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Live View displays and operation

The EOS 7D now has separate live view and movie modes, selected using a switch next to the viewfinder. The live view mode is much like that seen on the 5D Mark II, offering a variety of views and AF methods. You can opt to use either the conventional phase-detection AF sensor (AF Quick) or the slower contrast detection method that uses the main imaging sensor. This second, 'AF Live' method is potentially more accurate and flexible (not being constrained to the 19 points of the AF sensor).

No overlay Shooting settings
Full information Exposure information + histogram
A choice of two grids can also be overlaid on the live view image. These are selected using a menu option in the live view/movie tab of the record menu. The three AF modes (face detect, AF Live and AF Quick) show focus areas in different ways. AF Live shows which region it will focus on while AF Quick shows the active focus point or zone (in gray) and a white rectangle representing the area that can be magnified. These can be selected and moved independently.
Pressing the 'Q' button allows you to change the Auto Lighting Optimizer setting and the image size/quality. All other settings can still be changed via direct-access buttons with full settings screens being overlaid on the live view image.

Live View magnification

Just as in playback mode you can magnify live view by pressing the enlarge button (or back out again with reduce), to reach 5 or 10x magnification. While magnified you can use the multi-controller to move around the live image. Unfortunately as on the 50D you cannot magnify right out to the extreme corners.

During magnification Returned to full frame view

Digital Level Gauge

The 7D has two accelerometers to offer a level gauge that shows pitch (up/down tilt) as well as roll (left/right tilt). This can be overlaid onto live view and can even be represented in the viewfinder, using the AF point indicators.

A bit of a novelty, but one that can be a life saver in some situations, is the digital level gauge, which shows the amount of tilt in two axis on the live view screen when activated. It also appears in the viewfinder, with the AF points indicating the amount of pitch and roll.

Overall handling and operation comments

With its magnesium body and environmental sealing, the EOS 7D feels solid and pleasantly chunky but does not come with the bulk of a 'pro' body à la 1D series which many enthusiasts might find a little impractical. The metal and rubberized surfaces leave an impression of quality and the hand grip is very comfortably sized and shaped.

At first sight the 7D looks a lot like the EOS 50D and is unmistakably a member of the EOS family. However, a closer look reveals that on the new model Canon has made a few seemingly subtle changes that nevertheless make a difference in terms of handling and operation. The buttons are larger than on preceding models. The intention is to improve operability when wearing gloves in the cold, but the bigger buttons are very comfortable to use in any condition. There is now also a switch for selecting between live view and movie record mode, and a start/stop button to engage them. This is another step forward in terms of integrating movie recording as a fundamental mode of operation and makes switching between stills and movie recording less cumbersome than on previous models.

The new dedicated 'Q' button makes access to the on-screen quick menu very straightforward and the separation of the control dial lock and the power switch (which has moved under the mode dial) makes things a little less confusing for first-time Canon shooters.

These changes to the control layout, alongside the custom control menu, gives you more than enough options to fairly easily tweak the interface for even the most specialist requirements and applications. The same is true for the new AF system which offers an abundance of AF point selection and focusing options.

All in all the Canon EOS 7D is a camera that is joy to shoot with. The user interface has been noticeably improved over previous Canon DSLRs and its customizability makes sure a variety of users can feel at home on the 7D.

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Total comments: 12
By Joewho (5 hours ago)

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?

Phil Hol
By Phil Hol (1 month 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 (2 months 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 (4 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 (4 months ago)

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

By TahoeJohn (4 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 (5 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 (4 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 (6 months ago)

what is max usable ISO on canon 7d?

1 upvote
By PhotobyCarlos (9 months ago) all my pictures with 7d

By DreamRunnerPhotography (5 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 (3 months ago)

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

Total comments: 12