Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E5/E5A Canon has also announced a transmitter companion for the 7D. It’s a battery grip-style wired/wireless device that is most similar to the WFT-E4/E4A for the 5D Mark II, with some slick new bells and whistles mixed in.
Like that unit, the WFT-E5/E5A has three operating modes – FTP, PTP and HTTP (the HTTP mode is renamed WFT Server in the newer transmitter) – and can send pictures and video over a wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi link. Or, to a USB drive as well. If a GPS unit is connected to the device’s USB port, location information is added to the metadata of each picture file.
It’s also powered by the same Battery Pack LP-E6, supports Wireless Protected Setup for quicker configuration with certain wireless routers and includes vertical shooting controls.
New in the WFT-E5/E5A:
- Support for 802.11a wireless networks, in addition to 802.11b/g.
- A GPS device can now link over Bluetooth as well as USB. A compatible USB Bluetooth module, such as Canon Bluetooth Unit BU-30, must be inserted into the WFT-E5/E5A’s USB port for this to work.
- WFT Server mode allows for remote viewing of the camera’s Live View feed, adjusting of shutter speed, aperture, ISO and various other camera settings, plus firing the shutter, all from the web browser of a linked computer, iPhone or other smartphone.
- A 7D with a WFT-E5/E5A attached can be configured to fire multiple remote cameras, up to 10 in all, in concert with the 7D in your hand. Once configured, pressing the shutter button on the camera you’re using causes the remote cameras to fire as well, presumably with a slight delay. Transmission range is specified to be about 328ft (100m).As of now, both the local and remote cameras all must be 7Ds sitting on WFT-E5/E5As, but it’s a safe bet that future Canon digital SLRs and their transmitters will support this same feature. If this comes to pass, then different Canon cameras should be able to trigger each other and it won’t be necessary to have the same camera model and transmitter all around.
Video An evolved version of the video mode in the 5D Mark II graces the 7D. If you’re familiar with that camera’s video capabilities, then you know a lot about the 7D’s video mode already. The new camera has all the video features of the 5D Mark II, including both manual and automatic exposure, three static AF modes that can be activated prior to and during video capture, both a built-in mic and a 3.5mm miniphone jack for an external stereo mic, a built-in speaker, automatic audio gain with no manual override, H.264-compressed movie files with a .mov extension, a 4GB clip length limit, the ability to start and stop video recordings with Canon’s Remote Controller RC-5 and RC-1, plus:
- More resolution and frame rate options The 7D offers the following video output settings:
- 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30fps (actually 29.97fps)
- 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 25fps
- 1080p: 1920 x 1080 pixels at 24fps (actually 23.976fps)
- 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels at 60fps (actually 59.94fps)
- 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels at 50fps
- SD: 640 x 480 pixels at 60fps (actually 59.94fps)
- SD: 640 x 480 pixels at 50fps
- Canon projects that the typical maximum clip length for 1080p and 720p video will be about 12 minutes. This jumps to about 24 minutes for SD video. As with the 5D Mark II, the actual maximum clip length will vary greatly with scene content, scene movement and ISO.
- Tweaked frame rates Some of the 7D’s frame rates – for example, 29.97fps rather than 30fps, as noted above – should allow for easier syncing with separately-recorded audio in a variety of video editing applications. (The 5D Mark II’s true 30fps frame rate leads to syncing difficulties in some programs).
- Higher audio sample rate The 7D’s audio sample rate is 48khz, up from 44.1khz in the 5D Mark II.
- Higher data rates, possibly When comparing 1080p video at the same frame rate of similar scenes, the 7D’s data rates are typically 5-10% higher than the the 5D Mark II’s (40mbits/s vs 47mbits/s, for example). This could be an anomaly of the video we’ve shot with the two cameras. Nevertheless, the data rate jump is consistent.
- In-camera video trimming Trimming of the start and the end of a clip is possible.
- Still/video mode switch The addition of the aforementioned mode toggle and start/stop button combo makes it much easier to switch to video and quickly start recording, without sacrificing ready access to Live View when shooting stills.
The only apparent advantages of the 5D Mark II’s video mode are somewhat shallower depth of field effects (thanks to its use of longer focal lengths for a given field of view), a maximum ISO of 12,800 (the 7D’s maximum ISO when capturing video is 6400) and somewhat cleaner video at higher ISO settings.