The Canon EOS 7D is as fast and sturdy a DSLR as you can find for under $2,000.
The 7D allows you to move beyond the basics of getting a great image, and begin thinking about what kind of images you are aiming for. Stepping up from entry-level gear to semi-pro isn’t only about spending more: it’s about gaining a better understanding what you’re doing and how you can do it better.
There are a million different ways to think about a camera and it capabilities, and far be it from us to tell anyone what to with his or her camera. But with so many DSLR’s on the market, it can be helpful to take an impression of the camera and run with it. Take for example two of the 7D’s selling points: its lightning quick speed (8 frames per second in burst mode thanks to dual DIGIC processors) and its full frame viewfinder.
Looking through the viewfinder of the 7D you are one with the sensor. Seeing the real frame while shooting is a rare treat in the digital arena – very few DSLR’s provide this perk.
Combining the ability to precisely frame your shots with the high frame rate and one of the thousands of applications for the 7D bubbles up to the surface. Let’s say you’re thinking of getting into sports blogging. Of course you’ll want kicking images on your blog. You’re going to find yourself shooting fast action, and needing to capture those exact instances when a player is kicking, hitting, shooting, crossing the finishing line. Sports photography is usually about catching a specific player doing a specific action. Peering through the 7D’s full viewfinder and shooting at 8fps, you can be sure you won’t miss the tip of the baseball bat, or Messi’s left foot.
Same goes for wildlife photography (especially birds), event photography (especially live shows), or snooping: in silent mode, the 7D is perfect for a private eye.
Add to the above the fact that you can toss your 7D into the back of your ride in a hurry because the magnesium construction can take (with pride) a bump here and there. It can handle a bit of rainfall as well – another big plus. Being too careful with your camera takes some of the fun out.
Another point that Steve mentions in the video is white balance. White balance can be explained pretty easily: It is the process that makes what’s white to your eye look white in your photograph. It is a measure of color temperature that uses white as the starting point. You can let the camera do it for you by using the Auto White Balance setting, choose a preset based on the lighting you find yourself in, set a custom white balance based on a reference card, or just eye it and set a color temperature yourself. Click herefor an in-depth explanation of white balance and color temperature.
When Steve’s out shooting and rapidly changing locations he doesn’t always have the time to set his color temperatures manually, and instead relies on the AWB. The 7D makes life easy for the fast-shooter: high frame rate, 100% viewfinder, colors under control.
Obviously there’s more to be said about the 7D. You can have a look here how Canon presents it. The important thing, in our minds at least, is to look at all this as a process of understanding, adjusting and accepting. Understanding better what you are shooting, adjusting as to shoot it better, and accepting that sometimes you have to pay a little bit more to get extra features you need in a camera.
Many thanks to Steve for his help & guidance!
From Canon USA:
With a host of brand new features designed to enhance every facet of the photographic process, from still images to video, the new EOS 7D represents a whole new class of camera.
Made to be the tool of choice for serious photographers and semi-professionals, the EOS 7D features an all-new 18.0 Megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor and Dual DIGIC 4 Image Processors, capturing tremendous images at up to ISO 12800 and speeds of up to 8 fps. The EOS 7D has a new all cross-type 19-point AF system with improved AI Servo II AF subject tracking and user-selectable AF area selection modes for sharp focus no matter the situation. The EOS 7D’s Intelligent Viewfinder, an entirely newly-designed technology, provides approximately 100% coverage and displays user-selected AF modes as well as a spot metering circle and on demand grid lines. New iFCL Metering with 63-zone dual-layer metering system uses both focus and color information to provide accurate exposure even in difficult lighting. The EOS 7D also captures Full HD video at 30p (29.97 fps), 24p (23.976 fps) and 25p with an array of manual controls, including manual exposure during movie shooting and ISO speed selection. The EOS 7D features a magnesium alloy body that is dust- and weather-resistant and shutter durability of up to 150,000 cycles. Compatible with over 60 EF and EF-S lenses as well as with EOS System accessories, the creative opportunities – not just with stills but also with video – are beyond amazement.
Digital, AF/AE single-lens reflex camera with built-in flash
CF Card Type I and II, UDMA-compliant CF cards, via external media (USB v.2.0 hard drive, via optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E5A)
22.3 x 14.9 mm (APS-C size)
Canon EF lenses including EF-S lenses (35mm-equivalent focal length is approx. 1.6x the lens focal length)
Canon EF mount
High-sensitivity, high-resolution, large single-plate CMOS sensor
Effective pixels: Approx. 18.0 megapixels
Approx. 19.0 megapixels
3:2 (Horizontal: Vertical)
Color Filter System
RGB primary color filters
Low Pass Filter
Fixed position in front of the CMOS sensor
Dust Deletion Feature
(1) Automatic Sensor Cleaning
- Removes dust adhering to the low-pass filter.
- Self-cleaning executed automatically (taking 2 sec.) when power is turned on or off. Manual execution also possible (taking 6 sec.).
- Low-pass filter has a fluorine coating.
(2) Dust Delete Data appended to the captured image
- The coordinates of the dust adhering to the low-pass filter are detected by a test shot and appended to subsequent images.
- The dust coordinate data appended to the image is used by the provided software to automatically erase the dust spots.
(3) Manual cleaning of sensor
Design rule for Camera File System 2.0 and Exif 2.21
Still: JPEG, RAW (14-bit, Canon original), sRAW, mRAW, RAW+JPEG
Video: MOV (Image data: H.264, Audio: Linear PCM)
(1) Large: Approx. 17.90 Megapixels (5,184 x 3,456)
(2) Medium: Approx. 8.00 Megapixels (3,456 x 2,304)
(3) Small: Approx. 4.50 Megapixels (2,592 x 1,728)
(4) RAW: Approx. 17.90 Megapixels (5,184 x 3,456)
(5) M-RAW: Approx. 10.10 Megapixels (3,888 x 2,592)
(6) S-RAW: Approx. 4.50 Megapixels (2,592 x 1,728)
Exact file sizes depend on the subject, ISO speed, Picture Style, etc.
Images record directly to the CF card. With the WFT-E5A attached, image recording to the CF card and to the USB external media connected to the WFT-E5A will be possible as follows:
- No automatic switching of recording media.
(2) Automatic switching of recording media
- When the current recording media becomes full, it switches to another recording media automatically and continues recording.
(3) Separate recording
- Each recording media can be set to record a specific image-recording quality for each shot.
(4) Recording of identical images
- Images can also be recorded at the same size to both recording media. (RAW+JPEG, M RAW+JPEG or S RAW+JPEG is possible).
(5) Backup to external recording media
- Selected images, all images, and quick backup are possible.
Enabled with WFT-E5A attached
Consecutive numbering, auto reset, manual reset.
Possible to create new folders and select folders in the CF card.
sRGB, Adobe RGB
Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined 1-3
Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten Light, White Fluorescent Light, Flash, Custom, Color Temperature setting
Auto White Balance
Auto white balance with the image sensor
Color Temperature Compensation
White balance correction: ±9 mireds in 5 step increments
White balance bracketing: ±3 mireds in full-step increments
Blue/amber direction or magenta/green direction possible
Color Temperature Information Transmission
Approx. 1.0x (-1m-1 with 50mm lens at infinity)/29.4° angle of view
Approx. 22mm (from eyepiece lens center)
Dioptric Adjustment Correction
-3.0 to +1.0m-1 (diopter)
Quick-return half mirror (transmission: reflection ratio of 40:60) with EF600mm f/4L IS USM or shorter lenses)
AF information (AF points, focus confirmation light), Exposure information (Shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed, AE lock, exposure level, spot metering circle, exposure warning), Flash information (Flash-ready, flash exposure compensation, high-speed sync, FE lock, red-eye reduction light), Image information (Highlight tone priority, Monochrome shooting, maximum burst, white balance correction, CF card information), Composition information (Grid, electronic level), Battery check
Depth Of Field Preview
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
TTL-CT-SIR AF-dedicated CMOS sensor
19-point all cross-type AF (f/2.8 at center: Dual Cross Sensor)
AF Working Range
EV -0.5-18 (at 73°F/23°C, ISO 100)
– One-Shot AF
– Predictive AI Servo AF
* For automatic AF point selection, the AF point to start the AI Servo II AF operation can be selected.
* For automatic AF point selection, the active AF point can be displayed.
– AI Focus AF (Switches between One-Shot AF and AI Servo II AF automatically)
(2) Manual focus (MF)
AF Point Selection
(1) Manual selection: Single point AF
(2) Manual selection: Spot AF
(3) Manual selection: AF point expansion
(4) Manual selection: Zone AF
(5) Automatic selection: 19 point AF
Selected AF Point Display
Indicated by transmissive LCD display in the viewfinder and on the LCD panel
AF Assist Beam
When an external EOS-dedicated Speedlite is attached to the camera, the AF-assist beam from the Speedlite will be emitted when necessary.
63-zone SPC TTL metering with selectable modes
- Evaluative metering (linkable to any AF point)
- Partial metering (approx. 9.4% of viewfinder at center)
- Spot metering (approx. 2.3% of viewfinder at center)
- Center-weighted average metering
EV 1-20 (at 73°F/23°C with EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
ISO Speed Range
Automatically set, ISO 100-6400 (in 1/3-stop or 1-stop increments)
Basic Zone modes: ISO 100-3200 set automatically
Extension settable (with C.Fn.I 3-1): ISO 12800
High Tone Priority settable: ISO 200-6400
Manual: ±5 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments (AEB ±3 stops)
* Indicated up to ±3 stops on the LCD panel and in the viewfinder.
Auto: Applied in One-Shot AF mode with evaluative metering when focus is achieved
Manual: By AE lock button
Vertical-travel, mechanical, Electronically-controlled, focal-plane shutter 1/8000 to 1/60 sec., X-sync at 1/250 sec.
1/8000 to 30 sec., bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode) Soft-touch electromagnetic release 10-sec. or 2-sec. delay
Vertical-travel, mechanical, Electronically-controlled, focal-plane shutter
1/8000 to 1/60 sec., X-sync at 1/250 sec.
1/8000 to 30 sec., bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode)
Soft-touch electromagnetic release
10-sec. or 2-sec. delay
Built in Flash
Retractable, auto pop-up flash
12/39 (ISO 100, in meters/feet)
Approx. 3 sec.
Flash Ready Indicator
Flash-ready icon lights in viewfinder
15mm lens angle of view (equivalent to approx. 24mm in 135 format)
Flash Exposure Compensation
±3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
Zooming to Match Focal Length
E-TTL II autoflash
Flash Exposure Compensation
±3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
External Flash Settings
Flash function settings, Flash C.Fn settings
Single, High-speed continuous, Low-speed continuous, and Self-timer (10 sec. self-timer/remote control, or 2-sec. self-timer/remote control)
Continuous Shooting Speed
High-speed: Max. 8.0 shots/sec.
Low-speed: Max. 3.0 shots/sec.
JPEG (Large/Fine): approx. 94 (CF)/approx. 126 (UDMA CF)
RAW: approx. 15/approx. 15 (UDMA CF)
RAW+JPEG (Large/Fine): approx. 6 (CF/UDMA CF)
Based on Canon’s testing standards with a 2GB CF card, high-speed continuous shooting, ISO 100 and Standard Picture Style.
Varies depending on the subject, CF card brand, image-recording quality, ISO speed, drive mode, Picture Style, etc.
Live View Functions
Still photo shooting and video shooting
Quick mode (Phase-difference detection)
Live mode/Face detection Live mode (Contrast detection)
Face detection Live mode
Manual focusing (5x/10x magnification possible)
Evaluative metering with the image sensor (still photos)
Center-weighted average metering (video)
EV 1-20 (at 73°F/23°C with EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
Provided (Two-type grid displays)
Provided (Mode 1 and 2)
TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor
Approx. 920,000 dots (VGA)
Viewing angle: 170°
Auto: Brightness adjusted automatically by the light sensor, Manual: 7 levels provided
25 (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Ukraine, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese)
Single image, Single image + Image-recording quality/shooting information, histogram, 4- or 9-image index, magnified view (approx. 1.5x-10x), rotated image (auto/manual), image jump (by 10/100 images, index screen, by shooting date, by folder), slide show (all images/selected by date/folder)
Provided (Overexposed highlights blink)
Image Protection and Erase
Single images can be erase-protected or not
Single image, check-marked images or all images in the CF card can be erased (except protected images)
JPEG images compliant to Design rule for Camera File System (DPOF printing possible) and RAW/sRAW images captured with the EOS 7D
Easy Print feature
DPOF: Digital Print Order Format
Version 1.1 compatible
Direct Image Transfer
JPEG and RAW images
*Only JPEG images can be transferred as wallpaper on the personal computer screen
Camera User Settings
Register under Mode Dial’s C1, C2 and C3 positions
My Menu Registration
One Battery Pack LP-E6
AC power can be supplied via AC Adapter Kit ACK-E6
With Battery Grip BG-E7 attached.
Number of Shots
|AE 100%||AE 50%, FA 50%|
|At 73° F/23° C||approx. 1000||approx. 800|
|At 32° F/0° C||approx. 900||approx. 750|
|Live View shooting at 73°F/23°C||approx. 230||approx. 220|
|Live View shooting at 32°F/0°C||approx. 220||approx. 210|
The above figures apply with a fully-charged Battery Pack LP-E6 without a Battery Grip
The figures above are based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) testing standards
Provided. Power turns off after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15 or 30 min.
One CR1616 lithium-ion battery
Approx. 0.1 sec. (based on CIPA testing standards)
Dimensions and Weight
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in./148.2 x 110.7 x 73.5mm
Approx. 28.9 oz./820g (body only)
Working Temperature Range
Working Humidity Range
85% or less