The Canon EOS 7D comes in a high-quality polycarbonate body, which has an extensively-sealed construction made of magnesium alloy. According to Canon, the 7D has the same degree of dust and moisture resilience as the company’s professional digital SLR cameras in the EOS-1 series. As you would expect from a high-end Canon digital SLR camera, the 7D feels hefty but comfortable in the hand. Most of the front grip area on both the right and left side of its body is covered by grip surfaces. You will find a notch on the grip surface for your middle finger to make grip alignment easier.
At first glance, it is hard to notice the difference between the Canon EOS 7D and other older Canon EOS digital SLR cameras, but if you take a closer look, you will see some crucial design changes brought by the 7D. The buttons on the 7D is larger than those on the older EOS digital SLR cameras; they are also better rounded and feel softer to touch. The control dial lock and the power switch are now separated, and then, there is also a new switch for selecting between video recording mode and live view mode. This indicates that Canon considers the 7D’s video recording mode as one of its core feature, not just an extra feature.
The use of two Digic 4 processors at once really makes the Canon EOS 7D an incredibly fast digital SLR camera. The 7D needs only 0.4 second from power on to first shot and only 0.3 second between shots. Under bright light conditions, it will focus in only 0.3 second. In low light conditions, it will focus in 0.5 second, which is still very fast. In the continuous drive mode, the 7D can take consecutive shots with a speed of 8 frames per second. This impressive continuous shooting speed makes it the quickest APS-C digital SLR camera to date.
In terms of image quality, it is hard to be disappointed with the Canon EOS 7D. It performs very well across its sensitivity range. Especially at base sensitivity, the 7D is capable of delivering images with truly excellent pixel sharpness. Combine this with the very high 18 megapixel resolution and you will get exceptionally detailed images with lovely and accurate colors. And thanks to the bright 920,000 dot LCD screen, reviewing images after every shot is also a breeze.
The Canon EOS 7D also performs excellent in video recording, delivering high-quality High Definition footages with smooth motions. The 7D is capable of recording 1920 x 1080p High Definition videos at 30, 25, or 24 frames per second, and 1280 x 720p videos at 60 or 50 frames per second. The sound is recorded in mono, but there is a socket for an external stereo microphone. During video recording, you will get full manual control over shutter speed and aperture. You can also take still images during video recording by pressing the shutter release.