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DigitalRev's Canon EOS 7D Hands-On Review The Canon EOS 7D may have been released for quite a while and placed itself solidly in the professional APS-C market and smelled strongly like a Nikon D300S killer. Let's look at the camera itself to get a better idea why the Canon EOS 7D has been a success full frame since it released. Build The Canon EOS 7D comes with a magnesium alloy body that is similar to that of the Canon 5D Mark II and delivers the ruggedness that you would expect from a pro-grade DSLR. Strong on the outside, the 100% view of the pentaprism viewfinder tells you that the build quality seeps in all the way. The intelligent viewfinder also displays more shooting information than any previous DSLR. The Canon 7D waits in at 820g and measures 148.2 (W) x 110.7 (H) x 73.5mm (D) in dimensions. So what if it's not as tough as a 1-series? It's compact, portable and rugged enough to take anywhere! Design The traditional Canon EOS design is clearly hallmarked in the Canon EOS 7D. There are some extra buttons on the camera and some changes to the existing buttons to deliver better access to features but overall, someone used to shooting any of the EOS DSLRs will find the 7D very straightforward. The 3-inch (920k dots) is really fast becoming a standard for new DSLRs, so no surprise there. One of the things that stand out with the Canon 7D is that it is the only single digit EOS series to have a built-in flash. This clearly defines the Canon EOS 7D as a pro body camera that also caters for the semi-pros and enthusiasts. Looks and feel smart enough that even a noob will know that this camera is laden with features. User Friendliness With the introduction of the Quick [Q] Menu button and the M-func button, accessing different functions of the camera has become a lot easier. Good thing too because with the extra functions thrown in, you may find yourself going through the menu more than once. The up side? Once you are versed with the different functions, changing settings should be a breeze. You'll also find that the inclusion of the Auto and CA mode will make this camera easy to use if you ever need to loan it to friends or family (shakes his head furiously!). The direct access to Live View and Video

shooting with the dedicate button and switch made everything a lot more tidy as well. Nice touches all round but given the numerous features on this baby, expect to take a while before you start really appreciating the controls. Performance Where to start? There are so many improvements in this camera we have to restrain ourselves from delivering a thesis on this camera. First, Speed. It's fast at 8fps without the need of battery grips to give it the extra boost. It's got a dual "DIGIC 4" to make sure that processing keeps up to what you throw its way and of course, you get HD for almost 30mins of footage. OK, it's only 29mins 59secs to be precise but that's worlds apart from the mere 5mins from the disappointing Nikon D300S. The performance doesn't just end there... with a new 63-zone dual layer metering sensor and a new 19 cross-type AF points focusing system, the Canon EOS 7D is set to take things to higher levels. From our test, we found everything very responsive and encountered no problems. We can only hope that Canon has got it completely right this time so we won't have to hear about possible future AF issues. Canon has worked really hard to stuff as much performance as they could into the 7D's body. We liked what Canon did and we are ready to show it with full marks! Innovation There are times when all you are getting is more of the same... maybe more megapixels, a faster burst speed... well, those things are all to the go but it doesn't always get you excited or help you that much. Now if you are one of those photographers who need to ensure his camera is level, either on a tripod of hand held, the 2-Axis Electronic Level feature is god sent. When you have it activated on the LCD, the fighter plane type HUD display makes this dull job a lot more exciting. From now on, you will know exactly if your camera is level or not and with a lot less hassle. Another feature we like to mention here is the Integrated Speedlite Transmitter. Maybe not a first for all DSLRs like the levelling feature but definitely still a first for the EOS cameras. Allowing you to remotely control most of the Speedlite flashes, this is a definitely a useful feature especially for those situation when you find yourself needing to remove your external flash for alternate placement to achieve that perfect shot. Other improvements are of course the new focusing and metering systems already mentioned earlier in this article. Maybe not useful for everyone but kudos to Canon for really making the Canon EOS 7D probably the best APS-C sized sensor DSLR in the market. Image Quality Any camera can look good on paper but the real factor in what makes it a great camera at the end of the day is its image quality. With a new 18 megapixels APS-C sized sensor, we are delivered a camera which produces high resolution images in fine details. During our photo shoot, we shot

with both a Canon EOS 7D and Canon 5D Mark II and we found the results very much on par. While the 5D Mark II does deliver better noise handling and a better depth of field due to its sensor, you can depend on big improvements over the 50D. This advantage over the 50D is significant given that we are seeing more resolution on the 7D with the same sensor size. For a more controlled test under different ISO settings, we took the 7D and set it up with focal length at 135mm, Aperture Priority at f/11, White Balance at 6000k and spot focusing (centre). The Canon 7D delivers brilliant image quality and is easily the best APS-C DSLR in the Canon EOS range. Comparable to the 5D Mark II, you can't ask for more outside the 1-series. Our Conclusion: You can forget about how much better the Canon EOS 7D is compared to its competition. In fact, once you have it in your hands, you may well forget about everything other than how good this camera is and how much it can do. Perfect for those who demand more and shoots sports, action or street where responsiveness and speed are essential. There will be a lot of photojournalist getting this one without a doubt. Be careful if you are going to try it, you may not want to let it go.

==== ==== For more information, to the best prices and a wide range of accessories for the Digital Camera or any Canon Mark II product click the link below: ==== ====

DigitalRev's Canon EOS 7D Hands-On Review