on August 21, 2010
I thought I would write this so people can make up their minds about the lens choice. The 28-135 USM lens which comes with the other kit is probably a better lens BUT the EF-S 18-135 is more versatile. The 18-135 is WAY wider and just as long. The lens makes a little more noise and the manual focus ring does rotate while auto-focusing. That said, the image quality is far better than I thought it would be. I wasn't planning to use the kit lens much. I have other lenses to use with my 7D, I have found myself using the 18-135 more than I thought. The image quality is surprisingly great! The focusing ring rotating while auto-focusing has been a non-issue. It has not even been a concern. The 18-135 has better image quality than the 18-200. I think it's one of Canon's best all=around lenses now that I have used it for a few weeks. I am glad I chose this kit over the 28-135 because of the ability to go wide if you need it.
Enough about the great lens. The 7D has been great! Read the reviews on DP Review or TheDigitalPicture for the specifics. I cannot say enough good about the 7D. I came from a T1i and there is NO COMPARISON between the Rebel series and the 7D. It's not even close. The T2i (at the time of this review) is a good alternative to the 7D if you don't have the extra $$ but the 7D is FAR better in so many ways. The feel in your hand, the focusing system, high speed continuous shooting, the ability to customize the buttons on the body to do whatever you want, the electronic level, (use it all the time in VF AND LCD) all of the custom functions, wireless flash control built in, metering system, transmissive LCD viewfinder that looks amazing!..you cannot really compare the 7D to anything except the 5D MkII. The 7D is a better camera than the 5D. The ONLY thing the 5D has is full-frame and I LIKE the crop factor of the 7D. All lenses get in closer and if you want a wider angle, get a wide angle lens like the EF-S 10-22. The APS-C format is here to stay. I got the best EF-S lens (17-55 IS USM) and it's the best lens I can imagine. Canon is showing us the APS-C is going to be around for a long time.
The owner's manual is great (like all Canon DSLRs) and the battery life has been spectacular! There is a built in gauge that tells you how many shots you have on the current battery and the quality of the battery. I got an Opteka battery as a spare for less than half the price of the Canon and it has worked fine and charges fine with the included charger.
The built in wireless speedlite controller in the 7D is a big plus also. There is no need to get one accessory. It will control off camera flashes.
The Canon 7D is a better camera than the T5i (Rebel series)or the 5D IMO. The price is reasonable for what you are getting....A camera you could keep for a long time.
One thing to note: when you first get the camera...put the lens on and before you put a battery in....look through the viewfinder. You will be shocked, it needs power from the battery to work. Without power, the VF looks dark and cloudy. It has an LCD so you can overlay grid lines, focusing aids, and the electronic level inside. I didn't know this when I looked at the 7D at my local camera shop. I almost didn't buy one because I thought the VF was terrible. It turns out it's because there was no battery installed at the time!
This "review" is not very well done and a little random, but I really wanted to let everybody know that this kit with the 18-135 is nothing short of great! I would highly recommend it to anyone. If you are a pro, this lens is not good enough for you, but it's good enough for most, and WELL worth having around even if you are a pro or aspiring pro. It's SO versatile. LOVE IT.
The 7D is one of the best cameras in the world for any price at the time of this review. It's a little expensive for some, but worth it. Get one and find out.
Update: 11/17/10 - I ended up getting the EF-S 17-55 F/2.8 IS USM lens and it's the best thing since sliced bread. It stays on the 7D almost all the time. I also got an EF 24-104 F/4L and it's amazing. I sold the 18-135 that came with th e camera. I would have sold the 28-135 as well. I would still recommend the 18-135 that comes with this kit....but I would recommend MORE that you simply buy the body only and get a 17-55 F/2.8 IS USM with it. You might as well start off with the best lens ever made for this camera.
The 7D: I cannot imagine a better camera for any price. It does everything SO well. landscapes, kids, pets, sports, action, still life, low light, any thing you want to photograph the 7D will let you do WELL. The ISO range and performance has been more than satisfactory. The 7D has not disappointed in any way. It has exceeded my expectations. I am about to do another video on YT under the same user name. I have some videos up there already on the 7D. I will be doing a 90 day review on what I think of the camera. I would highly recommend it still.....even with the upcoming release of the 5DmkIII in a few months. Get a 7D and get this lens or the body and the 17-55 2.8 and you will be very happy.
Update: 2/11/11 - I continue to use this 7D. I use the 24-105 F/4L, 17-55 F/2.8, and 100mm macro mostly. The camera is good for any type of shooting. It has great image quality. I have now used it in snow storms, rain, wind, dust, etc. I have had no problems with it. I still plan to use this camera for quite some time. I see no reason to move to anything else. The 7D continues to be one of the best out there. The built in flash control has come in handy, but I got a $40 Cactus trigger (no you cannot buy them here) They work great. I can use the 430EXii anywhere, and off camera. The built in flash has limitations. It does not work outside sometimes if it's too bright or there is too much distance. As I said before, buy body only and get a really good lens. This camera is equipped with a very nice sensor. You need a good lens to take advantage of the resolution. Get a good "L" lens or the 17-55 Canon F/2.8 IS. You will not be disappointed. I am curious to see what they do to replace this camera. It will be quite a day when they top the 7D.
Update 4-17-11 - I am coming up on a year since I got this combo. Now since the terrible earthquake in Japan the prices are up. I have not seen any issues with the 7D yet. I am still impressed with it. I use it almost every day. I carry it with me in an "Ape Case" bag along with my 17-55 F/2.8, 24-105 F/4L, 50mm and 100mm lenses. I love this thing and would still recommend buying it. The replacement will not be out for over a year if even then. Get the 7D. It's still a good buy. The Nikon D7000 is a good alternative now however. Not as good as the 7D in my opinion but newer sensor tech. I would get the 7D body only and use the lenses you already have. If you are getting a 7D as your 1st DSLR it's too much camera for you. Learn on a T1i, T2i, T3i then move up in a few months if you are still learning. Get a 50mm if you don't have any lenses. If you have the money get a 17-55, 24-70 or 24-105L lens. The lens this combo comes with does not match the 7D quality. It will do but the 7D deserves a better lens.
Update 9-17-11 - For those of you still reading, I am still using the 7D hard. It has about 15,000-20,000 clicks on the shutter. It still looks and feels new! Every time I use the 7D is like the first time. Nothing is loose, broken, or even worn. The 7D is the type of camera I wish would last the rest of my life. The number of options you have with this camera in the menus, with it's dual processors, speed, ease of use, etc...still make me happy. As you may know already, I sold the kit lens (18-135) I use a 100mm 2.8 macro, 50mm 1.8, 17-55, 24-105 mostly. I have others as well. The 7D is STILL one of the best cameras money can buy for stills AND video. I am very pleased with the image quality, build quality, look, feel, and ease of use. I expect to get 50,000 to 100.000 shots with it. Maybe more. I will use the 7D until I can get better results with something else.
Update 6-12-12 - I continue to use and enjoy the 7D. I have gone through many lenses. The 24-105 and 17-55 and 100mm macro are my favorites. For the first time since film cameras, I don't even feel the need to upgrade. The 7D continues to do a great job with any situation. Portraits, still life, action, sports, family events, anything I care to shoot.....the 7D does a great job. I have found that anything under 1600 ISO needs no noise reduction. 3200 and 6400 needs some NR. A new or used 7D would be a good choice. It's a very capable camera here in 2012. Just an update for those interested. I have had a great experience with the 7D.
Update 4-15-13 - I am still using the 7D body and plan to keep using it for another year or two. I just can't find any other reason to upgrade. The overall image quality and my ability to capture shots with the 7D to be very good. There are many options in 2013. With the price of the 7D body down a bit.....I would still buy one today. I would get the body only, then find a good lens to fit your style of photography. Pick up a 50mm F/1.8 or 1.4 with the body while deciding what lens (or lenses) you want. The 17-55 is great. The 24-105 is great also. If you want a cheaper option then you might consider the 18-135 with the body. I just wanted to do one last update with a camera now about 4 years old......it's still great. Most cameras would be obsolete now but the 7D is an exception. It was so good when it first came out.....it's still worth buying today. I am still loving it. The 7D has never let me down. Now with firmware version 2.0.3 it has even more features. Amazing camera. I am very happy.
Update 8-19-13 - The 2.0.3 Firmware really improves the performance of this camera. You can re-size JPGs, edit RAW images and convert to JPG in camera. Those are just some of the new features. The buffer now holds many more files, both JPG and RAW while shooting at 8FPS. GPS capability has been added. The sensor has been surpassed by new cameras BUT the 7D still has excellent image quality for anything from action, sports, portraits, macro. With this new update I feel like I got a new camera. If you have a 7D update it. If you are thinking of buying one.....it's still a great camera body. A bit over priced now.....but worth it. Canon might be able to do even more with firmware updates in the future with the 7Ds dual processors and excellent quality.
Update 1-14-15 - I still have and use the Canon 7D. Now that the newer 7D MKII is out it is hard to NOT upgrade, however, the original 7D is still worth owning and using. The newer sensor and focus on the 7D MKII is better. I have given this a lot of thought.....whether to upgrade or not. I have decided to stick with the original 7D for another year. Unless you make large prints you will never notice the difference between the two cameras. (or any other crop sensor camera) The original 7D is still a formidable camera. With the 2.0.3 (now 2.0.5) firmware update it is more than most amateurs need or will use. The 7Ds sensor and focus ability is VERY good still. The images are still worth printing and viewing on screen. Use the RAW mode and use software to enhance your images. Nobody will be able to tell the difference. I love the 7D and have no plans to go full frame yet. Next upgrade I will consider going full frame and get rid of my 17-55 and 55-250. EF-S lenses will not work with full frame bodies. If you are buying new right now.....I would go with the 7D MKII just because the price difference is not worth buying the original now. If you are looking at used cameras the original 7D is a steal at used prices. I would do that. I all come down to your price range as usual. 7D is still kicking and worth using, even at weddings, and other events. The RAW images processed are great. As I said in earlier posts I sold the 18-135 long ago and now use a 17-55, 24-105, and 100mm Macro, 50mm F1.8. I am very satisfied. Whoever gets my camera when I finally sell it will be getting a very good deal. It looks new to this day. Get a used 7D. If you can afford more get a new 7D MKII.