Yes it has a built in flash, but I don't know what you mean about the last part, I never used the 5. What I can say is that for the 7 you can control the intensity of the built in flash, I have no problems with it and you can use a rubber band to hold in place so it faces up and not directly at your subject. Hope this helps you.
No on both accounts. However, there is a solution for Time Elapsed Photography for this camera, which if I understand your question correctly, it is what you want to do. Therefore, look up the Tempus TimeElapse Remote. It's an IR blinker that you place infront of the camera and set the camera to remote and it will take a picture every time it blinks.
when using the viewfinder: as soon as the camera senses proximity with your face, the screen turns off and remains off while the camera is held to the eye. the picture is previewed through the viewfinder so there is no reason to remove the camera and view the LCD screen while shooting. this is a wonderful feature when in brightly lit conditions where the glare prohibits viewing the images on the screen.