Rudy Winston
Rudy Winston

Rudy Winston has over 16 years experience with Canon USA's Pro Products team, and has been responsible during that time for training Canon's staff on new products, creating presentations for customers and dealers, numerous writing projects, and providing technical assistance to professional and amateur photographers.

A trip down memory lane with the EOS 7D and EOS 70D

July 16, 2013

New product announcements don’t happen every day. And for lifelong camera enthusiasts, that first real introduction with something new and different can be an exciting and memorable experience. Every once in a while, it can be an experience remembered for a lifetime.

Such was the case for me back in the fall of 2009 when Canon launched the EOS 7D camera. It was a new and different EOS camera with remarkable performance and perhaps even better design and control layout. Here was a genuine enthusiast’s camera, designed by engineers who’d obviously listened to serious users.

There had never been an EOS camera at that point that combined compactness and moderate weight with this level of not just frames-per-second speed, but responsiveness at the shutter button. The brisk performance of the EOS 7D was a revelation and its speed made it feel almost as if one’s nerve endings were connected to the shutter button. Rapid candid shooting with lenses like the EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS or the EF-S 15–85mm IS was like a marriage made in heaven.

The stars must’ve been aligned for me at that time, because three things came together for me: a once-in-a-lifetime two week shooting trip to Russia (a place I’d always wanted to go), our team needed EOS 7D images for training presentations and (unlike with most new product introductions) I'd get to take not one, but two pre-production EOS 7Ds with me overseas. Before any 7D cameras had been shipped to dealers, I’d have a chance to truly put them through their paces in a place I’d dreamed about visiting for decades.

I came back two weeks later with a rich selection of images representing the EOS 7D’s various capabilities and features, but an even richer set of memories of using this camera in such an inspiring place. It’s amazing what we can see in our original images if we go back to them, an exercise I’d suggest to any shooter, because you’ll often be inspired by what you’d captured and didn’t see the first time around. To this day, the EOS 7D remains my personal favorite camera in the EOS line-up, despite the advancements we’ve seen in the ensuing years.

What brought me back to the introduction of the EOS 7D and the personal experience it provided was the recently announced EOS 70D. It’s not because the 70D has features like an almost-identical 19-point AF system for still image shooting as the 7D does and not because it's a tight, compact and responsive package. No, it was the realization when I first handled a pre-production version of this new camera that it offers something we haven’t seen in our line before: an AF system that really works for both Live View and video shooting. Perhaps “revolutionary” is too strong a word, but I don’t think I’m reaching to describe the new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology as “significant.” Taking off my Canon hat and simply looking at it as a photographer, I see a feature that can help create better images and open visual doors that we were hesitant to walk through before.

There’s no two week trip (with pre-production cameras) to Russia or anywhere else this time around. But the feeling I get with the EOS 70D is the same. It’s a great time to be a camera enthusiast.

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