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Trying to decide which DSLR to buy as my first DSLR. I'd shoot macro, nature, landscape mostly but I'd like video occasionally when I travel.

I'm very interested in the Canon EOS 7D but was told by a friend's who uses Pentax K-(9?) that it's inadvisable to use the 7D to shoot video as he had seen the mirror assembly may pop out from being held down in one position when shooting videos. Furthermore, he claimed it wasn't covered by Canon warranty and is expensive to replace. He's suggesting I consider Pentax K series which he claimed is using a different mirror assembly.

As I'm not very knowledgeable but still am very keen on Canon DSLR for photography (and occasional holiday HD video), I appreciate your suggestions on this, thanks.

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I'm very skeptical that the mirror assembly would "pop out", let alone that some such serious defect wouldn't be covered by Canon's warranty. I'm all for Pentax, which is a great brand, but I don't think your friend's stories are doing Pentax any favors. –  mattdm Mar 6 '11 at 16:50
    
mattdm, thanks for sharing. I'm very worried that I may inadvertently damage my DSLR from occasional video. Your feedback helps calm my fears (especially since the 7D is quite an investment). Thanks again. –  Global nomad Mar 6 '11 at 17:01
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I'm a Pentax shooter and I have to say, that's the most absurd thing I've ever heard and I wish such users would stop the noise! The Canon 7D and Pentax K5 are both top notch cameras that will, in all probability, do everything you want and then some. –  John Cavan Mar 6 '11 at 18:07
    
Jay, Jerry, John, Matt, Mattdm, and Thomas, many thanks for sharing your thoughts and helping me feel more confident about my buying decision. As a first time visitor (and now loyal reader) to this forum, you guys rock. I'm looking forward to capturing memorable moments with my EOS7D. 8) –  Global nomad Mar 8 '11 at 7:04
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If that were even remotely true, live view would be broken as well since I am pretty sure it works the same way. That is, the mirror is lifted out of the way. It is quite an unbelievable claim. –  Robin Jan 10 '13 at 15:19

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Over the last year I have shot several short films with the Canon 7D (and with the 5DmkII)- covering more than 5 hours of footage in total, including a number of interview-style segments where the takes were many minutes in length. I've never had a problem, and the 7D has performed beautifully throughout.

Further, if there were this level of flaw in the Canon 7D, you would think that there would be a lot of information about it out on the internet, but there isn't.

Bottom line, from someone who has used the 7D extensively for filmmaking: your friend is just plain wrong (and may not the most reliable source for videography information). :-)

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Two of the shorts I filmed last year were top 10 finishers in the Canon 'Story Behind the Still' competition, and can be found here if you're interested in watching them: vimeo.com/9387228, vimeo.com/10327340 –  Jay Lance Photography Mar 6 '11 at 17:15
    
Hi Jay, thanks for sharing your experience. I'm very happy to say I'm getting my first DSLR and it's an EOS 7D. –  Global nomad Mar 6 '11 at 18:06

If anything, shooting video (or longer exposures, where the mirror is also held "open" for extended periods of time) probably reduces stress on the mirror assembly. In normal shooting, the mirror needs to be accelerated fairly quickly to flip up out of the way, then be decelerated just as quickly to come to a complete stop, all in something like 50-70 milliseconds.

By contrast, when you shoot video (or, equivalently, use live-view), the mirror flips up once, and then stays put for the duration. No acceleration, no deceleration, minimal movement of any kind.

While it may be sincere on your friend's part (i.e., he may be telling you something he heard and believes to be true) I'd say that intentionally or otherwise, you friend is mostly spreading FUD.

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Jerry, thanks for sharing. What you say about mechanical wear and tear makes a lot of sense. –  Global nomad Mar 6 '11 at 18:17

I've never heard of the mirror assembly popping out due to being held open, and to be honest I think the claim is ridiculous! The mirror assembly Canon use is the same design as their film cameras and is designed to be up for extended periods of time (long before anyone dreamedof shooting video with an SLR), in order to enable long bulb exposures. In the film days people used to have the shutter open all night to shoot star trials.

In addition to this the 7D is very highly regarded amongst videographers!

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Matt, thanks for sharing. You're right about long bulb exposures (why didn't I think of that!) Glad to hear that my fear is unsubstantiated. Thanks for clearing the air for this beginner who's new to photography and to this forum. Much appreciated. –  Global nomad Mar 6 '11 at 17:05

Sounds like a load of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) to me. Your friend may have a chip on his shoulder against Canon.

Maybe he's heard of this happening to someone; maybe this is an isolated fault with someone's camera. If it is a fault with the mechanism I do not see any reason it wouldn't be covered under warranty since shooting video is one of the features of that camera. That seems kinda far-fetched and maybe just a bad experience with some support employee.

By all means go ahead and buy a Pentax camera if you want one. There's some great lenses available for them, and they have decent sensors with in-built image stabilisation so you don't need to pay for it in every lens you buy. It's your choice. Maybe you can even share lenses/accessories with your friend.

But yeah, I think this issue is made-up, or at least beat-up - people do shoot video on Canon DSLRs and you should get one of you want one.

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Hi Thomas, thanks. I wasn't sure so I'm glad I asked. Now I'm a proud owner of an EOS7D. –  Global nomad Mar 8 '11 at 7:02

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