Canon EOS 7D review

Started Dec 22, 2009 | User reviews thread
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birdbrain Veteran Member • Posts: 4,195
Canon EOS 7D review

First a little bit about my camera history. Before digital I used Canon EOS 1 and EOS
5 film cameras, moving to first a Canon 300D, then a 450D and now a 7D.
On first handling the EOS 7D my impression was this was a serious camera, very
reminiscent of the Canon film cameras that I owned and used. A good solid feel
with the right amount of weight in the hand. As a camera it fitted my hands much
better than the 300/450 D models being that bit larger. I actually liked the extra
weight it seemed to me that the weight aided the control of the camera.
Controls were all very familiar and although some were placed differently, to what I
was used to on the 300/450 D models, one quickly got used to the new layout. I
found the menus quite intuitive, although there are more of them than on the
300/450 D models.
Making some adjustments to the menus I was ready to shoot some pictures. I got
the 7D with the EFS 15-85 f3.5/5.6 IS lens. I think it worth mentioning something
about this lens. Again like the 7D the lens feels solid, has a nice action and the
image stabilisation is quite amazing. I was impressed with the IS of the 100-400
mm L lens, but this was something else. Holding the camera to the eye and looking
through the viewfinder and the world became completely still when you pressed the
Being a dull day with the odd snow flurry I decided to try the auto ISO setting, I
also selected the peripheral illumination control as well.
Some of my first shots were inside, so fairly poor available light, the auto ISO
selected 1600 and the shot was taken with a shutter speed of 1/25. Looking at the
result on the cameras screen I was stunned by how good it looked. I would have
thought ISO 1600 to be quite horrible but it wasn’t the picture looked well great. I
tried a few more shots inside again at what I would have thought were ridiculously
slow shutter speeds and very high ISO settings. Yet back home on the computer as
I processed the RAW files I was most impressed.
Moving outside I took some more photos and the auto ISO was now selecting ISO
125 to 200 with the increase in available light. The camera was a joy to use the
viewfinder bright and informative.
The lens just continued to impress, the IS proving to be a knockout feature on the
lens for me.
So once home and on the computer I opened the RAW images with Canon’s Digital
Photo Professional. Processing the pictures I found a breeze and for most of the
shots the camera settings proving quite ideal in most cases. (Perhaps I should try
saving RAW and jpeg, might save me some time?) I had the lighting optimizer
option on and I found that for the shots I had taken it proved very effective. But
like the peripheral illumination control you could either tweak it in DPP or remove it
if you wanted.
So all in all I am very impressed with my first foray out and about with the 7D. I
look forward to taking a lot more pictures with it and using my other two lenses on
it, my 10-22mm and the aforementioned 100-400mm IS L series lens.
I would like to mention a couple of things, reading some of the discussions around
one would be forgiven for thinking that there may be some problem with the
focussing on the 7D. All I can say is in all the pictures taken so far I can’t fault its
focussing. I even sat down with the camera tripod mounted and with the 100-
400mm lens tried out the focussing. Again I could find no fault.
Also there seems to a lot of discussion about noise, yes looking at some of the
pictures I have taken at ISO 1600 at 100% you can see noise. But looking at the
picture approaching more, shall we say, 'normal' sizes I did not find noise a
problem. The slight noise you might get in some low light shots at high ISO to me
can help the shot. In the days of silver halide some photographers used the 'grain'
to enhance their shots.
Also there has been mention of substantial vignetting with the EFS 15-85mm IS
lens, especially at its widest setting. Well I could not fault it, yes there may be a
little bit but nothing that would cause undue concern I would have thought. You
have the peripheral illumination option available anyway which you can fine tune in
DPP or turn off all together. So I can see no reason for vilifying this lens to the
degree that some do.
The only negative point I would make is about DPP, it is a great programme for
tweaking your RAW images but why does it take so long to convert to jpeg?
So all in all the 7D is quite some camera offering the user the ability to obtain some
superb photo’s using available light with it’s auto ISO setting. Build quality would
seem excellent, features again are excellent and handling well excellent again, so I
think all in all an excellent camera. Well done Canon.



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Sony RX10 II Canon EOS R5 Canon EOS R6 Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM +7 more
Canon EOS 7D
18 megapixels • 3 screen • APS-C sensor
Announced: Sep 1, 2009
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