Sydney's Cockatoo Island provided the scenic backdrop for our hands on with the Canon EOS 7D, with some Photo5 action thrown in the mix.

Cockatoo Island is located in Sydney Harbour, a heritage listed island full of abandoned warehouses, industrial sights and sounds, and, of course, birds.

We had our first play with the 7D and our initial impressions were favourable — the 18-megapixel digital SLR features full HD video recording and up to 8 frames per second continuous shooting speed. Click through for images taken with the camera and some responses to the Photo5 competition.

This is the 7D with the EF-S 18-135mm lens sold as the Super Kit for AU$3499. The body is fairly chunky so the weight of the lens balances it nicely.

Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

With a view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the island is about 20 minutes from the city by boat or your nautical vessel of choice. For the record, these aren't cockatoos in the picture, they were off sick for the day.

Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

One of the briefs in the Photo5 competition this year is Practically Black, shooting an image with just enough detail but still enveloped in darkness. The 7D has a native ISO range of 100-6400 so it coped pretty well with this test, plus exposure compensation is able to be adjusted +/-5 stops.

Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Another brief is portraiture, using the included paper glasses. There's no model here but using a high ISO shows there's little noise or discolouration.

Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Next up is Splat, or capturing liquid in motion. Included in the Photo5 pack is a sachet of red colouring to mix in water. The aim is to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action — let's hope his shirt was washable.

Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Up, up and away in my beautiful (green) bucket.

Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Now you see it...

Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

...now it's all over your clothes. The 7D can take up to 8 frames per second, ideal for capturing these sorts of shots.

Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

The controls have been tweaked a little bit from the standard Canon 5D/5D Mark II configuration — the power switch is now underneath the mode dial and the buttons have all received a bit more of a rounded treatment.

Photo by: Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

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