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Canon breathes new life into aging 7D Mark II with new kit bundles

The new 5D Mark IV might have grabbed all the headlines yesterday, but Canon also squeezed in an announcement about it’s nearly 2-year-old APS-C flagship, the 7D Mark II. While the camera itself is unchanged, Canon will be packaging it in a refreshed kit, complete with the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens and a unique Wi-Fi adapter that slides into an SD card slot.

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Called the W-E1, that new Wi-Fi adapter can wirelessly transfer stills and video files and allows for remote control of the camera through the Canon Camera Connect app on compatible iOS and Android devices. It will be available with the 7D Mark II in October for an estimated retail price of $1,849 with the camera body only, or $2,449 with the camera and 18-135mm lens.

The adapter will also work on previously purchased 7D Mark II cameras, although owners will need to download a firmware update to enable compatibility, which should be available in September. The W-E1 will go on sale around the same time for a price of $50.

The adapter probably sounds familiar to anyone who has used Eye-Fi SD cards before, but unlike those cards, Canon’s adapter provides no storage space of its own. It is designed to be used in cameras that have a second memory card slot, like the 7D Mark II.

The W-E1 will also be compatible with the EOS-5DS and 5DSR cameras, albeit solely for transferring still images. 5DS/R users will need to wait until November for a firmware update to use the new adapter.

As for the other change to the 7D Mark II kit, Canon has long bundled the camera with an 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. This is the first time, however, that the camera will be sold with the newest version of that lens, which uses nano ultrasonic motor technology to provide fast and silent autofocus when shooting both stills and video. Canon claims the lens has also been optimized for smooth and quiet zooming, a big advantage for video shooters.