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on December 7, 2009
(I'm putting a quick update at the top, for those who don't get a chance to read all the way through. As of 03/03/2014 my 7D is still working perfectly, and only has slight cosmetic wear on the mode dial, where the rubberized coating is coming off. The camera is a bit over 4 years old at this point and I still love it.)

The Canon EOS 7D is Canon's semi-pro / enthusiast digital crop sensor SLR. It's a terrific SLR that shines in photo quality, control placement, speed, and viewfinder size and coverage.

First, let me tell you a little about myself so you can gauge what my expectations for the camera are. I'm strictly a hobbyist photographer and use my camera a couple of times a month at museums, outdoor parks, and vacations. Besides photos of my dog, my photography consists primarily of static subjects. This is my second SLR.

Enough of me, onto the camera. The 7D is a fairly bulky SLR and dwarfs "entry level" models such as the Olympus E-510 (see my photos), though it's no bigger than Nikon's D300s. With that said, it's not uncomfortably large and is easy enough to carry around all day. Build quality is terrific and the camera has a solid, luxury feel to it. The 7D fits very well into my average sized hands and, with the kit 28-135 lens, is nicely balanced. All the buttons are easy to reach and, if you've used a Canon camera before, easy to figure out. The magnesium body is sealed against moisture and dust. The shutter button is well placed and has a nicely defined halfway point. A control dial is on the back of the camera and behind the shutter button too. There is also a joystick-like toggle on the back of the camera as well.

A large (3") and high-resolution (920,000 pixel) screen is on the camera back with a secondary status LCD display on the top (with backlight). The screen is a pleasure to use when reviewing images for focus, and when manually focusing in magnified live view mode. Compared to the 3-inch 420,000-pixel screen on my Panasonic LX3 it's a definite upgrade, and makes a noticeable difference.

The viewfinder is huge and bright and has 100% coverage. Coming from the Olympus, which has a very cramped and tunnel-like viewfinder, it was a revelation, and was one of the reasons I decided to step up to the 7D. Also, by using a transmissive LCD on the viewfinder the only markings you see until you confirm focus are for the selected focus method (for instance, a single box when using one focus point, or brackets when using the auto select autofocus method). Moreover, a composition grid can be imposed on the viewfinder. The information display on the bottom of the viewfinder is large and bright and contains lots of shooting and camera information. (Update 05/27/2013: Since I've been trying to shoot manual focus more, I've noticed that the 7D will light up the focus boxes as you manually focus to let you know what part of the scene is currently in focus, at least it does when using Canon lenses. I can't comment on other lens brands since I only own Canon lenses. The 7D's huge viewfinder makes it easy to manually focus.)

The camera is very responsive and turns on almost instantly. The sensor cleaning occurs when you turn the camera on or off but can be interrupted during power up. Focus speeds with the kit lens are very speedy, even in dim light (two 40 watt lamps and a television as the only light sources in a 17' x 11' room). The 19-point all cross type autofocus is uncanny at picking the correct subject. If it doesn't get it right the first time it will the second. I usually set all my cameras to center point autofocus, but the 7D does a great job picking out the subject, so I leave it on fully automatic mode (unless I'm using the 50mm f/1.4 lens, since wide aperture lenses like that can focus shift with such a shallow depth of field). Live view focusing is not a quick, especially in low light, and I only use live view when I need to shoot at a weird angle and I can't shoot looking through the viewfinder. Live view can be used with a mirror flip or contrast detection. The contrast detection mode is fairly pokey, while the mirror flip mode is quicker, but introduces a brief break in the view. Continuous shooting is available in both a high and a low setting. High is 8 FPS, while the low speed is 3 FPS. The shutter sound is nicely subdued and not nearly as noisy as the Olympus' is.

Photo quality is terrific. There are various Picture Styles you can choose to alter the contrast, sharpness, color tone, and saturation of the photos. At any rate, 99% of the time, colors are natural, exposure is accurate, and dynamic range is great. At this level of camera, that's expected though. What I really love about the 7D is the high ISO noise, or lack thereof. The luxury of feeling confident while shooting at high ISO is priceless. I've taken a good number of shots as high as ISO 3200 and have no complaints. Of course there is a bit of noise, and the mushiness that noise reduction brings, but for an 18 MP image at ISO 3200, I have no complaints. The ISO speeds above 3200 are OK as well, but I'll reserve those for emergency use only, they get fairly processed looking. (Updating this section a bit: Since the 7D is over 3 years old at this point its high ISO shooting is not as good as it once was relative to the competition. I have a Canon G1 X and the Fuji X100 and they both do a bit better at ISO 1600 and higher. Having said that I doubt anyone would complain about the 7D's high ISO results, but you should be aware that sensor technology has gotten better since the 7D was introduced.) The relatively large APS-C sensor not only allows for low noise, but also allows me to produce nicely blurred backgrounds and great depth of field. I couldn't achieve the same degree of that effect with the smaller 4/3 sensor in the Olympus, and I certainly couldn't do it with my point and shoot cameras unless I was in macro mode. There is an Auto Lighting Optimizer feature that attempts to correct photos that are hard to correctly expose (e.g. big difference between shadows or highlights in a scene). It works well for the most part, but, depending on the subject, the differences are very subtle. There is also an image highlight tone priority option available in the menu system that limits the lowest ISO setting to 200 and helps preserve highlights a bit, but it too, is subtle. (Update 05/27/2013: Having recently decided to try shooting in RAW and editing my photos using Adobe Lightroom 4, I have noticed that it is worth the effort. If I thought the 7D's jpegs were good, the RAW files, post-processed, are even better. Using RAW I'm able to pull out details in the shadows and highlights, correct white balance, and remove purple fringing. Anyone who is hesitant to shoot RAW because it sounds intimidating, just go for it. You can always have the 7D shoot a RAW + jpeg together if you're cautious. Thankfully, even shooting that way the 7D is a fast camera.)

The HD movie mode is nicely done as well. You set your focus, either automatically or manually, before you start recording. You can refocus during recording but you'll definitely notice it. You can adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO in manual movie mode as well. There is a monaural microphone on the front of the camera, or you can plug in a stereo microphone. By pressing the shutter button, you can interrupt the movie briefly to take a still photo, similar to Canon's S series super zoom cameras.

The 28-135mm kit lens is nicely constructed and fairly sharp from corner to corner. Purple fringing is not much of a problem in my photos. The field of view is kind of narrow though. The lens starts at 44.8mm with the 7D's 1.6x field of view crop factor taken into account. Without a wide angle it's not an ideal all around lens, but I do feel it's worth the extra money for the kit with this lens. You end up getting a nice, ultrasonic motor, image stabilized, 4.8x lens for a minimal cost.

The only things I don't like about the camera so far are that in auto ISO you can't limit how high it goes (this has been remedied with firmware version 2.0.0 released in August 2012, see below for more details). The other thing I'm not fond of is the fact that when you're in playback mode the most you can zoom out is a 9-image grid. With such a large high-resolution screen I would appreciate an index grid playback mode that showed more photos. Lastly, I find the process for setting the custom white balance a bit long winded. You have to take a photo of a white reference object then go into the menus to choose that photo as the reference photo. On other cameras, even Canon's point and shoots, the process is much faster, and it doesn't save the reference photo to your memory card. It's not the worst system, and I have become very quick at it, but it could be better.

All in all... a phenomenal semi-pro SLR. The Canon 7D covers all the bases.

12/17/2009 Update: I found a nice case for the 7D which fits the camera with kit lens quite well. It doesn't fit much more than that, but it's a good case if you don't carry too many accessories with you. It's the Lowepro Topload Zoom case.Lowepro Topload Zoom 1 Camera Bag (Black)

12/19/2009 Update: You can change the depth of field preview button to switch to another autofocus mode when you hold it down, instead of doing a depth of field preview. I find this very useful since I hardly ever use depth of field preview. Now if I find that the autofocus is consistently not picking the right subject for a shot, I simply hold down the depth of field preview button to have it temporarily switch from auto select mode to spot focus mode. Very convenient.

01/04/2010 Update: Just got back from a trip to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The 7D was a joy to use. I took about 160 photographs. Of those only 4 or 5 are out of focus due to camera error. The low light performance continues to impress me. I took many photos at ISO 1600 through 3200 and all of the photos are completely usable. In the large "Sea Life" and "African Mammals" rooms I was able to take sharp pictures of these very dim rooms while shooting handheld at ISO 3200 and no flash (see pictures). Anyone who has visited these exhibits knows how challenging they can be to shoot.

10/20/2010 Update: I am still loving this camera. No problems to report. In fact, I was a little miffed when Canon introduced the 60D because it seemed like I could have saved some money by buying that, however, one of the students in my digital photography class bought one, and while it is a nice camera, the build quality and design are nowhere near the standards on the 7D. Still happy with my purchase.

04/05/2011 Update: Still no problems to report with the camera. I took it out after a recent snow storm when it was still flurrying and it survived just fine.

01/02/2012 Update: Still no problems to report with the 7D. I continue to recommend it.

06/13/2012 Update: The camera still works wonderfully. I've purchased the Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens to replace the kit lens as I was looking for something sharper and a bit wider, and the 24-105 does indeed deliver. Build quality and sharpness are much higher than the kit lens. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

07/05/2012 Update: I picked up Canon's new pancake 40mm f/2.8 lens and it makes a great addition to the 24-105 lens. It's small, sharp, and quick to focus. It really does make a huge difference in the 7D's weigh and size and makes carrying the camera on a long hike easy. Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Lens

08/15/2012 Update: I just installed Canon's firmware update version 2.0.0. The update improves many things; maximum RAW burst of 25 images, in camera RAW editing, JPEG resizing, image rating, maximum auto ISO setting, audio level adjustment in movies, GPS compatibility, file name customization, faster scrolling of zoomed images, and quick control screen during playback. The firmware was easy to install and download and took only a few minutes.

08/20/2012 Update: I just picked up Canon's 50mm f/1.4 lens for low light shooting, and it is indeed a great low light friend. The angle of view is a bit tight, but it produces sharp photos with shallow depth of field and nicely blurred backgrounds, especially at f/2.0 and wider. Also, the camera is still working like new and I have no mechanical problems to report. However, a bit of the rubberized coating is coming off of the mode dial. It's very subtle though, and completely cosmetic. Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

10/25/2012 Update: I got Canon's 60mm EF-S macro lens and it's a great macro lens. Sharp, small, and quick to focus. I recently took the 7D and my 4 lenses with me to Walt Disney World, took over 1000 photos, and the camera and all the lenses performed great! Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

04/25/2013 Update: I've also purchased Canon's 28mm f/2.8 IS USM lens and it's a nice compact option that gives the camera a normal view (45º) and has the benefit of an image stabilizer. It makes a great all around / museum lens. It's very sharp and quick to focus. Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 IS USM Wide Angle Lens

05/28/2013 Update: I purchased Canon's 70-300 IS USM lens and it makes a decent telephoto option at a great price. It's not as sharp as Canon's L series telephoto lenses, but it's a great option for those who don't do frequent telephoto work. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

P.S.: Sorry for the long review. There is a lot to cover, and even so I may not have gotten everything. If you'd like to know something I didn't cover, feel free to leave a comment and I'll answer it as quickly as I can. Also, I will update this review as needed based on any new experiences I have with the 7D.
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5150+ comments| 883 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 13, 2013
I ordered mine a little late to the game; my Canon 40D had the shutter fail, and I debated long and hard on what would be a true upgrade to that camera, without breaking the bank.

I wasn't in the market for a full frame camera, so that narrowed it down to a used 50D (a new one cost more on Amazon at least than the 7D), the new 60D, or a new 7D.

60D missed a few key points on my check-list - auto-focus is key in motorsports photography, which while not my primary focus is something I do frequently. Build quality was another concern, and it seemed as though Canon really dumbed the 60D down deliberately from the 50D (or 40D for that matter) to save a bit of manufacturing costs. Less dedicated buttons, no joystick, worse auto-focus, and while yes, it is cheaper by a few hundred dollars, my feeling of value for $ just wasn't met.

The 50D I actually really liked; not a super upgrade from the 40D, and if I could have found a new one for $800 I probably would have gone with it. The fact that it cost the same or more than the 7D on every site I could find it on put it right off my list.

Onto the 7D - first, the autofocus. Head and shoulders above the 40D, 50D, and 60D. It's sick. You have to use it to see what I'm talking about, but selectable area from the joystick, or 19 point selection, or autoselect; usable, and fast. I will say that the liveview has more issues with focus than without; this isn't something I use very often, but when I do, its noticeably slower. However, manual focus from liveview is great; a click of the + button and you can go from 5x to 10x magnification on the screen to get that perfect focus - the display is high quality and really helps lock in focus when you use it in this manner. Good for tripod/portrait shots (not something you'd use in situations requiring fast focus anyway)

The menu system and features are very well laid out; if you've used a Canon camera this should all be familiar anyway, and there are a few extra bells and whistles coming from the 40D that I noticed; primarily autofocus but being able to limit autoISO is a nice feature as well (if you own this camera and don't have that, update your firmware). Ridiculously fast burst speed - I mean 8fps is getting close to full motion; if you need speed and don't have $8000 to spend on a camera, the argument is over, get the 7D.

Image quality - better than the 40D which is to be expected, but not lightyears ahead. I'd expect images between the 50D and 7D to be fairly similar. Having the extra pixels to play with is always nice; 18MP for me is fairly future proof. I think excellent results can be had to ISO 1600 - very usable at 3200 for web based images; 6400 ISO is pushing it a bit but still usable for web and black and white.

View finder is excellent. The autofocus and grid display are both unobtrusive and usable. Battery life is great. Camera is actually pretty lightweight, weather sealed as well.

Is it with the $1200 Amazon charges? Yes. Is this a futureproof camera? For a mirrored full sized SLR, I'd say yes. I would never need a FASTER camera than this. I'd be hard pressed to justify more MP than this, even more so on an APS-C sensor. Digital cameras have just come so far from where they were a few years ago, and this being an older camera I think like film cameras of old will end up becoming a classic. I thought about buying this used, but I didn't want to have to worry about the shutter being replaced in a year, so I just bought it new.

Video - no idea. Haven't shot any. Reviews show its fairly awesome, so thats as far as I can go with that.

Honestly, I don't think there is a better Canon APS-C on the market at the moment, and the next version of this will likely cost $600 to $800 more. Hence, I just bought it new, and hope to enjoy it for years. Bottom line, if you need the speed, and the best auto focus system on the market (right up there with the 5D Mark II, Mark III, or 1D Mark II), I think you'd be happy with this purchase.

If you don't and just want a decent APS-C camera? Save a few bucks and get the 60D.
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on June 10, 2017
This was from UTM Inc. fulfilled by Amazon and presented as a U.S. Version. Although neither Amazon nor UTM acknowledged their mistake they both suggested I return the camera. I'm giving it 3 stars because I didn't have the camera long enough for solid feedback and Amazon and UTM made the camera and warranty easy to return. The warranty got processed right away, but I'm still waiting on the camera refund. I was also able to return the CompactFlash without a problem or fee.
I only used the 7D for a few hours but I noticed:
-there was one image taken indoors w/the pop up flash of the cat that my old T3i couldn't match (which might not sound like much but the T3i was/is a great entry level camera)
-the autofocus was problematic (I couldn't see the image in focus through the viewfinder)
-it was heavy
-the layout on the left and dial and joystick on the right were awkward (my cousin's Canon has this same layout and she likes it, so...)
-the menu and functions were close enough to my old EOS to quickly figure out
-it was easy to find a YouTube video to help me change the language to English
-Amazon had a link to the manual in English
-there was no improvement in tricky outdoor sun and shadow shots
-I didn't use it long enough for a good assessment but it felt clunky. Some of the outdoor photos were okay and one indoor was almost good enough to convince me to keep the camera
I decided to return it because the seller seemed adamant that I do so. UTM didn't try to work with me (I sent three emails which they answered in good time) and they do NOT HAVE A WORKING PHONE NUMBER. The Amazon Chat rep was mostly unhelpful but did want to help me with a return (after I said I may want to keep it). He wouldn't help in reporting the product misrepresentation or non-functioning phone number. I should have at least gotten a link or number to report both.
I've done more research and if I wasn't on a budget I'd look at the 5D or a Nikon.
With the exceptional autofocus and low light performance of the 7DM2, I'm considering diving in and hoping I'll get used to the layout.
As for Grey Market or International Versions, Amazon offers an excellent warranty price and a few sellers include a no drip and spills one year warranty to replace Canon's. The instruction manual is easily found online and if you get a camera set to Japanese, it's easy to change to English in the menu.
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on August 2, 2012
Not that I have a first actual baby, but it is my second 7D body and it doesn't fail to deliver.

Many directors and such use the 7D for video recording and it is a great camera for it. But as my area is only really in photography, my review will be regarding it and practical information.

The first things you notice through the viewfinder is the incredible 19 point AF point systems. It allows for much better focusing as well as accurate focusing. Secondly, the metering and focus allows the 7D to focus on objects must faster. The viewfinder also looks a lot larger than the lower end cameras such as the 100's or the 10's.

The other surprising factor is the amazing frames per second that you get. It's faster than any other canon camera out and is a true beast when taking pictures of sports games.

The ISO gets up to 6400 but ISO 1600 still gives you amazing photographs.

Shutter is a very important part of shooting and although I won't get near the so called shutter amount it can handle; the shutter feels very good. It doesn't feel plasticky and gives you a little bit of resistance that feels amazing, you have to try one yourself.

Live mode is great to use, the lcd if you can see it doesn't matter much which angle you see it from.

One thing that I thought was a "cool" feature that I didn't think of using much was the digital meter. But after a few photoshoots where a tripod wasn't accessible or impractical, the digital level was a lifesaver! A bubble meter sometimes isn't that great when it comes to anything besides vertical and horizontal being aligned but the camera gives you a great cockpit type view.

Design wise everything is great to handle and feels sturdy. I have sea water splash on the camera a few times and it still goes strong, the weather durable body can take it's fair share of damage. The only one pet peeve is that of the power button. Having it on the left side doesn't help a lot with fast on's, but you get used to sliding your left hand back from the lens and switching the power button with your left thumb. The 8 directional bad reacts well and the toggle as well.
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on January 30, 2013
I got two of these for professional use:

The first one was squeeking when the sensor was being cleaned. It drove me crazy and I returned it. I got my replacement and it's silent.

DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! -If something feels off about your camera when you get it, look it up! It could be normal and it could be a major flaw. Know before it's too late so you can get a "good" copy.

Pros:

BEST BODY CONSTRUCTION ON THE MARKET!!!!

8FPS!!!! (Great for wildlife/Action)

AMAZING Servo AF.

GREAT video.

AMAZING outdoor performance.

Feels great in my hands, very sturdy.

Weather sealing

In camera RAW (can save time when prepping a shoot with white balance etc.)

3 custom user image profiles

Great layout, very intuitive for canon users.

Cons:
Not the sharpest camera. After many side by sides with my Rebel Xti, the IQ is pretty much the same unfortunately. I am keeping my old 5D for portraits and landscape/lowlight.

Not so hot in Low light. Try not to push too much above 1000. Decent noise control but it shouldn't need to control it in the first place (Ideally)

Battery grip doesn't match camera grip ergonomics at all.

Battery life could be a touch better.

It suffers from being too awesome sometimes.

Bottom line:

I am NOT sending it back. I am excited to use it for what it was designed for.

If you are strictly a landscape/portrait photographer, get a different camera.

If you are a wildlife photographer, you will LOVE this.

If you are thinking that a better camera will make you a better photographer, save your money and try cooking.

If you have the money and want a great all around camera, go for it!
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on September 22, 2016
Thia is an update to a previous review. After owning the camera for 6 years I just wanted to say how much fun I have enjoyed using the camera and leaning about how to use the many controls and features built into the camera. The camera worked much better with improved image quality after the two or three firmware updates (I am not sure what Canon changed but images taken had more consistent exposure after updates). Four stars due decreased image quality under low light conditions, but the 7D earns the other four stars in features and build quality. I believe the middle level/semi-pro bodies provide what the entry level cameras lack in dust and water seals to the metal body. As a statement and example of how long the middle level camera bodies stay a usable tool (above entry below pro) the Canon 7D proved to me that this is the way to go for the money. Use great lenses and will be looking forward to a 7DM2 or 5DM4 in my future with more freelance work. Use the L 70-200mm 2.8,L 28-70mm 2.8, 50mm 1.8, 580 EX Flash, with an off brand battery grip, and several kit lenses 18-55mm.
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on May 28, 2010
Canon 7D is an advanced Canon EOS DSLR camera designed primarily for sports and action photography. EOS 7D is a step up (not replacement) of Canon 40D and 50D. It has similar body like 40D/50D but the buttons and switches has been repositioned for better accessibility.

There are plenty of improvements from 40D/50D line, such as improved image resolution (18 mp), better noise handling and latitude, full HD video recording, 8 fps continuous shooting and improved weather sealing.

Canon 7D weights 900 g or just 90 g heavier than 50D, and has exact dimension 148 x 111 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in) as 50D. It is make from magnesium alloy body which is lightweight and durable. Unlike entry level cameras, 7D is weather resistant.

Canon 7D has two main dials (one thumb dial and one round dial), an 8 ways joystick and plenty of dedicated buttons and switches. It has dedicated live view button for still or video recording. It also has Q menu, which enable you to see and change popular setting such as exposure compensation, image quality, etc.

7D also has camera mode dials which include full auto, creative auto (CA), P, Tv, Av, M, Bulb and three custom setting. There are no scene modes which are popular in entry level DSLR and compact cameras.

I find finding and changing setting in 7D is easy and fast. Maybe this is due because I used Canon 40D for about two years. If you are new to Canon advanced DSLR, it might take a while to get use to, but it will not be hard.

IMAGE QUALITY

Many cynics complain about Canon decision to increase its image resolution. Most photographers afraid that noise will be awful in images taken in high ISO setting. However, I found that this is not the case. Image quality and noise are excellent up to ISO 3200. ISO 6400 is very acceptable especially after you remove the color noise in software like Adobe Lightroom 3.

18 megapixel is great, however it has a couple consequences. First, the filesize is huge event in JPG. Average file size is around 10-15 megapixel (L quality). Second, it requires an excellent lens to take advantage of the resolution or to make it tack sharp.

18-135mm LENS

Unlike Canon full frame or APS sensor cameras, Canon 7D is compatible with any Canon EOS lens, including EF-S and EF lenses. In this review, I used Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. This lens is quite good for walk around lens due to its focal length (equivalent to 28-216mm).

It is wide enough for to capture building, and long enough for candids). Image stabilization feature is helpful up to 3-4 stops. The lens does not have USM / Ultrasonic motor, so it produces a bit of noise when focusing. However, focusing speed is very good either for still or moving subjects.

Bokeh / out of focus rendition is soft and pleasing. It is much pleasing than regular 18-55mm VR kit lens. However, it depth of field is still quite large because of the sensor size and big maximum aperture.

To get a very sharp image and get full advantage of Canon 7D 18 mp sensor, better lenses are recommended, such as Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras or Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM UD Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras. Canon L series lenses are also recommended.

AUTO FOCUS PERFORMANCE

Canon has improved its auto focus system from 9 points (40D/50D line) to 19 points system. With the additional all cross type AF points, auto focus is fast and accurate. New to AF system is Zone system.

Zone AF is Automatic AF point selection, but restricted to a small cluster of AF points in the viewfinder. By grouping several AF points in a cluster, it become easier and more accurate in tracking fast and unpredictable moving subjects such as sport photography. In short, AF system are much better than Canon previous DSLR cameras.

To learn more about this auto focus sytem, Canon has provide a tutorial videos and descriptions.

There are plenty to like about Canon 7D

+ Many dedicated buttons, easy and fast to change settings
+ New AF system works very well, simple and customizable
+ Noise is very well controlled up to ISO 3200, 6400 is acceptable
+ Big and bright viewfinder with 100% coverage
+ Excellent 8 fps continuous shooting
+ Sound of the shutter click is soft, and low. (not "ka-ching")
+ Auto ISO works a lot more accurate than in 40D
+ New Quick Menu make reviewing or changing setting easier
+ 5 stops exposure compensation

On the other hand, these are what I don't like about 7D

- No Auto ISO limiter like in Nikon cameras or Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only)
- Auto ISO is limited only to ISO 3200
- Relatively big and heavy
- No dedicated button for exposure compensation (you need to go to Q menu to change it)
- Auto focus in live view is a joke, it takes up to 3 seconds to lock focus

COMPETITORS

Nikon D300s 12MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Nikon D300s is an arch rival of Canon 7D and the only one at this moment. It fell short in some areas such as image resolution (18 mp vs 12 mp), and video recording (full HD vs 720p). However, D300s has some unique feature such as 51 AF points and dual card slots (Compact and SD card).

CONCLUSION

I highly regard Canon EOS 7D as the almost perfect advanced camera today and it is quite hard to imagine what could still be improved in this camera. It has several downside such as Auto ISO is limited to 3200, and AF in live view is still very sluggish. Sports and action photographers will love this camera.

Subjective Rating - Relative to advanced DSLR cameras of 2010

Image Quality : 5/5
Features : 5/5
Performance : 5/5
Body and Handling : 4/5
Value for Money : 4/5

For image samples and ISO comparison, or other reviews, please visit my blog. You can find my blog address from my profile page. Thanks for reading.
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on May 5, 2017
Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by manufacturer)
I got the camera body and it looks pretty much how I expected, there was some wear and tear, but it works, takes great pictures and video. This purchase was for the use of a second camera to match my same (newer) model. I was surprised to also receive the following: 1. Video/Digital Camera Charger transformer with car lighter adapter (not sure if this works yet); 2. 32 Gig Compact Flash Card; 3. Canon Li-ion battery; Canon 18-55mm lens in mint condition and works beautifully, in fact a really great lens. I am pleased and got way more than I expected, and it arrived timely! Would definitely order from this seller again. I feel like I got MORE than my money's worth.
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on May 22, 2014
I love the Canon 7D. This is my second one. I have been using one along with my original 20d for a few years now with my pro glass. I got tired of deciding which lens to put in the 20d before each shoot. Buying the second 7d resolved that. I can't say enough about the quality and features of this camera. My advice if you are new to Canon pro and semi pro cameras is to read the manual, take a class or both. I'm always finding new features that I was unaware of.
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on January 26, 2013
So if you are reading reviews then you already know the stats/specs of the camera and what it is capable of doing. As the title of the review says I just upgraded from a T3i after people told me, "Don't do it! They have the same sensor.blah blah blah..." Yes this is true and was one of the reasons that kept shying me away from pulling the trigger and getting this. Upon opening the box... WOW! I am soooo glad I am got rid of my T3i. Just the build of this camera alone can be seen as a good enough reason to upgrade by some. As soon as I charged the battery the first thing I did was to make sure I installed the newest firmware because it definitely helps with the performance. I really have to emphasize that if this is the camera you find yourself desiring, but do not have the cash to justify spending on this, just save and wait. I am really kicking myself in the butt for not just saving and buying this camera to begin with. Save and get what you want because as soon as you get the camera you can "afford" you are already thinking about ways to get your dream camera. This also allows you to build your lens collection.

Low light / ISO settings:
After doing my fair share of review reading, I came to realize something while I was playing with my new 7D. I never read a review where anyone mentioned the number of selectable ISO levels available. This may be common knowledge to a pro who has top of the line Canon body's, but for someone coming from an entry DSLR this would have been great to know. Also would have helped me convince myself I needed it :-P Let me give you an example:

Canon 7D ISO levels: 100 125 160 200 250 320 400 500 640 800 1000 1250 1600 2000 2500 3200 4000 5000 6400 H(12800)

Canon T3i ISO levels: 100 200 400 800 1600 3200 6400 H(12800)

Now when people make the argument that I will have the same noise issue with both cameras, I agree and disagree. Yes, at the same ISO level there will be the same amount of noise. However, in a situation where the T3i has to use 3200 because 1600 is too dark, the 7D has two more ISO values between that. Personally, I believe this will help drastically with keep the most amount of noise out of your shot as possible. I have also come to notice that the large amount of ISO settings allows better Auto ISO.

Saving Format:
With my T3i I always shot in RAW format like 99% of the time. The 7D offers 3 different RAW formats, a small, medium, and large which can be helpful if you don't need to make a large print.

View Finder / Auto-Focus:
Compared to the T3i, the 7D blows it out of the water in both aspects. The 100% viewfinder and the very quick auto focusing system definitely make the 7D worth it. When I originally started to look at upgrading I always read about people talking about the bright 100% viewfinder, but I always thought, "Could it really be that much better?" I can honestly say there is a noticeable difference.

Which lens to get??
This questions took me a while to answer and figure out. I had to think to whether I seriously saw myself purchasing a full frame Canon in the distant future. If so, the EF lens would have probably been the best choice in lens. However, since I do not plan to go full frame (For now) then I personally believe the EF-S lens is the best choice. After a good amount of research, I chose to get the EF-S lens for many reasons. The EF lens came out in 1998, so its getting to be a pretty dated lens. On the other hand, the EF-S lens came out in 2009, so almost 10 years later. Some also believe that since the EF lens is USM that it will focus faster. Well when it came out, it definitely focused faster then the non USM lenses. However, the EF-S lens is just as fast if not faster. A friend of mine has the EF lens on his 60D and wishes he got the other one instead. Additionally, on my T3i I had the 18-55mm IS kit lens on it, and the build quality of that lens made me second guess getting the EF-S lens with my 7D. The EF-S 18-135mm lens has a completely different feel then my old kit lens. It's a very solid lens and I am glad I went with it. Also, at first it doesn't seem like the difference between the 28mm and 18mm is a lot, but it actually gives you even more versatility, especially with a crop sensor.

WHAT IT ALL COMES DOWN TO:
If you are upgrading from a pretty old camera the jump to the 7D will probably make a little more sense. However, if you are coming from a more recent dslr, upgrading may not seem to be the obvious choice. You have to ask yourself what your current camera can't do and the 7D can. Lastly, for everyone who thinks going from the t3i to the 7d was a poor choice because they can produce the same images, that is true, but the 7D offers much much more. The camera is just a tool. It doesn't determine how good of pictures you'll take, its you, and if the 7D brings out your inner creativity and confidence then get it!

***The Rattle***
That RATTLING noise the camera makes and your heart stops when you first hear it after pulling it out of the box. After putting the battery in my 7D and taking a few shots, I moved the camera to the side real fast and heard a rattle. At first, I thought 'O great they sent me a broken camera.' However, after looking through many forums this 'rattle' is part of the mechanism that pops the flash up. If you pop the flash up the rattle will go away.

3/3/13 Update:
Well I have now had my lovely 7D for quite some time. I am still extremely happy with my purchase! I am currently an enthusiast and I shoot for a local paper. This camera has not given me any problems since I have had it. The auto focus system of this dslr ROCKS! I now have the camera paired up with my 70-200 f2.8 L IS and it becomes a whole different monster. This camera is great for any type of sport photography. When you can capture at 8 fps you don't have to worry about capturing that perfect moment when you can capture the whole moment. lol This camera plus a Nifty-Fifty, Kit Lens, and a 70-200 L and you are ready for almost anything.

After shooting many types of Nikons at work I am still glad I shoot Canon!

3/25/13 Update:
I just used the camera and my 70-200 f2.8 IS in the recent blizzard and when I was finished shooting outside my camera was covered in snow. When I brought it inside people were looking at me like I was crazy letting my camera get soaked. Needless to say I really put the weather sealing on my 7d and lens through a true test and I couldn't be happier because any non weather sealed camera would have been completely ruined.
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