Canon have launched a relatively significant, free, firmware release for their EOS 7D DSLR, available from August. It will upgrade the camera with the following features:
- Improved maximum burst for RAW images (up to 25)
- In-camera RAW image editing
- In-camera image rating
- In-camera JPEG resizing
- Maximum Auto ISO setting (ISO 400-6400)
- Manual audio level adjustment in movie recording
- GPS compatibility
- File name customisation
- Time zone settings
- Faster scrolling of magnified images
- Quick control screen during playback
There is plenty of negative (and tedious) feedback about the reasons and timings of this release on various internet forums, but I think it's positive for the following reasons:
- If you've already got the 7D, this gives it a new lease of life, for free
- If you were considering buying the 7D - it will be a better camera
- If you haven't got, or don't want the 7D, ignore the news!
On a more serious point, it isn't sustainable for any electronics manufacturer to develop new models and expect consumers to upgrade every 12 months or so. With the EOS range of accessories, Canon already do an incredible job of this - effectively allowing new features to be added to the main body of the camera with new lenses, flash guns, etc. Firmware is another way of achieving this - and it's free!
More info here.