For those of you hoping to turn “AGC off” in the Canon 7D, sorry, doesn’t look good

by planetMitch2 Comments

I know some of you have been hoping for a firmware upgrade to turn Audio Gain Control (AGC) off in the Canon 7D (it was added to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II in a firmware update), sorry, it doesn't look good as Enrique Jorreto (@momentaneafoto) found out… read a bit of his <a href="blog post below.

Enrique posts:

This is a post about my conversation with Canon about disabling AGC in a Canon EOS 7D camera. A little intro about the AGC thing and the conversation follows below.

As you probably know if you own a Canon EOS camera and use it to record video from time to time, Canon added to some of its cameras a “feature” that automatically amplifies the audio signal recorded with the in-camera or external microphone to achieve a somehow “correct” audio level all the time. That is, if it is loudy out there, the camera will lower the signal and if it is quiet, it will amplify the signal. This is called AGC (Automatic Gain Control). And this is, probably, the most hated “feature” for users interested in recording video with as much quality as possible with a Canon EOS camera.

Why? Because like most “automagic” features, it doesn’t work well in all circumstances. For example, if there is no sound or the scene is quiet, and you WANT to record it that way, the AGC will amplify the background sound and with it the “hiss” from the microphone. So, instead of having a quiet video, you have a horrible buzz coming from the AGC.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II also had this annoying feature, but as a request from its users, Canon released a new firmware to allow disabling AGC completely, and letting the user to control manually the gain of the amplifier. Canon EOS 60D came with that option already installed. But it seems that we 7D users will have to live forever with AGC, as Canon won’t release an update to disable it. So I sent a complaint to Canon Spain using their web form… Here is the full story…

  • I filled a complaint in Canon Spain website, explaining why I was dissapointed with the AGC thing, and requesting more info about why 5DII and 60D can disable it, but 7D can’t. And asking if a firmware update would be released at some point.
  • Got a support ticket and a new email telling that my request got “on escalate” into the next support level… A couple of days later I got my response: In Canon Spain they understand my concern, but cannot help as they don’t get info about new firmware updates from Canon Inc. Japan. They provided me with the postal address (that you can find in Canon Inc. website anyway) of Canon in Japan, in case I wanted to request more info about this issue.
  • I did not really love the idea of sending a letter to Canon Japan main office that could get lost jumping from desk to desk. So I went to Canon Inc. website and tried with their customer support service, filling a japanese form (thank you, Google translator) with my request (in english). I wrote my support ticket number from Canon Spain to allow them to track the issue.
  • After a few days I got an email, my issue was forwarded back to Canon Europe. That sounded like bad news…

There's more to the story – but since Enrique did all the research, I feel his site deserves the traffic, so if you want to know the final bit of the story: No “AGC off” firmware for Canon 7D

You can read the whole post: No “AGC off” firmware for Canon 7D

(cover photo credit: snap from Enrique's site)


  1. I really hope that this is not definitive. It probably is, but I hope not.

    Why do I even have any hope that it isn’t? Because pretty much every response he received from Canon is the typical tech company responses. “Case has been escalated”, “… for further development…”, and then random uninformed statements about a product that the rep obviously isn’t 100% familiar with on a technical level, but is tasked with dealing with an unhappy customer before things blow up.

    Unless that Canon Europe has the schematics, or has been directly told so by the engineers, he doesn’t seem to really know specific details regarding the AGC component.

    Basically, I still think there’s a chance of getting the firmware update, but it’s a slim one.

  2. Sorry, but I didn’t understand one thing quite well…
    I own both 5d and 7d…

    And you say that 5d AGC- disable option has been introduced in update firmware…

    I have all firmwares they ever released but I can’t seem to find that AGC-off option
    Only thing present is MANUAL SETTING OF AUDIO and DISSALING AUDIO totally..

    Now,this MANUAL AUDIO SETTING is far from turning off AGC.. I just tested it right now one more time…

    However fine tune is my manual audio setting, hiss on the recording is sooooo present, compared to very next recording, in which I used MAGIC LANTERN AGC DISABLER, which really turns it off…

    Please tell me I’m doing something wrong and that full turn-off of AGC Iis possible from firmware update only.(and how)- I would be the happiest man alive!
    Thanx! Love your posts!!!
    [email protected]

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