A Review of the Canon 7D Camera

Expect the Best from the Canon 7D in Digital Still and Video Photography

by Jason Canon

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During this review, the Canon 7D proved itself to be a very high quality digital camera, providing both semi-pro and serious photographers alike with all of the features and accessories necessary to turn out impressive still images and video that will amaze and delight you. This camera has received some of the highest accolades from numerous professional Canon EOS 7D reviewers and has also received several industry honors. It actually received both the 2010 Readers' Choice Award for Service and Reliability from PCMag.com and the 2010 Hot One Award for cameras in this price range.

What Makes the Canon EOS 7D So Amazing?

The Canon 7D is Manufacturers Suggested Retail Priced (MSRP) at $2,399, so you may be inclined to lump the Canon 7D into other cameras in the $2,000 to $3,000 price range, but this Canon SLR digital camera really stands head and shoulders above the rest. Its features are designed to take your photography experience to the next level with both still images and video.

The Canon 7D camera has a sleek, stylish, magnesium alloy body. It feels great to hold in your hands, and weighing under 29 ounces, you can really enjoy some freedom and flexibility with your shots. The body is completely weather resistant and dust resistant, so you can capture images indoors and outdoors alike without worrying about damaging the camera. Plus, you will look great holding its modern yet retro design in your hands, too!

Packed into this ultra-cool body are some amazing features. The Canon 7D lens included with the kit is an 18-135 mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS UD standard zoom lens. It is also packed with an Intelligent Viewfinder that gives you a 100% field of view capability, as well as an all cross-type AF system packed with dual diagonal cross-type sensors. It captures images at up to ISO 12,800, with speeds up to 8 fps. Plus, there are auto light sensors and flash functions that add function to your use of the camera. This is all coupled with other features like the 18.0 megapixel CMOS sensor and the Dual DIGIC 4 image processors, and together these features combine to give you some impressively high image quality and speed power. You can truly capture actions as they happen in a play-by-play, second-by-second format so you are sure to get that perfect shot each and every time. In fact, images can be captured at low speeds at 3 shots per second and at high speeds at 8 shots per second.

Image quality is enhanced further by other great features in the Canon 7D, including the AI Servo AF subject tracking and user-selectable auto focus features with area selection modes. There is also an iFCL Metering feature that includes 63 zones with dual-layer metering. This feature works to balance your pictures where there are extreme areas of both brightness and darkness in the shot. It also auto-corrects exposures to create beautiful images. The Auto Lighting Optimizer makes it truly easy to simply point and shoot with low lighting. These features provide you with incredible image quality with crisp, clear details in even the most difficult lighting situation.

The best lens for the Canon 7D is truly dependent on what you plan to use the camera for, and every photography aficionado will have their unique preference. The standard lens for the Canon 7D camera is capable to meet just about every photography need you have, but you will find that the camera is compatible with over 60 different EF-S and EF lenses. It also works with EOS system accessories, too, which add to your flexibility to be creative with your still shots and your video images.

The camera captures images and video footage onto the Canon 7D memory card (either Type I or II), and you can keep extra UDMA-compliant CF cards on hand for those long photo sessions. You have some flexibility with still image formats, with the option to choose between JPEG, RAW, sRAW, mRAW, and RAW+JPEG. Depending which format you choose to save in, as well as the speed, picture style, and other factors, you can expect the file sizes to range between 4.5 megapixels and 17.9 megapixels.

The Canon 7D battery life is suitable for long photo shoots, too. With ideal conditions, you can expect to shoot up to 1,000 stills with a single full battery charge. This means that you can shoot freely without worrying about running out of battery power. Nobody wants their camera to run out of juice when amazing shots are waiting to be taken.

How Great Is the New Canon 7D Video Capability?

The Canon EOS 7D is amazing for stills, and it is equally amazing for capturing video footage, too. All images are captured in full HD to ensure that you have the highest quality of images. The video function features a unique Face Detection Live Mode, which gives you the function of the face detection feature you enjoy with the stills in the video mode.

Now, some other digital cameras on the market today promise great video capability, and they end up giving your blurry, grainy images captured with just a minute or two of time per clip. The Canon 7D, however, is truly in a league of its own with its video capabilities. It truly gives you the capability to create professional movies without limits. There are both auto modes and manual modes available that make it perfectly simple and easy to adjust frame rate, speed, recording size, exposure, focus, and more. These are the same features you normally enjoy with a still camera, and the Canon 7D extends these capabilities to your video experience.canon7d rear image

It is fast and easy to switch from stills to video with a simple Live View/Movie Recording lever coupled with a start/stop button. When you record, your video is captured at 1920x1080 resolution at either 24p, 25p, or 20p frames per second. All of the images are saved in a .mov format, and they can easily be viewed in full HD on your TV or computer screen with an HDMI output.

The camera truly gives you some incredible flexibility to explore the depths of your creativity in video format with display options like zone AF, spot (single point) AF, AF point expansion, grid, spot metering, and the unique Dual Axis Electronic Level display. This Dual Axis Electronic Level display feature gives you the ability to display roll and pitch in one-degree increments in both your viewfinder and your LCD screen. This means that you have complete control to ensure absolutely level shots for that extra degree of professionalism.

What Else Do You Get With the Canon 7D?

Along with all of these great features, the Canon 7D comes with everything else you need to get started capturing some brilliant images in both still and video formats. In the box along with the camera, you will find a wide neck strap, a stereo AV cable, an eye cup, a battery pack and charger, a USB interface cable, a solution disk, a photography booklet, and more. The solution disk makes this camera compatible and completely user friendly for Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2 or SP3, and Macintosh OS X 10.4 to 10.5. It is loaded with professional photo and video editing programs that give you flexibility to adjust your photos to perfection.

This camera truly makes it easy to point and shoot to capture amazing images, but you will want to plan on spending some time with the instruction manual so you can fully learn how to use all of the incredible features loaded into this model.