Canon EOS 7D Review

For a number of years, the Canon X0D series was essentially the go-to option for serious enthusiasts, professionals, and aspiring professionals who desired top-level image quality and functionality but didn’t want the heft (or price) of a professional-level camera like the 1D series. This was especially true for Canon users.

You didn’t need to spend a lot of time behind the lens with the Canon EOS 10D, 20D, or 30D cameras to figure out why they were such a great commercial success and how popular they were. However, just as in every other segment of the market for DSLR cameras, there are a few competitors who are quite competitive, both in terms of price and functionality.

The most recent X0D EOS models have had to live up to larger expectations and have had a more difficult time standing out from the crowd as a result of the existence of cameras such as Sony’s A700 and Nikon’s D200 and 300.

This leads us to the 7D, a camera that appears to be intent on reclaiming its position as king of the APS-C crown. Although at first sight, it appears to be quite similar to the EOS 50D – it is, after all, indisputably a member of the EOS family – a closer inspection reveals that this is not even remotely the kind of subtle update that we are accustomed to seeing in this price bracket. In point of fact, the 50D is not meant to be replaced by this model; rather, it is meant to serve as the 50D’s big brother.

The camera is constructed around a brand new sensor that has a resolution of 18 megapixels, but the viewfinder is likely to be the first thing that catches your attention before you ever attempt to take a picture with it. The finder in the EOS 50D has a magnification of 0.95X and covers 95 percent of the frame; the finder in the D300S has a magnification of 1.0X and covers 100 percent of the frame. This provides a substantial improvement over the finder in the EOS 50D. (Its 0.94X finder ends up essentially the same size, once the focal length multiplier effect of its fractionally larger sensor is taken into account).

However, the 7D is not simply a 50D with a new sensor, viewfinder, and revised body; it also features a new autofocus system with a dedicated processor, dual Digic 4 processors, and a new shutter mechanism that enables continuous shooting at 8 frames per second. Additionally, the 7D has the ability to control groups of external flashguns using its built-in flash.

These are some of the most notable changes. However, the upgrades include a wide variety of fixes, improvements, and enhancements in addition to these major feature modifications that have been implemented. Make no mistake about it, Canon wants to regain its position as the company of choice.

Key Features

  • APS-C CMOS sensor with 18 megapixels and continuous shooting at 8 frames per second
  • Recording of high-definition video in 1080p with manual settings
  • Clear View II LCD screen measuring 3.0 inches in size and with 920,000 dot resolution 19-point autofocus system (all cross-type)
  • a viewfinder with a magnification of one time and coverage of one hundred percent
  • Control of the flash, wirelessly
  • Sealing off the environment

What’s new and the most important characteristics

18 Megapixel C MOS sensor.

The EOS 7D utilizes a newly developed 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that was developed in-house by Canon. Canon asserts that the sensor achieves an enhanced signal-to-noise ratio thanks to a newly designed photodiode and micro lens, which the company says is the secret to the improvement.

The gapless microlenses that were initially introduced on the EOS 50D can be found on the sensor of the EOS 7D. However, in the new model, the distance between the microlenses and the photodiodes has been shrunk, which allows the light to be more readily focused onto the photodiode.

A new 19-point AF system is being implemented. The new autofocus system has a total of 19 cross-type sensors and offers a great degree of configurability (see below for details). You may even instruct the camera to move to different autofocus (AF) point selection mode and chosen point (or zone) based on the direction it is held in (Landscape, Portrait grip up, Portrait grip down). The accelerometers that are employed to give the level display are utilized here for this purpose.

Viewfinder. The Canon EOS 7D is the first EOS camera to include a viewfinder that has a coverage of one hundred percent and a magnification of one time. The autofocus points, spot metering circle, and composition grid are all displayed on a transmissive LCD that is located in the viewfinder.

LCD has a 3-inch Clear View II display. Canon has reduced the amount of glare that is produced by the new 3-inch, 920K pixel screen by eliminating the air gap that was previously present between the protective cover of the liquid crystal display (LCD) and the liquid crystal itself.

The viewing angle of the screen is around 160 degrees. A built-in ambient light sensor, similar to the one found on the EOS 5D Mark II, allows the camera to automatically adjust its brightness to the level that is optimal for the surrounding environment.

Metering system

The brand new Focus Color Brightness metering system, known as iFCL, is capable of measuring focus, color, and luminance over 63 different zones.

Individualized Settings. The newly implemented interface for custom controls under the custom functions menu enables an almost unimaginably wide range of button and control modification options. A representation of the camera in the form of a schematic has the positions of the controls shown in bold. Dual Axis Electronic Level.

Both the pitch and roll angles are shown on the electronic level. It utilizes the same acceleration sensor as the ‘orientation-sensitive’ autofocus technology and may be shown either in the viewfinder through the use of the AF point indications or on the LCD.

The new flash also has a wireless control system. The Canon EOS 7D is the first model of the company’s DSLR cameras to include an integrated Speedlite transmitter. The system enables the user to control as many as three groups, each of which may operate four flashes. The built-in flash on newer versions has a larger flash coverage than older models thanks to its 15mm lens. Its guide number is 12/39 (ISO 100, in meters/feet).

Environmental Protection and Sealing It appears that the camera has weather sealing that is comparable to that of the EOS 1N (which came out in 1994, don’t you remember?). On the image, the color red represents a seal, while the color green demonstrates stronger seams on the magnesium body.

Dual DIGIC 4 processors provide the processing power that is required for continuous shooting at eight frames per second across all file types and image quality settings.

New special features for the film

In movie mode on the 7D, you have complete manual control over the shutter speed and aperture settings. It is possible to record images with a resolution of 1080p at either 30 (NTSC), 25 (PAL), or 24 frames per second and images may be recorded in 720p mode at either 60 (NTSC) or 50 (PAL) frames per second. The beginning and end of a movie may also be trimmed in the camera in increments of one second, which is an additional option.

There is now a dedicated switch that allows you to move from any of the other shooting modes to the movie mode for easier use. Pressing the shutter button at any moment will produce a still image, and an external microphone must be attached in order to capture stereo sound.

The choosing of autofocus points

The Canon 7D has been updated with new autofocus (AF) system that not only provides additional AF points but also a number of different new ways to pick them.

The Canon EOS 7D is equipped with a set of additional modes that allow users to make the most of the camera’s 19 autofocus (AF) points. These modes are in addition to the regular Canon choices of selecting AF points either automatically or manually. Through the use of Custom Function III, one may identify which of the five possibilities are open to them.

  • When working with telephoto lenses, the spot AF mode utilizes only the middle portion of each autofocus point to achieve a more accurate focus (at the risk of slower focus acquisition).
  • The AF point expansion feature helps with focus tracking by taking into account the points that are immediately next to the AF point that was manually set.
  • The Zone AF feature divides the points on the camera’s sensor into five distinct areas, allowing you to direct the camera’s attention to the specific region of the picture that you want it to focus on.
  • In addition, based on the orientation of the camera, you may choose which point selection mode (as well as which point or zone) you want the camera to leap to when you press the button.

Design

There are a number of notable changes between the EOS 7D and either the 50D or the 5D Mark II, despite the fact that the EOS 7D instantly identifies itself as a member of the EOS series.

It is more noticeable that there is now a switch for selecting between live view and movie record mode, as well as a start/stop button to engage them. The buttons are larger than they were on the models that came before it (for use with gloves in cold conditions), but this change is less noticeable than the addition of the switch.

This is an additional step toward incorporating movie recording as a core mode of operation for the camera, as opposed to treating it as an additional function that has been thrown on as an afterthought.

Existing Canon customers will not experience any significant learning curves as a result of these layout modifications.

Recent versions require you to press the power switch to a position just beyond ‘on’ in order to for the dial to operate, which removes one of the big sources of confusion for first-time Canon shooters. The only other notable change is the separation of the control dial lock and the power switch.

In this regard, the 7D functions similarly to its predecessors, the D30, D60, and 10D cameras.

Sealants for construction projects and the environment

The architecture of the 7D is identical to that of the 5D Mark II in that it is made of magnesium and features thorough sealing. This is in keeping with the XD a designation that the camera bears. Again, Canon asserts that the EOS-1D Mark II has the same level of resistance to dust and moisture as the EOS-1N professional film SLR from the 1990s.

Within your grasp

The Canon EOS 7D is a hefty camera, coming in at 820 grams with no memory card, batteries, or lenses attached. This places its hair over the Canon EOS 5D Mark II in terms of weight. Its grip is nicely constructed to make it simple to maintain this weight, but even with the lightest lens, it is unlikely that this camera will be able to be shot with only one hand.

LCD monitor

The screen on each new Canon DSLR model appears to be improved over the previous one; for example, the EOS 7D has a 921,000-dot LCD and uses the most recent gapless technology, which helps eliminate internal reflections and boost contrast.

LCD control panel

A large LCD control screen can be found on the top of the camera, and it displays a great deal of information on the various exposure settings and camera settings. The primary numeric area of the panel also serves a dual purpose in providing other kinds of information, such as the “Busy” alert and the ability to pick an AF point, among other things.

When you press the lamp button that is located on the top of the camera, an orange light will illuminate the panel for the duration of the metering timeout period. The ISO sensitivity may now be seen at all times, making it consistent with the rest of the EOS product line.

Viewfinder

Viewfinder view

A permanent display of the ISO sensitivity has been added to the viewfinder, along with a small ‘D+’ sign that shows if Highlight Tone Priority is engaged and a more precise indicator of the battery’s current state.

When using the automated AF point selection mode, the AF points picked by the camera are momentarily highlighted when you commence AF (half-press the shutter release / AF button), but if you select an AF point manually, that point is the one that is highlighted.

In the mode that automatically selects the AF point, the AF point will not become highlighted until after an AF lock has been obtained. When there is just one AF point set, it will flash twice: once after you are halfway through the shutter release, and again when it has locked (or not at all if no AF lock was possible).

When using AI Servo AF mode (while keeping the shutter release button pushed halfway), the active AF point will be shown.

Viewfinder size

The size of the viewfinder is a statistic that is buried somewhere in the specifications of every single SLR (often in a format that makes a comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is an important aspect to consider when determining the usability of a single-lens reflex camera (SLR). The larger the viewfinder, the simpler it is to frame and focus your photographs, as well as the more pleasurable and engaging the process is.

Because viewfinders are measured using a fixed lens rather than a lens of similar magnification, you also need to take into consideration the size of the sensor. As a result, the values in the figure below represent the manufacturer’s specified magnifications divided by the various ‘crop factors.’

The end result is that the viewfinder on the EOS 7D is a (very tiny) fraction smaller than the viewfinder on the Nikon D300(S), quite significantly larger than the viewfinder on the Olympus E-30, and (obviously) smaller than the viewfinder on the full-frame camera that is being compared here, the EOS-1Ds Mk III. You can see this for yourself by looking at the image above. In addition to this, its size is substantially increased in comparison to that of the EOS 50D.

Crop from the viewfinder

The Canon EOS 7D is the newest member of a very small club of digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) that offer a field of vision that is completely unobstructed. Other members of this club include the Nikon D300 and D300S. As a consequence of this, you get a preview of the data that the sensor will capture, which enables you to fine-tune the composition.

Storage Space for Compact Flash Cards

The door of the Compact Flash compartment on the EOS 7D may be opened by sliding it towards you and then flipping it outwards. This compartment is located in the back corner of the hand grip.

After the CF card has been ejected, the door itself swings open on a metal hinge and provides ample space for removing the card. On the quick control dial, the CF activity light may be seen at the bottom right corner.

The Canon EOS 7D supports not just Type I and Type II Compact Flash cards, but also the faster and more modern UDMA standard as well as the Compact Flash+ standard.

Storage Space for Batteries

The door to the battery compartment of the EOS 7D is just a simple clip that locks it, and it’s located at the bottom of the hand grip. The door panel itself may be removed (to make way for the optional battery grip).

The LP-E6 lithium-ion battery that is used in the 7D is the same one that is used in the 5D Mark II. This battery has a capacity of 1800 mAh, which is 400 mAh more than the BP-511A battery that is used in the EOS 50D. Additionally, the LP-E6 communicates more detailed battery status information back to the camera.

Charger for the Battery

The LC-E6E charger, which is used in Europe and Asia, and the LC-E6 charger, which is used in North America, both display the charge state of the battery and charge it in around 90 minutes.

Wireless Grip for the WFT-E5 (optional)

You will be able to shoot wirelessly (802.11b/g) directly to FTP servers with the new WFT-E5, and you will also be able to have two-way communication through PTP and HTTP. In HTTP mode, you will have full remote control of the camera, including the ability to watch a live view, make adjustments to the settings, and snap pictures.

Although only tiny flash drives can be powered by the grip, the USB port may be used to save directly to external USB hard disks and supply GPS data from USB GPS devices. The USB port is located on the bottom of the gadget. However, the grip does not contribute in any way to the camera’s power supply.

Battery Grip Model BG-E7 (optional)

When used in conjunction with two LP-E6 batteries, the compatible battery grip model BG-E7 roughly doubles the number of bullets that may be fired by the firearm. The number of photos that may be taken using alkaline batteries of size AA or LR6 at a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius or 73 degrees Fahrenheit is about.

400 photos were taken without the use of a flash, and around 300 shots were taken with flash usage at 50 percent. In addition to having a second main dial, an AF On button, an AEL button, and an AF-point selection button, it also has an M.Fn button.

Connections
Under a rubber flap that has been cut in it, all of the EOS 7D’s connections can be found along the left side of the camera. The connections are efficiently organized into two columns, each of which has its own cover.

PC sync and the remote terminal are located on the left side of the screen (N3). The input for the microphone, a combined audio/video output, a USB 2.0 (High-Speed) port, and an HDMI port may be found on the right (mini). Take note that an HDMI cable is not included in the package with the camera.

Mounting Options: Base or Tripod

Both the focal plane of the sensor and the center of the lens is aligned with the location of the tripod mount on the camera. The connection that may be utilized for interacting with the optional WFT-E5/E5A wireless grip is often shielded from potential damage by a rubber cover.

Lighting from within

When compared to earlier versions, the built-in pop-up flash on the EOS 7D has a broader flash coverage at 15 millimeters. Its guide number is 12/39 (ISO 100, in meters/feet). The flash sync speed is roughly 1/250 of a second, while the recycling duration is around 3 seconds.

The Canon EOS 7D is the first model of the company’s DSLR cameras to include an integrated Speedlite transmitter. The system enables the remote control of up to three groups, each consisting of a maximum of four external flashes.

Adapter for external flash and accessory shoe.

The accessory shoe of the EOS 7D is compatible with flash units made by both Canon and third parties (sync only). The flash’s output can be accurately gauged thanks to the hot shoe’s support for E-TTL II metering, which pulls information about the subject’s distance from the lens.

This is compatible with each and every Canon lens (although distance information is only provided by lenses with ring type USM motors). You’ll also notice the new weather seal surrounding the flash, which is designed to operate in tandem with the more recent 580EX II Speedlite.

Lens Mount

Because the EOS 7D utilizes a standard metal EF/EF-S lens mount, it is compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses in addition to third-party lenses that are compatible with the mount.

All lenses are subject to a field of view crop (also termed focal length multiplier) of 1.6x since the sensor is smaller than a 35 mm frame. As a result, a 17 mm lens delivers the same field of view as a 27.2 mm lens on 35 mm film.

Included Within the Packaging

Depending on where you live, you can purchase the EOS 7D either as a body-only model or as a bundle that includes either the EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM or the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lenses.

The following items are contained within the body-only box

  • Canon EOS 7D digital SLR body (with eyecup and body cap)
  • Lithium-ion battery pack with the model number LP-E6 (with cover)
  • Battery charger model LC-E6 (also known as LC-E6/LC-E6E).
  • Wide Strap EW-EOS7D
  • IFC-200U USB Cable is included.
  • Stereo Video Cable AVC-DC400ST
  • CD-ROMs
  • Solution Disk for the Canon EOS
  • EOS Utility
  • ZoomBrowser EX (Enhanced)
  • Remote Capture
  • The Professional Digital Photographer
  • Manuals / Reg. card

Controls at the very top of the camera (left)

The dial for changing the camera’s exposure mode may be found on the top left of the camera. In contrast to Canon DSLRs with lower price tags, this model does not have the ‘Basic mode’ automated scene settings and instead provides the exact same scene modes as the EOS 5D Mark II.

This comprises the completely automated “green” mode and the Creative Auto (CA) mode, which offers a simpler interface that enables the user to select the exposure in terms of the image results they desire rather than in terms of the exposure parameters. Both of these modes are included in this category.

In addition to this, the EOS 7D features the standard program mode, as well as semi-automatic and fully manual P, Tv, Av, and M modes, as well as three modes that may be configured to your own specifications. Just as on the smaller EOS 500D, the power switch can be found just beneath the mode dial on this model.

Only specific settings may be used when Full Auto is selected; other parameters are either totally removed, have far fewer options accessible, or remain in their default state.

In the automated modes, the camera will warn that blur may occur due to slow shutter speeds by blinking the shutter speed on the LCD panel and viewfinder status bar. This occurs when the camera detects that blur may occur due to slow shutter speeds.

Advanced exposure modes

The five different exposure modes, including the ones that the camera’s prosumer and the professional audience will be most accustomed to using. These modes make all of the menu functions and camera settings available to the user, and they may be combined in any way they see fit.

Controlling the shutter speed with the main dial (top) and the aperture with the fast control dial (rear) is how manual exposure modes work (Tv, Av, and M). You may switch the operating orientation of these dials by pressing the C.Fn IV-1 (Custom) button.

Controls at the very top of the camera (right)

You’ll find the LCD status panel on the top right of the camera, and just above it are a total of four buttons, including one for the LCD backlight and three control buttons (see below).

In front of them are the primary dial and the button that releases the shutter, in addition to the newest addition, the button that controls the multi-function functions (which occupies the same position as the Flash Exposure Lock button on 1D-series bodies, but is customizable).

The AF-ON, AE-Lock, and focus point selection buttons are located along the rear of the camera, directly ‘under your thumb.’ Again, this arrangement is identical to the one seen on the 5D Mark II, with the exception of the Multi-function button.

Controls on the back of the camera

The design of the back of the 7D is somewhat comparable to that of the EOS 5D Mark II, although it is not an exact replica of that design. The primary distinctions are buttons that are somewhat bigger (to facilitate use while wearing gloves), the inclusion of a switch or button to toggle between live view and movie mode, and the introduction of a new button labeled “Q.”

The On/Off switch has been relocated from the back dial to its new location on the top of the camera, directly under the mode dial. A new feature has been added to the Direct Print button, which enables users to record a RAW or JPEG file in addition to the file type that is already set.

Aside from that, the vast majority of prior EOS users, but especially photographers who have used the 5D Mark II, will feel perfectly at home with the 7D from the very first shot they take with it.

However, many users will be disappointed to see that despite the great amount of customization that is available, there is still no option to assign mirror lock-up to an external button. This is despite the fact that the level of customization is extraordinary (although turning on live view can be used as a sort of proxy).

Adjustment of parameters displayed on-screen (Q Menu)

The display panel of the 7D’s settings may be interacted with, just like on many current DSLRs. This implies that there are up to three different methods to change the settings; for many choices, you can click a dedicated button and then spin either the front or back dial; alternatively, there are two other ways to use the interactive settings display (the Q Menu).

After pushing the new ‘Q’ button and using the dials or joystick to choose the item you want to alter, you will then have the choice to either roll the main dial or hit the ‘SET’ button. This process is required for both approaches. This will bring up a dedicated screen, which may once more be traversed using the joystick, and selections can be made with the button labeled “SET.”

Creative Auto mode

The function known as Creative Auto, which was initially introduced on the 50D, is the setting that most closely resembles a scene mode on the 7D. Aperture priority mode is simplified for use by inexperienced photographers because to this feature.

The screen enables the user to exercise control over a variety of image settings, but more significantly, it enables the user to take a results-oriented approach to the shooting parameters. This gives the user the ability to select the aperture as well as the exposure compensation by choosing the level of blurriness they desire for the background as well as the level of lightness or darkness they desire for the image.

Performance

It is clear that the EOS 7D benefits from having Dual Digic 4 processors powering it. The entire performance of the camera is nothing short of outstanding, especially when compared to other products in this market area.

The enormous 18-megapixel data are being moved through the imaging and processing pipeline at a lightning-fast clip thanks to the two processors’ concerted efforts. You shouldn’t be worrying about whether or not this camera is quick enough for you; rather, you should be slightly concerned about whether or not you are fast enough for the 7D.

Timings & File Sizes

Notes Regarding Timing: Each time was measured as the average of three separate procedures. Unless otherwise specified, all durations were done on a JPEG Fine picture that was 5184 by 3456 pixels (approx. 6,000 KB per image).

A Scattering of Large and Fine JPEG Images

Timing32 GB SanDisk
Frame rate8.0 fps
Number of frames> 320
Write complete~ 1.0 sec

Table with a flood of RAW photographs

Timing32 GB GB SanDisk
Frame rate8.0 fps
Number of frames24
Buffer full rate4.9*1
Write complete9.4 sec

The Canon EOS 7D is the fastest APS-C DSLR that we have tested so far in our imaging laboratories. It can take eight pictures per second.

The frame rate is impressive in and of itself, but it is even more so when one considers that with a very fast card, such as the Sandisk Extreme Pro, the 7D can maintain this speed indefinitely when shooting in JPEG format (well, we gave up after approximately 60 seconds or 320 frames), and it can maintain this speed for 24 frames when shooting in RAW format.

Unexpectedly, that is even superior to what the official Canon standard calls for (126 frames in JPEG, 15 frames in RAW). When shooting in RAW+JPEG, the initial frame rate is still preserved, but only for a maximum of seven frames.

The enormous picture files that the 18-megapixel sensor is collecting are being moved through the camera’s data pipeline by the twin Digic 4 processors, which are, without a shadow of a doubt, doing an outstanding job of doing so. There is also a low-speed continuous mode that captures three frames per second for those individuals who are in less of a rush.

USB transfer speed

In order to evaluate the speed of the EOS 7D’s USB connection, we exported about 500 megabytes worth of photographs (a combination of RAW and JPEG formats) from a SanDisk Extreme Pro CF card (the same card used in the other readers).

WIA is the only mode of transmission that is accessible when the 7D is linked to a computer through a USB connection. Canon does not provide a straightforward mass storage device’ function in the camera (enabling the camera to act like a normal card reader).

MethodTransfer rate
EOS 7D USB 2.0 via EOS Utility (WIA)15.4 MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme Pro (using built-in USB connector)14.3 MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme Pro in USB 2.0 reader21.5 MB/sec

As a result of this, a driver is installed on your computer the very first time that you connect the camera to it in order to guarantee the transfer of all of your photographs (given that drag-and-drop WIA does not allow RAW). The pace of the transfer was rather speedy; although it did not quite match the speed of a decent external card reader, it was faster than the kind that was built in to the computers in our office.

Rapidity and precision of autofocus

The autofocus system of the EOS 7D functions exceptionally well in any environment. Both Canon’s regular and Ultrasonic lenses, together with the camera’s autofocus system, were able to swiftly achieve and maintain focus (the latter gives you the additional benefit of focusing almost silently).

During the process of compiling this evaluation, we took the customary several hundred real-life sample images, and we found that only a very tiny percentage of these photos lacked the appropriate level of sharpness. Because the autofocus remains accurate and just slightly sluggish even in extremely dim light, you don’t need to worry about the absence of an AF assist light and can instead focus on making the most of the camera’s ISO 12800 maximum sensitivity.

We are not professional sports photographers, but we have used the EOS 7D during a sports or auction event. Despite our lack of experience in sports photography, we were able to get a respectable number of photos that may be utilized.

If you know what you’re doing as a sports photographer and have an EOS 7D, you should have no trouble configuring the autofocus system to meet your needs thanks to the EOS 7D’s extensive range of customization options.

When combined with the camera’s continuous shooting rate of eight frames per second, this should make the 7D a possibility for at least those sports photographers who are working with a limited budget or who are seeking a backup camera that is more reasonably priced than the 1D Mark III or IV.

Although the contrast-detect AF in live view and movie mode has seen some minor refinement from Canon’s earlier DSLRs, it is still very sluggish and somewhat uncomfortable to operate. Therefore, when utilizing live view, your best choice is to either pre-focus or focus manually as it is the case with most situations.

Battery capacity

The Canon EOS 7D makes use of the same Lithium-Ion LP-E6 battery pack as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, and the battery life that is specified by the CIPA is also fairly comparable. Throughout the course of our evaluation, the amount of time a battery would last was never really a problem.

The battery of the 7D should provide at least enough juice for one day’s worth of use for the vast majority of shooters. Getting a supplementary battery pack is something you should only think about doing if you plan on making heavy use of the camera’s continuous shooting capabilities, its live view, or its video recording capabilities. According to Canon’s testing, the battery life is as follows:

Temperature50% Flash use
At 23°C / 73 °F800
At 0°C / 32°F750

Quality of the Image

Impressive image quality can be achieved with the EOS 7D over the whole sensitivity range. Its output has superb per-pixel clarity at the lowest ISO setting, which, when combined with the camera’s 18-megapixel nominal resolution, results in image quality that is extraordinary for a camera of its class.

It is more likely that the lens will be the limiting factor than the camera itself in the majority of scenarios. If you are considering upgrading from a different model, you will be happy to hear that the 7D maintains Canon’s signature appearance in terms of the default tone curve and color response. This is excellent news.

In spite of having the greatest nominal resolution of all APS-C DSLRs and, as a result, a relatively small pixel pitch, the EOS 7D performs exceptionally well in low-light conditions. It is also capable of keeping a decent balance between picture clarity and noise reduction up to very high sensitivities.

It is clearly superior to the EOS 50D and is currently the best that can be found in the APS-C category (if you prefer the 7D or Nikon D300S in this respect is probably a matter of taste). If you need much greater high ISO performance than what the EOS 7D can deliver, your only choice is to make the jump into the full-frame portion of the market.

In terms of the visual quality, the only issues that are even somewhat significant are a few of quite small quibbles. There is a lengthy list of Canon DSLRs, including the 7D, and each one of them does not have the ability to conduct white balance under artificial light. If you require your whites to be completely white, you should shoot in RAW or use a custom white balance.

The rare propensity of the camera to slightly overexpose contrasty scenes may be mitigated by shooting in RAW, which is also a smart preventative practice. If you are unable to be bothered to dial in any negative exposure compensation, the 1.0 EV RAW headroom provides a safety cushion to fall back on in the event of an emergency.

Canon EOS 7D Specification

Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor *• 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter (with self-cleaning unit)
• 19 million total pixels
• 18 million effective pixels
• 3:2 aspect ratio
Image processor *Dual DIGIC 4
A/D conversion14 bit
Image Sizes ( Still) *RAW
• 5184 x 3456
• 3888 x 2592
• 2592 x 1728
JPEG
• 5184 x 3456
• 3456 x 2304
• 2592 x 1728
Image Sizes (Movie)1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25, 23.976 fps)
1280 x 720 (59.94, 50 fps)
640 x 480 (59.94, 50 fps)
File formats (Still)• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) – Fine / Normal
• RAW
• M-RAW
• S-RAW
• RAW + JPEG
• M-RAW + JPEG
• S-RAW + JPEG
File formats (Movie)MOV (Video: H.264, Sound: Linear PCM)
Lenses• Canon EF / EF-S lens mount
• 1.6x field of view crop
Dust reduction• EOS integrated cleaning system with fluorine coating
• Self-cleaning sensor unit (filter in front of sensor vibrates at high frequency at start-up and shutdown – can be disabled)
• Dust Delete Data – Data from a test shot is used to ‘map’ dust spots and can be later removed using Canon DPP Software
Auto focus*• TTL-CT-SIR CMOS sensor
• 19 cross-type AF points (f/2.8 at centre)
• Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster
• AF working range: -0.5 – 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)
Focus modes• One shot AF
• AI Servo AF
• AI Focus AF
• Manual focus
AF point selection• Auto : 19 point
• Manual : Single point/ Spot/ AF point Expansion/ Zone
AF LockLocked when shutter button is pressed half way in One Shot AF mode or AF-ON button is pressed
Predictive AF• Up to 8 m
AF assist• Stroboscopic flash
AF microadjust• +/- 20 steps
• Adjust all lenses by same amount/individually adjust up to 20 lenses
Metering*• TTL full aperture metering with 63 zone Dual Layer SPC
• Metering range: EV 1 – 20 EV
Metering modes*• Evaluative metering (linked to all AF points)
• Partial (9.4% at center)
• Spot metering (approx. 2.3% at center)
• Center-weighted average
AE lock• Auto: One Shot AF with evaluative metering
• Manual: AE lock button
Exposure compensation*• +/-5.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Exposure bracketing• +/- 3.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Sensitivity *• Auto ISO (100-3200)
• ISO 100-6400 in 0.3 or 1.0 EV increments
• H (12800) expansion
Shutter• Focal-plane shutter
• 30 – 1/8000 sec
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Flash X-Sync: 1/250 sec
• Bulb
Aperture values• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used
White balance• Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• White Fluorescent light
• Flash
• Custom
• Kelvin (2500 – 10000 K in 100 K steps)
WB bracketing• +/-3 levels
• 3 images
• Blue / Amber or Magenta / Green bias
WB shift• Blue (-9) To Amber (+9)
• Magenta (-9) to Green (+9)
Picture style• Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Neutral
• Faithful
• Monochrome
• User def. 1
• User def. 2
• User def. 3
Custom image parameters• Sharpness: 0 to 7
• Contrast: -4 to +4
• Saturation: -4 to +4
• Color tone: -4 to +4
• B&W filter: N, Ye, Or, R, Gvan
• B&W tone: N, S, B, P, G
Image processing• Highlight tone priority
• Auto lighting optimizer (4 settings)
• Long exposure noise reduction
• High ISO noise reduction (4 settings)
• Auto correction of lens peripheral illumination (vignetting)
Color space• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Viewfinder *• Eye-level pentaprism
• 100% frame coverage
• Approx. 1.0x maginification
• Eyepoint: 22 mm
• Fixed screen (Transmissive LCD screen)
• Dioptric adjustment: -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Mirror• Quick-return half mirror (transmission:reflection ratio 40:60)
• Mirror lock-up (once or multiple exposures)
Viewfinder info *• AF points
• Focus confirmation light
• Shutter speed
• Aperture value
• ISO speed (always displayed)
• AE lock
• Exposure level/compensation
• Spot metering circle
• Exposure warning
• AEB.
• Flash ready
• High-speed sync
• FE lock
• Flash exposure compensation
• Red-eye reduction light
• White balance correction
• CF card information
• Monochrome shooting
• Maximum burst (2 digit display)
• Highlight tone priority (D+)
• Grid
• Dual Axis Electronic level
LCD monitor• 3.0 ” TFT LCD
• 920,000 dots
• 100% coverage
• 160 ° viewing angle
• Coating : Anti-reflection and Solid Structure
LCD Live view• Live TTL display of scene from CMOS image sensor
• 100% frame coverage
• 30 fps frame rate
• Real-time evaluative metering using CMOS image sensor
• Best view or exposure simulation
• Silent mode
• Grid optional (x2)
• Magnify optional (5x or 10x at AF point)
• Three AF modes – Live mode/Quick mode/Face Detection
• Histogram
• Remote live view using EOS Utility 2.0 (via USB or WiFi/Ethernet using WFT)
Record review• Off
• On (histogram via INFO button)
• Display mode same as last used Play mode
Playback modes1. Single image with exposure, file number, storage slot
2. As 1 but also image count and quality
3. Detailed exposure information, thumbnail and luminance histogram
4. Less detailed exposure info., thumbnail, luminance and RGB histograms
Playback features• Optional blinking highlight alert
• Optional AF point display
• Magnified view (up to 1.5x – 10x)
• 2×2 or 3×3 thumbnail index
• Delete / Protect
Flash*• Auto pop-up E-TTL II auto flash
• FOV coverage up to15 mm (27 mm equiv.)
• Guide number approx 12 m (ISO 100)
• Cycle time approx. 3 sec
• Flash compensation +/-3.0 EV in 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• X-Sync: 1/250 sec
External flash• E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlites
• Wireless multi-flash support
• PC Sync
Shooting modes *• Auto
• Creative auto
• Program AE (P)
• Shutter priority AE (Tv)
• Aperture priority AE (Av)
• Manual (M) Stills and Movie
• Custom settings 1
• Custom settings 2
• Custom settings 3
Drive modes• Single
• High-speed continuous
• Low-speed continuous
• Self-timer: 2sec + remote, 10sec + remote
Burst buffer *Approx. 8 fps (speed maintained for up to 126 JPEGs (with UDMA card), 15 images (RAW))
Orientation sensorYes
Auto rotation• On (recorded and LCD display)
• On (recorded only)
• Off
Custom functions *27 Custom Fubctions with 70 settings
Menu languages• English
• German
• French
• Dutch
• Danish
• Portuguese
• Finnish
• Italian
• Norwegian
• Swedish
• Spanish
• Greek
• Russian
• Polish
• Czech
• Hungarian
• Romanian
• Ukrainian
• Turkish
• Arabic
• Thai
• Simplified Chinese
• Traditional Chinese
• Korean
• Japanese
FirmwareUser upgradable
Portrait grip• Optional BG-E7 Battery Grip
• Optional WFT-E5 Wireless File Transfer Grip
Connectivity• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• Video output (PAL/ NTSC)
• HDMI connector
• N3 type wired remote control
• PC Sync flash terminal
• External microphone (Stereo mini jack)
• Communication terminal on base for WFT-E5
Storage• Compact Flash Type I or II
• Supports UDMA and Microdrive cards
• External storage via optional WFT-E5
Power• Lithium-Ion LP-E6 rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
• CR1616 Lithium battery (date/time backup)
• Optional AC adapter
Wireless connectivity
(optional WFT-E5)
• Mounts on base of camera and also acts as vertical grip
• Has its own BP-511A battery
• Wireless 802.11b / 802.11g
• Wireless security: WEP, TKIP/AES, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK
• Wireless methods: Infrastructure or Ad Hoc
• Wired ethernet (100 Base-TX)
• Transfer: FTP, PTP (remote control by computer), HTTP (view / remote fire)
• USB host capable: External hard drives, flash drives
• USB comms: GPS devices (records coordinates and altitude in image header)
Dimensions148 x 111 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.3 x 2.8 in)
Weight *• No battery: 820 g (1.8 lb)

Final Verdict

If you look at the list of pros and cons that is located above, you might get the impression that it was difficult for us to come up with a sufficient amount of bullet points to include on the cons list so that it is at least comparable to what is included in the pros section. You would be correct in this assumption. You are not wrong. In terms of build quality, speed of operation, ergonomics, and image quality, the EOS 7D is a step above Canon’s previous APS-C flagship, the EOS 50D. The EOS 7D is an outstanding addition to Canon’s lineup of APS-C DSLRs, and it is a significant improvement over the EOS 50D.

The Canon EOS 7D is an option that should be considered by everyone who does not require or desire a camera that has a full-frame sensor because it is in some ways an even better camera than the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Because of its continuous shooting speed of eight frames per second and its very versatile autofocus technology, it could even be worth considering for credit-crunched and cash-strapped sports photographers who are on a tight budget.

When compared to the EOS 7D’s most direct rival in the enthusiast segment of the market, the Nikon D300S, the EOS 7D’s specifications, and present price make it appear to be a very attractive option. It provides a higher nominal resolution and maximum sensitivity, better movie mode specification, and slightly faster continuous shooting speed than its Nikon competitor; however, despite these advantages, the two cameras are not that dissimilar from one another in many ways, and the decision will come down to personal preference.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Magnesium body and meticulous attention paid to environmental sealing contribute to the excellent construction quality.
  • Detail and resolution that is at the top of their class at the basic ISO, and high sharpness per pixel
  • Very high performance in low light, low noise levels, and good detail preservation at 8 frames per second continuous shooting speed.
  • Performance that is exceptionally swift and responsive, made possible by Dual Digic 4 processors
Need Improvement
  • There is not an AF illuminator built-in.
  • White balance that cannot be relied upon under artificial illumination
  • A little propensity to overexpose in environments with a lot of contrast.
  • Occasional jagged lines in 720p video
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
It is difficult to find fault with Canon's new APS-C flagship camera if you are able to rationalize the price tag. The EOS 7D is everything a semi-pro model should be, with class-leading image quality, rapid operation, and good handling; moreover, the outstanding movie mode will be a nice bonus for those who want their photos to move. It is widely considered to be the greatest APS-C SLR currently available on the market.

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Canon EOS 7D ReviewIt is difficult to find fault with Canon's new APS-C flagship camera if you are able to rationalize the price tag. The EOS 7D is everything a semi-pro model should be, with class-leading image quality, rapid operation, and good handling; moreover, the outstanding movie mode will be a nice bonus for those who want their photos to move. It is widely considered to be the greatest APS-C SLR currently available on the market.