PetaPixel

Canon Updates 7D For Mindless Shooters

Yesterday, Canon announced a rather strange and unexciting Canon 7D “upgrade.” It’s not exactly an upgrade either — all of the camera specs for the new Canon 7D Studio Version are unchanged. For $1829 for the body only ($130 more than the current 7D), photographers can have several “locked levels” of the camera. Pay even more and you get a barcode scanning kit and a wireless transfer unit, the WFT-E5A.

So essentially, an extra $900 on top of the regular 7D price lets you have the camera equivalent of parental controls, plus barcode scanning that embeds information into the EXIF data in photos.

Sure, there’s a (somewhat niche) practical application for these features. The locked levels can allow for quick settings that can’t be changed without a password — perfect for head photographers to who send mindless drones out to shoot or have little faith in their assistants.

According to the Canon press release, the camera settings are designed with wedding and portrait photographers in mind, who have difficulty organizing and editing massive volumes of photos (that’s where the barcoding comes in).

In other words, it’s a really great camera for people who take tons of commercial photos, and not necessarily pro photographers (or photographers in general). More specifically, the Canon 7D SV is a workflow camera for people who take a lot of very formulaic photos — think of the typical class portrait or school yearbook photo, or those awful family portrait studios in the local Sears or Walmart.

These special features are particularly puzzling; with the exception of the WFT-E5A, the 7D SV’s unique features all seem to be related to the firmware. Yet instead of simply releasing a firmware update (or even a for-purchase firmware version), Canon has turned the 7D SV into an entirely (in name) different camera model. With a larger price tag.

It’s not the first time such an underwhelming camera version has been released: Leica tried to push a limited edition X1 Le Mans camera which is essentially a regular Leica X1, but with a commemorative Le Mans classic sticker on it. Only 50 were released for $2035 — $35 on top of the regular list price.


 
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  • http://joricel.com/ Joey

    Locking out of features is also found in the 1D series body and is actually a useful tool to ensure that only certain features are accessible.

    The bar code feature is somewhat like a water down version of the 1D OSK-E3 security kit. So that if one questions the origin of the photo the vetting process may be as simple as relying on the bar code data.

    Perhaps in the future these articles, instead of just focusing on such a narrow idea, would be researched a bit more to expose different reasons why 1D features are trickling down to the other models.

    No need to rush to be first to publish on this site, since this information was posted yesterday by other non photo related blogs.

  • Draws With Light

    Canon announces this, instead of something meaningful — such as a successor to the 50D. I guess they’re waiting until Nikon announces a successor to the D300. No wonder Canon has falleen behind Nikon in DSLR sales.

  • http://www.shinyphoto.co.uk/ Tim

    It seems to me entirely fair that people who want extra and restrictive features, especially if it’s reasonable to look down on them as “parental controls”, should pay more and keep their product to themselves.

  • John Henry

    Why would you want a successor to the 50D? We’re moving at a ridiculous breakneck pace with releases of pro-sumer level Canon bodies. I think the every-two-years model is fast enough. Or maybe even every three years.

  • http://www.marloncureg.com/blog Mars

    This is one of a balancing decision comes in. what would were going to do with that?

  • http://twitter.com/abovofoto victor aberdeen

    Your commentary is very short sighted, I almost never use the auto features on a DSLR so locking it off stops a mistaken setting.

    But commercially for Canon this is good for all those situation where a photo is needed but a photographer is not; ever looked at Police ID photos, tell me that should not be a locked up setup (pun intended) where a good professional did the settings, tested with a diverse group of faces and then the setup is shipped it out to each police station. Then you might have a chance of recognising the villan or politician!

  • http://twitter.com/abovofoto victor aberdeen

    Your commentary is very short sighted, I almost never use the auto features on a DSLR so locking it off stops a mistaken setting.

    But commercially for Canon this is good for all those situation where a photo is needed but a photographer is not; ever looked at Police ID photos, tell me that should not be a locked up setup (pun intended) where a good professional did the settings, tested with a diverse group of faces and then the setup is shipped it out to each police station. Then you might have a chance of recognising the villan or politician!

  • 7d sv user

    What moron wrote article. People without an understanding of the photographic industry, and with out any journalistic talent should refrain from making stupid comments.