Canon 7D Comparison Review
The Canon EOS 7D is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was revealed to the public in September 2009 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 17.9 megapixel.
Is the Canon 7D a good camera? The 7D has a Camera Elo of 1694. This rating puts the 7D among the top 50 percent of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the 7D ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses|
|17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)|
|3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|8 shutter flaps per second|
|800 shots per battery charge|
|148 x 111 x 74 mm, 860 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Canon 7D vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Canon 7D alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Canon 7D||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||30.3 oz||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon T2i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.7 oz||440||n||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||6.0 in||4.5 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||850||Y||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7000« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||27.5 oz||1050||Y||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Canon 7D was launched in the US market at a price of $1,699. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Canon 7D features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Canon 7D among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 7D||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.0||11.7||854||66||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.5||813||66||Canon 60D|
|Canon T2i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||1080/30p||23.7||11.9||1815||79||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||-||21.8||11.4||696||63||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.5||10.8||736||59||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7000« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||10800/24p||23.5||13.9||1167||80||Nikon D7000|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 7D indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the 7D can use is 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 7D has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.63x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 7D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 7D||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0||Y||n||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.3||Y||n||Canon 60D|
|Canon T2i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.4||Y||n||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.9||n||n||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.3||Y||n||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7000« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7000|
One convenient feature of the 7D is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 7D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 7D||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon T2i« »||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7000« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7000|
It is notable that the 7D has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 7D handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Canon 7D||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 7D II« »||+||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 60D« »||+||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon T2i« »||+ +||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Canon 5D Mark II« »||91/100||79/100||4/5||5/5||-||Sep 2008||3,499||-||Canon 5D Mark II|
|Canon 50D« »||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||+ +||+ +||o||o||-||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||-||+ +||-||o||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7000« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-||Nikon D7000|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Canon 7D FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the 7D.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the 7D?
The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Canon equipped the 7D with the DIGIC 4 (Dual) image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the 7D?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Canon EOS 7D?
Canon mentions a shutter rating of 150 000 actuations for the 7D. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the 7D over, say, three years, one would have to take about 150 pictures each and every day.
Does the Canon 7D feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The 7D's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.
Which battery does the 7D use?
The camera gets its power from the LP-E6 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the 7D?
Yes, Canon offers the BG-E7 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Canon 7D II
- Canon 7D II vs Fujifilm X-A7
- Canon 7D II vs Fujifilm X-Pro1
- Canon 7D II vs Olympus E-PM2
- Canon 7D II vs Olympus PEN-F
- Canon 7D II vs Sony HX95
- Canon 7D II vs Sony NEX-6
- Canon 7D II vs Sony RX10 II
- Canon 7D II vs Sony RX1R II
- Canon 7D vs Canon SX530
- Canon 7D vs Olympus E-M1
- Canon 7D vs Sony A99 II
|Camera Model||Canon 7D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 1699|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4 (Dual)|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||66|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||854|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||150 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||LP-E6 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||800 shots per charge|
148 x 111 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||860 g (30.3 oz)|
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