Manual audio controls are the achilles heel of HDSLRs. As much as I’ve complained about manual focus, pros have always done fine without.  (imagine my shock upon learning that my dad’s new Aaton super 16 film camera – a 65 thousand dollar piece of hardware – had no autofocus)  But bad audio – and lack of control is really the same – is totally unforgivable.

Good news for 7D owners. There’s a firmware update unlocking manual audio controls. I’m stoked.

This update basically opens up features built into the camera, but not accessible in the previous firmware. Reminds me of the bluetooth chip in 2nd generation iPod touches, which was capable of acting as an FM radio tuner. Unlike Apple, who ignored this capability (have you ever seen an iPod touch with a radio tuner?), Canon has decided to open up features rather than ignore them. Granted, these updates to the 7D do way more for the camera than an FM tuner would do for an iPod.

And there’s more. 25 RAW images per burst, rather than 15, in-camera RAW editing, JPEG resizing, and increased ISO capabilities are there, too. All these updates are neat, but pale in comparison with the audio controls.



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