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...
Resolution, noise and sensitivity
Our laboratory tests indicate that Canon has made significant steps in the control of noise across the entire sensitivity setting range since the EOS 50D. The difference between images from the EOS 50D and EOS 7D is most noticeable at ISO 12,800, when the amount of noise is approximately halved. Even at ISO 3200, there is a reduction of around 30%.
Interestingly, the noise figures for each channel are quite close to each other, indicating that the noise has a neutral mix. Although high-sensitivity images from the EOS 7D have a granular texture, they are far smoother than results from the EOS 50D. They look great in monochrome and, significantly, there is no banding in the darker midtones.
At 100% on the computer screen, high-sensitivity JPEGs have plenty of detail, but there are some coloured blotches. These aren’t especially objectionable, but they are visible when images are sized to make A3 prints. Images taken at ISO 6400 and above also have the odd hot red pixel. As the resolution chart images show, the EOS 7D resolves a lot of detail. Even at ISO 12,800 it puts in a reasonable performance.
These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, still-life scene and a grey card. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.The section of the still-life image contains the emblem on a standard sized matchbox.