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Canon Finally Addressing Audio in a New Firmware Update for the 7D

06.10.12 @ 12:24PM Tags : , ,

Canon 7D HDSLR DSLR VDSLRIn a press release that briefly leaked on a Canon CPN site, it was revealed that Canon will address a number of issues in the popular 7D. Having used the Canon 7D on all of the NoFilmSchool NAB videos, my biggest issue was the lack of manual audio controls. It’s been a long time coming, but Canon will finally address this problem in a new firmware update. In addition to manual audio controls, a number of still photography features will be fixed.

Here is a little bit from that press release on the new audio controls:

During EOS Movie shooting you will be able to manually adjust the audio recording levels to one of 64 levels, whilst the sound volume during playback can be set to one of 11 levels. During movie recording noise from the aperture is reduced and the camera also has an automatic wind cut filter.

This is the entire list of updated features:

  1. Improved RAW Maximum burst – from 15 frames to 26 frames
  2. In-Camera RAW Conversion – RAW images can be edited in-camera and options can be changed before saving the finished file as a ready-to-print JPEG
  3. Image Rating Capabilities
  4. Auto ISO Maximum Setting – ISO 400-6400
  5. Manual Adjustment for Audio Recording Levels
  6. JPEG Resizing
  7. Support for the GP-E2 GPS Unit
  8. Quick Control During Playback
  9. File Name Setting – First 3 or 4 characters in the file name can be adjusted, depending on the setting
  10. Time Zone Setting
  11. Faster Scrolling of Magnified Images

It’s interesting that Canon is going back to support a camera that will likely be replaced sometime this year, but it’s certainly possible they will hold off until 2013 to introduce a new 7D. It’s clear that Canon does listen to its customers, as manual audio has been one of the major features that customers have been vocal about.

On a film production with dual-system sound, the only major upgrade for 7D owners is the ability to adjust file names in the camera. The first three or four characters can be adjusted depending on the user setting, and when three characters is selected, the fourth will be adjusted automatically for recording quality. This will make life easier on set and in post, and it will make the data wrangling process a bit more organized — assuming, of course, that the Director of Photography and ACs set the file names correctly in-camera. There’s no word yet on when this update might be released, but considering they had a press release completed, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it won’t be far off.

[via Canon Rumors]


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  • Fantastic!

    Also, TURN IT UP TO 11!

  • um…am I mistaken…or was no firmware update the reason they weren’t able to get magic lantern to work on the 7D, if a firmware update is released, is it not plausible to believe that it could be reverse engineered to allow magic lantern to run on the 7D?

  • Wow, I nearly set put my Rode videomic pro on ebay like 10 mins ago…. I guess I’ll wait. The 7D AGC made it pointless.

    • There is a work around for the AGC on the 7D anyway… take a stereo splitter, play a test tone through your ipod (or a nano) into one channel and your rode VMP into the other, then in FCP select the audio, Option +L unlink the l and r channels, delete the test tone, center balance the remaining audio and there you have it. Works really well, just dont have the test tone playing loud, it just needs to be constant and low, if it is loud it can “leak” into the other channel somehow. Looking forward to seeing how the manual audio works with this set up.

  • Better late than never Canon, sheesh. All this possibility in my little 7d but you sit on it for 2 years? Maybe I’m bitter because I just sold my 7d this week, lol. Better late than never i guess, oh wait…a dozen better cameras came out since then.

    Sorry, I’m happily pessimistic at the moment, a real bitter sweet combo. I’m happy Canon is addressing the long plaguing issues of the 7d, but pessimistic about how LONG it took! To the point where I moved on from this particular body because of its issues. Bad Good customer service Canon! Bad Good Bad! Good!

  • john jeffreys on 06.10.12 @ 8:27PM

    now that you can get them used on ebay for as low as 900-1000 dollars, this would make an excellent super 35 sized back up camera on projects that are using RED/c300/etc.

  • Convenient timing right before the dslr slaughterfest by black magic, nice try canon, but it’s too late

    • Lol… the DSLR slaughterfest?

      Been talking to a lot of DP’s lately (some big, some small time) and they all agree on one… they would never buy or trust a camera sight unseen, especially version one of a camera. Do I have to even mention RED one to its early adopters and users, sick and tired with all the endless firmware updates and reboots. Been there, done that.

      The fact you show so much faith in this product based on specs and their word is relatively naive. DSLR are great for tons of projects, obviously you have bigger fish to fry other than weddings, documentaries, web series, music videos, shorts, and corporate. If it’s not the camera for you.. move a long.

      I don’t understand why cameras turn forums into battlegrounds.

      • Agreed. I love this website and the content. I tire of the comments… endless comments by people who “would never buy a XYZ” or who “can’t ever imagine using a ABC camera seriously”. Whatever. I often wonder just how many of these people are actually working, rather than just reading and posting. Bleh.

      • Ask your dp friends if they will use the best camera that their production can afford, rarely will that be a dslr anymore, if you have a budget there is a better option no matter what your needs are in the sub 5k market, What is really naive is faith in a greedy company that overcharges for its video cameras and only answers it’s customer bases demands under market pressure,

        • Pretty much every production I know in the area (I’m in Canada so it’s pretty limited) uses Sony F900R and EX3′s… A lot of TV dramas are shot on these and many use DSLR cameras in conjunction.

          For guys like me, still relatively small-time. DSLR cameras are invaluable, I can be an owner operator and often do more than one job a day and not have to worry about heading back to the rental house to drop it off. Black MAgic brought a camera in a similar price point, but the workflow and throughput of that camera is the part I can’t afford.

          I am a videographer, not a Director of Photography. My needs are different and the BMD Camera doesn’t fill my needs.

    • john jeffreys on 06.10.12 @ 10:27PM

      I don’t see how a dinky little camera with a non removable battery and atrocious crop factor could “slaughter” canon’s DSLR dominance. Also, its version 1.0 from a company’s first attempt at a camera, so its bound to be full of bugs.

      • Well, almost all of the current large sensor cameras are version 1.0. The C300 and the F3 were both brand new products with new software and new hardware that they’d never used before (codecs aside, which are only a minor part of the picture pipeline). It’s rare that a camera is ever a version 2.0, very often the internal sensor is different and software has to be rewritten for each release.

        I honestly wouldn’t expect the camera to have any more bugs than any of the other major companies. The Blackmagic guys know hardware and software, and this isn’t a new product – it’s been in development for almost two years now. The only part they know less about is the color science and sensor calibration, which is why they turned to a professional DP (John Brawley), to help them out.

        Why can’t Canon and Blackmagic products coexist? The Blackmagic Cinema Camera was always conceived as a complement to Canon DSLRs, not necessarily a replacement.

        • The panaosnic AF line and the sony FS line could not coexist, Joe, what do you think is different in this case?

          • That’s a completely different situation. You had Panasonic who allowed their GH2 to be hacked and thus have far better recording quality in-camera than the AF100 – at about 1/4 the cost. The AF100 and the FS100 are similar cameras that both do AVCHD at similar bit rates and record 8-bit externally. The issue is that they are too similar and the FS100 is a better value for a number of reasons.

            The Blacmagic vs. Canon/Nikon is totally different scenario. Firstly, the DSLRs are great stills cameras, which is going to attract customers regardless. Then the fact that the sensor in the BMCC is a bit smaller than 4/3s with a 2.3x crop, that’s going to turn plenty of people off. It’s not going to be able to do that well in low-light, with ISO 1600 probably being the top end. You’ve also got a camera like the D800 which can record externally, so for not much more money you’ve got a full frame camera that can do some incredible quality out of the camera and is probably similar, if not better in low-light situations.

            I think the cameras are reaching different markets – anyone who is buying a T4i is not seriously going to think about getting a Blackmagic camera. The investment is far beyond what they can afford. People still like shooting full frame (me being one of them), so I don’t think the full frame cameras will be hurt, especially because people still by them in droves for the still camera abilities. That’s why I really think the two will coexist as long as the sensor in the Blackmagic Camera is smaller than the competition. If they did make an APS-C sized camera for the same or not much more money, I’d probably agree with you that the days of DSLRs would be numbered. But having just come from the Vimeo festival, I can tell you that DSLRs are not going anywhere anytime soon.

  • like this a lot!! better late than never!

  • If they can put manual audio on a 7D then why can’t they put it on my high-dollar 1D MIV?

  • Even though audio controls will be good for some, for those that venture to use audio on the 7D out of laziness, listen to the difference between audio recorded properly or at least on a Zoom, and audio recorded straight into the 7D. The 7D isn’t meant to record good audio. It’s lacking decent freq response, the preamps are terrible. This should be an emergency audio solution only, especially for filmmakers.

  • After searching the internet every month for over a year, hoping that Canon would finally get off their arse or Magic Lantern might discover a miracle I nearly screamed like a girl when I saw this post. Best. News. EVER! I can finally run and gun properly!! No extra cables to split input channels with old mp3 player taped to my camera, squashing the compression. No external recorder (for run and gun at least). I just hope it has metering! Oh and that this “automatic wind cut filter” can be turned on or off. I’ll be pissed if there is another effect/filter that is on permanently. Anyway – Woohoo!!!

  • Any word on when this will be released? I can’t find any mention of this on the Canon website.

  • What about extended video recording time?

    • It has never come in firmware form to any of the other Canon DSLRs, so I wouldn’t expect it. At most we would get 30 minutes, but I don’t see them rewriting the firmware for any of the older DSLRs to include clip spanning to get over the 4GB file size limit.

  • I gotta question for the 7D!,,,, why cant you take a photo anyway when the camera wont,,, like somtimes u cant take a photo when u push the button, (darkness etc or to close),, why cant there be an overide so i can take it anyway?? (dont care if the photo is crapper quality) if what to take a photo then ill take a photo not let the camera wont, i am the master not the camera,, cheers!!

  • “4. Auto ISO Maximum Setting – ISO 400-6400″

    That sounds really good, too. Now maybe if it wouldn’t go up to 1/30s before it switches to a higher ISO, that would be nice, too. Right now the auto ISO is unusable in 90% of situations because of that…
    It would be a dream if one were able to set a certain limit for the shutter speed manually

  • Daniel Mimura on 06.17.12 @ 8:42PM

    Yikes! I definitely won’t be “upgrading” my 7D. (Smart move making it go to eleven thou!)

    I’ve been so happy that you can’t really run the 7D tethered…and now amatuer filmmakers are gonna think you can do single system with it now. On yet another crappy low rent project I just shot a couple weeks ago…despite my insistence that the audio of the 7D is for reference and syncing only…there they go…using my camera’s audio…& this was for a music show where the audio engineer had a really meticulous multi-track recording of the show anyway. It’s just laziness.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve heard my Bartech motor in finished films (indicating they’re using my 7D’s mic & not the one the audio guy recorded).

    Built in recording for a camera that uses a headphone jack and not phantom powered XLR is just gonna suck for both the audio and the camera op.

    • Rodrigo Brandao on 07.2.12 @ 2:06PM

      Hi, Daniel,

      Does that mean we’ll be able to disable the AGC with the new firmware? Do you know the answer to that?

    • john jeffreys on 07.2.12 @ 3:50PM

      Not to mention the god awful audio processing chips/preamps that are inside the camera. But really, I thought everybody does dual system now, at least on serious projects.

  • Rodrigo Brandao on 07.2.12 @ 1:55PM

    Does this mean that we will have the option to turn off the Dman AGC now? It’s not clear from where I stand …. I’d really appreciate if someone could confirm that now, as I was about to sell my 7D and buy a Nikon. ;-)

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