The Canon EOS Elan 7N/7NEOn February 9th 2004, just prior to PMA, Canon announced an upgrade to the EOS Elan 7/7E. This is an upgrade rather than a new model because most of the features of the Elan 7/7E remain unchanged. The upgrades include a faster AF system. the incorporation of Canon's new E-TTL II flash system (which is also used on the new EOS 1D Mark II) and an illuminated LCD display.
You can find full camera specs on the Canon EOS Elan 7N and 7NE specifications page.
The following information is taken from the official Canon press release:
AF Speed ZoneThe EOS ELAN 7 and 7E already had the fastest autofocus system in their class when they were introduced four years ago. The new models have improved on this performance by adopting the high-speed AF circuitry of the EOS 10D digital SLR. As a result, focus detection and lens drive are faster than ever, and now rival the speed of Canon's top-line professional EOS-1v and EOS-1D series cameras. The ELAN 7N and 7NE's seven-point wide area autofocus is clearly visible in the camera's viewfinder, providing the photographer with greater focusing flexibility, particularly when used with the eye-control function of the model 7NE. This exclusive Canon technology allows photographers to select an AF point simply by looking at it through the viewfinder. Eye Controlled Focus can be used by most photographers with or without eyeglasses, and continues to function whether the camera is held horizontally.
At 4.0 frames per second in One-Shot AF and manual focus, the EOS ELAN 7N and ELAN 7NE cameras still provide the fastest continuous shooting speed in their class. When the camera is set to the AI Servo mode for tracking moving subjects, the maximum speed is 3.5 frames per second. In addition, the cameras utilize Canon's exclusive Whisper Drive film transport system making them the quietest 35mm EOS cameras ever.
Revised E-TTL II Flash MeteringAlso enhanced in the new models is the new E-TTL II flash metering system, which uses distance information available with most Canon EF lenses. E-TTL II, which requires the use of optional EX-series Speedlites and compatible EF lenses with built-in distance information encoder, consistently produces accurate flash exposures, even when shooting light, dark or highly reflective subjects.
This "smarter" system compares the ambient light with the reflected pre-flash off the subject reported in all the metering zones and selects the areas with a small difference to be weighted for flash exposure calculation. The system also eliminates or under weights areas with large difference, recognizing them as an extremely reflective object in the background or as a highly reflective subject, by smartly ensuring it by considering the distance information data provided from compatible EF lenses.
Similarly, in cases where photographers lock focus and recompose the shot, this revised E-TTL system prevents over-exposure by considering the flash output level calculated according to the broader distance information rather than using the single AF point.
Exterior EnhancementsConstructed of the same durable yet lightweight aluminum alloy panels found on its predecessors, the new EOS ELAN 7N and EOS ELAN 7NE cameras have several enhancements designed to make camera controls easier to read. The new models feature larger icons and labels on the mode dials and the LCD panel can now be viewed in low light at the press of the adjacent illumination button, making it easier to read as well. For fashion-conscious photographers, Canon has added the "Ultra-Matte Coating," a black textured finish to the camera to distinguish it physically from the older EOS ELAN 7 and EOS ELAN 7E models.
EOS System CompatibilityIn addition to full compatibility with legendary Canon EF lenses and EX Speedlites, the new cameras are compatible with a wide range of EOS system accessories, including Battery Pack BP-300 as well as wired and wireless remote controllers, eyepiece accessories, etc.
ConclusionsCurrently (August 2004) the Elan 7NE is selling for around $350 and the Elan 7N for around $300. If you don't need the professional features of a camera like the EOS-3 (currently selling for around $900), the Elan 7N/7NE is quite a bargain. An excellent, feature packed camera at a very good price. In my opinion it's definitely a better but than an EOS Rebel for any serious photographer, amateur or pro.
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