Undertstanding the Auto-Focus System of the Canon EOS 7D

EOS 7D

Image courtesy: Andrew Gibson

Interesting post by New Zealand based photographer Andrew S. Gibson. The almost 4 years old Canon EOS 7D (price & specs) is still an outstanding DSLR, with an advanced AF system not previously seen on a Canon APS-C sensor DSLR (and still not featured on any other Canon APS-C DSLR). The AF of the EOS 7D is more advanced than the one sported on the EOS 6D. If you want a more sophisticated AF system you have to go at least for the EOS 5D Mark III.

The EOS 7D sports an 18 MP sensor, a body with environmental sealing, 8 fps, a viewfinder with 1.0x magnification and 100% coverage, a dual axis electronic level, and a highly advanced AF system. What is so special with the AF of the EOS 7D? A lot. To begin, it has 19 focus points, all cross-type. To compare, all entry level Canon DSLRs and the X0D line-up feature a 9 point AF system. The picture on top shows the difference between the AF of the EOS 7D and the conventional 9 points AF system. The AF of the EOS 7D is highly configurable, for instance there is “Zone AF”, i.e. the 7D’s AF points can be grouped in 5 zones (pic below).

EOS 7D

Zone Auto-Focus on the EOS 7D (image courtesy: Andrew Gibson)

To learn more, be sure to check Andrew’s article. You may also want to see what photographic authority dpreview has to say about the EOS 7D.

The Canon EOS 7D
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  • physica

    7D is a very good camera , the AF system and the LCD Focusing Screen is very good compare with the camera at the same timeline , but the Sensor is not very promising indeed…

    If the 7D2 having a better sensor , then it will be very great.

  • Eric

    7D is old news, Canon can’t create something new?

  • iP337

    Looking forward to a 7D2, the 7D is still my favorite Canon DSLR. The 5D3 is close but I still like the continuous jpeg burst of the 7D.

  • The sensor on the 7D was really bad when it was released. Four years later it is not even worthy of consideration for anyone that needs to shoot images at over ISO 800. If you’re a bird photographer or a sport photographer that shoots exclusively in daylight then have at it but if not, don’t waste you’re time or $. The file noise on this camera, whether shooting jpg or raw, makes it nearly unusable as a professional camera.