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August 08, 2012

Canon 7D uber-firmware arrives, gets mildly tested [updated w/speculation]

The new Canon 7D uber-firmware update has arrived, it is ready for download by 7D photographers. The list of updates offered by the new firmware is summarized at CPN Europe. Canon has setup a very fancy micro-site comparing the pre/post 7D features.

Engadget swiftly uploaded the new firmware and posted some first impressions, testing the buffer size increase and audio.

You can find discussions, problems, impressions, etc on the new firmware update at the various Canon-centric forums such as dpreview APS-C non-Rebel and FM Canon forums and CanonForums Rumors along with a mega-thread at the Photography On the Net forums.

The most affordable way to get into a 7D at the moment is perhaps refurbished-by-manufacturer for $1200 at B&H Photo.

Some people think that since the 7D got a new lease on life with this uber-firmware update, Canon is not planning a new flagship APS-C dSLR in the near future. Some are speculating that Canon may "replace" that price-range with the rumored "affordable" full frame to be revealed at/by Photokina.

While it is true that the flood of new digital cameras continues [see cameras of 2012 and new camera announcements stream], Canon has been rather relatively modest in their DSLR replacement cycles. Even their D-Rebel leader took longer this time, from 1-year to closer to 1.5 years.

This is not to say that Canon has been quiet. They have been releasing new interchangeable lens cameras left and right, but they have been expanding in different directions instead of following a maddening cycle of sequential updates (hello Sony and Micro Four Thirds). They launched a new mirrorless system, a DSLR-specifically-for-video (1D C), a Cinema line, a astrophotography model (60Da), etc.

As a refresher, these are the most recent Canon DSLR/iLC announcements, followed by the most recent DSLR/iLC announcements in general:

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