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Getting yourself a Canon EOS 7D and you can immediately tell that you are holding a quality camera in your hands. All of the controls have a reassuringly sturdy yet precise feel to them, and under the covers, the Canon boasts higher resolution and greater image processing power than any of the competition.
Our only real reservation is that to get the most out of the Canon EOS 7D camera, you need to fit it with an expensive Canon L-series lens or an upmarket third party equivalent, because Canon’s more modestly priced lenses – even the new EF-S 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (reviewed in last issue’s group test) – do not really cut the mustard for sports or action photography.
Canon EOS 7D was the first DSLR to break ground with Canon’s new iFCL metering system, subsequently featured on the 550D and 60D, which intelligently takes focus, color and luminance information into account when setting exposures. It works well for sports shooting, because the metering is heavily biased to the active focus point, which is generally the area of interest, but still lacks the unerring consistency of Nikon D300s.
Grips with the Canon EOS 7D Controls
The Canon EOS 7D’s Pentaprism viewfinder is a delight, offering full 1x magnification and 100 percent frame coverage.
Launches Canon’s Quick Control system, enabling access and changes to multiple shooting parameters.
The joystick-like control makes for easy menu navigation, switching between AF points and other options.
Quick control dial
Use this for adjusting white balance, drive mode and exposure compensation, as well as menus.
Canon EOS 7D Focus Points
When it comes to focus points themselves, the Canon 7D leaves the 550D and 60D dead in the water, featuring no less than 19 AF points, as opposed to the other cameras’ nine. This is excellent news if you are shooting erratically moving targets because, in AI Servo autofocus mode, the center AF point is used to initially lock onto the target and all other 18 points are used as necessary to keep on tracking if the target strays from the center of the frame.
The Canon EOS 7D also rules the resolution roost, having, at 18 Megapixels, significantly more MP under its bonnet than most of the competition. In spite of this, image noise is reasonbaly well contained at high ISO settings, at least within the standard range, which goes up to ISO 6400.
With a 1/8000 second maximum shutter speed and class-leading 8fps continuous shooting rate, the 18 MP resolution provides the camera a fantastic image processing to do, but the burden is eased by the inclusion of two DIGIC IV image processing chips.
Even so, shooting rates can slow down after a few shots in highest resolution RAW mode, but at least medium (10MP) and small (4.5MP) RAW modes are as well available. Controls are not the most intuitive, but once you are up to speed, the Canon EOS 7D is a real fast shooter.