Update September 14, 2009: Canon Philippines- The EOS 7D’s body retails for P99,950. The 7D kit with an EF-S 18-135-mm lens stickers at P124,950, while the 7D with the 15-85-mm lens is priced at P144,950. – info from www.philstar.com

Image from Canon USA

Image from Canon USA

Canon, really delighting you always! 12 noon (Manila time) a press release in Lake Success, NY, announcing the new Canon flagship of APS-C (x1.6) sensor, the EOS 7D. The dual digic 4 wonder called the Image Monster in Japan, boasts of new technology that will put the camera on the forefront of many pro photo events. Though it’s only semi-weather sealed, it can take a drizzle of rain shower but won’t survive a monsoon spell or a drop unto the beach just as a beautiful wave come crashing in. “The camera’s nine internal seals enhance weather resistance, and its 150,000-cycle shutter durability positions the EOS 7D as a “workhorse” for professionals in any photography discipline.” -from Canon press release.

Image from Canon USA

Image from Canon USA

Introducing the completely new auto focus system that has 19 multi-points cross-type AF and an improved AI Servo AF. Combined with the skill set of an events photographer this will greatly improve the dynamism of images the 7D is able to produce. Think panning method. It is now easier to track and capture a moving subject without that “hope the subject comes out sharp…” in the back of your mind.

My wish has been granted, armed with the Dual Digic 4 processors there is no doubt an increase in the dynamic range and noise reduction in low light capture. This handy feature will make shooting in a dimly lit hotel ballroom environment easier and less nerve wracking. The Dual Digic 4 cross processes the image for better color, tones and highlights. Thereby reducing the post editing/processing and getting the images to the client more efficiently and beautifully.

Image from Canon USA

Image from Canon USA

The 7D can produce a frame rate of 8 per second on high speed continuous burst at 1.3 times faster than the EOS 50D. Now you can actually shoot the lighting of the candles on the cake before the first droplet of wax come dripping down. Believe me, this is fast. The 50D’s current burst mode already accomplishes this by getting a blow by blow, pardon the pun, on the happy birthday blowing of the candle song.

Not only does the 7D shoot like a zoom-zoom jet fighter it even saves on power doing it. The low power consumption is a plus to any photographer. An 8 hour event won’t even show a blinking low batt warning with the dual batteries in the grip of  the 50D. That is about 800-1000 images with extensive viewing to check images throughout the event. I would expect the battery of the 7D to last around 4 days of shooting during a vacation with the family. That is almost a no charging situation when an extra battery is available on a week’s jaunt.

Image from Canon

With the new EF-S 15-85mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens. Image from Canon

Just to keep things short, a great new addition is a “built-in Integrated Speedlite Transmitter for control of multiple off-camera EOS Speedlites without the need for an external transmitter.”. Now that’s a great reason to buy the 580 EX II or 430 EX II and goodbye to the expensive and often useless ST-E2.

The EOS 7D is quite an amazing advancement. As an events photographer this new APS-C flagship Canon DSLR will perform when it’s needed most. Assuming, of course, you’ve remembered to charge the batteries. But on the down side it has a whole new set of accessories. The magnesium alloy battery grip BG-E7 has been added with new buttons to control various functions and can hold 2 LP-E6 battery packs. The LP-E6 is the current battery for the 5D MK II which provides 1800 mAh of power. This pair will empty out the ATM of about $3-400 USD. Arf-arf… there goes the down payment for the family vacation…

Oh, by the way, the EOS 7D has CMOS sensor crammed with 18 million effective mega pixels. Like all photographers really need to print billboard size and it’s got the trendy new HD video. Like I’ll stop in the middle of an event and shoot a video only realizing later on that I’ve missed a good dramatic shot.

EOS 50D and EOS 7D comparison. Image from http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos7d/

EOS 50D and EOS 7D comparison. Image from http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos7d/

The 7D will be released by the end of September in the US at a price point of about $1,699 USD. Expect inflated pricing from Canon Philippines (actually a great way to protect authorized dealers) and possibly an end of October or mid November release. Save those coins, I am betting that this one will be on high demand with low supplies. Much like the sexy 5D MK II.

Here’s a leaked version of the press release from CR that was posted last night. Apparently it was originally in Japanese then translated to Mandarin Chinese and finally to English. And, finally, the official Canon press release. Plus the EOS 7D Special Site from Canon Japan. Have fun!

Here is an excellent and extensive Preview Report from dpreview.com. Check it out and judge for yourself.