Popular Photography Hands On review of Canon 7D

Popular Photography recently posted their hands on review of the Canon EOS 7D. Here are some of the observations from the author:

The autofocus system is a huge step forward for Canon. It has 19 cross-type sensors, with a high-precision, dual-diagonal central one that detects detail at any orientation and is especially accurate with fast, f/2.8 lenses.

You can select AF points grouped into zones-handy in continuous AF mode when you know where the subject will enter the frame. Photographing a running dog, for instance, I was able to lock on faster by limiting the AF zone than by using the 19-point auto AF mode.

Menus are easier to use than on Canon’s other high-end DSLRs. Following the trend set by Olympus, a Quick Control menu gives speedy access to key settings. Press the Q button, and the LCD becomes a control panel you can navigate with the joystick.

The 7D handles like a dream- comfortable to hold and easy to operate. And a new dual-axis electronic level senses both roll and pitch, making capturing perfect horizons a breeze.

Read the hands on review here and follow the thread at POTN here.

Canon EOS 7D review by

Cliff Smith of wrote a review of the Canon EOS 7D in which he stated:

The 7D fills a gap that had opened up in Canon’s range between the 15.1-megapixel, EOS 50D at £700, and the 21.1-megapixel full-frame EOS 5D Mk II at £1,800. With an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a price tag of £1,500 body-only the 7D hits the mark perfectly. It offers enough of an advantage over the 50D to attract the serious enthusiasts to upgrade, while its build quality performance and versatility don’t fall much short of the 5D MkII, offering an alternative for those who can’t quite justify the leap to full-frame.

Many commentators have characterised the 7D as an upgrade of the 50D, but I’d describe it more as a 5D MkII Lite. In terms of size and weight it is certainly closer to its full-frame sibling. It is a few millimetres narrower and shorter, but its body-only weight is actually 10g heavier. The body shape and overall feel of the camera is reminiscent of the 5D MkII, and the build quality is comparable as well, with a tough magnesium alloy body shell and full environmental sealing.

Check out the full review here.

Canon EOS reviews by dpreview and Roland Lim

Canon EOS 7D review by

If you are looking at the pros and cons list above you could be forgiven for getting the impression that we somehow struggled to populate the cons list with a number of bullet points that comes at least close to what you can see in the pros department. You are not mistaken. The EOS 7D is an excellent addition to Canon’s range of APS-C DSLRs that is, in terms of build quality, speed of operation, ergonomics and image quality, a cut above Canon’s previous APS-C flagship, the EOS 50D.

In some respects the 7D is even a better camera than the EOS 5D Mark II and a viable alternative for all those who do not want or need a camera with a full-frame sensor. Its eight frames per second continuous shooting speed and highly flexible AF system might even make it a consideration for credit-crunch battered sports photographers on a budget…

The EOS 7D delivers impressive image quality across the sensitivity range. At base ISO its output comes with excellent per-pixel sharpness which, in combination with the 18 MP nominal resolution, results in exceptional image detail in this class of camera. In most situations the lens, rather than the camera, is likely to be the limiting factor. In terms of default tone curve and color response the 7D delivers the usual Canon look which is good news if you are thinking about upgrading from another model… Full review

Follow the discussion about the’s review of the Canon EOS 7D.

Canon EOS 7D review by Roland Lim

Is the 7D a worthwhile upgrade for xxD camera owners? Well, for 40D or older cameras, the answer is definitely yes. Even for the 50D, I still think it is a worthwhile upgrade. There are many improvements and new features, and the image quality is also better especially at high ISO. The only problem is that the 7D is appreciably more expensive than the 50D, but if you can afford it, it is definitely a better camera.

In my opinion, the 7D cannot replace the 5D Mark II. However, I really see them as different cameras. The 5D Mark II is a full frame 21.1MP camera which is good with landscape and portrait, and also good at high ISO. The 7D would make a much better sports, action and wildlife camera, although it is still quite competent in shooting landscape and portrait. The 7D would make a nice 2nd body to complement the 5D Mark II, rather than to replace it… Full review

Canon 7D Ghost Images

There are a few posts at different forums about “ghost images” from the Canon 7D. Canon has admitted the issue and is working on the fix:

Service Notice: EOS 7D: Residual Image in Picture

Thank you for using Canon products.

We have confirmed that in certain camera settings and shooting conditions, the phenomenon described below may occur in images captured by the EOS 7D Digital SLR camera.

Canon is currently investigating and analyzing the cause of this phenomenon, and we are planning to release a firmware update to address this issue.

Once the support measures have been established, we will post the relevant information on our Web site.

We offer our most sincere apologies to customers using this product who have been inconvenienced by this issue. Going forward, we will spare no effort in our quality management to make sure our customers can use our products with confidence. We hope our efforts will earn your understanding.

In images captured by continuous shooting, and under certain conditions, barely noticeable traces of the immediately preceding frame may be visible. This phenomenon is not noticeable in an image with optimal exposure. The phenomenon may become more noticeable if a retouching process such as level compensation is applied to emphasize the image.

Affected Product
EOS 7D Digital SLR

PS. This problem was corrected by Firmware Version 1.1.0

Firmware Version 1.1.0 includes the following improvement:

•Corrects a phenomenon that in images captured by continuous shooting, and under certain conditions, barely noticeable traces of the immediately preceding frame may be visible.

This phenomenon is not noticeable in an image with optimal exposure. The phenomenon may become more noticeable if a retouching process such as level compensation is applied to emphasize the image.

A 7D Noise test worth looking at

The following post at POTN is worth checking out if you use or plan to use the Canon 7D at high ISOs.

“I finally got around to doing the analysis on the test shots I did with my 7D and 20D when it arrived and thought others may be interested.

I’ll just post the results discussion and conclusion plus the principle noise graphs. More details and the 100% crops can found at the test report page by clicking here.

For a meaningful comparison it is necessary to compare noise and sharpness and try and keep one parameter nearly equivalent. This test is designed to check both.

The EF 100mm f2.8 macro USM lens at f8 was used in all cases. All 7D exposures have the same focus setting as do all the 20D exposures.

Two sets of results are produced, No Noise Reduction where the sliders for luminance and chrominance noise reduction and DPP sharpening are set to zero.

The second set Default Noise Reduction, uses the DPP default luminance and chrominance noise reduction settings but still sets the DPP sharpening to zero.

The 20D RAW, 7D RAW and 7D MRAW are then also down sampled to the 7D SRAW size (2592 X 1728 ) using the Photoshop “bicubic sharper” algorithm. This provides a common resolution size for comparison that is close to a minimal print resolution (230 dpi on A4).

The post continues here.

The Canon 7D has been delivered

Quite a few photographers have received their new toy and are having fun with it. Some of us are envious since the overall feeling is that Canon has a winner in the Canon EOD 7D.

A Canadian photographer who has given the POTN family some top quality bird images, noted, “I found that when I was able to do my job, the 7D certainly did its job. It achieved AF very quickly and accurately as well as doing an excellent job of maintaining AF lock.” (He was very pleased with his bird photos after shooting with the 7D and a Canon 500mm f/4 lens.)

Another photographer wrote the following: In comparison to my 50D it feels way more solid and rugged then the 50D, the CF card slot/door is a bit more solid, the ON/OFF button I feel works better in the new location. The Mode Dial is way better and a lot more firm. Live view is really nice with the level that looks like an airplanes gauge. However I found it tricky to use. The new in body flash seems to be well built compare to the 50D(or it might be my over excitement).

Worst and best part is the AF points. “There is a lot to take in and it is very overwhelming at first but works really well once you figure it out. I am in love with it. The face detection system works really well as well I tested it out on my TV and some people walking by and it tracks really well.” Read more here.

Is the 7D really a technological leap?

There was a very interesting post about the “bells and whistles” of the new Canon EOS 7D at the photo forum I usually browse. The original poster saw some comparision photos at and wondered what the fuss is all about. He asked “Why is the 7D viewed as such a technological leap?”

Some of the answers included the following points:

* Pro grade single shot AF.
* 18mp low noise sensor.
* Largest viewfinder possible for the format.
*Dual processors (historically only found on 1-series cameras)
*In camera leveling sensor
*AF that adjusts to camera orientation
*Built in wireless flash triggers
*Completely redesigned metering

One opposing arguement stated “There’s no huge technological leap, but it fills a niche that was a bit lacking in Canon’s lineup – something between the 50D and the 5DmkII.”

We will have to wait and see which camp is right.

Thinking of moving from the Canon 50D to the 7D?

If you currently own the Canon EOS 50D and are undecided as to whether it is worth moving up to the 7D, you will find the following thread at POTN somewhat informative.

The OP nated a few observations such as:

“The camera does not seem noticeably bigger, but the added weight is definitely noticeable. The camera does feel more hefty all around. The various chrome trims around the lens mount, top dial, back dial etc. do seam slightly tacky, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. When comparing it to the 50D the addition of the various buttons becomes immediately apparent and makes the 7D feel cluttered.”

“The menus on the 7D are a big step up from the 50D in my opinion. The functions are much more logically placed (flash control for examples) and some custom functions have been elevated to actual menu entries to make them easier to access.”

Follow the thread here. (It is accompanied by some sports images.)


The complaints about the new 7D

There has been praise for the new Canon EOS 7D and as expected some doubts and complaints.

I saw a post recently where the poster is questioning Canon stated frame rate of 8 fps. He complained that he can get up to 11 images in the buffer with high speed shooting on his 50D while shooting raw + large jpg. He stated that the “7d can only do 6 raw + large jpg.”

Basically he felt that the “pro AF system” is crippled by the 6 fps and that the 50D outperforms the 7D in this area.

Several follow-up posts pointed out that Canon states that a maximum of 8 fps can be achieved under certain conditions; not all conditions. According to Canon’s manual, the maximum burst is approx. 6 shots when shooting RAW + JPEG Large/Fine.

One poster pointed out that “the 50D buffer is not larger…it’s the same size. They increased the image size, but they did not increase the buffer size.” So the 50D can fit more of the smaller files into the same size buffer that the 7D is using to hold larger files.

Many posters were puzzled that the OP was shooting RAW + JPEG. Some suggested shoot RAW and convert to JPEG in post processing.

A review of the Canon 7D on YouTube

Technically this is not a review but a “first look” at the Canon EOS 7D and some of its capabilities.

This video was posted on YouTube by on Sep 25, 2009.

Click here for the link to the video.