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Top of camera controls (left)

The exposure mode dial is located on the camera's top left. Unlike less expensive Canon DSLRs it does not feature the 'Basic mode' automated scene modes and offers exactly the same modes as the EOS 5D Mark II. This includes the fully automatic 'green' mode and the Creative Auto (CA) mode which offers a simplified interface that allows the user to set the exposure in terms of the image results they want, rather than in terms of exposure parameters. Other than this, the EOS 7D offers the traditional program, semi-automatic and completely manual P, Tv, Av and M modes plus three custom set modes. The power switch is, like on the smaller EOS 500D, located just underneath the mode dial.

Automated modes

Icon Basic zone mode AF
Picture Style
Fully Automatic Exposure

Camera has complete control over exposure, point-and-shoot operation.
AI Focus • Single
• Self-Timer
• Auto
• Red-eye
Creative Auto mode

Camera allows adjustment of aperture and exposure compensation, via a simplified graphic.
AI Focus • Single
• Self-Timer
• Auto
• Red-eye

Full Auto allows only the use of certain settings, some parameters are fixed, only have limited options available or disappear completely.

Fixed settings

Fixed or limited settings

Unavailable settings
Metering mode (Evaluative) Drive mode Custom functions
Color space (sRGB)   AE lock
Flash compensation (0 EV)   Bracketing
Exposure compensation (0 EV)    
ISO sensitivity (Auto)    
White balance (Auto)    
Focus point selection (Auto)    
AF mode (19 point Auto)    
Picture Style (Standard)    

In the automated modes, the camera will indicate that blur may occur because of slow shutter speeds, it does so by blinking the shutter speed on the LCD panel and viewfinder status bar.

Advanced exposure modes

The five exposure modes that include the ones most familiar to the camera's prosumer / professional audience. All menu functions and camera settings are available in these modes and can be used in any combination. In manual exposure modes (Tv, Av, M) you control the shutter speed with the main dial (top) and aperture with the quick control dial (rear), you can reverse the operational direction of these dials with C.Fn IV-1 (Custom Controls).


Program Auto Exposure (Flexible)

Very similar to AUTO exposure but you have access to all the normal manual controls, can set the ISO, exposure compensation, use AE lock, bracketing etc. Program AE is flexible which means that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps depending on C.Fn I-1) by turning the main dial. Example:
 • 1/30 F2.8 (metered)
 • 1/20 F3.2 (turn left one click)
 • 1/15 F4.0 (turn left another click) etc.

Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Shutter speed is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the main dial to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's exposure system to calculate the aperture, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range the aperture will blink. You can select shutter speeds from 30 to 1/8000 sec in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps depending on C.Fn I-1.

Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Aperture is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the main dial to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range the shutter speed will blink. The range of apertures available will depend on the lens used but 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps can be selected via C.Fn I-1.

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Top dial selects shutter speed, rear dial selects aperture (this can be reversed in C.Fn IV-1). Half-press the shutter release and the meter on the viewfinder status bar and top LCD will reflect the exposure level compared to the calculated ideal exposure, if it's outside of +/- 3EV an arrow will appear at the end of either the '+' or '-' scale.
Bulb exposure

In this mode the shutter stays open for as long as you hold the shutter release button, use either dial to select aperture.

Top of camera controls (right)

On the top right of the camera you'll find the status panel LCD, directly above this are four buttons; LCD back light and three control buttons (see below). In front of these is the main dial and shutter release button plus a new addition - the Multi-Function button (which occupies the same position as the Flash Exposure Lock button on 1D-series bodies, but is customizable). Along the rear 'under your thumb' you can see the AF-ON, AE-Lock and focus point selection buttons. Again, this layout is, apart from the Multi-function button, identical to the 5D Mark II.

Top panel buttons

The table below shows the relationship between each of the top panel settings buttons and the parameters changed by either turning the main dial (top) or quick control dial (rear).

Button Main dial
Quick control dial

Metering mode

 • Evaluative
 • Partial (9.4% of frame)
 • Spot (2.3% of frame)
 • Center Weighted Average

White balance

 • Auto
 • Daylight
 • Shade
 • Cloudy
 • Tungsten
 • Fluorescent
 • Flash
 • Custom
 • Kelvin temperature (2500 - 10000 K)

Auto focus mode

 • One Shot (focus lock on half-press)
 • AI Focus (locks but monitors movement)
 • AI Servo (continuous predictive focus)

AI Focus mode initially locks just like One Shot mode but monitors the focused subject, if the subject moves it will automatically switch to an AI Servo operation.

Drive mode

 • Single shot
 • Continuous
 • Self-Timer 10 sec (IR mode)
 • Self-Timer 2 sec (IR mode)

You can optionally combine self-timer with mirror lockup (to reduce mirror induced vibration) via C.Fn III-6.

ISO sensitivity *

 • Auto
 • 100
 • 200
 • 400
 • 800
 • 1600
 • 3200
 • 6400
 • H (12800) (enabled via C.Fn I-3)
Flash compensation

 • +/-2 EV
 • 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps (C.Fn I-1)
 • FE lock
 • AE lock
 • One-touch RAW+JPEG
 • VF electronic level

Button Operation
 • FE lock
 • AE lock
 • One-touch RAW+JPEG
 • VF electronic level

* Shown in 1-stop steps, 1/3-stop ISO steps can be selected via C.Fn I-2.

Under your thumb buttons (Shooting mode)

Auto focus start

The AF-ON button allows you to trigger auto focus independently of the shutter release 'half-press'. Note that you can re-program the exact function of the AF-ON button or move the function to another button via C.Fn IV-1.
AE / FE Lock

Press to trigger automatic exposure and lock the exposure for the next shot; hold the button to lock the exposure for more than one shot. When an external flash is mounted, press to trigger flash exposure lock (via a pre-flash). Like most other controls this button's function can be customized via C.Fn IV-1.

AF point selection button

Press to choose a single AF point, turn the main dial to select an AF point in the horizontal direction or the quick control dial to select vertically. Alternatively you can also use the multi-controller to select a point directly (press the selector for the center point).

You can also change the AF area selection mode by pressing this button and then pressing the M-Fn button to cycle through the available modes. By default these are single-point AF, Zone AF, and 19-point AF. This can be changed via C.Fn III-6.

Under your thumb buttons (Play mode)

Thumbnail index / reduce

If in single view play mode, pressing this button will switch to a 2x2 thumbnail index, press again for a 3x3 index. If already magnified pressing this button reduces magnification level.

Press to magnify the current image, there are fifteen steps up to a maximum magnification of 10x. Once magnified you can use the multi-controller to move around the image.
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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