Canon EOS 7D digital SLR camera

A Canon D-SLR built for speed -- perfect for action photography

Canon EOS 7D digital SLR camera
  • Canon EOS 7D digital SLR camera
  • Canon EOS 7D digital SLR camera
  • Canon EOS 7D digital SLR camera
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Fast burst mode, solid body, versatile focusing modes, very good high ISO performance

Cons

  • Focusing wasn't always accurate, could use more accessible focus controls

Bottom Line

The Canon EOS 7D is definitely for the action photographer: It has a fast burst mode and captures huge images. Its high ISO performance is very good, but we found its focus to be hit and miss.

Would you buy this?

Overall photo quality

We tested the EOS 7D with an EFS 18-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 image stabilised lens. The overall quality of our test images was crisp when viewed at less than their full resolution, but started to get fuzzy the more we zoomed in. The 18-megapixel resolution of the images lends itself to cropping, and if you're intent is to crop small details out of images then you'll probably notice feathering around the edges of your picture, as well as chromatic aberration caused by the lens (depending on the type of lens you are using).

A full scale image out of the EOS 7D looks like this.

This is a 100 per cent crop of the previous image, centred around a window cleaning crew. You can see that it looks slightly soft and fuzzy and that there is noticeable chromatic aberration in the brightest area.

The EOS 7D handled exposures accurately in our tests, and we had no problems using its aperture priority and shutter priority modes for the bulk of our shooting. We did have some trouble with the camera not picking up our desired focal point all the time; we sometimes had to focus on another part of the image at the same distance and then move the frame back to our desired position. The good thing is that you can set the focus point to be dead centre or pick from one of 19 points in the focusing area. Furthermore, you can select from five focus zones. It's a little tedious trying to change focus modes, as you have to bring up the menu on the LCD screen by pressing the Q button, then select the mode, and then the actual focal point. A shortcut so that you could change the focal point while looking through the viewfinder would be optimal.

We love the viewfinder of the EOS 7D — it shows the entire frame that is about to be captured — but you can also use Live View mode if you wish. This flips up the mirror to block the viewfinder and lets you frame your shots using the 3in LCD screen, but the camera has to drop the mirror in order to focus. It should only be used when you trying to shoot from awkward angles or in a studio environment while setting up a scene. Video recording is also present, and the EOS 7D can shoot Full HD footage (1920x1080). Some choppiness will be noticeable in the video if you shoot while holding the camera, but if you plonk it on a tripod and slowly pan across your shot it will take crystal clear footage.

Conclusion

We love the feel of the EOS 7D — even its relatively heavy weight — and we think it's an easy camera to use, even if you're not used to Canon's D-SLR control schemes. It was able to capture some stunning images, especially in dim lighting with a high ISO, and it produced vibrant results in bright conditions. Especially pleasing was its burst mode, which captured almost five frames per second in our tests. The only trouble we had with the camera was with its focusing, which was a little inaccurate at times. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a fast D-SLR and don't need a full-frame sensor, the EOS 7D is an impressive tool that costs substantially less than a professional model.

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