We've been talking about it for what seems like an eternity now, people have been asking for it, and Canon has delivered. The new Canon firmware 2.0.X that will be fixing audio in the 7D and finally allow manual controls is available for download. The firmware update also addresses a number of other issues related to the still photography portion of the camera -- but the manual audio controls are the most significant change for video shooters.
Here is a quick overview of all of the updated features (thanks to Sebastian at cinema5D for the tip):
This is the list of the updated features:
- 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
Just like the 5D Mark II and other previous generation Canon cameras (and the Nikon D800), the new firmware will not allow you to change levels during recording. This is unfortunate, but it seems that it's just not possible to implement (though it would have been wonderful). Either way, there are many shooters who need these controls, as much as some people prefer not even having the ability because the sound quality isn't the best in the world. We'll see what Canon does with a future 7D Mark II (or whatever they will call it), but it would be a huge surprise if Canon decided not to update the video quality and used a similar 18mp sensor just like the Canon T4i. Only time will tell, but this firmware update is a clear sign that an updated camera body will probably not come by the end of this year.
To download the firmware, go to the link below and select your operating system and version. It does not allow downloading if you select Mountain Lion at this time, but it shouldn't really make a difference as the actual firmware itself is just loaded to the camera. For those of you with 7Ds out there, come back and let us know what you think of the update.