At last, it appears Canon has raised its game, in response to Nikon, and introducing a new breed of camera, the EOS 7D. We put it to the test...
LCD, viewfinder and video
While the EOS 7D has a fixed focusing screen, Canon has given it a transmissive LCD, which enables a composition grid, electronic level (using the AF points) and the AF points and zones to be displayed.
In most situations the view is smooth, clear and bright, but on some occasions I noticed a texture on the screen when looking at out-of-focus areas of bright, even tone.
Although the EOS 7D’s viewfinder is bright enough to allow manual focus, in most situations in which I opted to focus this way, I chose to use the magnified view on the LCD screen. It’s easier to be precise when a section of the scene is enlarged. Both views offer a 100% view.
As we have now come to expect from a high-end DSLR, the EOS 7D’s LCD screen is 3in across the diagonal and has 920,000 dots (307,000 pixels). To reduce reflections and glare, Canon has filled the gap between the crystals of the display and the new hard glass cover with an optical elastic material, which has a similar refractive index to the glass. This seems to have paid off, as I found the screen provides a very clear view even in quite bright ambient light.
Movies may be recorded at 1920×1080 pixels (Full HD) at 30fps, 25fps or 24fps, or 1280x720pixels (720p) and 640x480pixels at 60fps or 50fps. As in Live View mode, contrast-detection AF is possible during movie recording, but it is often better to take manual control as the system is prone to drifting past the intended target.
Also, if the internal monaural mic is being used to record sound (there is a socket to accept an external mic), button presses and hand movements are best kept to a minimum. At the highest resolution and frame rate, movies have plenty of detail and movement is smooth.