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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old September 12th, 2009, 03:56 PM   #1
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DVinfo 5D Mark II vs 7D for HD Skinny

We've posted a first pass at a 5D vs 7D for HD shooters article:

5D Mark II vs 7D for HD DV Info Net

It's going to be an evolving document as we get more information and actually get to compare the 5D and 7D side by side.

Comments, suggestions and friendly criticism? Post it here!
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Old September 12th, 2009, 05:27 PM   #2
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Nice little write-up, Jeff! Sounds like the 7D will be a worthy piece of hardware at a great price point.

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Old September 12th, 2009, 06:55 PM   #3
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Hi Jeff,

One small error is that you list the 5D2 audio as 12-bits. It's 16-bits.

To make sure I'm not blowing smoke, I double checked the audio in a 5D2 MOV file in Sound Forge 9. It's definitely a 16-bit structure. I also double checked the datasheet for the AK4646 audio chip used in the camera. It has a 16-bit A/D. My noise analysis indicates a 16-bit system. Canon's official specs and manual say nothing about the bit depth.

I'm not sure where the 12-bit rumor popped up first. I hadn't seen it before the 7D announcement. I think that somebody heard that the audio in the 7D was better, recalled that the sample rate is indeed faster, and then took liberty with the bit depth.

Anyway, nice summary of the differences between the cams. The big wins for the 7D are the frame rate and cost. The wins for the 5D are sensor size and Magic Lantern (audio, zebras, e-rack focus). The day that Magic Lantern is ported to the 7D, and 24/25p is available on the 5D2 (I'm still optimistic), it will be a pure sensor size/cost trade off.

The biggest bummer about the 7D isn't the lack of wide lenses, it's the lack of fast wide lenses. The 24/1.4L and 28/1.8 are pretty much the limit. There is wider EF-S f/2.8 glass, but you always have to wonder how usable those super wides are when all the way open.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 06:59 PM   #4
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Good catch, Jon, I'll update the article vis-a-vis 12/16 bit. I think that may just have come up because of the 44.1k/48k difference.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #5
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The article said you can only record a single audio track...does that mean only one channel or two channels on one track? In other words, can you record one channel at one level, the other at a lower or higher level, assuming you have a Beachtek?
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Old September 12th, 2009, 08:48 PM   #6
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I believe that with a mixer you could record two mono signals, one to the left channel and one to the right channel, but the camera would do AGC on both. I mainly put that in to contrast with the old DV camera ability of recording a single 12 bit stereo track and then recording another 12 bit stereo track to the same video. I should probably clarify. Updates momentarily.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 09:50 PM   #7
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"Due to EU tax regulations the cameras are limited to 30 minutes of shooting in their SD modes, which equates to a 2 gig quicktime h264 file. At HD bitrates this results in a 12 minute shot."

You might make it clear that at HD bitrates it also becomes a 4 GB QuickTime H.264 file.
I just double checked against Page 157 of the Owner's Manual.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 09:54 PM   #8
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Ah ha, that would indeed be 4 gig. Updated!
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Old September 13th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #9
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Looks to me that until when/if Magic Lantern is ready, it might be better to just do double system sound. Although, I've noticed that Beachtek has a box for the 5DMKII (presumably OK for the 7D as well, I'd think) that does what ML does in this regard, to defeat the auto gain. Still, auto gain makes me nervous.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Looks to me that until when/if Magic Lantern is ready, it might be better to just do double system sound. Although, I've noticed that Beachtek has a box for the 5DMKII (presumably OK for the 7D as well, I'd think) that does what ML does in this regard, to defeat the auto gain. Still, auto gain makes me nervous.
Magic Lantern in the 5D today does more than the Beachtek. Magic Lantern gives you control of gain levels in order to set sound properly for your particular input device. The Beachtek, as I understand it, lowers the level by introduction of an inaudible signal that "fakes" the camera out. You don't need a $ 350.00 adapter for that. I have done the same with an MP3 player and my old Beachtek. In fact with an MP3 player you can get a bit more control by adjusting volume of the inaudicale signal in. The Beachtek still has significant noise associated with the level it puts the camera at.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #11
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Great article.

So any idea on the timing of Magic Lantern for 7D?
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Old October 20th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #12
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The firmware has only been out for a few days, and I'd imagine there are fairly significant architectural changes between the software for the 5D and the 7D. I wouldn't plan on it being released super-soon.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 03:57 PM   #13
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I just read your review and wouldn't raise a fuss over anything you said.

I own a 5D MK ii and & 7D (for 23 days), as well as the GH1. I packed the 7D this AM to return it to the dealers and then this afternoon, took it out and started a new test shooting with the GH1 and 7D.

My sole reason for taking back the camera was even though I'd tested for the heating problem being reported on the 7D, I had recorded for over 1 hr and 20 minutes without seeing the heat indicator. It was done a few weeks ago so don't remember the specifics, but my best recollection is I was on 30 fps and mostly stock settings.

Last weekend during a shoot with all 3 camera, on the 7D shooting with custom picture settings at 30 FPS, I got the heat indicator at 44 minutes or so and then again during the 2nd hour.

It's just another gotcha when shooting. I'm conflicted as to keep it or not.

Since you did a direct comparison, I'd say in the overheating department, the 5D MK ii is the winner.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 04:04 PM   #14
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Jim, that's a good point, I'll add a section about the overheating issues.
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Old November 5th, 2009, 08:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Koehler View Post
"Due to EU tax regulations the cameras are limited to 30 minutes of shooting in their SD modes, which equates to a 2 gig quicktime h264 file. At HD bitrates this results in a 12 minute shot."

You might make it clear that at HD bitrates it also becomes a 4 GB QuickTime H.264 file.
I just double checked against Page 157 of the Owner's Manual.
i would have thought the limit is simply due to the max file size limit in the fat32 file system.
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