Features & Controls

Like other EOS models, Canon has constructed the EOS 7D using a lightweight and durable magnesium chassis, which includes various seals to help the body resist both water and dust (this camera is Not water/dust proof). While the overall look and layout of the 7D is very similar to it's little brother, the EOS 50D, the 7D is a bit larger and heavier, measuring 5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 inches and weighing in at about 29 ounces without the battery and other accessories

The EOS 7D is compatible with over 50 Canon lenses thanks to its Canon-EF/EF-S lens mount. You can see the lens release over to the right as well as the built-in flash release, DOF (Depth-Of-Field) Preview button and the microphone.

The EOS 7D boasts Canon's newly-designed 18-megapixel CMOS imager sensor, which produces photos at up to 5184x3456 pixels with full 14-bit A/D conversion. Designed to work with Canon's EF and EF-S lenses, this APS-C sized imager offers a conversion factor of 1.6x. Thanks to its "high sensitivity" design, this CMOS sensor is capable of recording at extremely high sensitivities settings, with a maximum ISO rating of 12800 (with ISO Expansion set to On). Canon claims these high ISO settings, combined with 4 levels of High ISO speed noise reduction, will allow 7D users to capture higher quality images in low lighting when compared to other dSLR models in this category.

Canon has also integrated their Self Cleaning system on the 7D, which helps keep the CMOS image sensor free from dust and other debris by shaking off particles with ultrasonic vibrations. They also added a fluorine coating on the surface of the low-pass filter, further increasing this units ability to repel dust. This process is executed automatically every time you turn the camera off or on, which takes about 2 seconds to complete. You can also manually activate this system via the Setup menu.


Not only does the 7D offer Canon's proven DIGIC 4 image processor, but it includes 2 of these blazing fast processing units, which they are calling Dual DIGIC 4. The combined efforts of this processor combo is what allows the EOS 7D to be such a speedy camera, including the ability to capture full resolution (Large Fine) JPEG images at a whooping 8fps. Not to mention, this processing system handles Full 1080p HD video recording, along with all of the other Auto Exposure, Live View, Face Detection, and Auto Focusing processes that might be going on at any given time.

Canon equiped the 7D with a similar shutter mechanism to the one found on the ESO 5D Mark II. This is a newly developed unit that offers high performance with speeds up to 1/8000 of a second to 30 sec. (bulb is available). This is a durable unit too, offering increased reliability and long life with a shutter rating of up to 150,000 actuations. The unit's flash synchronization function boasts an X-sync shutter speed of 1/250 sec.

Canon EOS 7D SLR

The EOS 7D's E-TTL II flash metering system is compatible with all EX-series Speedlites, and even offers in-camera configuration when using the new 580EX II speedlite (shown above).

E-TTL II features:

  • High-speed sync (FP Flash) with all shutter speeds from 30 sec. to 1/8000 sec.
  • FE (Flash Exposure) Lock on the desired part of the subject - this is the flash equivalent of AE lock.
  • Flash exposure compensation of ±2 stops in 1/3 of 1/2 stop increments.
  • FEB (Flash Exposure Bracketing) is the flash version of AEB, flash bracketing can be up to ±2 stops in 1/3-stop increments.
  • E-TTL II wireless autoflash with multiple Speedlites provides all the above features. (Only with wireless-compatible Canon Speedlites.)


The 7D's eye-level pentaprism viewfinder is one of the nicest OVFs I've used. This is a newly designed unit, offering approx. 100% coverage (vertically and horizontally), 1.0x magnification (with 50mm at infinity), a 29.4° angle of view , 22mm eyepoint and -3.0 - +1.0 dioptric adjustment. Canon has also redesigned the transparent LCD display, which allows you to overlay various viewfinder displays: grid lines, spot metering, AF points display, hide all, zone AF, spot (single-point) AF, AF point expansion and Dual Axis Electronic Level display.

Most dSLRs use a focusing screen where the AF points and metering areas are fixed. With the 7D, you can choose weather these indicators are hidden, displayed or adjust the look of them. This, combined with a fast quick-release type mirror, allow you to stay focused on your subject with less distractions.


Another cool feature on the EOS 7D is Canon's new Dual Axis Electronic Level display. This level can be displayed either on the camera's LCD of even the OVF (Optical ViewFiner) thanks to the 7D's transparent LCD display. It not only indicates horizontal roll, but the camera's pitch (or tilt) as well; values are in 1° increments. Now there' no excuse for taking photos that are not level.

Above you can see the 7D's new pentaprism compared to the unit offered with the EOS 50D.


The information presented in the viewfinder includes:

  • Grid lines
  • AF information: AF points, focus confirmation light.
  • Exposure information: Shutter speed, aperture value, ISO speed (always displayed), AE lock, exposure level/compensation, spot metering circle, exposure warning, AEB.
  • Flash information: Flash ready, high-speed sync, FE lock, flash exposure compensation.
  • Image information: White balance correction, CF card information, monochrome shooting, maximum burst (2 digit display), Highlight tone priority (D+).
The 19-point AF system Canon packed its most advanced technologies into the EOS 7D's AF system. With 19 high-precision, cross-type AF sensors, any of which can be selected automatically or manually, the EOS 7D is equipped to handle even the trickiest of focus situations with ease. The high-speed microcomputers in the EOS 7D use advanced algorithms that help ensure the fastest, most accurate AF performance under the widest variety of conditions. In addition, Canon's Light Source detection AF automatically compensates the focus by taking into account artificial lighting sources and making appropriate adjustments and the EOS 7D's new Intelligent Macro focusing tracks the object or the camera's movement when shooting close-up, to ensure focus is never lost. AF modes can be customized to suit the situation, ensuring reliable focus, every time.

Here you can see the 7D's 63 zone, dual-layer, metering sensor. This unit helps the 7D capture accurate exposures by collecting information on both the color and luminosity surrounding the chosen AF point(s). The inclusion of a color measurement function also helps reduce the possibility of exposure or focus errors, which are typcally caused by different lighting sources.

On the back of the EOS 7D you will find a wealth of camera controls with a similar layout to past EOS models. Occuping the majority of the bcak is a nice 3.0-inch "Clear Photo" color LCD. This high-quality display that offers 920,000 pixels of resolution, 100% frame coverage (in Live view mode), 170° viewing angle, and a Dual Anti-reflection coating. It also features Auto (3 levels) or Manual brightness adjustment (7 levels).


A closeup view of the color LCD and associated buttons. Starting at the top left, you see the Q menu button, which give access to changing setting using the Information display as seen above in the LCD. Next is the RAW/JPEG button (DPOF in playback). It allows you to quickly enable or disable RAW + JPEG image capture in record mode, and also acts as Print button when the camera is connected to a PictBridge compatible printer.

Down the left hand side of the LCD we have:

  • MENU - calls up the onscreen menu system.
  • Picture Style - allows quick access to the 6 preset styles and 3 custom
  • INFO - displays the shooting info display, electronic level, camera settings on the LCD in shooting mode, and toggles the information displayed in playback mode between basic, shooting information with histograms, and no shooting information at all.
  • Play - puts the camera into playback mode.
  • Trashcan - deletes images and video files.

To the right of the viewfinder is the new Live View switch and Start/Stop button. Flipping the switch toggles whether or not you are recording Stills or Video. Pressing the Start/Stop button turns the Live View mode on in still mode, and acts as the shutter release in Movie mode. Further to the right is the AF-ON button, which activates the AF system to acquire focus only. The AE/FE Lock and AF Point Selection buttons also double as the Index and Magnify controls in playback. Next is the Multi-controller "joystick" with 8 direction keys and a center button; it's used to select AF point, white balance correction, scrolling a magnified image in playback, etc. Below is the Quick Control dial for navigating the menu and making adjustments to various camera settings in conjunction with the controls located on the top of the camera. Lastly, we have the Quick Control Dial lock switch that allows you to lock the wheel so it is not acidentally bumped, which could cause some problems with your exposures.

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