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Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing, 13 May 2014
By 
This review is from: Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (Camera)
I still use Nikon cameras because of the sheer amount of glass I have for that system, but last year decided to give Canon a go. The D7 is and older model, but I feel more confident with older designs. They are well proven and normally have all their gremlins eliminated by now. Newer models often tend to suffer from the kind of problems that afflict most "Mark 1" releases of any kind, be it a car or a piece of software (The Nikon D600 saga is a recent example).

I wasn't sure about purchasing this camera because it seemed a lot of money for little spec compared to its Nikon counterparts. I have however been pleasantly surprised by the camera's abilities. Rather than give a rambling review of its features I thought I would simply give a summary of how I feel it compares to Nikon D300.

Build quality is as good. Output quality might differ slightly but is still as good. More mega pixels than the D300 or D7000 but close enough to the D7100 to make no real difference.

Lacks dual card sockets, really miss that. Dual card sockets are not only useful but can be used to guard against card corruption and lost images. Takes flash cards, no real difference in performance these days, more expensive, but at least they don't have that annoying write protect tab that can be accidentally switched over.

Relies more on buttons and menu control that Nikon which tends to have more external switches. Some people will see this as a good thing others will see it as a bad thing. I like it, there is less to accidentally knock or switch accidentally. I have had problems with switches in the past, like the time I grabbed my camera out of it bag to quickly grab a few shots and then afterwards found the AF switch had been knocked to manual.

Good ergonomics. Canon cameras may look like jelly moulds from the front but when held in the hand have a reassuring glove like fit. How much this affects or benefits you may depend on the size of your hands. You really need to hold the cameras to know if it is right for you or not.

I find the rear control wheel far better than Nikon. The thumb wheel at the back of the camera can be used on auto to adjust exposure compensation. Struggling with the Nikon to press the top button and rotate the control wheel at the same time is in my opinion not a good design. May not seem that hard but try doing it at night or in busy situations.

AF seems far better. This may not be true when comparing it to something like a D4, but I find it can lock onto small detail with a tenacity that is not matched by my Nikons. There are of course many aspects to AF performance depending on what type of photography you are undertaking, so don't take that as a definitive judgement.

In summary, a good camera but it is going to largely down to preference. There will always be the occasional lemon in a batch and you might be unlucky whichever camera you buy. (I once bought a Hasselblad that turned out to be the biggest lemon going.) I like it more that I thought I would, but many people will prefer their Nikon/Pentax whatever. If you are reading this because you have not committed to investing in Canon-Nikon or whatever your brand choice is, I would suggest you look at the lenses you might be wanting to buy first. Each brand offers a different range of lenses and that could be a major influence on your choice. Nikon offer a good dx fish eye for around £500. Canon do a zoom fisheye, but that is over 1K, with no cheaper option. Nikon make an excellent 14-24 2.8 lens but it is expensive. Canon make an excellent 17-40mm L lens at a very reasonable price but is only F4. Its swings and roundabouts with each manufacturer, but just how many swings are available will vary with the type of work you intend to do.
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