on October 5, 2010
I've taken photos and video most of my life, now I am the typical father paparazzi, my subjects are my family, with some nature landscapes and city architecture mixed in.
First this camera replaced my original capture the moment kit, which included a Nikon D80 DLSR and a Samsung HD-1010 Digital Video Camera. I sold them both after owning this for a week. They are simply not needed anymore. It's very nice to be able to go to my kid's soccer games and not look like I am bringing a production crew. One camera for killer photos and video. I use this camera 70/30 photos/video, and it is just a pleasure to work with.
What I like for photography:
Excellent pictures - Even with the stock 18-135 lens, solid photos, great details, and very very crop-able. Yes this is not an L Lens but it is still very good
Low light performance - The ISO high iso speeds work well when you can't use a flash, there is still some noise but its manageable, the default setting for upper end iso is 3200, so that tells you how confident Canon is with its camera's ability to handle noise.
Solid camera (my friend has the 7D, there is a difference when handling them, but not much, all the talk of metal vs. plastic frame I think is overrated)
Very fast focus, yes its not the 32 point next gen autofocus, but in all my tests when not using live view it does just fine transitioning between focus points.
Fast shooting speed almost 6 fps is very good, and thought 3 fps was good. (I also like the 2 settings for shooting speed, normal and high speed)
Built in Wireless flash control. I also bought the 430EX II, and 3 button pushes later I had the speed light firing while it sat off camera behind the subject, and that is very cool
Great Canon Software (I use a Mac, and I love the USB interface software, you can completely control the camera from your computer
Custom Shooting mode - Exact what it sounds like, its nice touch
The flip out rotating screen is very sharp, probably one of the best I've seen on a DSLR. I don't shoot much live view though.
It uses SD, only because I had plenty of SD cards from my last two devices.
What I don't like photography:
The lock button on the mode selector, it turns changing the shoot mode into a 2 handed operation
The lack of dedicated buttons - I know they had to save space when they added the vari-screen, but I liked having quick one touch access to bracketing on my Nikon
This isn't a "don't like" it's more "I could do without" all the preset modes on the wheel. People who are going to spend $1000+ on a camera most likely don't need a preset called landscape or portrait. Maybe they were trying to fill the space on the wheel?
Also all this hupla about in camera processing and special effects, it seems a bit gimmicky to me. I have a plenty of Macs with big beautiful screens to do this, heck I could do it with an iPad now if I really wanted to. I can't see someone trying to color correct on the camera especially since it's not like you could transmit the edited file directly from the camera, it still has to go through a computer somewhere along the line. These might be useful if my camera came with built-in 3G or something, otherwise not so much.
What I like video:
Video performance is excellent, head over to vimeo.com and look at all the sample footage, it is just astounding. I've experimented with the 50/1.8 lens and wow the DoF is crisp in the video. You would need some expensive lens adapters to get these results with a camcorder.
The flip out screen! This is main reason I bought this camera, It never made sense to me how I could shoot proper video without those expensive view finder liveview converter things. Plus I thought they looked silly. Now with this, I hold the camera at just above waist level close to my body with the screen flipped out and up, it makes for stable video and relatively easy manual focus if you want to use it.
Manual controls are also very useful for video, you can control everything from the image to the audio via manual controls
What I don't like video:
Noise at high ISO - With the stock lens 18-135 IS I do not recommend low light shooting, it will work, but its very noisy - just like photography better lenes with lower F-stops = better output.
Autofocus is a bit slow (I try not use the autofocus when actually recording, I usually shoot video with manual focus, its not that hard when you get the hang of it)
So that's it, a solid DSLR with a solid video camera built in, I would recommend this camera to people like me, who understand and love photography and also love shooting video. People who can use manual controls but you don't mind throwing it in program mode for the quick shots and you can't justify spending the extra money on a 7D. I am very very happy with this camera!