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Canon EOS 7D camera review

In terms of the number of innovations the D300s has earned the title of the most advanced APS-C DSLR cameras.

Contents of delivery:

• reflex camera Canon EOS 7D;

• Charger;

• lithium-ion battery LP-E6 (1800 mAh);

• rubber cover for the viewfinder;

• audio-video cable;

• USB cable;

• strap for wearing around the neck;

• CD-ROM with proprietary software;

• user's manual;

• brochures.

Canon has not in vain decided to launch a series of APS-C DSLRs because the number of innovations gives the right to do it with a completely clear conscience. More than 5,000 aspiring and professional photographers were indirectly involved in the development of 7D. They were all asked to describe in detail the camera of their dreams, tell about all its functions, and roughly outline the layout of the controls. And on the basis of the data obtained in this way, the design was developed and the functionality of the model was introduced.

It's worth noting that some of the features in the 7D are new to longtime Canon DSLR users, but familiar to seasoned Nikon owners. Among them, for example, an electronic horizon level and an LCD focusing screen. It makes no sense to scold Canon for such a move, because users will surely be pleased, and the implementation of the same electronic level of the horizon is commendable. Moreover, there is an indication of the tilt both in the horizontal and in the vertical plane.


The 7D has a magnesium alloy frame. The joints of the parts and the gaps of the buttons are protected by rubber membranes, which excludes unwanted ingress of moisture and dust inside. Hard rubber inserts are glued in in all possible places where the camera is supposed to come into contact with the photographer's hands.

At the bottom of the camera, in the place where the tripod is attached, there is a rubber insert, firstly, it protects from scratches that inevitably appear when the camera is often mounted on a tripod, and secondly, it allows you to install the camera on inclined planes without fear, like Nikon D3, for example.

According to the manufacturer, the body of this model is protected from external influences no worse than the body of the top-class EOS-1D cameras. This means that the device is able to withstand 15 minutes in the pouring rain without any consequences for it.

The hot shoe, however, will only be protected with a Canon Speedlite 580 EX II external flash attached. Owners of other Canon DSLR cameras can easily figure out the controls: the arrangement of the elements has certainly changed, but the recognition still remains.

All functions related to essential functions are placed on dedicated keys. Thus, you can change the preset white balance, the type of metering, shooting modes and the method of autofocus, as well as the ISO sensitivity and flash exposure compensation, either by pressing the corresponding button, or by scrolling the function dial, or, finally, using the rubber scroller ring located on camera grip.

Canon 7D cannot be called miniature, however, like all other professional models of the brand. But this is hardly a drawback: the device is comfortable to hold in the hands, and its functionality can be controlled quite quickly. In addition to the main 3-inch display, there is also a monochrome information screen, which serves to display all the key shooting parameters. In low visibility conditions, it is highlighted in orange.

Compared to other Canon DSLRs, the camera is head and shoulders above the 5D Mark II.

Compared to the frankly inconvenient power levers in the 50D and 5D Mark II, in the Canon 7D the power trigger is located under the drum for switching shooting modes and can be easily moved with the thumb of the left hand.The navigation disc is locked with a separate slider, which, by the way, is also more convenient than the three-position switch in the 5D Mark II.

What's new

18-megapixel CMOS sensor. The range of ISOs being processed is 100–6400 and, if necessary, can be expanded to 12 800. Two DIGIC 4 processors are responsible for image processing at once. The matrix microstructure remains, by and large, the same as in the 50D and 5D Mark II. Only minor improvements were made to increase the signal-to-noise ratio.

19 point system autofocus. All 19 AF sensors are cross-type, controlled by a separate processor. For the convenience of shooting small objects, a new mode for Canon has appeared - Spot AF. In addition, the camera uses accelerometers at a higher level: the camera now displays tilt level data both vertically and horizontally. The autofocus zones chosen by you began to automatically "rotate" with the rotation of the camera to portrait orientation (this is configured in Custom Functions). Thus, now no matter how you rotate the device, the object you have selected will remain under autofocus control.

63-zone iFCL metering (Color, Focus, Luminance), which is paired with a 19-point AF system. The metering system of this camera has been significantly improved. A dual layer sensor is now used to calculate the correct exposure. Its first layer is sensitive to reds and greens, while the second is sensitive to blues and greens. This solution excludes confusion of exposure metering, which occurs in the case of red tones. This innovation makes it possible to practically forget about the zone theory of Ansel Adams and correct the operation of the exposure meter only in exceptional cases.

Optical viewfinder with 1.0x magnification covers the future image by 100%. This will allow the photographer to observe in the viewfinder exactly what the sensor sees, no more and no less. This camera does not have replaceable focusing screens, but for the first time in the EOS DSLR series, there is an LCD display that displays a composition grid, a circle that corresponds to the spot metering area, and an AF point illuminator. When the battery is not charged, the viewfinder image will appear slightly dark and hazy due to the off LCD focusing screen. The manufacture of such a viewfinder is quite laborious, so its installation in a carcass of the middle price segment should be welcomed.

EOS Movie. The possibilities for HD video shooting have also been expanded a lot. So, you can now go to video shooting using the direct access button. The clips themselves can now be shot at different frame rates: 30, 25 and 24 at 1920 x 1080 pixels, and even 60 and 50 frames per second at 1280 x 720. Video cropping is possible right in the camera. As before, while filming, it is possible to take full-size shots. The video recording mode is called up by means of a special switch lever and the START / STOP button, so now you can start shooting a video in record time compared to other DSLRs capable of recording video.

3.0 "LCD TFT. It is important to note that 920,000 points versus 230,000 is a significant difference. And in a camera of this class, instant control of the resulting picture is very important, since most often professionals do not have the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the shot. And given the appearance of such high-quality displays on simpler Nikon D90 cameras, equipping a professional camera with it is simply a necessity. In 7D, the display is protected by a tempered glass insert, not plastic. The space between the protective glass and the screen is filled with a special completely transparent material, which serves to reduce internal reflections to virtually zero. The viewing angles reach almost 180 degrees.

In addition, the surface of the screen is covered with a special anti-reflective coating, which allows you to see all the details of the footage without any problems even on the sunniest day. The brightness can be adjusted both manually and automatically. The display is relatively non-staining, leaving fingerprints can be removed without effort. Tempered glass is much more difficult to scratch than acrylic.

Vignetting correction. The camera automatically identifies the lens to be attached and makes the necessary adjustments to the image based on the information provided for Canon EF-S mount lenses.

Focus micro-correction. This function has migrated from the top model Canon EOS-1D Mark III and allows you to avoid front and back focus both on individual lenses and in all installed optics at once if this is a consequence of an error in the carcass. This means that there is no need to carry the camera for alignment to the service center.

Creative Auto mode. This mode is designed to simplify the presentation and control of photographs in terms of depth of field and exposure. In turn, this will allow beginners to master this SLR camera somewhat faster.

External flash control. The available built-in flash is able to take control of three flash groups of four in each, that is, it can act as a master flash. Such an opportunity cannot but attract strobists.

Improvements in ergonomics. The buttons are significantly larger than previous EOS models for more precise control while wearing gloves. In addition, there are two new buttons that are responsible for fast RAW - JPEG switching and for calling up the quick menu.


On average, a second of video recorded in FullHD resolution occupies about 5 MB on the memory card, and at a resolution of 1280 x 720 at 60 frames / sec - about 5.5 MB. Movies are recorded in the .MOV format and are compressed with the H.264 codec. Sound recording is mono, and there is a special jack for connecting an external microphone recording in stereo. True, the focusing and zooming processes are recorded very clearly by the built-in microphone, so if you need to shoot videos with good quality sound, you should still buy an external microphone. There is no autofocus during video shooting. At the edges of the frame, the jelly effect is noticeable, but only subtly.

During video shooting in the corresponding mode, you can exercise full manual control over the settings for ISO, aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation, which will allow nothing to limit the impulses of your creativity.

To shoot videos of the best quality (in the sense of extremely high settings), a memory card with a write / read speed of 8 MB / s is required. and more. If a slower card is installed, you will have to put up with incorrect video recording.

Live View

As befits a modern advanced DSLR, the 7D is equipped with a live view mode. There are several different autofocusing methods available in this mode.

The first mode is fast phase-detection focusing, in which the image on the display fades out for a short time, and when the focus is reached, it appears again.

The second method used in live mode is the contrast focusing method. In this case, the focus point is a frame that can be moved to an arbitrary place in the frame field. Interestingly, the live AF speed in this model comes out noticeably faster than in the 5D Mark II and 50D. Due to the physical aspects of this method, the autofocusing process on fast lenses will be difficult.

The third mode is focusing on faces in the frame.

Well, of course, no one can stop you from switching your lens to manual mode, and focusing on your own. Particularly helpful in this is the display of a part of the frame, enlarged by 5 or 10 times, along which you can achieve ideal sharpness.

There are also two quiet shooting modes available via Live View. With the first of them, raising and lowering the mirror occurs more slowly, which, of course, reduces the rate of fire of continuous shooting, but makes the process itself somewhat quieter. In the second available mode, the mirror rises, but lowers only when you squeeze the shutter button.


As with most high-end professional cameras, the 7D's menu is divided into tabs so that there are no items that are not visible. Everything is organized so that each tab contains exactly as many different settings as can fit on the display.

Unlike consumer pseudo-mirrors, the mode drum is quite ascetic - there are only two available automatic modes: Creativе Auto and a full, so-called "green" automatic. There are, of course, Program AE (P), Shutter Priority (Tv), Aperture Priority (Av), and Full Manual (M) modes. In addition, you are provided with three user modes (C1, C2, C3), in which you can assign all parameters yourself. The latter are designed to make it easier for the shooter to take photographs in similar situations and, accordingly, save time.

For quick access to the most important settings, they can be collected in the "My Menu" mode. This applies to both basic and custom functions. The high speed of work is also supported by the fact that some settings for similar purposes (like ISO and exposure, for example) are divided into pairs and adjusted using a dial on the body or a wheel on the handle.

With dual DIGIC 4 processors, the camera is lightning fast. This also applies to instant access to all kinds of menus and modes, and viewing photos. What to say, before the 1D Mark IV, the Canon 7D processors had the biggest load - processing 18 x 8 = 144 megapixels per second!

It is disappointing that only 4 or 9 photos are displayed in the view mode. After all, even on budget Nikon and Sony DSLRs, and even on point-and-shoot cameras, you can place a much larger number of shots on the viewing screen. The only thing that saves the 7D in this situation is the ability to create a new folder and scroll through the pictures, turning over 10 at a time. You can also jump to specific categories by setting the date. When you zoom in on the viewed photo, a low-quality preview is displayed briefly, and the rendering of the image to real quality ends a little later, after a split second.


The capacity of the rechargeable battery is 1800 mAh. On average, this is enough for 1000 photos. In cold weather, as well as with the image stabilization on on the lens, the number of frames will be slightly less.

Battery level information is shown in the information display, color display and viewfinder. In a special menu item, you can see the exact percentage of the charge and statistics on the number of photos taken on a single charge.

Test shots

The ISO sensitivity range worked out by this camera ranges from 100-12800. For 7D ISO 3200 can be safely considered working and suitable for both full-format viewing on a PC and for printing.

Of course, there is more noise at ISO 6400 and ISO 12 800, and they are noticeable to the naked eye. However, this quality will be quite enough for posting photos on forums, and for imitating film grain.

ISO 100

ISO 400

ISO 1600

ISO 12800

Knowing firsthand the results of shooting with a resolution of 15 megapixels in 50D, which provides high-quality images only with the best lenses, and even then at clamped apertures, we expected an even more deplorable picture from the 7D. However, it turned out that the 18-megapixel resolution is the most real, and excellent per-pixel sharpness is obtained even when shooting in JPEG. Of course, you can squeeze even more out of RAW.

Note that all the test shots shown were taken with two lenses - Canon EF 24-70 f / 2.8L USM. In both cases, impeccable quality was achieved.


• excellent picture quality even at high ISO;

• excellent pixel-by-pixel sharpness;

• absolutely working resolution of 18 megapixels

• the broadest possibilities of post-processing;

• high speed of work;

• all-metal magnesium body;

• rubber membranes at all joints and keys;

• high-quality display with a tempered glass surface;

• ergonomics;

• intuitive interface;

• video filming in resolutions 1920 x 1080 and 1280 x 720 with a frequency of 30 and 60 frames / sec, respectively;

• micro-correction of focusing;

• high quality viewfinder;

• compositional grid in the viewfinder;

• loyal to details shumodav;

• enlarged keys;

• customizable interface and functionality of individual keys.


• gaps between the camera body and the display glass;

• inaccurate auto white balance in artificial lighting;

• lack of HDMI cable included in the package.


Without bending your heart, we can say that the Canon EOS 7D is a meticulous work on errors that deserves a 5+ rating. The camera came out with a breakthrough, very powerful and, which is extremely rare, without weak points. Very high speed of work, considerable flexibility when setting up for a particular photographer - improvements have affected all aspects. This camera is a worthy replacement for its predecessors.

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