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Color reproduction

Here you can see a generated GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart, place your mouse over any of the labels below it to see the color reproduction in that mode. Select a camera/setting combination from the 'Compared to' drop-down to comparative boxes inside each patch.

The EOS 7D delivers pretty much the same color response across the various Picture Styles as other more recent Canon DSLRs. This is useful for anyone moving from one model to another. As we've seen in other reviews the standard hues are also very similar to most other SLRs in this class, with minor saturation and brightness differences but essentially the same color response.

Canon EOS 7D Compare to:  
FaithfulMonoAdobe RGB

Artificial light White Balance

The EOS 7D is yet another Canon DSLR that isn't doing a great job at white balance under artificial lighting. If you want white whites and you're indoors or in any mixed light situation, you will almost definitely need to use the custom white balance or Kelvin temperature options.

Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 10.3%, Blue: -13.8%, Poor
Incandescent - Incandescent preset WB
Red: 9.7%, Blue: -14.5%, Poor
Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: 6.5%, Blue: -9.8%, Average
Fluorescent - Fluorescent preset WB
Red: 5.2%, Blue: -6.9%, Average


The EOS 7D's built-in flash performs well in almost any situation. Color and exposure are excellent, and in the fully automatic modes ambient light and flash exposures are usually perfectly balanced (auto fill flash works well too).

Highlight tone priority

The 'Highlight tone priority' (HTP) function expands dynamic range in the highlights and can be activated via C.Fn II-3. With HTP turned on the minimum ISO setting increases to 200. We've looked at this feature in previous reviews and in the dynamic range section of this review, but the example below gives an impression of what it does in a real-life scenario.

We've used ACR's highlight clipping warning to show how HTP can hang on to a little of the detail on the white wall of the building and the sky, though as you can see the effect is far from dramatic.

Ultimately in situations such as those shown below it's worth turning HTP on, but it's fair to say that the difference it makes in most shots isn't huge. Although it can save a shot that's been inadvertently over exposed, you're still best off shooting raw and pulling back the exposure later.

Highlight tone priority OFF Highlight tone priority ON
ISO 100, 1/80 sec, F8 (+0.67 EV AE-C) ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F8 (+0.67 EV AE-C)
Clipping Clipping
100% crop 100% crop
100% crop 100% crop

Overall Image Quality / Specifics

You won't find any nasty surprises when looking closely at the EOS 7D's image output, the quality is in most situations quite impressive. The EOS 7D is the most 'pixel dense' APS-C sensor camera on the market, and we were slightly concerned that this could prove to be problematic in certain shooting situations but fortunately our fears in this respect were unfounded; the new sensor and Dual DIGIC 4 processor actually manage to improve on the EOS 50D's output across all ISO settings.

Thanks to its rather efficient combination of a very high pixel count with excellent per-pixel sharpness at base ISO the 7D delivers impressive image detail and resolution. However, you have to keep in mind that the camera demands the very best lenses to really show what it can do. Having looked at the image results from Canon's 15-85mm and 18-135mm kit lens options it becomes obvious that the lenses are the limiting factors here, not the camera. In terms of default tone curve and color response the 7D is very similar to other current Canon DSLRs, which makes things easier if you have two or more different Canons in your bag.

At higher ISOs the 7D does, especially considering its high nominal resolution, a very decent job and manages to maintain a good balance between image detail and noise reduction up to very high sensitivities. Low light results are unsurprisingly not quite as good as the full-frame EOS 5D Mark II but the 7D delivers visibly better image detail than the 15.1 MP EOS 50D while maintaining lower noise levels. This is due to both an improved sensor design and image processing.

Dynamic range is pretty much in line with the competition. There is also approximately an extra stop of highlight detail in the RAW headroom. This can on occasions be a useful safety cushion as the 7D tends to over expose very contrasty scenes, resulting in clipping of highlights (not helped by the rather contrasty and vivid default Picture Style). Of course you can avoid this by applying a third of a stop or so of negative exposure compensation.

There are a couple of other good reasons to always shoot RAW+JPEG on the EOS 7D. As usual it gives you much more control over your image processing parameters including noise reduction but more crucially, like most other recent Canon DSLRs, the camera's white balance performance under artificial light is pretty marginal. If you need neutral colors you'll find color correction during RAW conversion certainly useful.

We should also mention some very occasional focus issues including one or two 'false positives' (where the camera insists it's in focus and obviously isn't). However, out of 1500 or so test shots this occurred in only a handful, so can't be considered to be a major problem.

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Total comments: 11
Phil Hol
By Phil Hol (2 weeks ago)

If you have a filter fitted to protect the lens try shooting without. After buying my 100-400 lens I returned to the shop after finding my images soft using a 7D. They tested my lens with a second one they had in the shop and agreed the first lens was faulty. When I got the second lens home I found it as poor as the first until I realized the second lens tested had not had a filter fitted when tested in the shop and I had transfered my filter to the second lens when I got home.
Conclusion: I only use filters for effects and I have remove all my "protective filters" from my L lenses. Why spend hundreds of pounds on lenses just to add a piece of cheap glass on the front.

Girish Madpuwar
By Girish Madpuwar (1 month ago)

I am 7D user and have noticed that my images are considerably soft. I mostly use canon 100-400L lens. Initially I thought that its problem with the way I use camera. I tried all possible things. Searched lot and found many discussion about AF problem with 7D. Can someone share their experience?
It seems 7D AF is not consistent although manual focus gives considerably crisp and sharp image.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
By Patcheye (3 months ago)

I'm a wheelchair user and have gone for the 7D because of the increase in range when using a shorter lens over full frame which means though I often cannot get close I often achieve a useable image.

Live on the coast so to avoid problems re dust on the sensor from the beach I purchased a second one a few months back which says, I think, just how pleased I am with the product. Re low iso and noise, possibly because of high light levels from sea reflection and living in a flat open area I personally find no problems but using 2.8 lenses helps. Not professional but have had people use my stuff on their websites - so for my needs the 7D works well - Oh, and if like me you have poor dexterity you'll find the raised buttons really helpful even when wearing gloves.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By Ajaykdelhi (3 months ago)

I have a 70D, am getting a used 7D at $ 800 next week, will provide a comprehensive review after that

By TahoeJohn (3 months ago)

My Review of the Canon 7d as the owner of one for 1yr is this.I shoot Professionally and have used the 7d for just about 1yr.It is a bit bigger,heavier than my other EOS Canon's.Picture quality is top of the line.Video quality is top of the line.The Grain Factor when using the ISO at a higher number is compensated by a setting in the Menu so no problem.At 8fps continuous it stands above the others.Weather proof as well (Body only).Recently my Canon 7d was knocked over while mounted atop a 6ft tripod landing on solid asphalt.A little scratch on the body was all the damage it received.Though bigger and heavier the construction,function,image quality of this Camera is incredible.I shoot Landscape,Portrait,sports(MMA Fights) and everything in between.Canon went above and beyond with this model.A+ is the grade I give for this one.

By Shashank90 (4 months ago)

Which one is a better model 70d or 7d , I have read numerous reviews and seen plenty of videos, even though 70d is a much newer version I would like to know from some one who has used them side by side.

By Jostian (3 months ago)

I think both are great, depends on your needs, the 7D is like a tank, the build quality is incredible, its AF is phenomenal (a cut above the 70D in terms of customization options), the 70D has slight advantage 2/3 of a stop at higher iso's, has wifi and touchscreen, the 7D has bigger and better OVF, and the 70D have awesome video capabilities. I played with both and went for the 7D (easy choice), the 70D felt like a toy and I didnt like the plasticky feel (compared to the 7D). Bit both are great, you'll enjoy either depending on your needs.

By EhXsan (5 months ago)

what is max usable ISO on canon 7d?

1 upvote
By PhotobyCarlos (8 months ago) all my pictures with 7d

By DreamRunnerPhotography (4 months ago)

Checked your photos at Really it was awesome :) Finally I decided to go for 7D after saw your website. Tnx !!!
please suggest me some good lenses which are more better for portrait & landscape shooting

By gjpuk (2 months ago)

For potraits i use 5omm prime canon 1.8mm
for landscapes a sigma 10-20mm

Total comments: 11