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How Durable is Your Camera? A Canon 7D is Tested to the Extreme

05.14.12 @ 9:39PM Tags : , , ,

We’ve been testing cameras for performance in ideal conditions, and also in not-so-ideal conditions, but this is just ridiculous. Kai Wong and the guys over at DigitalRev were kindly donated a Canon 7D to see how much punishment that little camera could take. The 7D has a magnesium alloy body, so it’s much more capable of handling inclement weather — but what if it were frozen in a block of ice, or set on fire? Could it still take photos? Check out the video below to find out.

Kai Wong and DigitalRev destroy a Canon 7D:

Don’t try this at home with any camera you have, but if you’ve got a Canon 7D or any DSLR with a metal body, there’s a good chance it will survive a heck of a lot of impact and stress. There are a few simple things that can be replaced on these DSLRs without too much difficulty, one of them being the plastic cover over the LCD on the back of the camera. I’ve done this multiple times with cameras and there are plenty of good tutorials out there to show you how to do it. It’s remarkable that after the lengthy beating this camera was given, that it was still able to take a photo, and the autofocus and mirror were both still working.

Anyone have any camera horror stories like the one above?

[via The Verge & DigitalRev]


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  • Quite impressive. These gents must have great luck, or rather I have poor luck. My 7D was recently in a checked camera bag on a flight with other gear. When the bag arrived, the 7D would not turn on – not one scratch on the body…but I’m guessing somehow in transit it got knocked hard…and well it’s done for – but the rest of the gear was perfectly fine.

  • john jeffreys on 05.14.12 @ 11:20PM

    oh my god i cant watch this i barely made it past the first “truck test” scene without cringing and shivering like 20 times

    what a perfectly good camera this is so disgusting and wasteful

    • it’s just a camera homeboy

      • To some, though, its hours and hours and HOURS of working hard and saving up for something they really want. I mean, of course, its nothing compared to say ‘how durable is this baby?’ but i imagine itd still be pretty shattering for some people who see this.

      • john jeffreys on 05.15.12 @ 11:47AM

        No, no its not.
        A camera is way, way more than a simple machine, its the closest thing we have right now to materializing our thoughts and inner feelings (film, photography). I work with student filmmakers from rough socioeconomic backgrounds and most of them can barely afford a t2i and would jump at the chance to even shoot once with a *fairly* high end camera like a 7D, and then to see one just destroyed for the sake of page views and ad revenue on youtube really makes me rage.

        • “A camera is way, way more than a simple machine, its the closest thing we have right now to materializing our thoughts and inner feelings (film, photography). ”

          If you can’t do drawings or music, try poetry, it’s cheaper. :)

        • I shoot with a t2i and a 7d everyday and they have the same quality in the end, the 7D just has more buttons.
          We can romanticize gear and equipment all day long, but in 2 years it’ll be old news and in 10 it’ll be gone. The 7D has been out for around 2 years so by lighting this camera on fire it probably got more airtime than it ever would have without it.

          “the camera is closest thing we have to materializing our thoughts and inner feelings”
          What about the people have been creating art for thousands of years before this relatively recent invention?

          • john jeffreys on 05.15.12 @ 2:33PM

            actually the 7D outputs an HD signal to an external monitor during recording so your focus puller can work more comfortably. it also has a better built body, and an 8fps stills drive mode if you want to do add a choppy/stop motion-esque look to your shots.

            enough gear talk, youre right

            anyway, those artists of the past thousands of years don’t know what they are missing. digital media gives you near-freedom in image making.

          • I was generalizing when I said “more buttons”, I meant it has more features. The bottom line is that someone who has a little bit of patience can achieve the same quality with a t2i as one can get with a 7d.

            Freedom is great and all but limits are possibilities. I’m in awe of the past and excited for the future but let’s not get too carried away hahaha

        • Daniel Mimura on 05.19.12 @ 6:35AM

          These are material things. Destroying the tool means nothing. (Now if they were destroying the only copy of a beautiful film or photograph made with that camera, that would be a tragedy.)

          If someone did that to *my* 7D (as much as I sometimes fantasize about destroying it occasionally)…I’d be mad. But it’s not my 7D. Kill away. (Burning plasic is bad for the environment though…)

          It kind of reminds me of that great Top Gear story where they (try to) destroy a Toyota truck.

    • Yeah, Bro… chill.

  • Wake me up when it’s as durable as a cheap microphone:

    • I mean that’s impressive as well, but a camera has multiple moving parts, an internal processor, a battery, and is an all around more complicated piece of machinery hahaha

    • what a perfectly good bottle of Heineken, this is so disgusting and wasteful…

  • impressive… but the Rebel didn’t do a lot worse than this either:

  • Should have shot the fire out.

  • Hah, these guys are nuts! In a good way obviously :)

  • Geoff Longford on 05.17.12 @ 10:52PM

    Being disabled is so funny.

  • This is a great blog and really enjoyed trawley

  • So the worst part of a Canon 7D is the stupid CF card’s pinhole technology that ruined a day of shooting for me. lol

  • I love DigitalRevTV – these guys do great reviews and tutorials.
    Look at their recent D800 vs. 5D MkIII test, it is so funny yet still packed with information.

  • Rachael Dakoda on 05.22.12 @ 1:04PM

    I own a 7D that I use for stills and I feel a great deal better about my choice after viewing this video.