Thursday, December 31, 2009

Camera 7D exclusive: Bean bag for Canon 7D? Edge of the Couch Test

Sometimes you simply can't bring a tripod with you! We bought this Pocket Pod Camera Bean Bag from an third party seller named The Photo Buddy. They were selling it for $26.95 USD. Cheaper than the more popular Steadybag.

Was it a good deal? Here's our product review using Camera 7D's world renown "edge of the couch test".

1. Portable.
2. Very stable for smaller cameras like Canon PowerShots or other point and shoots.
3. Cheap compared to the steadybag.

1. Not enough material inside the bean bag to safely stabilize the heavy DSLRs consistently. If you are using heavy zoom lenses, I do NOT advise you use this bag. Smaller lenses like the primes, and some macros can work fine.

We tested this with professional gear, and point n shoots in practical situations. Point and shoot cameras worked extremely well on weird edges and the "edge of couch" test. A Canon 7D DSLR camera + Rode Stereo VidMic + Battery Pack Grip + Canon 35mm f/1.4L took a bit of time to stabilize on the edge of a couch but we were able to pull it off after a couple minutes reshaping the bean bag. But I definitely did not feel it was stable enough to hold the weight. If you got a small camera, buy it. A big camera, you need a much bigger bean bag like the Steadybag.

The pictures below gives you an idea of how thick this bean bag is compared to a pad of post it notes.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cinema style picture style for 7D

Want to shoot raw cinema looking style video? Change up your picture style! Here's one available by Marvels Film:

Check it out!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Filming underwater with the Canon 7D: Underwater Housing

I've seen a couple of video samples online about underwater housing for the Canon 7D. One of the most impressive footage yet can be seen below. He is shooting 60fps using the SPL waterhousing. But the fact that it isn't easily available on stores like BH or Amazon is disappointing...SPL needs to start putting this out on the general market.

Luckily, there are a few other alternatives. Aside from a giant ziplock bag (not recommended), you could test out these alternatives below:

  1. Opteka Underwater Case/Housing for Canon EOS 7D ~ $90
  2. Ikelite 6871.07 eTTL Housing f/ Canon EOS 7D ~ $1,425
I have not personally tried out either option and will wait for Ikelite to give a free copy. But footage like the one shown below certainly is tempting me to buy one...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Canon 7D / Canon 5D + Pinnacle Studio v14 Review

While the vocal minority is using Final Cut Pro (FCP) for their video editing, hammering away at Canon 5D MkII and Canon 7D video footage, there's still the silent majority that uses PC. But what do we do when everyone's lingo is FCP this and QT that? Enter Pinnacle Studio 14 for your Canon 7D or Canon 5D MkII workflow.

1. It can edit Canon 7D and Canon 5D files natively. No need to convert using mpeg streamclip or Cineform Neoscene. I don't have to add another step to my workflow. (Don't get me wrong, you should use mpeg streamclip or Cineform Neoscene if you are making features. For my short films, I don't need to convert. This principle applies to either PC or Mac.)
2. Ease of use. I found it very easy to use and I didn't read the manual yet.
3. The green screen was unexpected but apparently it is included. I thought it was only a software feature and not the physical screen. It is included in the Ultimate Collection version.
4. Supports 24p. I have been shooting 7D on 24p only and Pinnacle Studio's ability to do so without creating additional project settings is good.
5. Feature rich. Good set of features like stabilization (for camera shake) and royalty-free music background generator.

1. Rendering errors and issues at 1080p. I searched a bit and apparently other folks are crashing as well on prior versions. I seem to have no issues at 720p rendering though. I have not spent the time yet to isolate the problem, it may be some of the codecs I've loaded. Will investigate at some point in the future...after I stop shooting...which might be never.

If you are looking for a cheap PC video editing software with 24p support for your Canon 7D or Canon 5D video footage, you need to try this and see for yourself.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fort Myers Resto - Canon 7D short film - 24p PC workflow

This was my first low light field test with the Canon 7D. Overall performance was really beautiful even in extremely low light settings. Entitled, "Fort Myers Resto", I wanted to convey the fun atmosphere at one of my favorite restaurants, the Elephant Bar at the Edison Mall.

What I used:

  1. Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-inch LCD (Body Only) [ISO range used 800-1250]
  2. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide Angle Lens for Canon SLR Cameras [Aperture used 1.4-1.6]
  3. Canon BG-E7 Battery Grip for Canon 7D [Used AA lithium batteries as my normal batteries were still charging.]
  4. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection V14 [Didn't do a software update yet. Out of the box.]

PC workflow summary with Pinnacle 14 StudioHD:

  1. Load the .MOV files into Pinnacle timeline. I didn't use mpeg stream or neo to render it into a different codec.
  2. Added RGB color balance effects.
  3. Added stabilizer effects.
  4. Added music using generator, 'Club Fiesta'
  5. Render from 1080p 23.98 fps to 720p 23.98 fps at 6000 kbits/sec.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Video - Canon 7D 24p

This is a raw upload with some text. I tried to capture the mood of my kids early Christmas morning. My little 8 month old baby Don wanted to ride the horse and my 3 year old Kaycee wanted to already play with her jeep.

Equipment list below:
  1. Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-inch LCD (Body Only)
  2. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide Angle Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
  3. Manfrotto 486RC2 Compact Ball Head with Rapid Connect
  4. Manfrotto 682B Self Standing Monopod (Black)
  5. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection V14
Workflow summary:
  1. PC workflow.
  2. Load the .MOV files into Pinnacle.
  3. Add some text.
  4. Render as 23.98 fps, 5000 kbits/sec, 720p.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

ON SALE TODAY! - Canon Rebel XS w/ 18-55mm lens SHIPPED!

Amazon is selling the Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens (Black) for $409. That is insane pricing! Retails in the $500-$600 range and even more so in other countries. Get it while its hot because at this price, it is going to be gone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Canon Rebates, Loyalty Program

You heard right!  There's rebates available for lenses, and prior Canon owners.  You can see the information available on:

Plus a Camera 7D exclusive!  We have the coupon code for a 15% discount on

Watch the video here...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lucas Film takes a look at Canon 7D and Canon 5D MkII

The people behind Star Wars wanted to test out the Canon 5D MkII and Canon 7D video.

Phil Bloom does a 5 day show and tell at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch and does some awesome field testing.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Canon 7D Sample Video - Westerly, Rhode Island

gnarlybay does a very nicely done live shot of a band called Sunday Gravy.

Here's the equipment used...

Lens: Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide Angle Lens

Field Recorder: Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Very well done. One of my favorites due to the great audio.

INSANE Canon 7D Weather Seals! Field Test Reviews!

Check out Ole Jorgen Liodden's field test in Antarctica! Great pictures and details on how well the Canon 7D stands against the coldest parts of the world. Its weather sealing is incredible!

Equipment used w/ 7D in Antarctica:

Lens: Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Telephoto Lens

Canon 7D Sample Video - New York

So ambroseeee posted this nice video on YouTube. He is using iMovie, shooting at 24p converted to 30p.

Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Canon 7D Sample Video - Philippines

VERY NICELY DONE! Canon 7D 24p in the Philippines. 1080 24p and using Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 to do the post processing. Team's led by Bob Nicolas, Bong Sare,
Cj Lagman, Ian Cruz, Marvi de Guzman, and Jason Magbanua.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Canon 7D Sample Video - China, Beijing

guardiansnapper shows off 7D's low light capabilities. "Another night in Beijing" was shot by a Nikon lens with an EF mount adapter. ISO settings around 1600 to 6400. (Not bad noise for such high ISO!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NBC's Saturday Night Live shoots intro with Canon 7D

The new season of NBC's Saturday Night Live debuted not only with an a new cast, but with a new look for the opening title sequence as the entire opening montage was shot using the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the new EOS 7D digital SLR cameras.

The concept behind the opening sequence was portraiture as the director and crew looked to capture "living" portraits of the city, the cast and the unique characters that make up the New York City nightlife.

The Canon EOS 7D records video in one of three modes – Full HD and HD in a 16:9 aspect ratio and Standard Definition (SD) in a 4:3 aspect ratio, all at selectable frame rates: Full HD at 1920 x 1080 pixels in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); 720p HD recording at 50p or 60p (59.94) and SD video at frame rates of 50p or 60p (59.94). The EOS 5D Mark II features 16:9 Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels and 30 fps as well as 4:3 standard TV quality(SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps. The EOS 5D Mark II features 16:9 Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 pixels and 30 fps as well as 4:3 standard TV quality (SD) video capture at 640 x 480 pixels and 30 fps.

These are excerpts from the press release here...

Downfall film mash up - Canon 5D mkII users angry of 7D's 24p capability

Here's a mash up of the film Downfall. The point: Canon 5D MKII users [Hitler] are angry that their camera cannot shoot the film-like 24p standard (24 frames per second). AND Canon 5D mkII is $1000 more!

The full frame of Canon 5D is awesome -- but no worries, Canon Australia said they are trying to work on a 24p firmware update. Although it's going to be mid-2010.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Canon 7D Short Film - World War II

So today's selection is from chidzy182 who makes some awesome hand held footage on the reliable Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens.

Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

Settings: 1080p 24p

Canon 7D Sample Video - Dublin

Here's a nice 24p sample by Philip Bloom. He talks more about his techniques on this particular blog post.

Good technique tip: He does a slow motion of the juggler using 720p 50p with shutter speeds at 1/100th. NICE. The 24p shot at 1/50.

ISO: Canon 35mm f1.4

Lens: Canon 35mm f1.4L lens.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Canon 7D In-Depth Review

One of the most in-depth of review of Canon 7D can be found on the Digital Photography Review web site: What's telling is, that this is more than a mere mock up of a new Canon EOS 50D body. Take a look at these excerpts...

Which brings us to the 7D, a camera that seems determined to wrestle back the king of APS-C crown. At first glance it looks a lot like the EOS 50D - it's unmistakably a member of the EOS family - but a closer look shows that this is far from being the gentle refresh that we're used to seeing in this range. And indeed, this is intended as big brother to the 50D, rather than as a replacement for it.

For a start, the camera is built around a new 18MP sensor, but the thing you're likely to notice before you even fire a shot is the impressive new viewfinder. 1.0X magnification and 100% coverage offers a noticeable improvement over the 0.95X, 95% finder in the EOS 50D and puts the camera on the same footing as the D300S (Its 0.94X finder ends up essentially the same size, once the focal length multiplier effect of its fractionally larger sensor is taken into account).

However, the 7D isn't just a 50D with a new sensor, viewfinder and revised body - other headline changes include a new AF system with a dedicated processor, dual Digic 4 processors and a new shutter mechanism to allow 8fps continuous shooting, and the ability to control groups of external flashguns using its built-in flash. However, the updates extend beyond these big-feature changes to include a variety of tweaks, refinements and additions. Make no mistake, Canon wants to be the default choice again.