Canon EOS 7D Review

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A guest Review of the Canon EOS 7D by Patrick Dean from NeutralDay.com.

Canon EOS 7D.jpgThe 18 megapixel Canon EOS 7D is a significant leap forward for the prosumer line of EOS DSLR cameras.

It offers increased resolution, high ISO capabilities, a new AF system, improved handling and functionality, and rapid-fire continuous shooting.

Intended for enthusiasts and semi-professional photographers, the EOS 7D competes directly with the Nikon D300s and does so with impressive specifications.

Highlights

The EOS 7D sensor, shutter unit, and dual DIGIC IV processors (image credit: Canon USA)

The EOS 7D sensor, shutter unit, and dual DIGIC IV processors (image credit: Canon USA)

18.0 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor: Provides increased resolution and cropping options. Improvements in sensor and manufacturing technology have had a hand in improving high ISO performance as well.

Dual DIGIC IV processors: Allows the EOS 7D to power through its larger files and use more advanced algorithms for in-camera functions like noise reduction.

ISO 100-6400: Expandable to 12,800, the EOS 7D performs better than the EOS 50D at high ISO settings, and arguably better than the Nikon D300s.

19-point all cross-type AF: All 19 points are manually selectable with 5 ways of selecting points, including “Single Point”, “Spot AF” which concentrates a point, “AF Point Expansion” which expands a point to surrounding points if need be, “Zone AF”, and an auto mode using all 19 points.

8 fps continuous shooting speed: 14-bit files for a claimed 15 consecutive RAW files or 126 consecutive JPEGs.

iFCL metering system: With 63 zone dual layer metering sensor. Analyzes focus, color, and luminosity to determine proper exposure

“Intelligent” viewfinder: Features 100% coverage and 1.0x magnification. Transmissive LCD screen allows for multiple internal views like optional grid lines, various AF modes, and even a dual axis electronic level.

Advanced movie mode: Full manual mode is available, as well as selectable frame rates. For 1929 x 1080 this means 30p, 24p, and 25p. For 1280 x 720p the options are 60p and 50p.

Magnesium alloy body: Resistant to water and dust, the EOS 7D also has a shutter rated for 150,000 cycles.

In The Hands

Front and back views of the Canon EOS 7D

Front and back views of the Canon EOS 7D

The EOS 7D is a real pleasure in the hands. Build quality is very solid with tight seams and solid construction throughout. Largely the same on the exterior as the EOS 5D Mark II, a number of ergonomic improvements have been made to improve handling. The re-sculpted grip offers a substantial boost in security and camera balance, and even the rest for the thumb has been enhanced. Camera buttons are larger, making them easier to press (especially with gloves on) and the on/off switch has been smartly moved to base of the shooting mode dial, where it seems much more at home and out of the way.

In Use

Camera usage was superb. With 100% coverage and 1.0x magnification, the viewfinder offers a nice bright view with easy to see readouts internally. A new quick control button provides interactive camera information at a glance, and a RAW/JPEG button allows users to switch to taking both files simultaneously if presently in just RAW or JPEG shooting modes. The 920K LCD provides a brilliant view of images during Live View shooting or image playback and we continue to enjoy the simplicity of Canon’s latest menu system.

Bulb, Manual, Aperture priority, Shutter speed priority, and Program shooting modes are found on the mode dial, along with “Creative Auto”, a simplified method of selecting aperture and shutter speed.  There are also 3 custom modes where users can register preferred settings. Notable amongst many new features not found on other Canon cameras is the dual axis electronic level available in the viewfinder or the LCD, which works as advertised, but can become its own challenge separate from taking photos. Live view performance remains unfortunately average, with focusing times taking from 1 to 3 seconds. On the plus side, the EOS 7D offers a live histogram and the previously mentioned electronic level, along with grid overlays to aid in composing your images.

One additional point on the EOS 7D is its ability to act as a master to external Speedlite slaves. The EOS 7D is able to control 3 groups of multiple Speedlites, and offers a good deal of setup options in its menu system. While this may not seem like a big deal to photographers using another camera system, like Nikon, for a Canon DSLR this a big deal, and I welcome the added capability.

Performance

Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/320) | Aperture: f/5.6 | Focal Length: 225 mm | ISO Speed: 1000

Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/320) | Aperture: f/5.6 | Focal Length: 225 mm | ISO Speed: 1000

Camera performance was inspired to say the least. The new AF system is a snappy performer and does well at acquiring focus even in very low light environments. We had good success tracking dynamic subjects while in the EOS 7D’s AI Servo AF mode, typically finding best results using either “Single Point” or “AF Point Expansion”. Helping to catch all the action is the addictive 8 fps continuous shooting speed, and that means going through smaller capacity CompactFlash cards very fast. Canon claims 15 consecutive RAW files, but users with faster rated cards can expect improved results. Using a PhotoFast GMonster 533x Plus card we were able capture over 20+ RAW files. Factor in the instantaneous start up times, and the EOS 7D establishes itself quickly as a reliable and willing performer.

Image Quality

Exposure:  0.004 sec (1/250) | Aperture: f/2.8 | Focal Length: 50 mm | ISO Speed: 200

Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250) | Aperture: f/2.8 | Focal Length: 50 mm | ISO Speed: 200

Image quality for the most part is very good. At lower ISO settings the EOS 7D is able to put its 18 megapixels to good use, providing ample resolution and detail. Noise begins to become noticeable at ISO 800, but doesn’t become unsightly until ISO 6400, while its highest sensitivity, ISO 12,800 is best left for smaller prints or web use.

Source for the samples below. Noise Reduction set to "OFF"

Canon EOS 7D ISO Samples.jpg

Source for the samples below. Long exposures with all Noise Reduction set to off

Source for the samples below. Long exposures with all Noise Reduction set to off

Canon EOS 7D ISO Low Light Samples.jpg

The EOS 7D uses a new iFCL 63 zone dual-layer metering system that combined with Auto Lighting Optimizer provide very good exposure control and in-camera Peripheral Illumination Correction keeps lens vignetting easily under control. Out of the camera sharpness is slightly soft, but takes to sharpening via software quite well. Additionally many image quality aspects can be customized in-camera via Canon’s “Picture Styles”. On the whole, image output from the EOS 7D, even at higher ISO settings, is quite pleasing, and in my opinion the best available short of a full frame camera.

Video

Finally, the EOS 7D makes an excellent choice for aspiring filmmakers or photographers looking to explore a new creative venue. Industry standard, selectable frame rates (24p is actually 23.976 fps for example) and full manual control over exposure and ISO settings make the EOS 7D the most versatile video capable DSLR camera available, and it is capable of capturing very high video quality that simply looks tremendous on a big screen HDTV. Like other DSLR cameras though, shooting video with the EOS 7D isn’t exactly natural,fluid, or easy,  and best results will likely be achieved with additional equipment, accessories, and software.

Conclusion

The Canon EOS 7D is a camera that excels in nearly every regard. From excellent build and handling, to beautiful high resolution images, the EOS 7D is perfectly suited for any enthusiast or semi-pro photographer. While Canon claims the EOS 7D isn’t intended to replace any of their current models, it is clearly intended to compete with the Nikon D300s, and in nearly every regard the EOS 7D is equal to or better than its competitor. It’s an adept performer with class leading high ISO capabilities and the most versatile movie options available from a DSLR camera. In total, the EOS 7D isn’t just a great value, it’s also the best APS-C DSLR that you can buy right now. “Highly Recommended”

Availability

Canon EOS 7D camera body only
Canon EOS 7D with EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens

Additonal Samples

Exposure:  0.025 sec (1/40) | Aperture: f/1.8 | Focal Length:50 mm | ISO Speed: 6400

Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40) | Aperture: f/1.8 | Focal Length:50 mm | ISO Speed: 6400

Exposure:  0.002 sec (1/640) | Aperture: f/2.0 | Focal Length: 50 mm | ISO Speed: 200

Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/640) | Aperture: f/2.0 | Focal Length: 50 mm | ISO Speed: 200

Exposure:  0.002 sec (1/640) | Aperture: f/2.0 | Focal Length: 50 mm | ISO Speed: 400

Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/640) | Aperture: f/2.0 | Focal Length: 50 mm | ISO Speed: 400

About the Author: Patrick Dean is the editor of the photography news and review website, NeutralDay.com. He also frequently tweets at twitter.com/neutralday.

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  • Nice review! I’m interested in purchasing this camera, the vidoe feature is simply amazing in this camera! They are even used by advertising companies to shoot nice commercials!

  • Mike Hente

    Hi all,

    I have a 7D, just a few ideas on lenses. I currently have: Sigma 12-24 4-5.6 EX, Sigma 24-70 2.8 EX and EF 80-200 2.8L.
    All are excellent lenses which I purchased second hand (trade-ins and eBay) for half the new price and 1/3 of the cost of new Canon lenses. All are full frame lenses.
    Sigma 12-24: no real Canon equivalent
    Sigma 24-70: As good as Canon’s, half the price.
    EF 80-200 2.8: Old, optically brilliant, AFD so slower and noisier (but still fine for most things).

    There are many fine non-Canon lenses – Tamron 28-75 2.8, Sigma 70-200 2.8, Tokina 12-24 4.0 for example.
    Fast lenses (f2.8 and faster) are really useful for video, BTW. Must get me another 50mm sometime.

    Whatever you choose, don’t feel envy, just use it! If you can’t get great photos with a 7D, it’s your fault 🙂

    Mike.

  • Not only are Canon lens’s poor so are Nikon too.
    The idea is for you to step-up to their higher performance lens’s where they can make big bucks.
    This was not the case though years ago where the standard lens coming with the camera was top quality.
    My first camera was the Canon AE1 and the supplied standard lens that came with it is still superior to those Canon supply to day. Nikon here is no exception for I have the Nikon D50 and the supplied standard lens quality is best described as embarrassing. Fine, for all I can find about these two makes is how bad the lens’s are. Im now in the market for a camera upgrade, semi-pro or pro all depending on what I find. One thing though I will not be buying Canon nor Nikon, theres no need to, just as many other good makes around.

  • Dave Quail

    I upgraded from an EOS 40D, which in it’s own right was a brilliant camera. However, the difference to the 7D is huge. Low light capability, iFCL metering and the new AF system give me a whole lot more keepers than before. I am really enjoying the 7D for what it is, and haveno interest in the (sic) ongoing Canon/Nikon war. Who cares who has the better camera…I happen to love minefor what it is, and it will serve me well for a long time.

  • joe

    so i just want really know ” 24-70 working on 7D good?

  • Michael

    I bought my 7D a few months ago to replace my 450D, and got the EF 17-40mm F/4L USM. The 7D is great in the hands, it’s easy to use (knowing the canon system), and generally I’m loving using it, but so far it has yielded very differing results to what I expected. I am very picky about photo quality, and mostly take landscape photo’s with the above lens, and a lot of the time I’m unhappy with the sharpness of many photos. I have read so many forums and heard a lot said about the 7D being ‘soft’. I find a lack of sharpness is predominantly a problem when shooting in low light, but then every now and then the 7D surprises me again and reminds me of the reasons I decided to buy it in the first place. I often wonder if I should have got the 5D mkII, but at the moment the 7D is great, I guess if the sharpness gets to me that much I’ll get the 5D. How have you guys found shooting landscapes in lowish light goes, and what lenses have you found give the best sharpness/crispness?

  • Ryszard

    Welcome to the club…..I own First Canon 7D 2 years ago and it was a worst camera I ever own..Focus was totally out of whack..Sometimes was most time not…I wrote about it and was hackle by Canon Lovers…”user Error”…well…now I’m on third body and 17-40 lens…it is better but focus??? Well it is a Canon Focus…sometime is on, more times is not…manual or automatic make no different ..:-))) even lock on tripod and burst in 30 frames 2-3 are out of focus…Canon Service center…well they sure is user error..
    and it is…I did make a error I should not purchase from them…and I will not do that in the future…they treat customers like a S….
    Perhaps is just me…and you…and please do not be surprise by the Canon worshiping comments to follow
    I know it is just dreadful lack and body #4 will be miracle..:-)) I lost my fate in 7D to be able shoot sharp pictures. Good lack and put on ebay…perhaps you can stop bleeding……before you go crazy like me..:-)))))
    For all of you Canon Worshipers i get my first Canon as a baby 50 years ago so please give me a brake and do not say I’m not trying..:-))))

  • michael

    I recently purchased the 7D, I have worked with a professional photographer for three yrs doing quicksilver Pro, Mud boats and Motor sports. My mentor has 5D and 1d. I would have liked to have had the $$$ to purchase a professional model but that will be later on, I am thrilled with the image quality with this camera using a EF100/400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM LENSE OR THE 70/200MM IMAGE STABILISED lense. My mentor actually went out and bought the 7D as a back up camera. as for shutter problems have your camera serviced every 12 mnts and this will help keep it all ok or at least give you the heads up on any gremlins that might be learking. over all great camera

  • Gaurav Mittal

    HI,

    I’m a 7D user and love it for wildlife. I have one question regarding the Dual Axis Electronic Level. I’m only able to see the level when in live view mode, I have tried all settings but can’t see the level activated in the view finder. Can someone please direct me on how to set it up or if there may be a problem with the camera.

    Thanks.

  • Dave Quail

    Firstly, check that Custom Function IV-1, for setting M-Fn, that VF Electronic Level is the selection. Then, when you look through the viewfinder, press the M-Fn button in front of the Shutter release, and the level in the form of horizontal and vertical squares will appear, much like the AF point selection squares. If you then tilt the camera sideways or forwards/backwards, you want only the centre square illuminated, which means the camera is level.

  • Dan

    I’m looking to buy a 7D to use mainly for video as an amateur film maker and I’m very encouraged by the review and everyone elses comments.

    My first project is a sports documentary that will be filmed mostly indoors (ice rink) with some outdoors shooting as well. I want to shoot in 1080p as well as use the high frame rate at 720 for slow motion footage. At times I will need to shoot action that will be as much as 40-50 metres away.

    What I want to know is what kind of lens would I require to get the best results? Is it possible to use XLR audio inputs instead of using the built in mic?

  • Al

    I have been a Canon user since the 60’s starting with the FT-QL, followed by the F1, A1, then I went digital with the 20D, 40D and just got the 7D – WOW!!! what capabilities and performance. I tend to love the L Series lenses, but Canon makes some very good non-L series glass also.

  • Kristie

    I purchased 7d in January, I shot with 50d before that. I Love it, except having problems downloading all of my photos. I use Aperture to download my pictures. When put card in card reader to my Mac with 50d, no problem. Now, I can only get a couple hundred and it ejects my card reader and will not download the rest of my images. The unrecovered photos have the little yellow triangle next to them. Do I need different software program, memory card etc??? Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Also, I have thinking about starting a business for awhile and really need to know what to choose for better editing. I have been afraid to purchase anything, for fear of getting wrong thing. I definitely want option to swap heads if need be. I also want to be able to get moving on it when I get it and not spend months and months on trying to figure it out. My concern if I get PSE, when I do master it will be disappointed that I did not get the current PS to do more. I have had conflicting reviews about both and just confused on what to do. I shoot jpeg (afraid/not knowledgable to do RAW) I have well over 90,000 pictures on my MAC and need to know best way to store them. I have plenty of space on my MAC, but it runs very slow.

    Any advice would be helpful! Thanks!

Some Older Comments

  • Kristie March 7, 2012 04:38 pm

    I purchased 7d in January, I shot with 50d before that. I Love it, except having problems downloading all of my photos. I use Aperture to download my pictures. When put card in card reader to my Mac with 50d, no problem. Now, I can only get a couple hundred and it ejects my card reader and will not download the rest of my images. The unrecovered photos have the little yellow triangle next to them. Do I need different software program, memory card etc??? Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Also, I have thinking about starting a business for awhile and really need to know what to choose for better editing. I have been afraid to purchase anything, for fear of getting wrong thing. I definitely want option to swap heads if need be. I also want to be able to get moving on it when I get it and not spend months and months on trying to figure it out. My concern if I get PSE, when I do master it will be disappointed that I did not get the current PS to do more. I have had conflicting reviews about both and just confused on what to do. I shoot jpeg (afraid/not knowledgable to do RAW) I have well over 90,000 pictures on my MAC and need to know best way to store them. I have plenty of space on my MAC, but it runs very slow.

    Any advice would be helpful! Thanks!

  • Al February 4, 2012 08:03 am

    I have been a Canon user since the 60's starting with the FT-QL, followed by the F1, A1, then I went digital with the 20D, 40D and just got the 7D - WOW!!! what capabilities and performance. I tend to love the L Series lenses, but Canon makes some very good non-L series glass also.

  • Dan December 25, 2011 10:06 am

    I'm looking to buy a 7D to use mainly for video as an amateur film maker and I'm very encouraged by the review and everyone elses comments.

    My first project is a sports documentary that will be filmed mostly indoors (ice rink) with some outdoors shooting as well. I want to shoot in 1080p as well as use the high frame rate at 720 for slow motion footage. At times I will need to shoot action that will be as much as 40-50 metres away.

    What I want to know is what kind of lens would I require to get the best results? Is it possible to use XLR audio inputs instead of using the built in mic?

  • Dave Quail December 13, 2011 03:56 am

    Firstly, check that Custom Function IV-1, for setting M-Fn, that VF Electronic Level is the selection. Then, when you look through the viewfinder, press the M-Fn button in front of the Shutter release, and the level in the form of horizontal and vertical squares will appear, much like the AF point selection squares. If you then tilt the camera sideways or forwards/backwards, you want only the centre square illuminated, which means the camera is level.

  • Gaurav Mittal December 12, 2011 10:40 pm

    HI,

    I'm a 7D user and love it for wildlife. I have one question regarding the Dual Axis Electronic Level. I'm only able to see the level when in live view mode, I have tried all settings but can't see the level activated in the view finder. Can someone please direct me on how to set it up or if there may be a problem with the camera.

    Thanks.

  • michael May 5, 2011 08:57 pm

    I recently purchased the 7D, I have worked with a professional photographer for three yrs doing quicksilver Pro, Mud boats and Motor sports. My mentor has 5D and 1d. I would have liked to have had the $$$ to purchase a professional model but that will be later on, I am thrilled with the image quality with this camera using a EF100/400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM LENSE OR THE 70/200MM IMAGE STABILISED lense. My mentor actually went out and bought the 7D as a back up camera. as for shutter problems have your camera serviced every 12 mnts and this will help keep it all ok or at least give you the heads up on any gremlins that might be learking. over all great camera

  • Ryszard March 7, 2011 01:47 pm

    Welcome to the club.....I own First Canon 7D 2 years ago and it was a worst camera I ever own..Focus was totally out of whack..Sometimes was most time not...I wrote about it and was hackle by Canon Lovers..."user Error"...well...now I'm on third body and 17-40 lens...it is better but focus??? Well it is a Canon Focus...sometime is on, more times is not...manual or automatic make no different ..:-))) even lock on tripod and burst in 30 frames 2-3 are out of focus...Canon Service center...well they sure is user error..
    and it is...I did make a error I should not purchase from them...and I will not do that in the future...they treat customers like a S....
    Perhaps is just me...and you...and please do not be surprise by the Canon worshiping comments to follow
    I know it is just dreadful lack and body #4 will be miracle..:-)) I lost my fate in 7D to be able shoot sharp pictures. Good lack and put on ebay...perhaps you can stop bleeding......before you go crazy like me..:-)))))
    For all of you Canon Worshipers i get my first Canon as a baby 50 years ago so please give me a brake and do not say I'm not trying..:-))))

  • Michael March 3, 2011 09:03 pm

    I bought my 7D a few months ago to replace my 450D, and got the EF 17-40mm F/4L USM. The 7D is great in the hands, it's easy to use (knowing the canon system), and generally I'm loving using it, but so far it has yielded very differing results to what I expected. I am very picky about photo quality, and mostly take landscape photo's with the above lens, and a lot of the time I'm unhappy with the sharpness of many photos. I have read so many forums and heard a lot said about the 7D being 'soft'. I find a lack of sharpness is predominantly a problem when shooting in low light, but then every now and then the 7D surprises me again and reminds me of the reasons I decided to buy it in the first place. I often wonder if I should have got the 5D mkII, but at the moment the 7D is great, I guess if the sharpness gets to me that much I'll get the 5D. How have you guys found shooting landscapes in lowish light goes, and what lenses have you found give the best sharpness/crispness?

  • joe October 13, 2010 01:11 am

    so i just want really know " 24-70 working on 7D good?

  • Dave Quail October 11, 2010 06:02 am

    I upgraded from an EOS 40D, which in it's own right was a brilliant camera. However, the difference to the 7D is huge. Low light capability, iFCL metering and the new AF system give me a whole lot more keepers than before. I am really enjoying the 7D for what it is, and haveno interest in the (sic) ongoing Canon/Nikon war. Who cares who has the better camera...I happen to love minefor what it is, and it will serve me well for a long time.

  • Mike Hind September 17, 2010 04:17 am

    Not only are Canon lens's poor so are Nikon too.
    The idea is for you to step-up to their higher performance lens's where they can make big bucks.
    This was not the case though years ago where the standard lens coming with the camera was top quality.
    My first camera was the Canon AE1 and the supplied standard lens that came with it is still superior to those Canon supply to day. Nikon here is no exception for I have the Nikon D50 and the supplied standard lens quality is best described as embarrassing. Fine, for all I can find about these two makes is how bad the lens's are. Im now in the market for a camera upgrade, semi-pro or pro all depending on what I find. One thing though I will not be buying Canon nor Nikon, theres no need to, just as many other good makes around.

  • Mike Hente September 1, 2010 06:25 pm

    Hi all,

    I have a 7D, just a few ideas on lenses. I currently have: Sigma 12-24 4-5.6 EX, Sigma 24-70 2.8 EX and EF 80-200 2.8L.
    All are excellent lenses which I purchased second hand (trade-ins and eBay) for half the new price and 1/3 of the cost of new Canon lenses. All are full frame lenses.
    Sigma 12-24: no real Canon equivalent
    Sigma 24-70: As good as Canon's, half the price.
    EF 80-200 2.8: Old, optically brilliant, AFD so slower and noisier (but still fine for most things).

    There are many fine non-Canon lenses - Tamron 28-75 2.8, Sigma 70-200 2.8, Tokina 12-24 4.0 for example.
    Fast lenses (f2.8 and faster) are really useful for video, BTW. Must get me another 50mm sometime.

    Whatever you choose, don't feel envy, just use it! If you can't get great photos with a 7D, it's your fault :)

    Mike.

  • Best Email Fax July 1, 2010 03:35 pm

    Nice review! I'm interested in purchasing this camera, the vidoe feature is simply amazing in this camera! They are even used by advertising companies to shoot nice commercials!

  • Hemant April 12, 2010 04:00 am

    Hi David, glad to be of assistance. I have the Tamron 17-50 without the IS and its a pretty good lens. And the 17-55 Canon is more than 1000 dollars so that's a lot more than the 800 you said you would be hard-pressed to spend. If you can buy that, you might want to the think of the Canon 24-105 F4L IS...pretty good focal lengths for portraiture as well as street photography...just lacks a bit at the wide end. Plus you can take it along if and when you do decide to go full frame. Also, in my opinion, the Canon 1.4 is a pretty useful upgrade over the 1.8 and the 100 macro may be too long for true portraiture,for a crop camera, besides being so sharp that it brings out every flaw on your model's skin!!! The 85 1.8 might bear looking into though...good luck...let us know what you do decide...

  • david April 12, 2010 02:58 am

    Thanks Jeremy and Hemant for the tips! :)

    I thought about the 50mm 1.4, but Ive seen comparison shots, and it really does not feel like a substantial upgrade over the 1.8. It is a bit better, but reports of images being softer with the 1.4 vs the 1.8 even at same fstops detered me a bit, since the 7D is already relatively soft in images (in my opinion atleast). the 1.2 would be a diff. story, but, a bit more then I would like to invest for a focal length I have. I looked at the sigma lenses and they do seem like a good deal. The canon quality seems better, but at a 1/3rd price savings, it is hard to argue. I am currently between the following:

    Sigma 18-50mm, 2.8
    Tamron 17-50mm, 2.8 (with stabilization, even though it degrades the image quality a bit)
    Canon 17-55mm 2.8 (the quality looks better in 100% comparisons, by a small margin... more expensive tho).
    Canon 100mm, Macro (not the new Image stab one... its too much for me :( i'll settler for the older 2.8, non IS)

  • Hemant April 11, 2010 05:42 am

    Hi Dave,

    Hope you have your camera by now and are enjoying it to the hilt...As Jeremy suggests, the primes are great options - Sigmas do a great set...the Canon 50mm 1.8 is a nice lens, but even a 50 1.4 would easily be under half if not a third of your budget. Else, if you want a zoom, go for a Tamron 17-50 2.8 or a Sigma 18-50 2.8. Both are great lenses if you are okay with a non-Canon build and non-USM motor (which just makes the auto-focus a little on the loud side and slightly slower than USM). If you are just doing portraits though, you could do worse than a Canon 50 1.4 or a Canon 85 1.8...both are awesome.

  • Jeremy Ridout March 18, 2010 02:32 pm

    I'd suggest you go with a prime. They tend to be very sharp, fast and relatively cheap compared to zooms of equal image quality or speed. Depending on your shooting style, the 35/2.0, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 Macro are all good options for <$500.

    Jeremy

  • david March 18, 2010 02:10 pm

    This write up is very sweet!

    I just purchased my 7D a bit ago, and its "on its way" as we speak. I am hoping to pick up a good lens and really use it to its potential, but at the moment I cannot spend 800$ on a lens after spending 1600 on a camera. :(

    Any sub 800$ lens recommendations that would do this camera justice? I shoot mainly stock photography/models.

    Thanks in advance.

    -Dave
    microstuck.blogspot.com

  • steele January 25, 2010 12:15 am

    I upgraded from a NIkon d70 w 28-200 and sb 600 to a 7d, 18-200 is and a 580 flash. All I can say is wow. I shoot volleyball games and the burst rate is amazing. The new creative setting is fun but the manual settings are very intuitive and awesome. I have fooled around a little with the video which even in low light and with fast movements is crisp. I think my change over to Canon was a wise and powerful move.

  • NALIN January 13, 2010 03:22 am

    thank you for the comment, i will go with the 7d plus the 100-400mm

  • Don Parsons January 12, 2010 11:28 pm

    To answer the questions posted here for me.

    Elyssia What lense do I recommend . First it depends on your style of photgraphy (landscape Portrait Sports etc)

    I am not a portrait photgrapher So I'll let soemone else anwser that one.

    For general walk around I highly recommend the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 great color and contrast. The 24-105 f/4 IS lens would also be a good choice and the IS will be of use when shooting hand held videos.

    I dont typically use IS lenses for a couple of reasons, One is if chosing between fast and IS I usually prefer fast (f/2.8 over f/4). Also for moving subjects such as sports IS produces soft images (IMO) so I switch it off. In addition, I often shoot with a monopod or tripod (The tripod I often use to shoot my videos)

    Another great lens is the CANON 70-200mm f/2.8 (either IS or non IS) an absolute wonderful lens for a Broad range of applications.

    My lens collection overlaps the focal lengths all are Canon L glass. ( Canon 24-70 f/2.8 is my favorite lens)
    17-40mm 24-70mm 70-200mm and 100-400mm
    ==========================

    NALIN: I have had no problems with the Canon 100-400mm on tthe 7D and I often use it with a 1.4x extender takes beautiful pictures. The Sigma 50-500mm is a very versatile lens with a tremendous zoom range what I lke best about it. With the SIGMA lens quality varies it seems by the copy. I sent mine back to have it serviced and it came back sharper than it went in. My Sigma produces very good quailty images and I am very happy with it. With a 1.4x telecoverter it covers 100-700mm and makes a very nice wildlife lens. However the image quailty is not as good as the CANON 100-400mm and the focus is not as fast. In addition I find the push/pull zoom of the canon preferable for zooming (Sigma you rotate a ring)

    My conclusion? Buy the Canon if you are looking for best quality and IS at a higher price. Buy the SIGMA if you are looking to conserve cash and to have the widest possible zoom capability in one lens. Both are big and heavy!

  • NALIN January 11, 2010 03:32 am

    G'day to all, Don Parsons, went through you comment on the canon eos 7d and i saw your list of lens you use how the 100-400mm L canon lens with eos 7? any problems? and if you advise me on the sigma 50-500mm how is the image qulity? compare with the canon 100-400mm?

    thanks
    Nalin

  • Elyssia January 4, 2010 12:44 pm

    Well, I can see here that you all love your 7D's. That is what I'm considering upgrading to hopefully in the near future. What lenses do you recommend?

  • David O'SUllivan January 4, 2010 10:19 am

    Hi,

    I am wondering does anyone know what system requirments i would need to be able to process the images from the Conon 7D on my laptop.

    I want to buy it, but Cant Afford an upgrade.

    Help please

  • Don Parsons January 3, 2010 11:21 pm

    I bought my Canon 7D in October a week after they became available.

    I had originally been planning to but the 5D Mark 2 and had teh money set aside for the purchase. However when the specs became available I was interested but disappointed....

    The full frame at 21 MP is wonderful for landscape photography and the inclusion of video also got mt interest up.

    However, The camera kept the old autofocus system. I was very disappointed about that! Having owned a Canon 30D and then a 40D I had expeienced many issues and lost shots due too the poor autofocus of these cameras (especially when compared to thier Nikon equivalents).

    Shooting sports I wanted a camera with a high FPS rate. My 40D was rated at 6.5 fps and except for the autofocus system worked wlell for my soccer photos. Well the 5D Mark 2 was backing up to 3.5 FPS again a major dissapointment. I know some foilks say that is sufficient for sports but I dont agree. In soccer when shooting a corner kick or drive in the box I open up and shoot as many shots as the camera allows. Things happen so fast at those moments that a split second can make or break a photo. The 7D at 8FPS and 15 raw burst and over 100 JPEG fit the sports shooting nicely.

    Another issue with the 5D mark 2 was the balck dot and video banding problems.Although not major issues I was reluctant to shell out $2,700 for a camra body that was not as good as I had hoped and had a few technical glitches. In the end I decided to wait for the next generation body as rumors of a 60D (7D) were floating on the internet.

    When the 7D was announced i was thrilled at the specs. I did feel the 18 MP was overkill and 15MP would have been suficient for this level camera. I also was hoping for a bigger sensor maybe the 1.3x used in the Canon 1d Mark 3 (a great sports camera body BTW). Except for those two issues I liked what I read about teh new body and decided to upgrade. At a $1000 less than the 5D Mark 2 body and so many new features it was an easy decision.

    The 19 point new auto focus system is excellent cross type sensors with selectable 5 zones! In custom settings you can set focus tracking so that when you are focus tracking a soccer player or bird etc the camera will not adjust focus on an closer object moving into the field of view, thats a great feature for sports shooting!
    There are several other cool new focus tracking options too.

    The extended ISO is also nice for shooting indoor or night events Yes ISO 12,800 is grainy but at least you get a shot. Under ISO 400 the image quality at all settings are superb very sharp and clear images.

    I do use the video modes. When Hiking or shooting sports I shot some short clips. Now the H.264 videos are an improvement over the 5D Mark 2 videos. However, be prepared for some surprises when you start post processing or playback from a computer (not the camera).
    The H.264 videos are very compute intensive and working with these files is more demanding than most folks probably realize... You will need a video editing program that can handle MPEG 2 as a minimum and preferably H.264 (MPEG 4). A tip here is to process your videos then build you final video file with quality at 100% and use 2 pass encoding. Anyway I have produced some very nice videos with this camera but you will have to learn the ropes I assure you. Its not like shooting from a consumer camcorder most of us are use to,

    In summary this camera is a technical leap in sophistication and some learning is required to use its new features effectively. Image quality is excellent and the videos are a nice feature, With the $1000 I saved on purchasing the 7D instead of the 5D mark 2 I purchased a Canon 17-40mm f/4 lens to compensate for the 1.6x crop actor when shooting landscapes and it does the Job when my Canon 24 70 f/2.8 can't take in the entire scene I am trying to capture...

    My equipment: Canon 7D with a SCANDISK 16 GB UDMA Extreme 4 memory card. Canon 17-40mm f/4, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8, Canon 70-200mm F/2.8, Canon 100-400mm f/4-5.6 and the SIGMA 50-500mm F/4-6.3 lenses. Other: 430 EX speedlite and 1.4x teleconverter plus some filters (Circular polarizer and neutral density)
    Sotware: Lightroom, Corel Videostudio, Photmatix.

  • Curtis Wallis January 3, 2010 09:23 am

    I have read a lot of posts about using the video for add on the wedding photography. Any one actually doing this?

  • my new toy January 2, 2010 10:45 pm

    The 7D replaced my trusty 350D (the "unbreakable") which I am planning to convert to astrophoto. I've had it a few days, am only beginning to realize what a beast I've bought.

    Focus is perfect with a Sigma 30mm 1.4 wide open. I agree about the poor quality of non-L Canon lenses - get Sigma, cheaper and better.

    I would have never paid this much for a camera, but the 7D seems to be really worth it.

  • Michael January 1, 2010 07:23 am

    Just uploaded a vid to YouTube. Shot entirely with the Canon 7d with kit lens. No post was done other than cutting up the clips in iMovie...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvTKa0tfiiE

  • Susan Guy December 29, 2009 12:23 pm

    Thanks so much Jeremy for your reply will look into Lightroom.

  • Jeremy Ridout December 29, 2009 07:02 am

    I use Adobe Lightroom. It is outstanding software for organizing, processing and making normal tweaks (white balance, cropping, exposure, contrast, vignetting, B&W, color adjustments, red eye fixing, dodging, burning, spot removal, etc) to your images.

    It does 100% of what I need done, 99% of the time. If I need that 1% extra, I'll open the image in Photoshop Elements from Lightroom.

    When I am ready to print or export my images from Lightroom, I can do that quite easily. From my perspective, the fact that I am shooting RAW is nearly completely obfuscated in Lightroom--it is a non-issue.

  • Susan Guy December 28, 2009 10:06 pm

    I just purchased a new 7D upgraded from a Canon Rebel XTi. Love the camera but am frustrated that I can only process my raw files in the included Canon software, not in Photoshop Elements 6. Is there a patch for Elements 8 or should I be upgrading to another program. Would love any suggestions as I'm finding it hard to shoot JPeg after shooting raw for so long.

  • Richard December 27, 2009 07:59 pm

    I had my Canon 7D for about two weeks and love it. No more 40Dit's a toy compared to the 7D. Takes excellent photos with the Canon 17-55 f/2.8 and the Canon 24-105 f/4. I am very happy I bought this camera.

  • kelly bartolome December 17, 2009 03:39 pm

    i need help, im a beginner in the business, about to study photography and hopefully i'd make it. i currently have the Canon 1000D and im planning to upgrade soon. im torn between the Canon 7D and 50D i know 7D is better but im trying to consider also the price difference. and a few people told me it will also depend on the lens that youre using.

    im about can someone advise me on this?

  • OkNewbie December 11, 2009 12:24 am

    I've never used the video function on my 7D and have owned it since October.

  • Bob Wilson December 10, 2009 11:51 pm

    For those owning DSLR's with video capability, how many use it?
    Frequently
    Once in a while
    Rarely
    Never, not interested.

  • cartucho r4i December 10, 2009 11:34 pm

    Nice post. I am happy with purchase of 7D. This is a good camera for the price. It is simple to use and takes clear, crisp pictures. Also, the battery life is good. And the price makes it affordable to take good pictures.

  • Ben December 6, 2009 11:37 am

    What lenses were used in the sample pictures? I believe that is a vital piece of information forgotten in the review.

  • Sabrina December 4, 2009 12:44 pm

    I Love my 7D! I received it as a gift a month ago. :-) An upgrade from my Canon 40D. The higher ISO's are great. The image quality is wonderful. No complaints. Still learning all the capacities and settings. Would highly recommend this fabulous camera!

  • Richard December 4, 2009 12:35 pm

    During analog times of the photography I was a successful to the point I become DP in Film and Video subsequently I was out of traditional photography..Canon 7D put me back on track..:-))
    Pros….video look very good….if you use right lens… camera is exceptional
    Cons…audio auto gain makes audio unusable so you have to use a external recorder
    Photos are soft and focus is out on wide open
    Generally I was very surprise by the low quality of Canon Lenses. The only one worth using are the L type
    EF S is just junk……plastic rattle’s like toy for children…what happen to a Canon quality?
    The kit lens EF 28-138..is the worst lens I ever use….soft beyond acceptable….I guess 30 years of film lens spoils me..

  • Wan Azuar December 4, 2009 11:56 am

    Not sure which camera to get now- its either the 5D Mark 2 or 7D? Can someone give me some suggestions. I normally shoot landscape,potrait & use it most during family trips.

  • S.M. Riaz December 4, 2009 06:29 am

    I have 2 Nikon DSLR 1. D70s and 2nd D80 Two SB-800 flashes, and one Canon Rebel XSi, now I want to upgrade my D70s with EOS -7D. with canon 580EX II flash. If any body have suggestions, about Canon EOS - 7d please let me know Thanks in advance.
    S.M. Riaz

  • OkNewbie December 4, 2009 05:50 am

    I have owned my Canon 7D since early October and have nothing but praise for it. The 7D was an upgrade from a Canon Xti. My main use of the camera has been high school sports photography where it has performed very well. The higher ISO capabilities really allow the 7D to capture shots that were previously unattainable without having to shoot with flash. My next addition to the 7D is a 70-200 F2.8 IS lens -- can't wait to shoot football with it next season!

    I have been very happy with the 7D and would definitely buy it again.

  • Sami December 4, 2009 05:47 am

    I agree also with the fact that its a preference. I started with a Canon XT!! It is so old to me now and I still hav eit. THen I upgraded to the XSi, now the 7D. I like keeping with the Canons because I know how to work them and they work great.

  • Sami December 4, 2009 05:45 am

    I love my Canon 7D!! It takes wonderful photos. Like another person here, I replaced my XSi with it. I would not go back and not get it if I had the chance. It is now my baby.

  • Phil Burdine December 4, 2009 05:18 am

    Earlsy, you said, "consumers choose between them based on their own preferences/prejudices". You are right, and it is no different than buying a new car. When we buy a new care, most of us have a personal preference so we read those reviews that reflect our interests and preferences.
    I started out with a Canon AE-1 and have been a Canon fan ever since, not because I think the Canon is better than the Nikon or Pentax, etc, it is just my preference. This review doesn't "sell" me on a Canon, it just allows me to keep up with the changes. If I really want to know what Nikon owners think, or any other brand, B&H has tons of reviews on every model made and dpreview.com is about as comprehensive as any site out there.
    Patrick Dean is a "Guest Contributor" for DPS who has provided an excellent review on a new product of which I appreciate. If this review was on a Pentax or Nikon, etc, I would have appreciated it also, even though my next camera will be another Canon.

  • junglebear December 1, 2009 04:24 am

    I should really stop reading about DSLRs until I can afford one.

    It's tantamount to masochism!

  • Earlsy November 30, 2009 11:20 pm

    Brandon,
    I have a Nikon DSLR, an Olympus point and shoot and a Canon video camera. It doesn't bother me if the Canon EOS 7D trumps the Nikon D300s - I can't afford either one.

    It is the way these things are portrayed in reviews with an agenda that annoys me.

  • Earlsy November 30, 2009 10:09 pm

    This whole Nikon/Canon thing is pathetic. I have since read several other reviews and the consensus seems to be that this new Canon is as good as or better than the Nikon 300s. These reviews have been proper independent reviews and Canon biased reviews. The funny thing is that the Canon biased reviews are only admitting that the Nikons WERE better now that they have a camera that can actually compete. No Canon fan site would ever have said that before. Truly pathetic.

  • brandon November 30, 2009 03:12 pm

    Earlsy,

    The review is not bias. Sometimes we just have to accept some facts that one is better than another.

  • Earlsy November 29, 2009 01:13 pm

    This is simply a Canon fanboy review. Everyone knows that Canon and Nikon trade blows with each new model released and that consumers choose between them based on their own preferences/prejudices. So called "neutral" reviews like this are just designed to reinforce Canon owners' beliefs and fuel the phony war between the two brands. What about Pentax, Olympus etc.?

    I know the owners of this site are Canon fans, but I think we should be able to expect better. Or would the owners prefer all Nikon and other brand users to leave this site??

  • Mat Packer November 29, 2009 09:13 am

    I just bought a 7D a couple of weeks ago myself, traded 'down' from a 5D. I was planning on reviewing it on my blog but I think I might just link to this post as you've pretty much summed up my thoughts on it.

  • Iris November 29, 2009 01:19 am

    Thank you for the review, Patrick. Oh, it so is on my wish-list. I guess I have to take many portrait photos to get it...but we will see.

  • Naveen November 29, 2009 01:15 am

    Hi All,

    i have a query.
    I want to upgrade from Nikon D40 now.I wam willing to spend till $700
    Please let me know what all options do i have.

  • Chris November 28, 2009 11:32 pm

    deb king... did you enable live view. Use the manual it shows you how just in case. Love the 50D

  • Radityo Pradipto November 28, 2009 07:28 pm

    As a Nikon users, I have to admit that this one is a really tough competitor for D300s.
    It's almost the most perfect APS-C DSLR I've seen so far, with a reasonably low price for its performance...
    Wondering what will Nikon did to face Canon 7D >.<

  • Jeremy November 28, 2009 01:45 pm

    I LOVE my 7D. I've had it for nearly two weeks, and it replaced my Rebel XSi. I have not seen any focusing issues at all.. in fact, I am very pleased with the upgrade to the focusing system... I am suddenly seeing a higher percentage of keepers compared to the other camera. Overall image quality is better as well. The Rebel XSi feels like a toy now.

    You can always have the shutter replaced/serviced when it dies and it is good for another 150k.

    It would be nice to use Preview on a RAW 7D image, but I use Lightroom and beyond Preview, don't have too much need for native Apple support. I certainly wouldn't hold off on getting a 7D waiting for Apple to come around. Lightroom makes dealing with RAW images a non-event.

  • Deb King November 28, 2009 12:06 pm

    For anyone with a Canon EOS 50D, I just purchased it, and enabled the Live View Image so I could see what I was shooting on the LCD monitor. I have been unsuccesfull in doing this in any of the creative modes. do I have a lemon, or is there something else you do? Any suggestions, much appreciated.

  • dbltapp November 28, 2009 10:55 am

    Lots of chatter about poor focusing with wide-open apertures - any experiences like that?

  • Robd November 28, 2009 08:30 am

    150,000 is good for a semi-pro DSLR, the D300(s) is rated the same. Most consumer DSLRs are rated for 50,000 (XSi) or 100,000 (D90). Pro DSLRs are usually rated for around 300,000.

  • Patrick Dean November 28, 2009 06:31 am

    David,
    That's the average time expected for a shutter failure. Some unlucky folks will have it fail before then, most afterwards. Still, 150,000 is more than you'd think I suspect. (You'll have the 7D Mark II by then)

  • Jathnael Taylor November 28, 2009 05:02 am

    A guy I know did a short video for a local car show using a 7D.
    I think it came out well, and shows what can be done with the camera.
    http://vimeo.com/7813464

  • david November 28, 2009 03:55 am

    I splashed out and treated myself to the 7D. I have one question, when a shutter is rated for 150000 uses does this mean after than number of photos my camera is likely to die ? Just that doesn't seem like a massive number and I never considered my camera to have a limited life.

  • Ben Jamieson November 28, 2009 02:04 am

    Come on, Apple - we *need* native 7D support!!!!!

    Until then, my 7D will have to remain in my Amazon cart.

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