Friday, August 20, 2010

The New $1,800 Camera That No One Seemed To Notice

This week, there has been a lot of hype about Nikon, namely its new entry-level dSLR, the D3100. While bottom of the totem pole dSLRs don't get too much attention that often, the D3100 is different because it leapfrogs the higher-level D5000 and D90. Besides the camera, there are four new Nikkor lenses, too. While this is all good (higher-level Nikons will be even better, other makers will be pushed to do better), all the Nikon news has drowned out a new Canon model that costs $1,800: the EOS 7D SV.

How did that happen?

Well, first of all, the 7D SV is really a 7D thrown in the microwave and reheated, there is nothing revolutionary about the camera in the way the original 7D broke new ground for Canon. However, that is not to say that the 7D SV isn't cool in its own way.

Unlike the original, the new 7D is aimed squarely at professionals, but not for what one may think. Instead of increased photographic capabilities, the 7D SV boasts new features designed to aid in the workflow of high-volume professional shooting.

The first new feature are control locks that come in four levels. This allows the photographer to lock in certain levels of functionality and block out other, unwanted ones. The end result: a simplified camera that should help professionals in busy settings get more consistent results time and time again.

A second, really cool organizing feature, is called the Barcode Solution System, which allows the photographer to embed customer data right into the EXIF data, which is designed to streamline organization of digital files.

The new 7D will come in two versions: a camera with a barcode kit (WFT-E5A unit-which will need a firmware upgrade), which will sell at $2,599 and a plain 7D SV body only, which will sell for $1,899. However, don't go looking fr the camera on store shelves as both kits can be bought by special order only (they are for pros).

Looking at the cameras, I can foresee other manufacturers (especially Nikon) taking on this new smart cam trend as there is a lot more to professional shooting than pressing the shutter button.

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