photography anymore or is all just a pathetic virtual pissing competition? I still occasionally shoot on 35mm film, (wanna do a resolution check?) I have a Hasse, I have a 5D a Nikon D3 and had a 40 D which I recently sold for a 7D. The 7D is AMAZING. Sure its not as good as the 5D or the Nikon D3 but it is better than the 40d. It looks to my eye like it was an improvement but thats just me… Im’ sure you can all find people to say the opposite..

    Debate away. I’m out taking photos.

    My first and last 2c worth.

  21. Pingback: I’m being followed by Nikon USA « Fake Chuck Westfall

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  23. Thank you, Canon. You are beautiful. If you keep putting out more cameras like the 7D, we will have majority market share in no time flat. Now to get rid of Sony.

  24. New review of 7D: http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/review/digital_cameras/canon/eos_7d_digital_slr_camera/324063?pp=1#cb

    “…The overall quality of our test images … started to get fuzzy the more we zoomed in. … you’ll probably notice feathering around the edges of your picture, as well as chromatic aberration…The only trouble we had with the camera was with its focusing, which was a little inaccurate at times.”

    When will that Sony A950 be out??

  25. Pingback: Press Release: Canon USA Inc. to Switch to Nikon « Fake Chuck Westfall

  26. I wish I’d read through this before I bought my 7D. I only saw the positive, glowing reviews. Must have worn the same glasses as Mr. Miyagi… I can’t believe how damn noisy the RAW files from my 7D really are. At least I can work on the photos in LR, but what am I going to do with the movie files? Buy extra software to de-noise them? Ugh…

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