After almost three years, the Canon 7D is finally going to get a significant update that fixes audio controls. While it may not be a huge deal to film-style sets that record dual-system audio, there are many cases where having the ability to get good levels from a mic connected to the camera is important. We had initially reported this after it leaked on a Canon website, but now the upgrade is official. In addition to the audio updates, there are numerous upgrades to the still photography capabilities of the camera.
Check out the video below that explains everything in the new Firmware 2.0:
Here is a list of everything that's been updated as compared to the original firmware:
- Maximum Burst Rate for Continuous Shooting: 130 JPEG Large/Fine vs. 126 JPEG Large/Fine
- Maximum Burst Rate for Continuous Shooting: 24 RAW vs. 15* RAW
- GPS Compatibility: GPS Receiver GP-E2
- Manual Audio Level Adjustment: 64 Levels
- Maximum Limit for ISO Auto: 200-6400 Limit Set by User vs. ISO 3200
- In-camera RAW Image Processing
- In-camera JPEG Image Resizing
- In-camera Ratings
- Quick Control During Playback
- Customization of File Names
- Time Zone Settings
- Scrolling of Magnified Images
- Improved Scrolling Speed
While it seems like many had been asking for audio controls for a long time, Canon has finally decided to make it available in a firmware update. The 7D firmware is slightly different than the rest of the Canon lineup (except for the 1D Mark IV), so it's possible that this was a more difficult process -- but I'm sure Canon weighed the demand versus what it would cost them to write new firmware. Either way, it's a sigh of relief for so many that have dealt with the inability to select audio controls. At this year's NAB I was using a Canon 7D, and the inability to control levels became a serious issue in some of the interviews.
All of this is great news, but unfortunately, it looks like it won't be coming out until August. So even though it's finally being announced, you'll still have to wait at least another month. This also means that I don't think we'll see an updated Canon 7D anytime this year. For Canon to provide such a significant update like this only a few months before they replace the camera would not make much sense. While the 7D is going on 3 years, it's much more likely we'll see a new entry level or high megapixel full frame camera from Canon before we get a new 7D. Very late this year is a possibility, but early next year seems the most likely time for them to update the camera in a similar fashion to the T4i.