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Customer Review

582 of 612 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon EOS 7D, October 14, 2009
This review is from: Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by manufacturer) (Camera)
Well after much deliberation between this and a 5d Mark II i decided to opt for the 7D and spend the extra I save on some nice wide angle lenses. First of all for anyone who is expecting a 1.6 crop camera's image quality to be better than the 5d mark ii you can forget it. The 5D mark ii is a full frame sensor camera and the 7D is a crop, different cameras for different purposes. I know three people who own a 5d mark II, wedding photographer, cinematographer and a landscape photographer. As you can tell, they all need wide angle and good low light performance. The 5D Mark II/other full frame cameras are targeted towards users with wide angle needs. So if you find yourself in a crowded room with little light during a wedding the EOS 7D may not be for you, less you put on a 10-22mm EFS lens which is the widest Canon Zoom Lens for a APS-C camera. (Or 8-15 F4L Fisheye).

Image Quality from this camera is amazing, I'll put up some pictures once it stops raining where I live. Detail is very good, and the 28-135 lens accommodates this cameras ability very nicely, however, starting off at 28mm will probably be too long for most people in everyday situations such as those for street photographers. Picking up a 17-55 2.8 lens will probably be highly recommended by many.

Build Quality is superb. This "tank" of a camera is no light weight and one of the first things you notice when you pick up the camera is the hefty feel you get. Very ergonomic grip and a robust feel all around. Don't expect to have it hanging around your next too long though. Weather seals are improved and you can notice that the area above the viewfinder is much larger thanks to a 100% coverage pentaprism.

Autofocusing, now I've read some issues about the 7D's new focusing system such as softness from auto zone focusing and I am also getting some mixed results with that as well, some images ranging from very soft to some being as sharp as single AF select. I will update later as I take it out for more situations. However, with that being said, the camera's autofocusing with the 28-135mm lens is very quiet, very fast and accurate for the most part especially with using the cameras single AF select mode.

Battery Life: still on the first charge off the box, taken about 500 test shots and a few seconds of 720p recording, battery life is about halfway.

ISO performance. Now here is where many have a bone to pick. I am not afraid to use high ISO as my prints rarely go beyond 11x14. More than often I found myself using nothing higher than ISO 1600 on my girlfriend's 500D/T1i. With the 7D I feel very comfortable using 3200 with about ISO 4000 being my cut off point, that's where the trade offs between detail and noise will become apparent and start to bother me.

Overall this camera is a very impressive and I'd give it a rating of about 90/100. It has alot to offer being a HD video DSLR. It'll provide many rebel users enough room to learn and grow. However, I cant stress enough that if you find yourself needing wide angle capabilities and low light performance, saving up for a full frame, it will definitely be worth the wait in the long run. In fact a few 5D Mark I cameras are available for cheaper than the 7D. Without a doubt this is one of the top crop cameras of the market right now. You won't regret buying this camera.

*Update* First of all, I've been using the wireless flash with a 430ex II for some portrait photography, it works fine and comes in very handy. Secondly, I've finally had a chance to customize all the settings of my camera, READ THE MANUAL! It's about 250 pages but you'll need to in order to make the most of your camera. Most of it is the usual, but because this camera offers so many different options, reading the latter pages is a must.
Firmware release 1.0.9 is out so dont forget to update if you still have 1.0.7.
For those of you still wondering if the 7D is worth the upgrade or worth buying over a full frame, keep in mind that Canon just release rebates for some EF and EF-S lenses including the 10-22 and 17-55 2.8; as well as some very popular L lenses. So for those of you debating between a 7D and Mark II, getting a kit and using the money saved for a wide angle will pretty much cover all the focal lengths you will really need.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 4, 2009 5:48:47 AM PST
I currently own the 5D Mark II with 3 zooms, all L lens. But as one with life-long interest in outdoor/wildlife photography I have missed the 40D which I let a friend have. My bread-and-butter lens outdoors is the 70-200L, and the 7D would give me a better reach. I have anguished over the image quality possible with the smaller sensor camera when images are enlarged, most frequently on HD TV monitor for viewing. I am almost to the point of buying the 7D, and this review really helps. But I started with film and I am admittedly fussy about the make and size of the sensor! I may be cursed. Ah...L. Maran

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2009 10:29:05 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 5, 2009 10:29:17 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2009 10:29:06 PM PST
Richard says:
Well I can tell you I feel the same way, coming from film and moving now towards the digital era, some of us take things for granted and dont really appreciate that it's more the person behind the camera that is most important. However, with that being said, you are paying money and you have every right to ask for more. Tomorrow I will be taking out my 7D and putting a 70-200 2.8 IS on there at around 6-7PM for a Highschool football game, I'll let you know how it goes. Of course, the lighting will be extremely poor, the field itself wasn't sufficiently funded in the first place. In terms of image quality, again i consider anything above iso 4000 beings to bother me, the time I've spent so far with this camera however I wasn't hesitant to use ISO 3200. Lastly, I think having a 7D will strongly compliment your 5D MKII.
Good luck with your decision.
-Richard

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2009 7:49:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2009 11:46:57 AM PST
L. Freel says:
Kay Maran:
The issue of dynamic range still haunts the 50D as well as the 7D. The 40D still out performs both in this regard having +0.7 stops more shadow range and +0.1 stops more highlight range for a total of +0.8 stops of additional usable range at an ISO of 100. This is based on Dpreviews reviews of these cameras which I find it interesting and puzzling. This sort of detective work really should not to be necessary but maybe I'm just nitpicking. Best of luck on your choice.

Update: Actually my 30D matches the new 7D's dynamic range performance. For low light shots the 40D still trumps the new 7D. And Richard for your night shots the 40D is nearly 3/4 f stop faster or three quarters of the way from an f4 lens to an f2.8. OK, I'm off of my soap box now.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2009 1:07:30 AM PST
Richard says:
I posted up a picture on amazon. I think the 7D held up very well in the game. Didn't make it home on time to get the monopod. Keeper rate was about 6-8/10. Can't really say if that's an honest number since it depends on the user (user error). (Irrelevant) I almost got tackled on the first play and jumped out of the way to save my gear. Good color and sharpness using the 70-200 2.8 IS from the pictures that came out focused. Slight tendency for image to have a green overcast on maybe 3% of the over 500 shots I took. Extra reach really did help. I have been using the 5d Mark II for the last two weeks though, and now that I had a chance to use them side by side for an extensive period. This is what I have observed. ISO quality probably wont be a huge factor in this decision, you heard me. The 7D held up very well up ISO 4000 and nothing A LITTLE noise reduction cant do, btw if you already dont know photoshop noise reduction is BAD, get 3rd party. Image quality will be a downgrade and pictures wont literally "pop" as much as they do on the Mark II for obvious reasons, and that's the only thing you really need to consider, since you need the reach I wont mention the wide vs telephoto factor. Other than that both are great to have together, that or you buy a 300mm F/4 for your Mark II. Lastly, the 1D Mark III is selling for about 800 more, that's other route to go but make sure you are aware of the autofocus issues of the Mark III.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2009 10:54:38 AM PST
J. Deuel says:
Richard-great review. I'm buying this camera for my daughter based on your sentiments. She shoots a lot of high school sports events, and has found that field lighting (and gym lighting) is horrible. Her Rebel XTi is going to be relegated to backup status, I guess. Anyway, had a question-did you buy the body-only? If so, does it include the charger and battery? Can't seen to find this info anywhere...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2009 9:14:31 PM PST
Richard says:
Yes, it does come with a charger and battery as with most cameras. I bought the kit lens and sold it separately to get a 85mm 1.8 which is great for highschool basketball. Shooting sports requires larger apertures and i found the kit lenses 3.5-5.6 to be very limiting.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2009 9:31:30 AM PST
J. Deuel says:
Thanks, Richard. I ordered it today. She's been shooting most events with her 2 main 'L' lenses-a28-70 and a 70-200is, both 2.8. I'm going to take a look at that 85mm 1.8, though. Might be just the ticket for club volleyball, as well. Thank you again for the great review! Jeff

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2010 2:59:57 PM PST
J. Nelson says:
Richard, My questions are probably all over the place as I have been researching so much that I am totally confused right now(I'm new to SLR's but not digital). I am considering the 5d Mark ll and the 7d. My main interest is macro photography but I would eventually like to do portraits and weddings as well as nature shots. For all of those isn't focus speed important? Sounds like the mark ll doesn't focus as fast. How about night photography, how high of an ISO do you really need to use? Will I lose out going with a crop type camera vs a full frame? I plan on using L series lenses like the 24mm - 70mm and the 70mm - 200mm. I did see the canon EF 100 - 400 F/4.5 - 5.6 L USM; is that better than the F/2.8 70 - 200 L USM? Or being new to the SLR world am I better of with something like the X1i? Please help me if you can.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2010 5:57:55 PM PST
Richard says:
Hey Nelson,
the 7D is great for macro photography, with a high-res 18 megapixel 1.6 crop sensor, you get a lot of cropping ability, if needed, of course I try to avoid cropping as much as I can. I've used both and I love the 7D with my 100mm Macro lens., I pull so much more detail from the shots than any previous camera I've used. However, the 5D Mark II still sits on top in terms of IQ and ISO performance. The 5D mark II and the 7D will go great with wedding photography. Sometime I can never get enough reach, but if you can get one wide angle lens like a tokina or canon 10-22mm if covers your wide angle needs; if you do that, you wont lost much on the crop cameras other than IQ. I just shot a wedding using ISO 1600 with a 1D Mark III, and switch to my 1.6 crop camera for that extra reach. I generally use high iso to make sure I get a faster shutter speed. I believe a more noisy image is much more usable than a blurry image. With a 5D Mark II I'm comfortable using ISO 3200, so high ISO is something I never worry about. I'm never used a 100-400mm before, so I'd recommend reading the-digital-picture.com. Hope this helps.
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