Tuesday 6 September 2011

Canon eos 7d - made for wildlife photographers?

I had this camera for about a year and a half, or more precisely – I had three of this camera for a year and a half. I like it very much, and until this summer I had only good things to say about it. The autofocus system, the image output, the fastness, the flexibility and not the least the price. Compared to most other professionals and semi-professional photographers I regard myself as fairly conservative when it comes to the equipment hysteria we have witnessed as the digital era has evolved. I like to think of my equipment as work tools – not diamonds or treassures. Therefore, I rarely buy the most expensive or the newest equipment out there. Sometimes, things go wrong. It also means that I can take some risks regarding the equipment in pursue of the images I see in my mind. A good example is the award winning polar bear picture in the BBC WPY competition last year. When putting up the equipment for this image, I considered the camera and lens as a write off. Surprisingly, both the camera and lens survived with no permanent damage. However, a week after it was destroyed by an angry walrus.

As a wildlife photographer, I learned a long time ago that the best images are not necessarily made in nice weather. Therefore I upgraded myself to a camera, where the manufacturer promise weather resistanse and highly trust worthy for action photography. The 7d is also a ”crop camera” which is perfect for my bird photography since it fits well with my 300mm lens. All things combined, the choice was quite straight forward when deciding on which camera should replace my broken Canon 40d. Soon I got the 7d, and I have been very happy with it, contrary to the walrus I met this summer. Another angry walrus. Another camera broken. I can’t blame this on the Canon manufacturer, and since I’ve been happy with it so far I bought myself yet another new 7d. This one had some problems from the beginning. Since I was doing fieldwork in the Norwegian Arctic and far away from any internet or post service, I couldn’t report it imediately.

One day, I was again out photographing some walruses. The weather was light rain, and I was for once actually careful with my camera to avoid getting it wet. For maximum five minutes, I had it outside in light rain, and was careful to dry it off with a cloth before putting it back into the camera bag. Since this day, It has never worked and I was quite sure that this would be possible to reclaim from Canon as a fault. Could I be more wrong about it! Not possible according to the workshop, and they suggest to write off this camera as well. I was quite pissed off by this, but searching the internet it seems that I am not alone. Many others report the extreme low weather resistanse of this camera despite the the adds from Canon. It is worse than all my lenses and previous cameras I’ve ever have had my hands on. I was very surprised when I heard that Canon write on their web site that by weather resistant, they mean the time it takes from it starts raining until you have put the camera into your back pack. In reality, this means 10 seconds! This is actually like being spit in the face, and I must say that I’ve rarely heard such bullshit.

Canon sells their camera under false conditions, and as a customer I feel tricked and fooled. In short – if you are a serious outdoor photographer – stay far away from the Canon 7d!  You have been warned!

Walrus killing a Canon 7d



  1. Hei Eirik!

    Du får det du betaler for ;)

    Det er klart 7D skal tåle litt regn (og det gjør den), men det er jo tross alt et "entusiastkamera" og ikke noe som hardcore polargutter som deg bør bruke - da er det 1D serien som gjelder desverre...


  2. Nja,, bare delvis enig med deg i dette. Hadde canon 40d lenge, og den var med ut i all slags vær. Til tross for ingen lovnader om værtetting eller ekstraordinære egenskaper holdt den hele veien inntil en hvalross kom litt for nær. Ingen kamera er hvalrossikker vil jeg tippe, men 40d virket hvertfall langt mer robust og driftsikker enn 7d. Ser ut som 7d har ett lekasjeproblem, siden det får svært mange klager på akkurat dette. Har vurdert 1d serien og 5d, men de mangler cropfaktoren, og jeg gidder rett og slett ikke drasse rundt på en 500mm...


  3. Begynner å lure litt på om det er du eller hvalrossene som tar bildene? Idiotisk å reklamere med værtetting når det knapt tåler noen regndropper. Mitt har dog klart seg greit, inkludert litt knall og fall - helt til jeg bada det i saltvann...påmontert 300mm...Totalvrak såklart :( Forsikring er en fin ting! Håper du har god hvalrossforsikring.

    P.S. Jeg har 1 stk solblender til 300mm selges til høystbydende! Regner med det blir en het budrunde :)


  4. I guess I wont be getting a 7D I will stick with my K5. I have dropped it in a the water and it still works.