Canon releases firmware v1.3.0 for the EOS R7

AlanF

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I think AF is not the biggest issue this camera and it seems to work perfectly for wildlife(from the reviews I have seen).
As one who regularly uses the R7, I have to agree that the AF is a weak point, and it’s well acknowledged. The R7 is an excellent camera but the AF is not as fast as the R5 (or R6). It’s ok but not marvellous. When I go out for BIF, I grab the R5. However, I don’t think it’s a problem of firmware, it’s the sensor. The other weakness is rolling shutter, another consequence of recycling an old slow sensor.
 
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As one who regularly uses the R7, I have to agree that the AF is a weak point, and it’s well acknowledged. The R7 is an excellent camera but the AF is not as fast as the R5 (or R6). It’s ok but not marvellous. When I go out for BIF, I grab the R5. However, I don’t think it’s a problem of firmware, it’s the sensor. The other weakness is rolling shutter, another consequence of recycling an old slow sensor.
R7's 'AF' issue is more to do with the -EV sensitivity. Unlike R5/R6/R3 that goes to -6~-7.5, -5EV on R7 is similar to Sony 3rd gen a7s/a9ii AF system. Which is weaker.
 
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justaCanonuser

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As one who regularly uses the R7, I have to agree that the AF is a weak point, and it’s well acknowledged. The R7 is an excellent camera but the AF is not as fast as the R5 (or R6). It’s ok but not marvellous. When I go out for BIF, I grab the R5. However, I don’t think it’s a problem of firmware, it’s the sensor. The other weakness is rolling shutter, another consequence of recycling an old slow sensor.
Using an R7 frequently, too, I do think that Canon can improve it's AF performance at least on the data side - and they surely will. Currently, the animal setting of subject tracking works e.g. with many birds often surprisingly well. But sometimes it produces in particular in the eye detection mode hilarious failures. One example is herons, in particular purple herons: eye detection tend to recognize a dark field in the area of the wrist joint of the wings as "eye" I had to learn. Such problems can be resolved by adding new AI training data to coming firmware updates.

Another problem, which is btw briefly addressed somewhere in the manual, occurs when a bird flies in front of clouded or nearly blue but slightly overcast skies, then the AF struggles recognize the bird. I know this problem since many years from Nikon DSLRs (of my wife) and my EOS 7D2 when iTTr ("intelligent" subject tracking) was enabled. Something in the light of such settings irritates the object recognition, whatever it is. I hope this can also be improved with more AI training data on additional image material. So overall, I do hope that Canon improves the R7's AF performance during the next years. But the gap between the "5" and the "7" series' AF performance will remain - in the DSLR era the AF sensors of the APS cameras were smaller, noisier and therefore less sensitive, now it's the same game with the image sensors used for AF performance.

Overall, given the fact that it is a 1.5 k$ "only" camera, I like the R7 despite its relatively slow sensor read-out which limits its full electronic shutter performance. Plus, its IQ at higher ISO's is surprisingly good, close to the quality of my 5D IV (which is aged 2016 tech, of course). So it has definitely not a recycled "old" sensor, the bottleneck is caused by the read-out part of its electronics.
 
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AlanF

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So it has definitely not a recycled "old" sensor, the bottleneck is caused by the read-out part of its electronics.
It has the same sensor as in the 4-year old 90D and M6 II, with maybe a few tweaks that Canon will not reveal. This was reported when the R7 was released eg:
"Those sensor specifications look very similar and Canon has been open about the fact that the R7 uses the same basic sensor as the 90D, but the R7’s microlenses and electronics have been refined to give it a performance boost."

The sensor has electronics built in. The problem for me is that it is slower to latch on to BIF and hunts much more than the R5. The firmware changes that improve subject eye recognition may help but those problems are easily overcome - it's the slower AF acquisition and readout that are the problems.

I have to add when it comes to quality of stills, I find hardly any difference between the R7 + RF 100-400 at 400mm f/8 and the R5 + RF 100-500mm at 500mm f/7.1 when the R5 is cropped down to the same as a crop from the R7, which is the usual situation for me when I am limited by reach, apart from depth of field.
 
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It has the same sensor as in the 4-year old 90D and M6 II, with maybe a few tweaks that Canon will not reveal. This was reported when the R7 was released eg:
"Those sensor specifications look very similar and Canon has been open about the fact that the R7 uses the same basic sensor as the 90D, but the R7’s microlenses and electronics have been refined to give it a performance boost."

The sensor has electronics built in. The problem for me is that it is slower to latch on to BIF and hunts much more than the R5. The firmware changes that improve subject eye recognition may help but those problems are easily overcome - it's the slower AF acquisition and readout that are the problems.

I have to add when it comes to quality of stills, I find hardly any difference between the R7 + RF 100-400 at 400mm f/8 and the R5 + RF 100-500mm at 500mm f/7.1 when the R5 is cropped down to the same as a crop from the R7, which is the usual situation for me when I am limited by reach, apart from depth of field.
As far as I know, the speed of an image sensor has everything to do with the electronics.
Keeping the same photosites should not really matter unless you are looking for better low-light performance or better dynamic range.
 
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AlanF

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As far as I know, the speed of an image sensor has everything to do with the electronics.
Keeping the same photosites should not really matter unless you are looking for better low-light performance or better dynamic range.
The sensor has electronics built in, and its speed is a major factor in the overall read out time. Canon did not say that they used new electronics in the sensor, merely that they “refined” the old ones. If they had used new electronics, they would have said so. The read out time of the 32 Mpx sensor when it is in the M6 II is 46 ms https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-m6-ii-review/2 and in the R7 about a third less. I think the dynamic range and the read out time are not independent as faster read out can be at the expense of range.
 
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As one who regularly uses the R7, I have to agree that the AF is a weak point, and it’s well acknowledged. The R7 is an excellent camera but the AF is not as fast as the R5 (or R6). It’s ok but not marvellous. When I go out for BIF, I grab the R5. However, I don’t think it’s a problem of firmware, it’s the sensor. The other weakness is rolling shutter, another consequence of recycling an old slow sensor.
Sorry couldnt reply as I had been out herping for some rare lizards(only managed to find 1 of the targetted species). I thought the AF certainly was improved and it certainly is better than what any of R7 competitors offer. So new Digic X hasnt been able to make up for that old sensor.
344787572_211882448352278_1885236377995955000_n.jpg
The sensor has electronics built in, and its speed is a major factor in the overall read out time. Canon did not say that they used new electronics in the sensor, merely that they “refined” the old ones. If they had used new electronics, they would have said so. The read out time of the 32 Mpx sensor when it is in the M6 II is 46 ms https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-m6-ii-review/2 and in the R7 about a third less. I think the dynamic range and the read out time are not independent as faster read out can be at the expense of range.
Duade Paton's review shows R7 having readout speed of around 31ms which worse than last Gen Fuji XT4. That rolling shutter certainly seem to be make the advertised 30fps speed quite useles(along preshooting buffer which requires Canon's propitary software to extract frames).
 
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AlanF

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Sorry couldnt reply as I had been out herping for some rare lizards(only managed to find 1 of the targetted species). I thought the AF certainly was improved and it certainly is better than what any of R7 competitors offer. So new Digic X hasnt been able to make up for that old sensor.
View attachment 209479

Duade Paton's review shows R7 having readout speed of around 31ms which worse than last Gen Fuji XT4. That rolling shutter certainly seem to be make the advertised 30fps speed quite useles(along preshooting buffer which requires Canon's propitary software to extract frames).
Cute photo! The R7 is a great camera, and I am going to post some favourable comparisons between it with the RF 100-400mm vs R5 + RF 100-500mm for still shots. But, you have to work within its limitations: use ES for as much as you can as there is shutter shock with some speeds from EFCS as the shot before affects the following when shooting continuously, and mechanical shutter where there is fast movement. The burst mode unfortunately requires ES. The OM-1 is 4x faster at 8ms.
 
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Canon did not say that they used new electronics in the sensor
Actually, Canon claims it is a new sensor.
"The EOS R7 is equipped with a new approximately 32.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor combined with DIGIC X image processor, allowing for high-speed readout and high image quality."
 
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justaCanonuser

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It has the same sensor as in the 4-year old 90D and M6 II, with maybe a few tweaks that Canon will not reveal. This was reported when the R7 was released eg:
"Those sensor specifications look very similar and Canon has been open about the fact that the R7 uses the same basic sensor as the 90D, but the R7’s microlenses and electronics have been refined to give it a performance boost."

The sensor has electronics built in. The problem for me is that it is slower to latch on to BIF and hunts much more than the R5. The firmware changes that improve subject eye recognition may help but those problems are easily overcome - it's the slower AF acquisition and readout that are the problems.

I have to add when it comes to quality of stills, I find hardly any difference between the R7 + RF 100-400 at 400mm f/8 and the R5 + RF 100-500mm at 500mm f/7.1 when the R5 is cropped down to the same as a crop from the R7, which is the usual situation for me when I am limited by reach, apart from depth of field.
Alan, this source states: "Those sensor specifications look very similar and Canon has been open about the fact that the R7 uses the same basic sensor as the 90D, but the R7’s microlenses and electronics have been refined to give it a performance boost." If this is true (it is no original statement from Canon, no source for such a statement is given there to check it), then Canon did overhaul the 90D's sensor, which is okay. There is no need to invent a sensor completely new, since the principle of silicon photodiodes didn't change. It is all about the electronics that collects the electrons from those photodiodes, converts it from an analogue to a digital signal etc. ... We can complain that Canon did not yet introduce a stacked sensor into the R7, like in the R3 or like Sony does in some cameras. Indeed the read-out speed of the R7 pixel line by pixel line is indeed much slower than the R5's (> 30 milliseconds for a complete image), besides the fact that the R5 has no stacked sensor either. But everyone who buys the R7 today and is interested in tech knows this, and the R5 costs nearly three times of the R7. Surely Canon wants to protect their premium camera segment because this earns them more money I guess (like in the auto industry).

Overall I have the impression that maybe the better option for you would be to sell your R7 and stick with your R5, which surely is a great camera and seems to deliver nearly everything you demand for birding. It sounds a bit like the disappointment I had with the EOS 7D2, having the AF performance of my 5D3 (and later 5D4) in mind. So I really understand well that you are not happy. I decided to try the R7 despite its limitations because I still didn't trust EVF's for birding in general and didn't want to invest so much into my first trial. In fact, the first day out with the R7 was horrible for me, since I still had to find out how I need to change the EVF settings to make this camera useable for fast action like BIF. Fortunately, I came across a good birder's video review on youtube that helped me much.
 
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justaCanonuser

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Something one really should avoid when shooting BIF with the R7, in particular against the sky as a background: this morning I forgot to disable "eye detection". With it enabled, the AF often is distracted by other, bigger bright parts of the bird, see examples showing what my R7 here recognized as "eye" (the second image of course is a challenge because the eyes are small spots with no reflex): not cropped, the light was already getting really bad as you can see, so it was no loss for me, fortunately (700mm, 1/3200s, f=8). Another critical setting I experienced with the R7 is if a bird flies in front of a water background with waves that reflect bright sunlight, those reflexes are also often falsely interpreted as "eyes". So it is better to disable eye detection as default setting and just enable it when it gets to shoot sitting birds or other animals that aren't moving too fast, then it works mostly well. I hope Canon gets this improved with future firmware updates including new data from AI training. Bildschirmfoto 2023-06-04 um 13.56.47.pngBildschirmfoto 2023-06-04 um 13.55.19.png
 
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AlanF

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Overall I have the impression that maybe the better option for you would be to sell your R7 and stick with your R5, which surely is a great camera and seems to deliver nearly everything you demand for birding. It sounds a bit like the disappointment I had with the EOS 7D2, having the AF performance of my 5D3 (and later 5D4) in mind. So I really understand well that you are not happy. I decided to try the R7 despite its limitations because I still didn't trust EVF's for birding in general and didn't want to invest so much into my first trial. In fact, the first day out with the R7 was horrible for me, since I still had to find out how I need to change the EVF settings to make this camera useable for fast action like BIF. Fortunately, I came across a good birder's video review on youtube that helped me much.
I have written time after time after time here I like the R7 a lot and use it when I want extra reach and also take it with me with the RF100-400mm when I want to caarry less weight as it compares well with the R5 100-500mm. I said good things even today, just a few posts back in this thread.

Cute photo! The R7 is a great camera, and I am going to post some favourable comparisons between it with the RF 100-400mm vs R5 + RF 100-500mm for still shots. But, you have to work within its limitations: use ES for as much as you can as there is shutter shock with some speeds from EFCS as the shot before affects the following when shooting continuously, and mechanical shutter where there is fast movement. The burst mode unfortunately requires ES. The OM-1 is 4x faster at 8ms.
I even started a thread on how good the R7 is and highlighted its pros and cons. I have also written in several places it is so lght with the Rf100-400mm that my wife can handle it. So, why on earth should I sell it when it complements my R5?
 
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AlanF

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Here are two images from a couple of days ago, crops of about 1500px1500px from the centre of a Wren, one is taken by me with the R5 + RF100-500mm and the other by wife with the R7 and RF100-400mm - the RF 100-500mm is too heavy for her to carry. The image with the R7 has greater dof and the tail of the Wren is in focus at 400mmm f/8 (1st image) whereas it is slightly out at 500mm f/7.1 (2nd image)1_3R3A8894-DxO_wren.jpg1_309A7932-DxO_wren.jpg.
 
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AlanF

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Actually, Canon claims it is a new sensor.
"The EOS R7 is equipped with a new approximately 32.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor combined with DIGIC X image processor, allowing for high-speed readout and high image quality."
Canon say one thing in one place, like it's "new", and in another that it has been "refined". What matters is the bottom line - it suffers from rolling shutter. If it didn't, and had the AF of the R5, it would dent its sales more.
 
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koenkooi

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Canon say one thing in one place, like it's "new", and in another that it has been "refined". What matters is the bottom line - it suffers from rolling shutter. If it didn't, and had the AF of the R5, it would dent its sales more.
If you read Canon announcements, it's never not a new sensor :) As for the R7, I wonder how much of the read out improvement is due to the Digic X vs Digic 8 and how much is due to the sensor refinements.
 
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justaCanonuser

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I have written time after time after time here I like the R7 a lot and use it when I want extra reach and also take it with me with the RF100-400mm when I want to caarry less weight as it compares well with the R5 100-500mm. I said good things even today, just a few posts back in this thread.


I even started a thread on how good the R7 is and highlighted its pros and cons. I have also written in several places it is so lght with the Rf100-400mm that my wife can handle it. So, why on earth should I sell it when it complements my R5?
Okay, I did miss some of your posts. The latest ones I read made me feel that you are too frustrated about the R7's performance. So, then we can stop this discussion and spend more time for photography. In fact, I really do hope that Canon will fix some AF issues, they could do that.

Btw I always like your bird images when you show them here, you really know how to shoot wildlife :)
 
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AlanF

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Okay, I did miss some of your posts. The latest ones I read made me feel that you are too frustrated about the R7's performance. So, then we can stop this discussion and spend more time for photography. In fact, I really do hope that Canon will fix some AF issues, they could do that.

Btw I always like your bird images when you show them here, you really know how to shoot wildlife :)
I have learned to work within the limits of my gear and appreciate what it can do and avoid what it can't. The R7 with the RF 100-400mm can do for £2000 in the UK for the enthusiast much of what the R5 and the RF 100-500mm does for £7000.
 
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