Canon EOS 7D Digital Camera Review$1,699.99
There are two automatic exposure modes, the very restrictive (but admirably easy to use) Full Auto and the peculiar Creative Auto, which adds a bit more settings flexibility along with an odd system for setting brightness and blurriness that keeps showing up even on higher-end Canon SLRs.
The 7D uses a new 19-point autofocus system. When shooting with a lens with a maximum aperture higher than f/5.6, all of these points focus as cross-type sensors. If the maximum aperture is f/2.8 or higher, the center focus point is about twice as sensitive to horizontal and vertical lines as the others.
There are three Focus Mode options: One Shot, AI Servo (continuous autofocus), and AI Focus, which switch between the two depending on whether the subject is in motion.
After shooting with the 7D for a while, we found ourselves coming back to the Zone AF system frequently. It offers a nice combination of user control and flexibility, avoiding the chore of maneuvering individual focus points with the control wheels or joystick (pretty cumbersome) but still pointing the camera in the right direction.
There are 5 available Zone Focus settings. Switching between them while shooting is fast and efficient: just press the AF Point button at the top right of the camera back, then turn either control dial to cycle through your options, which are displayed both in the viewfinder and on the rear LCD.
The 7D doesn't have a dedicated autofocus assist lamp. Instead, the built-in flash can be used to fire off brief strobing bursts to help the camera autofocus. We prefer a dedicated lamp, since it's a less intrusive solution when trying to shoot candids.
When using manual focus, the focus confirmation light in the viewfinder will indicate whether the subject is in focus if you press the shutter halfway.
The 7D supports three resolutions, in both JPEG and RAW modes.
There are two available compression settings, Fine and Normal, for each JPEG size. Each RAW setting can also be paired with a large, fine JPEG.
If you're shooting JPEGs but want to capture a particular image in RAW +JPEG mode, there's a quick-access button for that. Just press the One-Touch RAW+JPEG button, located to the left of the viewfinder, and the next shot will be saved in RAW+JPEG format, after which the camera returns to straight JPEG mode. It also works in reverse: if you're shooting in RAW, you can switch to JPEG for a shot.