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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 November 10th, 2009, 11:14 PM   #1
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Guerilla Shooting and the 7D

I just got my 7D today and was already getting some great shots around Las Veags testing at night. But besides the nice shots, one thing I noticed RIGHT AWAY was that the 7D draws nearly NO ATTENTION to itself as a larger (EX1 or XHA1) camcorder does.

Has anyone else noticed this? People register it as much less of a "threat" and almost completely ignore it as if it's not really "on" unless it's flashing... totally thinking it's just a still camera with no video.

So, this got me thinking tonight. Normally I've got to go through all the hoops of getting permits, etc., but since this camera is so much more "incognito" (or at least this is my theory), one could "get away" with so much more and look more touristy rather than professional.

This is all based on a 60 minute test in Las Vegas, so take it with a grain of salt. But I've shot the Strip hundreds of times and usually get looks or in trouble or asked for my permit, but tonight I got ZERO!

Am I alone in this observation?
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Old November 10th, 2009, 11:43 PM   #2
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You aren't alone. I have gotten a ton of footage without anyone really knowing what I was doing... including lunch at a sports bar last week. Most of the time, people think you are reviewing photos you've already shot! Ha.

This will be a different story when I get the Redrock Cinema Field bundle.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 12:07 AM   #3
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Thats funny, I was in Vegas this week shooting with my 7D too. I got a few looks but I was using a matte box, Hoodman finder and decent size tripod. Everyone thought I was shooting still pics with it though.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 03:21 AM   #4
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Using my new 7D goes (mostly) completely unnoticed whilst in similar (public) locations my EX3 gets me unwanted looks, waves, comments shouted (not all of them nice!), sometimes I'm asked to move on by security guards, police or I just get nosey people asking what news channel I'm filming for or generally distracting me with their tales about home videos whilst I'm trying to work....yawn!

There is no comparison for the type of shooting you're talking about, my go to camera will now always be the 7D.

But in my more normal controlled environments (corporate stuff) the EX3 gets the "nod" of approval. I've yet to use the 7D on a paying job - first one I'm using it on starts in an hour so we'll see!!!!
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Old November 12th, 2009, 01:09 AM   #5
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This is why SNL used the 7D for there new title sequence. They took video of the cast in various places in NY without drawing to much attention.

I'm a fan of Video cams for video, but for me I see uses for a 7D in documetary work etc as a specialty camera.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #6
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Took some shots of the Queen arriving and leaving Ely Cathedral this morning. Decided to use the EX3 rather than the 7D in the end. Got quizzed by local police/asked for ID etc. (very politely and no real issue).

Not sure I could have pulled off such smooth focus pulls etc. with the 7D (well not unless I practice some more). The light was challenging too (low sun etc.) so I went with the tool I know best and got some pretty decent shots in the end.

I got in position for both shots well ahead of the crowds (for those that know; Shot 1 at The Porta, driving up the Gallery from the railway station - the wrong way I might add! - and Shot 2, near Oliver Cromwell's house with her leaving via St Mary's Street/Cambridge Road, en route to Kings College, Cambridge). Then as the crowds gathered/the time drew near one interesting thing I noticed was that people "gave me a bit of space" when they saw the big camera, mic with deadcat etc. come out (this is England and we are mostly polite, especially in the presence of Her Majesty!). Got the usual which TV station questions etc....Anyway, I suspect pretty strongly that I would NOT have got so much personal space to work in with the 7D. Maybe it's some kind of "professional respect", I really don't know.

Horses for courses!
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Old November 20th, 2009, 08:12 PM   #7
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This is exactly why I'm not rigging my 7D out. This is one of the main reasons I got the 7D.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 11:13 PM   #8
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Yea this is the first thing I noticed when I started shooting with the d90 and is the main reason I went stright for the 7d when It came along.
I work mainly weddings and the difference in peoples behaviour in the actual footage itself stands out a mile. I could only ever get people fully relaxed if I was zoomed in halfway accross the room with my XHa1. Then of course there's lowlight & gain issues. Now I can literally be beside them, getting beautiful intimate shots of people as they talk and laugh as naturally as if I wasn't there at all. It really makes a big difference my work and the general mood I try to convey about the day itself.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 07:06 PM   #9
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It negates the flashlight in a dark room phenomena. You can't put a price on that.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 09:40 PM   #10
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I was in Tel Aviv last month, and that's the one place where I drew attention. I was shooting the 5D2 naked. (The camera was naked, not me!) No rails, matte box, follow focus, loupe or rig.

In the tourist areas on the beach (Tel Aviv is like Miami on the Mediterranean) there was no problem. However, take a walk south of the old port at Jaffa and it's another story. At one point there were some kids, maybe 9 years old, on a hill nearly 100 yards from me. I pointed the camera at them and they screamed their lungs out. As I continued down the coast, they screamed for another five or ten minutes.

Later, there were two men riding horses. I went to photograph one and he rode towards me angry as hell. I motioned that I had deleted the photo, and he backed off. At that point, I had had enough, and I walked back toward my hotel feeling VERY intimidated.

A still camera might be less conspicuous than a large video camera, but in some parts of the world, it's still seen as a threat.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 04:29 PM   #11
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Wow! London is a little more subdued (well in most parts). We went today to celebrate my elder daughters 11th birthday with some relatives and I took the 7D for this one.

Got some beautiful shots of some of the extended family in a very natural, relaxed domestic atmosphere - even after my nephew eventually sussed that I was shooting video, not stills! No Videomic or anything, just the raw 7D, Canon 17-55 F2.8 IS USM EF-S. I can hold it pretty steady now and got some lovely stuff with gorgeous colours, all natural lit/very flattering close portraiture type stuff with shallow DOF (I chose F2.8 for near enough everything I did). I'm really pleased with this capability and I can see why the wedding guys and gals have jumped on the 5D/7D's strengths with glee, especially with this added "under the wire" ability. I just can't see how I could have got anything like this with my EX3.

One thing I learnt today is that nailing focus (manual of course) on constantly moving targets (especially children!) is REALLY HARD in the fluid close encounter type shots that I was doing. 50% of the time I was a bit out, even when I thought I had good focus (I was just using the Live View LCD as is - no real time for magnification views to check etc.). Just been editing it on big monitors so now I can see. I'll become better with practice with this cam for sure but I can only think this would be even harder on a 5D with it's even more shallow DOF (all other things being equal).
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 10:15 AM   #12
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Thats interesting about Israel Jon. Imagine if they knew it was video. You'd have been in right trouble then!.
Andy, the focus is difficult to nail alright. Ironically I think what makes it harder is that the DOF isnt very shallow with that lens. Therefore its harder to zone in on the correct focus point and even to see when its tack sharp. I think after enough shooting we'll get used to the lens we use. Im going to study the numbers on the lens and see how much of a twist is needed to go from say 1 metre to 2 metres focus etc. Thats how i used to get good at it years ago before reliable AF.
Another thing I love about using the 7d geurilla style is when people think they have you sussed, they turn to the camera and pose. They usually put their arms around each other or whatever. This actually becomes the perfect photo op. a quick click and the we're back to shooting video automatically within a second. As long as im not stepping on the photogrpahers toes i do this (usually in the evening). It makes a nice cut to go to a slightly zooming and rotating photo at the right time on the timeline. The thought has crossed my mind to make those photos available for purchase!
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 12:50 PM   #13
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Got back from shooting in Israel two weeks ago and had no problems what so ever.
I guess we should not generalize, in each place there are some people who do not like their pictures/videos to be taken.

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Old November 23rd, 2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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I had no problem with the camera in the beach area or in the market. At the Jaffa port, I asked some men working on their nets if I could film them, and they agreed. I also asked some old men playing dominoes in Tel Aviv if I could film them, and they agreed.

In Jaffa, a guy and girl rode by on the scooter, and the girl saw me with the camera and turned around to smile and wave for a photo.

The thing that haunts me is that the kids and the guys on horses were really aggressive about not wanting to be photographed. I felt pretty threatened. In both cases, there weren't any other people around. I think there's more safety when other people are around.

One funny thing: some kids asked me if I would photograph them. I did and showed them the photos on the LCD screen. Then then offered to photograph me, if I would just hand them my camera. Yeah, right!!! :)
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 05:26 AM   #15
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Very excited as I got my 7D and I took it around San Francisco to practice in the real world environment. I had the kit lens (28-135mm) and brought the intentionally cheap walmart special tripod with me (left the Manfrotto at home).

Not only did I want to practice settings and what not but to also see what and where I could film. I started very easy and went to the tourist spots and as the day progressed worked myself closer and closer into the heart of the city, heart of downtown, filming on busy streets, corners, parks...etc.

The crappy tripod worked great with IS and I got amazing shots everwhere. And the best part is the only attention it received was some glancing eyes as people hurried past (and that was mostly due to the tripod). I even got great shots in the buses and subways! Everyone that stopped to talk with me was surprised when I said i'm recording video. I should keep this a secret and explain i'm recording a time lapse :D

Not only does the small set up help but I also saw at least 1/2 dozen other Canons (mostly Rebels) as this becomes part of the landscape.

I'm so happy I didn't buy an EX1 and ended up with the 7D! This is the forefront.


ps- This I believe also has to do with the city ones in. I filmed short narrative with an HVX 200, wireless lavs, in downtown LA and just filming on the streets got kicked out of every location - but got my shots first !
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