Canon EOS 7D Review

October 14, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Anders Persson

When shooting video, you can indeed set both aperture and shutter speed from the camera, even whilst recording. You just have to be in M mode.
There are no EF lenses with aperture rings either.

You can also initiate autofocus in live view and video mode either by using AF-ON or half-press, unless you’ve used the new customising features to remove the AF functionality from any of these buttons.

4:51 pm - Wednesday, October 14, 2009

#2 PaSc

There is a typo page 2 ?

Focal Range
The Canon EOS 7D’s EFS 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens offers a versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

==> mixed with 15-86 ?

6:46 pm - Wednesday, October 14, 2009

#3 Bill

I am interested to know how effective the built-in Speedlight Transmitter is.

7:35 pm - Wednesday, October 14, 2009

#4 Vu

I think there was a lot of cutting and pasting in the review.  They referred to the 15mp image files and the 18-55 kit lens when they meant the 18-135 kit lens as shown in the product photos and referred to in the intro.

4:34 am - Thursday, October 15, 2009

#5 sascha

Lots of typos??!!

7:01 am - Thursday, October 15, 2009

#6 passport holder

I agree. I’m not sure it’s going to be better than comparable Nikons (D300s and D90). But it will definitely make Canon owners happy - if it performs as promised. There are a lot of photographers who haven’t forgotten the EOS-1D Mark III AF fiasco. That said, I was pretty pleased with the performance over the few days I had the camera - and it was a pre-production body.

7:11 am - Thursday, October 15, 2009

#7 Mark Goldstein


Thanks for the feedback.

I’ve updated the Live View / Video section, and fixed the 4 typos that I could find (3 references to 18-55mm lens, and 1 reference to 15 megapixels).

9:29 am - Thursday, October 15, 2009

#8 BillD

FYI, the built-in Speedlite transmitter works great! I have been using a 580EX and 550EX as slaves to my 7D and it works perfectly! I can even use the on-camera flash at the same time for a third light source.

11:32 pm - Thursday, October 15, 2009

#9 Ivan Orum Sorensen (DK)

Hi there. (excuse me, my english)
The first time I ever make a comment, but also want you all to know, that you have to study the new AF to use it right. I purchased my new 7D, 4 days from now,and i’m getting to know it more and more.
The ISO is absolutly okay up to 1600, and if you want a little pp on your LR or Adobe Puhotoshop, you easly can use the 3200 ISO as well. :-)
About the Speedlight Transmitter, then I was happy to se that both my 550EX and my 430EX had no problem, by useing the 7D as the “tricker”. And you can even do a picture only using the external flashes, so the internal flash not will ruin the picture, if you only want the extanel to be fired.
It rearly is a GREAT camera, and my 40D is just sold yesterday ;-) (great camera to, but 7D has everyting the 40D do not ;-). I have also made a comparing with my 40D and the 7D with ISO performence at crop 100%. The 7D wins with maybe just one stop, BUT if you take 7D’s more Mpix. to to fact also, then it absolutly makes this a better performer. You get more details in the picture to.
I have had 1D mark IIn also, but just for 2 month. And have sold it, to by a 7D. A have never regread it. I still love the performence of 1D 45 point AF, but with 7D you i rearly close know. The 7D’s AF is FAST and hits SPOT on.

Dont hasitate.. Make the deal.

11:49 pm - Thursday, October 15, 2009

#10 Reality

Terrible review.

Noise free at ISO 100? My a55 it is.

3:38 pm - Friday, October 16, 2009

#11 claudio

The Canon 5d Mark II,has the same level of

11:20 pm - Friday, October 16, 2009

#12 JimDoss

Nice review.

Check your rollovers on the Introduction page images.  They are incorrect.

12:15 pm - Saturday, October 17, 2009

#13 jo

re: Claudio, that is not true. The 5D mark ii’s weather sealing isn’t as good as the 7Ds.

6:57 pm - Saturday, October 17, 2009

#14 Sikko


Thank you for the review. I can’t wait to get my 7d with EF-S 15-85/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens but it is still not in stock yet in my fotoshop (1899,00) Euro’s.

I’ll hope you can do also a review with the 15-85 lens If it’s available.

I still doubt to go for this lens or to buy the the 7d with the EF-S 17-55/2.8 IS USM lens. Can someone help me to clear this problem???

thanks and suc6 with your reviews

11:13 am - Sunday, October 18, 2009

#15 rob

The EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 is a beast.  The reviews for it have been astounding.  Get it. has a decent review

8:42 pm - Sunday, October 18, 2009

#16 Sikko

Thanks Rob

I’ll check the review of the 17-55 f/2.8.

12:39 am - Monday, October 19, 2009

#17 Andy

Amazing camera, the pictures are just awesome, i was using a nikon but thinking to shift to Canon. Canon is bit expensive though so i am still thinking whether to make a switch or not.

5:47 am - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#18 Pete

If you haven’t used this site before I strongly recommend you do and have a look at the Canon 7D photo’s on there. I’m convinced about the quality!

12:00 pm - Wednesday, October 21, 2009

#19 Fotoingo

Can you tell me how many RAWs the buffer can hold when shooting M-RAW or S-RAW ?

Thank you in advance !

11:49 pm - Wednesday, October 21, 2009

#20 cables

The 7D is the first affordable advanced DSLR from Canon.
Canon has not had an advanced camera that non-pros could afford since the film days.
The 7D is the first such camera in the digital era.

6:23 am - Thursday, October 22, 2009

#21 Pete

Sorry I’m not sure about the buffer storage. Have a trawl on this website.

I fired a few shots off with the 7D in a local camera shop. Put the card in my computer checked the photo’s and found it’s a quantum leap ahead of my trusty 20D! So I feel that at last for me it will be a very worthwhile progression. Having said that it would have been better if Canon had left out the “movie” mode and kept the price down.
But apparently such “bells and whistles” sell camera’s these days and that’s what they are in the market to do!

9:23 am - Thursday, October 22, 2009

#22 AJ

Just stopped by my local camera shop…
Berry’s Camera - Lafayette, IN 765-742-0297

They have the 7D in stock…1 body only, 2 kits with 18-135 IS, lens hood, UV filter and extra battery

4:08 pm - Monday, October 26, 2009

#23 RS

The 7D built in flash cannot be disabled entirely during wireless flash mode. However, the flash output is weak but can still be reflected on a pair of glasses, for example. So Ivan Sorensen’s comment that"And you can even do a picture only using the external flashes..” is not entirely accurate.

1:04 pm - Thursday, October 29, 2009

#24 Pete

received my 7D this morning found out how to switch it on! and now meandering around the controls!
I suspect I’m going to have to read the manual——eventually! What a piece of kit, hope to fire off a few shots later.

2:33 pm - Thursday, October 29, 2009

#25 Pete

Well I have had the 7D for a couple of days. Not had much time to play with it yet or to study the manual in depth, so really these comments are just my personal initial impressions. As expected it really is a quantum leap if like me you are going from something like the 20D!  The first problem I found was as I was reviewing the first half dozen shots Grabbed quickly through a window of my grand kids playing.
Each shot was under exposed and there was noise apparent at 400asa at 100% on the computer screen! Not a good start! Since I usually work in aperture or shutter speed priority mode I thought I had made a mistake with the settings.
The problem was the default setting for the Auto Lighting optimizer. In normal daylight shooting it needs to be switched off.
I shot a couple of landscapes in Normal mode. But was not happy with the results. Setting Landscape in picture style gave me more acceptable results without work in Paintshop 12.
While I found the menu layout a vast improvement on the 20D, I was initially confused when I couldn’t find, sharpening, colour, contrast and saturation controls. (I hadn’t yet read the manual!) These appear for each picture style which is selected by pressing the 3rd button down on the left of the screen, then pressing the info button.
I ran off another half dozen test shots today and the results were very very good. A back to back comparison with the 20D showed a great improvement on recorded detail. In fact using the
kit lens which came with the 20D at it’s 55mm setting showed quite a remarkable level of detail which I didn’t think the lens was capable of!
The 7D will certainly show up sloppy operating. Slight out of focus objects and shake can more readily be seen than on the 20D.
Noise levels up to 1600asa seem about the same as the 20D. I haven’t yet done a comparison at higher levels.
So there we have it. I am not even on the learning curve yet, but to me it’s looking like a great camera. There is no doubt it is a complex camera so it will take me some time to get the best out of it. But I will start by reading the manual in depth.
I would be interested in any comments by others who have moved up from the older Canon models.

7:38 pm - Saturday, October 31, 2009

#26 Tamsin

I am going to Africa on a two month photography safari early next year and I would like a professional, affordable camera for the job. Is the 7D the best option for me, bearing in mind that I’ll be photographing moving animals, sometimes at long range? What lenses are advisable as well, for short range and long range?
Thank you for any help.

3:55 pm - Wednesday, November 4, 2009

#27 James Cummings


I dont think that you could pick a better camera for this job than the 7D for the money. The only other camera i would choose over this would be the 1dmk 1V which is 3 times the price….

Depending on how much money you have to spend i would advise the lenses i use for my 7D:

Canon 10-22 wide angle.
Canon 17-55 f2.8 standard zoom Or Sigma 17- 70mm f2.8- 4.5 lens.
Canon 70- 300 USM IS lens.

This will give you the chance to shoot most kinds of image while you are there, from massive landscape on the wide angle to action shots of the animals with the 70- 300. You dont really need to buy a fast (f2.8 or similar) telephoto lens thanks to the outstanding ISO performance of this camera. If you have the money then i would also suggest the other lens in my collection- the Canon 100-400 L series lens, an even better choice for wildlife.

The only thing i now want from a Canon camera is a 7D with an FX (1.3 crop) sensor in it, otherwise the 7D is perfect. It would be nice to get slightly shallower dpeth of field without having to use long lenses wide open….

12:37 pm - Friday, November 6, 2009

#28 Tamsin

Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it and have ordered my 7D. Can’t wait to start experimenting with it!

1:26 pm - Friday, November 6, 2009

#29 Pete

Just one point James. With the small sensor, high pixel count and exceptional ISO performance the 7D
can take full advantage of all the EF and EFS lenses available. Whereas if you go for full frame or 1.3 crop your choice is more limited so you are probably committed to the expensive EF lenses.
One things for sure the 7D will wring out the best possible definition out of the cheaper lenses.

6:44 pm - Friday, November 6, 2009

#30 Simon

Had a trial of this camera some weeks ago.

Loved it!

Thanks for the review.

Simon Williams

1:27 am - Thursday, November 19, 2009

#31 JWSmith

I’m on the verge of purchasing the 7d and need a little advice with chosing a lense with wide angled capabilities. The standard kit comes with a 15-85mm but I’ve also been looking at the 10-22mm. My line of work is Architectural so I’ll be shooting internal spaces etc… I also love my landscapes so i’d love the lense to double up. Any tips, or advice towards the two mentioned lenses or any other that would suffice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers James

12:48 pm - Thursday, November 19, 2009

#32 Tamsin

To James -

I would definitely reccommend the 10-22mm for your line of work. I also wouldn’t scrimp on the wide angle lens if you can help it. I bought a cheaper version of the 10-22mm initially and after a day realised that it just didn’t feel right and had a vaguely grainy quality, so I exchanged for the Canon version and immediately noticed a massive improvement in quality and general handling.
Hope this helps!

12:58 pm - Thursday, November 19, 2009

#33 Neill

Canon have just slashed the price. Body only is now £1299 rising to £1599 with kit lens in the UK. That’s a drop of £400!

5 stars now surely ;)

6:57 pm - Thursday, November 19, 2009

#34 Paolo

To Tamsin - and everyone else interested of course

I do a lot of landscapes in my work - well, “almost” only landscapes - and 90% of my pictures are taken with the Tokina 12-24 on my Eos 50D. If you’re considering to buy a wide angle lens for your new 7D I think the Tokina 12-24 (or the 11-16)is the best deal you can make. Image quality from 12 to 22mm is just as good (if not a wee bit better) as the one delivered by the Canon 10-22, at 2/3 of the price. The only trade off is those 2mm you lose on the wide end.

6:44 pm - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#35 Paolo

Sorry, I erroneously addressed my previous comment to Tamsin, whilst is obvious that I was referring to the post above, sent by JWSmith. My apologizes.

7:01 pm - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#36 John

Great review and I was wondering if anyone had moved to the 7D from the 50D? I have the 50D and am keen to hear how much of an upgrade you consider it to be? Especially AF for Birds in Flight?

7:25 pm - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#37 Brian

canon 7d or nikon equivalent. Which one - any thoughts out there?

3:34 pm - Saturday, November 28, 2009

#38 Pete

Canon 7D, brilliant!

4:30 pm - Saturday, November 28, 2009

#39 me

I have downloaded the sample pictures.
not ONE image is sharp . . . what focus point was pointed on which subject in the picture?
There is not one single picture on which something is sharp. This camera is just like the other recent cameras from canon: they are not able to focus.

2:25 pm - Sunday, November 29, 2009

#40 Pete

I would suggest you actually try the camera rather than download images off the net! I have just been looking at images of my grandson tearing around on his cycle. The majority are pin sharp, those that arn’t are down to my finger trouble. I was using my Sigma 18-125 OS at the 125mm setting.
By the way the shots were taken through a glass window in my lounge too!

2:56 pm - Sunday, November 29, 2009

#41 me

Are you looking at the images at 100% on your screen, or are you looking at the image as a whole, not zoomed in but scaled on your screen.
That makes a big difference. Looking at 100% on the screen shows all the unsharpness clearly.

3:07 pm - Sunday, November 29, 2009

#42 Pete

yep I look at 100% on the screen. There is generally no issue with the focus but I admit I do apply a little sharpening to the images on my computer because I prefer not to sharpen in camera. There is a slight softness as there is on my 20D and from reports it’s a typical Canon trait. That’s not to say the auto focus can’t be fooled it can on some subjects.

6:47 pm - Sunday, November 29, 2009

#43 Mike

I am at a crossroads . I am looking to upgrade , and have narrowed my choices down to Nikon D300S or   Canon 7D, as price differences are now quite small,

Anyone had a good look at both?

10:09 pm - Monday, November 30, 2009

#44 Michael

Just posted this on YouTube.  All Canon 7d footage.  No post was done other than cutting clips into iMovie… all straight from the camera.

10:10 pm - Thursday, December 31, 2009

#45 Pete

Brilliant!  I had little intention of using video on my 7D but I will definitely have a go. Got to get a larger capacity card first!

1:34 pm - Friday, January 1, 2010

#46 Frida

(sorry about my english)
Hey everyone! Im looking to upgrade from my old 400D, and I would appreciate if anyone who have tried this camera could say how well the 7D does on higher ISO levels? Cheers!

12:27 am - Monday, January 25, 2010

#47 Neill

Hi Frida.

The 7D is in a different league. I had a 400D. It gave acceptable results up to ISO 800. My 7D goes all the way up to ISO 2000 before the quality drops to a similar level. You also have more ISO levels to choose from e.g. 640, 800, 1000, 1250.

Hope this helps!

10:26 am - Monday, January 25, 2010

#48 Frida

Well that sounds promising, thank u so much Neill, much appreciated!

8:12 pm - Monday, January 25, 2010

#49 alan

Comment to ME.
Are you seriously suggsting that Canon produce cameras that cannot achieve autofocus?  Canon cameras are able to focus as well as any other on the market and produced the very first autofocus lens. You appear to be able to make judgements better than all the professional reviewers put together and if that is the limit of your critique then I suggest that you give up with photography and posting ridiculous deflamatory statements.

4:59 pm - Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#50 john breen

Am going to digital. Please can anyone confirm I can use the 7D as per the Eos 3 or RS for AF Servo for horses over fences, and then select instead of printing all. Apols if this is a bit basic but any opinions would be welcomed.

8:14 pm - Saturday, May 29, 2010

#51 Endre

I’ve had the 7D for a couple of months now. I bouth the Nikon D300 (not the D300s) also some months ago, and I must say that I’m a bit disappointed that Canon hides some of the most useful features in the Q-menu instead of using dedicated buttons and switches. The Nikon is way, way better in that respect.

I did some tests just for fun though, having some friends picking what they thought was the best pictures from a pool of identical pictures shot by the D300 and the 7D, and the Canon seems to win about 7 of 10 times, so that’s a good thing. (Although I should point out that the pictures taken with the 7D were shot using the original Canon 70-200mm/F2,8 (without IS), while the Nikon pictures were shot using the somewhat cheaper Sigma 70-200mm/F2.8 (without OS).

My bottom line is that the D300 (in my opinion) is much easier (and more fun) to use if you like to take full control of your camera, while the 7D takes better pictures.

6:35 pm - Wednesday, June 16, 2010

#52 Gern Blenston

Well I guess it comes down to what is more important.  Getting good photos or having fun doing it.  That comment is not meant to be flippant.  Both cameras take great shots and unless you are comparing them side by side with a loupe I don’t think you can tell the difference.  At this point it depends on how much you have invested in lenses already.  I have thousands of dollars of Canon L lenses so I’ll stick with Canon, but I don’t think you can go wrong with Nikon either.  I finally bought my 7D and love it.  Lightning fast autofocus and very good high ISO grain.  I would never have shot 3200 before but now it looks like what I used to get out of 400 on my 10D.  I shoot RAW exclusively because I like to obsess over each image in Capture One and photoshop. 

Personally, I’m loving the 7D.  I love the feel in my hand.  I love the big bright screen.  I don’t give a crap about all the focus points as I always use spot focus, spot metering, and then recompose, so I can’t comment on that.  I have not even tried the video stuff yet and wonder if I ever will.  But for shooting baseball, soccer, indoor dance, and portraits I have not seen it’s equal. 

FWIW my camera history is many point and shoots, Nikon FE, Nikon FE2 (and used this for almost 20 years), Canon Elan IIe, Canon EOS3, Canon 10D, and Canon 7D.

9:16 am - Thursday, July 15, 2010

#53 DAWG

I bought the camera a few days ago and found a few things that I wonder about. I had it set to capture a full size raw image as well as a medium JPEG at the same time. On an 8GB card when it was about 85% full the camera started to give the busy signal in between shots and I could hardly take the remaining few pictures I had space for on the card.

I have not saved the pictures on the computer yet but am hoping this slowdown busy signals between shots was only the memory card performance at full capacity?

I will format the card and see if the slowdown re-occurs or is a camera problem in low light.

10:23 pm - Friday, August 6, 2010

#54 Sydney Portrait

Canon EOS 7D is one of the best camera I ever used, fast auto focus with accuracy, superior battery life, fastest continouos shooting and I’d rate 10/10 for speed, accuracy and performace.

11:57 am - Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#55 Aberdeen Photographer

This is a really good camera, although I don’t think that it justifies the price when there are some better quality APS-C cameras out there for a fraction of the price.

11:06 am - Friday, January 28, 2011

#56 Rick

I just recieved the Canon EOS 7D and I am extemely impressed.  This is the first DSLR I’ve owned. Prevous experience was shooting thousands of film photos through a couple of OM-2’s.

7:57 pm - Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#57 Roger Kennedy

Does anyone know if it’s possible to take a photograph that’s in focus with the 7D.
No matter what settings used it’s still a pile of poo!
I can get better out of a point and shoot Olympus at 8mg!
The D7 with an 15-85 mm lens, taking Raw files at 52mg, is still not worth going near if you want quality shots.
Because they are out of FOCUS!!!

2:17 pm - Monday, May 23, 2011

#58 spoon

@Roger Kennedy - perhaps you should get in touch with Canon? It certainly isn’t a regular issue with the 7D, so must be specific either to your camera or your eyesight!

Either that or you’re a trolling Nikon fanboy trying to rile up the Canon crowd. Either way… unnecessary comments!

7:04 pm - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#59 roger kennedy

May I suggest you get your mother to teach you how to use the net and perhaps “Google” focussing problems with the 7D
and try to open your mind to the fact that just because your 7D works just fine others are not having the same sort of luck.
Failing this just try and get out more often!
My Wives camera is currently being repaired by Canon.

8:33 pm - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#60 roger kennedy

May I suggest you get your mother to teach you how to use the net and perhaps “Google” focussing problems with the 7D
and try to open your mind to the fact that just because your 7D works just fine others are not having the same sort of luck.
Failing this just try and get out more often!

8:37 pm - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#61 Rich

Hi I can understand your frustration Roger, I bought a 7D last november (2010) and all was well I thought until this summer when I submitted some images for a well known stock agency. They was rejected , so sent some more and they was also with the comment lack of definition and sharpness ? now being a professional photographer for the last 25 years it was a bit of a knock back until I dug deeper in to the 7D experience. After the body was sent away twice for re-calibration I have now received a new body from canon . The verdict is out, confidence has gone in the camera now but I think it is an amazing camera to use but cannot afford to lose clients through poor image definition . we will see.:(

4:32 pm - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#62 Gary

I use one of these cameras daily and have been very impressed by it. Good sensor shots at high iso settings are very good and no problems experienced at all. A welcome addition to my cameras and excellent quality. Get a good quality lens and you won’t be dissappointed.

6:40 pm - Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#63 Alan

Hi all, well thats sorted that out then, great camera, but it cant focus, yes it can, no it can’t, yes it can.

Oh dear confused, stroking my trusty 500D

10:39 am - Thursday, January 5, 2012

#64 Black and White Photography

I love my 7D. I use a canon 5dMKII at the studio I work and I like my 7D every bit as much. If it had the full frame sensor I would like it more. Just the way it feels and how it is setup.

5:27 pm - Saturday, January 14, 2012

#65 Ramy

Hi, Why the images are blurry at 100%? Shouldn’t they be sharp? I tested even 650D. Same there also.


12:30 pm - Tuesday, May 14, 2013

#66 Doug

Thanks for a great review.

I’ve owned the 7d since its launch and taken it hiking with a 100-400mm lens & x1.4 extender. Taken the same rig on my kayak and canoe with outstanding results. Never had a problem with this camera, I think it’s tougher than I am :)

Happy shooting,

2:44 pm - Thursday, May 23, 2013

#67 arbazena

this camera is being with me for 2 years, please visit my website, almost all of my photos are taken with canon 7D :D

10:19 am - Thursday, May 30, 2013

#68 RR

Very disappointed with this camera b/c the USB connection does not work.  Unable to interface camera with the EOS software utilities to perform camera settings or shooting settings.

5:33 pm - Saturday, December 7, 2013

#69 Pirez

Good day to you all
Please how significant are these ratings presently?

5:51 am - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, DSLR, digital SLR, 18 megapixel, Canon, 8fps, EOS, 7D, Canon EOS 7D Review

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