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Compared to...

The Canon EOS 7D is competing in the enthusiast/semi-pro bracket of the market with cameras such as the Nikon D300S, Pentax K7, Sony A700 and probably even an in-house rival in the shape of the the Canon EOS 50D. When looking through the EOS 7D's spec sheet though it becomes obvious that this camera has been designed to compete eye-to-eye with possibly the most successful camera in this sector up to now - the Nikon D300S. The cameras are very close from a price and specification point of view and will no doubt fight each other for the enthusiast-camera crown over the coming months. While this segment of the market is less crowded than the entry-level sector all major manufacturers have now at least one model in their line-up that offers features, specification and the build quality to keep serious amateurs and price-conscious professionals happy.

There are maybe 4 or 5 direct competitors to the Canon EOS 7D but for the purpose of this studio comparison we've limited the field to a slightly more manageable two; the Nikon D300S and the Pentax K-7. For those who are thinking about moving up the Canon range we've also included the 7D's smaller sister model, the EOS 50D.

Let's start with a quick look at how the contenders line up, including those mentioned above plus the Sony A550, which, despite not really being targeted at the same user as the 7D, is in the absence of an A700 replacement arguably Sony's most obvious EOS 7D competitor:

Camera Kit
Video LCD Anti
(effective pixels)
Canon EOS 7D $1700 Yes 1080p 3.0" / 920k pixels Lens option 18.0 MP CMOS (1.6x crop)
Nikon D300S $1760 Yes 720p 3.0" / 920k pixels Lens option 12.3 MP CMOS (1.5x crop)
Pentax K-7 $1050 Yes 1536 x 1024 3.0" / 920k pixels In-body 14.6 MP CMOS (1.5x crop)
Canon EOS 50D $1000 Yes No 3.0" / 920k pixels Lens option 15.1 MPMOS (1.6x crop)
(Sony DSLR-A550) $950 Yes No 3.0" / 920k pixels In-body 14.2 MP CCD (1.5x crop)

As you would expect from a Canon EOS at this level the 7D is a very well specified camera. It offers the highest resolution that we've seen on an APS-C camera so far - 18 megapixels. It also comes with the most versatile movie mode amongst its peers. Not only can it capture video at 1080p and a choice of 24, 25 or 30 fps, or 720p at 50 or 60 fps, the 7D also offers full control over shutter speed, aperture and ISO in movie mode. While in terms of nominal resolution and movie mode the EOS 7D clearly beats its biggest rival, the Nikon is still ahead in the AF department where it offers 51 AF points vs the Canon's 19. All other differences in specification are of a rather minor nature and both cameras have superb build quality, environmental sealing, a 3.0 inch VGA resolution screen and a good range of customization options.

Despite the comparable build quality and target group the Pentax K-7 is more than $600 cheaper than the EOS 7D and this is obviously reflected in its specification. It offers a lower resolution than the Canon, and comes with slower continuous shooting and a less sophisticated AF system than its rivals in this comparison. Having said that the Pentax offers many useful features such as in-body image stabilization, composition adjustment and in-camera RAW development, which make it an excellent deal for its money.

Below you find a detailed comparison table of the competitors. Keep reading on the following pages to find out how all these figures and specifications translate into image quality.

Canon EOS 7D advantages

  • Highest nominal resolution
  • Highest resolution video and highest frame rate (at 720p)
  • Highest ISO range
  • Fastest continuous shooting speed

Canon EOS 7D disadvantages

  • No built-in flash illuminator
  • No user-definable Auto-ISO
  • No dual memory card slot (vs Nikon D300S)
Canon EOS 7D

Nikon D300S

Pentax K-7
(body only)
US: $1700 [check price] US: $1760 [check price] US: $1050 [check price]

• 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS
• 18 million effective pixels
• 19 million total pixels

• 23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS
• 12.3 million effective pixels
• 12.9 million total pixels
• 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS
• 14.6 million effective pixels
• 15.07 million total pixels
Body Magnesium alloy Magnesium alloy Magnesium alloy/Steel
Dust reduction

• Anti-dust coating
• Low pass filter vibration
• Dust reference image

• Low pass filter vibration
• Airflow Control System
• Dust reference image
• Anti-dust coating
• Low pass filter vibration
Native image size 5184 x 3456
(3:2 ratio)
4288 x 2848
(3:2 ratio)
4672 x 3104
(3:2 ratio)

1920 x 1080 @ 30, 25, 24 fps
720p @ 60, 50 fps

720p @ 24 fps
1536 x 1024 @ 30 fps
FOV crop 1.6x 1.5x 1.5x
In-body shake reduction No No Yes
Live view Yes Yes Yes
File formats

• RAW (3 sizes)
• JPEG (2 levels)

• RAW (lossless or lossy comp, 12 or 14 bit)
• JPEG (3 levels)
• RAW (PEF or DNG)
• JPEG (4 levels)
Auto focus • 19 area TTL
• 19 cross-type AF points
• Range: -0.5 - 18 EV
• Contrast detect AF in live view
• 51 area TTL
• 15 Cross-type sensors
• Range: -1 to +19 EV
• Contrast detect AF in live view
• 11 area TTL
• 9 Cross-type sensors
• Range: -1 to +18 EV
• Contrast detect AF in live view
AF illuminator Flash-strobe Built-in lamp Built-in lamp
Metering sensor • 63 zone sensor
• 1 - 20 EV working range
• 1005 pixel RGB sensor
• 0 - 20 EV working range
• 77 zone sensor
• 0 - 22 EV working range
EV steps 1/3 or 1/2 EV 1/3, 2/3, 1/2 or 1 EV 1/3 or 1/2 EV
Sensitivity • ISO 100 - 3200
(extended to 12800 equiv)

• ISO 200 - 3200
(with 100 and 6400 equiv)

• ISO 100 - 3200
(with 6400 equiv)
Auto ISO Not user definable User definable maximum ISO and minimum shutter speed User definable
High- ISO NR Yes (4 levels) Yes (4 levels) Yes (4 levels)
Shutter speed • 30 - 1/8000 sec / Bulb
• 1/250 sec Flash sync
• 30 - 1/8000 sec / Bulb
• 1/250 sec Flash sync
• 30 - 1/8000 sec / Bulb
• 1/180 sec Flash sync
8 fps

7 fps (8 fps with MB-D10 pack)

5.2 fps
Viewfinder • Pentaprism
• Eyepoint 22 mm
• Frame coverage 100%
• Magnification approx 1.0x
• Pentaprism
• Eyepoint 19.5 mm
• Frame coverage 100%
• Magnification approx 0.94x
• Pentaprism
• Eyepoint 18 mm
• Frame coverage 100%
• Magnification approx 0.92x
LCD monitor • 3.0 " TFT LCD
• 920,000 dots

• 3.0 " TFT LCD
• 920,000 dots

• 3.0 " TFT LCD
• 920,000 dots
Other features • Wireless connectivity with optional WFT-E5 grip
• Custom Menu
• On demand viewfinder grid
• GPS record with optional cable
• Retouching
• Custom 'My Menu'
• In-camera RAW conversion
• Digital Filters
• HDR/Multi-exposure
• Composition adjustment

Storage • Compact Flash card • Compact Flash card
• SD/SDHC card
• SD/SDHC card
Software • ZoomBrowser EX
• Photostitch 3.1
• Digital Photo Professional
• Nikon Transfer
• ViewNX
• Nikon Capture NX (trial)
• Digital Camera Utility
Dimensions 148 x 111 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.3 x 2.8 in) 147 x 114 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in) 131 x 97 x 73 mm (5.1 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
Weight (no batt) 820 g (1.8 lb) 840 g (1.9 lb) 670 g (1.4 lb)
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I own it
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I had it
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Total comments: 29

Oh it is a Canon EOS 7D


I was busy shooting today, battery full, CF card in the camera and everything went black? It will not switch on at all?
Have checked the battery - put my spare in, also fully charged but still no luck?
I was using studio lights - so does that effect the camera?


If you were using the PC Sync or hotshot to sync the flashes, they may have a trigger voltage beyond what the camera can handle. If that was the case they may have smoked your camera. There are companies that make trigger isolation units to protect the new modern cameras from the older strobes that use high voltage sync. Have your camera looked at by a repair shop or canon to determine if it is worth repairing.

Best Regards,

David Finell
Broadcast Engineer (retired)


I've been struggling to find the replacement for my 5 year old Canon 40D. The images from the 40D are excellent, but it is technically behind times.

When the 7D was first released, I bought one, but returned it because of what I perceived as sensor noise. Bad decision on my part! The camera was technically all my 40D is not. So, now that there are scant few left as the shelves clear for the 7D Mk II, I just ordered a brand new 7D (not Mk II) at a bargain basement price. I can't wait to revisit this incredible camera once again.


Hey! I'm curious what bargain basement price you paid for your 7D?

1 upvote

I am curious, also.


Does anybody know if a Canon 7D will be compatible with a Canon 17-85mm IS and a Canon 70-300mm which I currently use on my Canon EOS 450D?

Any feedback on what people think of the 7D would be greatly appreciated as I am considering purchasing one.

berto indonesia

of course. why not. its apsc


Yes, it is.


I bought this camera (body only) about 4 years ago with a 24-105mm f4 L IS USM lens. After using it for about 8 months, I compared it side by side with a co-worker's T2i (with various lens). In each case I noticed that the T2i had a sharper (cleaner) image. I was very disappointed. Tried the in-menu focus compensation... didn't work. Finally sent it back to Canon. They fixed it under warranty. It has been good ever since. I shoot mostly my kids at their sporting events... track n field, cross country and tennis. All outdoor sports, so about 2 years ago, I purchased the 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM lens. Both lens work really well with the camera... very sharp results. I would say about 90 ~ 95% of the shots are keepers.


I bought this monster yesterday. <3


I think there was a lot of cutting and pasting in the review. They referred to the 15mp image files and the 18-55 kit lens when they meant the 18-135 kit lens as shown in the product photos and referred to in the intro.

1 upvote
DanK&#9794; FP6900


Comment edited 2 minutes after posting

I think that initially looking at the Canon 7D MK II’s specifications they might seem conservative, but as with the EOS 5D Mark III and the 1D X updates to these models were refined, with well measured features that met the needs of photographer in quality and reliability, rather than boasting headline hitting new technological advancements.

1 upvote

I love this camera/disappointed in Canon/customer support/service. The 1st 7d I purchased had a pixel issue. Seems to be notorious in Canon lenses. My 1st PowerShot S2 IS had a pixel issue. I didn't realize was present until camera was out of warranty-had to fight like a dog to get them to replace it. My 7d SAME issue, issue found after first test shots I took in the store downloaded! Didn't want the store to send it back only to send a "fixed lens" I returned it, bought anothernew 7d, but still a problem. Once again found a mo after warranty when a little bracket inside the lens was detached from inside, only 1 screw was holding it in place, there was supposed to be 2 this bracket keeps the extension within the lens. A quality control issue that went unnoticed during manufacturing according to the camera guy that had to fix it but it didn't matter the damage to the focus computer chip inside had already been damaged & Canon refuses to do a thing about it par for the course.


I've just switched from Nikon to Canon and am completely lost, I shoot birds in flight a lot and cannot get my head around how to engage burst on the 7D, can't get built in flash to "raise it's ugly head" also how to change menu settings. Wish Canon had stuck to more universal icons and menu.
Despite all that was very impressed with fast focus on few single shots that I took
Could any one please help?


Little late, but it's called the "Q" button, which is for quick settings. Select the square and change it to multiple stacked squares for burst.

Pop up flash only comes up automatically on the green auto box i believe. I prefer to never use flash, so i forget.

Phil Hol

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

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

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

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


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.


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.


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.


what is max usable ISO on canon 7d?

1 upvote
PhotobyCarlos all my pictures with 7d


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


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


which lenses you are using??

Total comments: 29