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Canon 7D versus Fujifilm X-T20

The Canon EOS 7D and the Fujifilm X-T20 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2009 and January 2017. The 7D is a DSLR, while the X-T20 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the Fujifilm provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 7D vs Fujifilm X-T20

The physical size and weight of the Canon 7D and the Fujifilm X-T20 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 7D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 7D vs Fujifilm X-T20
Compare 7D versus X-T20 top
Compare 7D and X-T20 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-T20 is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Canon 7D. Moreover, the X-T20 is substantially lighter (55 percent) than the 7D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 7D is splash and dust resistant, while the X-T20 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (7D) and the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-T20). Mirrorless cameras, such as the X-T20, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the 7D gets 800 shots out of its LP-E6 battery, while the X-T20 can take 350 images on a single charge of its NP-W126S power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 7D» 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i
Fujifilm X-T20« 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.5 oz 350 n Jan 2017 899 i i
Canon M5« » 4.6 in 3.5 in 2.4 in 15.1 oz 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 5D Mark II« » 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i
Canon 50D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i
Fujifilm X-T100« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 15.8 oz 430 n May 2018 599 i i
Fujifilm X-A5« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.6 in 12.7 oz 450 n Jan 2018 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« » 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799- i
Nikon D7000« » 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499- i
Nikon D300S« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799- i
Sony RX10 III« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-T20 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 47 percent) than the 7D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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: Canon 7D vs Fujifilm X-T20

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the X-T20 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (7D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 7D and Fujifilm X-T20 sensor measures

With 24MP, the X-T20 offers a higher resolution than the 7D (17.9MP), but the X-T20 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 4.31μm for the 7D). Yet, the X-T20 is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 4 months) than the 7D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-T20 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

7D versus X-T20 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 7D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
Fujifilm X-T20« APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659
Fujifilm X-T100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----
Fujifilm X-A5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/15p----
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-T10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Nikon D7000« » APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780
Nikon D300S« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-T20 provides a better video resolution than the 7D. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 7D vs Fujifilm X-T20

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-T20 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the 7D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 7D and Fujifilm X-T20 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 7D»optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T20«2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T100« »2360 n 3.0 1040 full-flex Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A5« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-T10« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 8.0 Y n
Nikon D7000« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Nikon D300S« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 7.0 Y n
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y

The X-T20 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the 7D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 7D was succeeded by the Canon 7D Mark II.

Review summary: Canon 7D vs Fujifilm X-T20

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 7D and the Fujifilm X-T20? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 7D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Has an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (800 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2009).

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Advantages of the Fujifilm X-T20:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 17.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More compact: Is smaller (118x83mm vs 148x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 477g or 55 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (47 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 7D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-T20 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

7D 07:12 X-T20

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 7D and the X-T20 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. 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). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 7D»HiRec84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i
Fujifilm X-T20«HiRec82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i i
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon 7D II« »Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i
Canon 60D« »Rec79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i
Canon 50D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i
Canon 30D« »HiRecHiRecrevrev- Feb 2006 1,399- i
Fujifilm X-T100« »----- May 2018 599 i i
Fujifilm X-A5« »----3.5/5 Jan 2018 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« »HiRec80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799- i
Nikon D7000« »-80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i
Nikon D300S« »HiRec82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799- i
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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