Side by Side – the new Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the Canon Rebel T1i/500D

by planetmitch63 Comments

Yes, it is official! Canon today announced the Canon EOS 7D. The big brother to the 50D and little brother to our friend the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. There are several things about the 7D that make it better than the 5D2, and there's one thing that is vastly superior on the 5D2 – the full frame sensor. But, it may turn out that the 7D does better video! The 7D in fact has the fabled 24p option that the 5D2 doesn't have – and maybe that's ok if you're doing mainly cinema. The 5D2 video output isn't the size of the full frame, so maybe it doesn't matter on the APS-C sensor of the 7D. Keep reading for the side by side table where we also throw in the Canon Rebel T1i/500D – because these are the 3 cameras Canon has now that combine stills and video.

FCP Training

Yes, it has been less than a year since the 5D2 was announced (Sept 17 is the 1 year anniversary), but Canon's been busy based on all the input they've gotten from the 5D2. Some 5D2 owners may be a bit upset at the specs for the 7D, but to me at least, the major difference is still that the 5D2 has a full frame sensor.

A quick summary of the differences:

  • The 7D adds video at 24fps and other rates – the 5D2 is 30fps
  • The 7D retail price is $1699 – the 5D2 is $2699
  • The 7D has dual Digic 4 processors and burst still speeds of up to 8fps
  • The 7D has an integrated Speedlight wireless transmitter!
  • The 7D includes Dual-Axis Electronic Level to ensure level shooting
  • The 7D has 19 point auto-focus – the 5D2 is 9 point

By the way, for those of you Canon EOS 5D Mark II owners clamoring for 24p, sorry, but all my sources say that it is very unlikely to be fixed in firmware for the 5D2. You'll either have to get the 7D or wait for the 5dm3.

Canon Announcement
DPreview preview
Has DSLR cinematography arrived? An interesting article about the 7D filmmaking by @5tu
Canon samples from the 7D

So it is interesting to see the 3 Canon bodies that have video side by side, so we've created a detailed chart

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Canon Rebel T1i/500D

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Price (body only US$)




Video (1080)


29.97, 25, 23.976 fps


Video (720)


59.94, 50 fps


Video (640)


59.94, 50 fps


Video autofocus




Max Resolution

4752 x 3168

5184 x 3456

5616 x 3744

Sensor size

AP-C – 15.1 mp

AP-C 18 mp

Full Frame – 21.1 mp


Digic IV

Dual Digic IV

Digic IV

Supports lenses

Canon EOS EF, EF-S mount

Canon EOS EF, EF-S mount

Canon EOS EF only

MicroAdjustment for lenses

  • Adjust all lenses by same amount (effectively body adjustment)

• Adjust up to 20 lenses individually

  • Adjust all lenses by same amount (effectively body adjustment)

• Adjust up to 20 lenses individually


internal mono only

mono internal or external stereo mini plug in mic

mono internal or external stereo mini plug in mic

ISO Range

Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (6400-12800 expandable)

Auto (100-3200), 100-6400 (in 1/3-stop or whole stop increments)
ISO can be expanded to H: 12800

100-6400 (high ISO up to 25600) (low ISO – 50)

Weather Resistant


equivalent to the legendary EOS–1N


Memory card





uses same 450D


LP-E6 New Smart Technology 

Raw support


Yes – includes sRAW1 and sRAW2

Yes – includes sRAW1 and sRAW 2

Popup Flash




Maximum frames per sec




Weight (with battery)

520g (1.2lb)

860 g 

810g (1.8lb)

Custom Functions


3 sets of memorized settings

3 sets of memorized settings

AE Lock

Manual: AE lock button

• Auto: One Shot AF with evaluative metering

• Manual: AE lock button

Manual button and Auto: One Shot AF with evaluative metering


  1. I'm a little upset my expensive 5d2 doesn't have all these features but this newer cheaper one does!

    1. Canon is working on an update to add this functionality. Should be avalible first 1/2 of 2010! I wasn’t happy either as I’m thinking of getting the 5D2 for the full sensor but excited about video!

  2. Dave, a lot of people are going to be upset by this and perceive this as a joke from Canon to 5D owners. While I am happy that Canon is moving forward with video integration, I cant understand the reasoning behind this camera. It is too good and too cheap compared to every single Canon DSLR model. Unless you have a very specific need for another body (ex: full frame, more AF points, etc), there are no reason to not get it.

    So Canon is going to move all the demands from other products toward this newer model, doing even more cannibalization than what was already going on with the 5D. Not a smart move from Canon unless they have something up their sleeves.

  3. having this new out now, the question is, would you go for 5D2 with it's better ISo and FF or go with the 7D for newer features and 24P ??????? help 😉

    1. Maybe if the article didn’t have such horrible spelling mistakes (wich? What is the author, 10?) canon would listen. (Wud listen 😉 )

  4. I've not found anything yet on a time limit on the video.

    Mitch Aunger
    chief blogger and bottle washer
    the best Canon 5D information on the planet!

  5. I've not found anything yet on a time limit on the video.

    Mitch Aunger
    chief blogger and bottle washer
    the best Canon 5D information on the planet!

  6. CANON IM UPSET I BOUGHT the 5DMII just a month ago but the much CHEAPER 7D has better features at $1000 less 24p, 19 focus points against 9, 8fps against 3.9fps, 100% VF with 1x, Wireless Speedlight feature etc etc etc….

    all i got is FF for $1000 more and a crippled camera.

    its like this….,,,,,a cheaper Toyota Corolla having much better features than a Camry that all it can boast is just has a bigger engine

  7. Please explain to me why you like this 24p so much?

    Isn't 30fps much better, more frames per second, better quality?

  8. What on earth is all the fuss?? Toyota my FOOT, the 7D is no competition for the 5D2, is has a tiny APS-C sensor. You lose that amazing 5D2 razor thin DOF, and low-light quality. There's no way that cramming 18 million cells on a tiny sensor will garner you better low-light quality, REGARDLESS of specs. The cells are simply too small.

    The 5D2 is still king folks, and the 7D is a nice compliment if you have the funds. But when I mount my 16-35mm/2.8 on that 5D2 full frame sensor in a building with low available light, I'll be the one smiling. BTW, 24p isn't always needed nor is it the end-all be-all. It's just desired now because we can't have it. Mitch and I disagree on the 24p 5D2 firmware upgrade (oh Mitch, I hope you're wrong just this once, lol!), but even so, I bet a plugin for After Effects will surface that will do the conversion, or some other workflow. Don't sweat the 24p, it'll come one way or another.

    More importantly, forget the hardware game. We all own 5D2's, right? Let's get out and start shooting, there's too much whining about gear anymore. 7D this, 24p that, blah blah blah… the Blair Witch Project made more money than all of us. I bet somebody could make a hit video on a Flip if they got creative. It's not the arrow, it's the Indian. Let's get filming already.

  9. The 5D MKII will have better picture sharpness and has a more sensitive sensor, the image quality is still better with the 5D. If you want the high-burst rate though you're better off with the 7D it looks like. It seems that the differences are small unless you're pro and going for a specific hardware setup.

    The real issue I see is that the video looks much better than any samples I've seen so far with the 7D. Of course, with CMOS sensors there's still the shutter roll issue in video (from scanning from top down) and from what I've heard it may be even worse in the the 7D than it is in the 5D (where it's actually pretty good). This gives the dreaded “jelly cam” effect.

    I'd still go for the 5D MKII, but I might get the 7D to replace my aging 40D…

  10. Hi all , I'm a guest here and i just wanted to add my thoughts. I'm more of a video guy…i was considering the 5d and now the 7d too . the thing is…as in every digital hardware you buy you need to accept the fact that it will run old in a very short time . Also, you need to know that the hardware manufacturer is never your friend , they will hide their technologies (and its their right) , they will exclude features which can easily be included,just to make you buy their product .
    I still think 5d is king, full frame and iso are much more important than any new feature in the 7d.As a video guy i think the single feature that can make me decide on the 7d is the 60p in 720p mode, wich can make you shoot real in-camera slow motion .
    Thank you .

  11. The 7D specs tell 29 minutes 59 seconds, but it's MUCH more likely you will reach the 4GB file size limit (due file system limit) before that recording time…

    (the 12 min limit in the 5D Mark II is because you reach 4GB)

  12. Your 5D Mark II is Great camera, full frame, and 7D is a different thing.

    BUT we (Canon customers and owners of 5D Mark II) DESERVE more attention, more respect (and not that kind of silly answers that we got when requesting the manual control), and that our request be implemented, because MOST OF THEM CAN BE IMPLEMENTED.

    Check the link I posted above, CALL CANON, make your VOICE HEARD.

    All what we ask from people is to be RESPECTFUL, and handle the solid and consistent arguments we have, and REQUEST Canon for the improvements that CAN be done via Firmware Update to the 5D Mk II

    This is a WORLDWIDE effort, and will benefit everyone.

    Best regards, and thanks to everyone supporting.

  13. I agree Sherezz. I think the question for video guys like us is not how the 7D compares to the 5D but rather how does the 7D compare to a Sony EX1! 60p in 720p for less then half the cost of an EX1 has me eyeing the 7D very closely. Oh, I still want an 5D too…

  14. The 5DII is for real photographers; you, obviously, are simply a gadget-geek and feature chaser.

  15. Hi, I know how you fell, but you should not feel like you are screwed by this canon's new release.
    The 5D-II is still, in many situations, better than the 7D. The full frame for one that counts a big deal of difference. The color, picture of sensor quality will be another place to do the comparisons. The 19mp over AP-C size does worry me a bit about the diffraction limit effect (we will see). High density pixel is not necessary definitively all good under all conditions. 5D-II is still my favorite. I have a 1Ds-III, but I leave it for static usage most of the time ever since I got my 5D-II. When I go out, I usually grab my 5D-II. I do not count on the camera for living, and it is way more humanly enjoyable to carry the 5D-II than the supertank 1Ds-III (if you haul it whole day, the weight will eventually gets to you.)

  16. I think the 5dm2 still has the edge as far as image quality, the 7D (while I love its19 point AF!) has way too many px cramped in a tiny sensor! I want narrow dof and the 5d matched with fast primes is still the way to go. (the 85 mm 1.2 on THAT would be have an AOV of a 136 mm lens! And a much deeper dof.
    imageine that!.

    On the other hand keep in mind that camera are just like computers…you buy one and 6 months later they are old, so if you base your purchase on the amount of gadgets that is eaxctly what is gonna happen! Base your decision on image quality instead!

  17. HOLD UP just one second…..
    are we talking about video cameras? or photo cameras?

    I have been a photographer since before Digital and while on any photo-shoot never did I think to myself
    “Dam I wish I could video tape this” I left that for the film students.

    A pro photographer has no use for video as an option on a camera. Canon reduced the image sensor, increased video quality for whatever reason and that is why canon can't charge $2500 for the 7D.

    not worth the money in my opinion.

  18. anyone looking into 7d over 5d is a motion-shooter… 24fps is a lot nicer and filmic look than 30fps which almost get an interlaced look to it's smothness… I'm in a pal country so 25 fps is also a great advantage. 7d's small sensor isn't quite that small… it's in fact almost the same as motion 35, or RED! Or i guess also Panavision GENESIS! So that makes the 5d an Imax style sensor! Good of course… but Titanic and Gladiator wasn't shot Imax… it was more close to 7d size… but of course, digital images are crap compared to the real thing… anyway… 7d will be a great tool for commercial work in my opinion…

    1. I am so glad you said that “anyone looking into the 7D over the 5D is a MOTION SHOOTER”…because that’s what I am. I SHOOT FOOTBALL, LACROSSE, WRESTLING etc. I also do Senior Portraits and small stuff on the side to pay for my hobby. But FRANKLY….I DON’T WANT a frick’in Video Recorder on my camera! I just want a CAMERA. you know the old saying….”the more Bells & Whistles…the more likely that something will break” All I care about is talking photos. I will never use the damn video recorder. That’s what our Video guy is for up in the Press Booth. But the reason I am getting this is because it’s affordable and takes 8 FPS along with taking wayyyyyyyyyyyy better photos at night games then what I am using now. Hey ANYTHING is a better upgrade from my old Canon Rebel XTI…believe it or not…..I have made ALOT OF MONEY with that old Camera. So no matter what camera you use as a semi-professional or novice photographer I,e Rebel series, Canon 7D or the Mark 5 D….your be happy with your photos. Thanks Erik for giving me an idea for my new email address…MOTION SHOOTER! take care all!

  19. New products are always more advanced than older ones. The good thing is that all recent cameras are able to satisfy 99% of your shooting needs. Instead I would concentrate on taking the most out of my camera and lenses.

    About the integrated Speedlight wireless transmitter that is the most important upgrade in 7D, 5D users will have to use the external transmitter or the Speedlight 430EX/580EX to command other flashes.

    No reason to talk about video since these are cameras and video is only a gadget.

    If you are still looking to buy the new Canon 7D you may what to visit; sometimes they post useful discount codes.


  20. Last time I cheecked, those wanting 24p and 30p and everything in between should have been buying a VIDEO camera. What’s the ruckus about??? 5D2 is primarily a still-imaging machine. and a pretty darned good one at that!

  21. The video these cameras produce is not a gimmick PJ. Serious cinematographers and videographers are producing serious footage with them. Consider that a 7D, flash card and some lenses costs a couple thousand bucks. The next closest digital equivilent (the Red One) costs 10 times that much before lenses. Of course the aspiring film maker could always save all their pennies to hire an actual 35mm film camera and all the associated gear. After the thousands spent on hiring gear, buying film, and processing it, you’re still left with the need to digitise the footage before you can even work with it. This simple step alone can cost around $200,000 for a feature film. Suddenly a 7D looks very appealing. Enough to make a ruckus about perhaps. To think the this new breed of EOS cameras should be still cameras alone is to be grossly underestimating the potential of these tools in the right hands and how closely they mimic their Hollywood cousins. I for one can’t wait to get my hands on a 7D purely for video.

      1. Whut? Your own comparison table lists micro-adjustment for up to 20 individual lenses as a feature of the 7D…

        1. Author

          Whut? I can’t read and remember everything? YIKES! 🙂

          Thanks for seeing that and correcting me!

          I’ll blame the flu that I’ve had all week – it has really knocked me off.

  22. I owned two 5D Mark II’s, and just sold them for two 7D’s…..
    PURELY for the 24p.

    Try mixing 5D Mark II footage with RED @ 24p…. not a fun task, and a complete waste of time.

    The video quality on the 7D is awesome…. and the fact that the 7D can match the RED 24p frame rate now… priceless.

    That being said. The 5D Mark II is an AMAZING camera.
    I’ve shot 3 music videos mixing the 5D Mark II and RED, and I can tell you that nobody knew the difference…. so it’s not really a BAD thing to own that camera…

  23. I’m a video guy. I was planning 2 buy the 5Dii. But when I saw the 7D features, I think it’s the way 2 go! I’ll need the camera 4 serious photo use as well. Yes, 5Dii is FF (not a big deal 4 a 21.1mp I believe!). But it’s 30fps, & I live in the middle-east (25fps). What’s ur advice?

    P.s. I’ve noticed that Philip bloom posted a video of 5Dii shot in 25p!!! Is that possible!?

  24. Have I missed it, but do either of these cameras have GPS capability, if not when will that be a stanbdard feature?

  25. Not a video guy here so please forgive the ignorance. But don’t a lot of the new Hi end consumer video cameras shoot 1080?

  26. Ok….we argued and argued….lets face the facts….

    The 5D M2 is brilliant…the 7D is brilliant…

    The 5D M2 leans toward Photography brilliance, whilst the 7D is the King of the APS-C sensors…with a heavy lean on added video features….

    My conclusion is this…it boils down to price. 7D is straight up value for money. I like the 19 AF points, full lens compatibility, ((video functions doesnt bother me — but its a nice to have)))….

    If you cannot afford the 5D M 2, go for the 7D! if you can afford the 5D M 2, and your focus is photography, go for the 5D M 2…ideally….if you can afford both…GO FOR BOTH!

  27. This has been very interesting reading. I’ve been trying to decide between the 7d and 5d mk II for some time now. It will be a Christmas present for my wife, who now shoots with an old d10. That’s not to say that the d10 isn’t a good camera… it shoots great pictures, but it’s old technology and an awkward camera for her to use. This thread has addressed most of my concerns (not that I’ve made up my mind yet, but I’m sure you guys can relate!), but there is one thing I’ve not heard mentioned regarding video quality. Do both the d7 and 5d mk II shoot an H.264 compression?

  28. You’re looking at it all wrong. Canon’s flagship is divided into the 1Ds for studio/still photography and 1D for sports/wildlife. The 7d is a natural fit into this scenario, with the 5D for studio/still photography and the 7D for sports and wildlife.

    The advantages of the 5D II have been pointed out above, but for me, I love the low-light prowess, full frame sensor, and the ultrawide perspectives of my 5D II. But I would love a 7D for wildlife and birding!

    If anyone should be upset, it’s those with a 1Ds III, since the 5D Mark II gives better images.

    Also, I don’t like the stuttery motion of 24 fps film, and I’d love nothing more than for the industry to move to a 48 or 60 fps standard. For now, I think 30 fps is smoother than 24, so I’ll take my 5D’s full frame at 30 fps.

    The 7D will shoot great quality video, even at night, but the 5D will be cleaner in low light.

    1. thanks for the info. I was wrong actually… she has a D60.
      I ended up getting the 7D, not because I thot it was better, but it came down to price. I have a hunch she’ll use the 7D for awhile and then upgrade to the 5DII or whatever seems like the best choice at the time. we shoot mostly volcano, and often at night or in the early hours of the morning, so the low light sensitivity will probably be a factor… we’ll see. as far as video goes, it’s a bit of a moot point since I’m the video half of our team and I use a sony hdw-f900r. that’s not to say that we won’t do time-lapse and even use it for other stuff from time to time… but it’s not the priority. aooreciate the input.

  29. Help,

    I bought the 5D and it was stolen. When I shot video on the 5D I found that any zooming caused a lag in the image recording. Has this been remedied by Canon or was my camera setup wrong? I want to replace the camera but if this problem is still present then I will go with the 7D.

    Any info?

    1. Author

      I’ve not heard of a problem with zooming… there is a known issue of ‘stuttering’ when light conditions change (search the blog for more) and that’s documented in the manual as well.

    2. Check the below post, especially the “Update 3” telling about “variable aperture” zooms.

      You might find it helpful for your case:

      When using a variable aperture zoom, if you zoom in or out in video mode (in “Full Manual Control” mode), the camera will change the iris to keep the aperture value set by the user. When this occur, it’s very likely to happen a lag/dropped frame on the footage.

      That’s “another” advantage of constant aperture zooms over variable aperture zooms.

  30. Hey,

    Cor’ blimey.. So many opinions and no mention of wedding photography..!

    I’m a wedding photographer in the making and am at the point of upgrading in the next week – So for wedding photography which way do I go.. 5D Mk2 Body Only and buy a second hand lens (24-85) or 7D with 15-85mm Kit..?

    1. MK2 hands down. Your photos in low light from the MKII will blow away the 7D as well as IQ. With this camera you will know what you’re getting and will not have to worry whether the camera is technically able in low light. Most of the time with low aperture lenses you won’t even need a flash, not that you shouldn’t use one, but it opens up MANY possibilities. I’ve shot hand held night landscapes with a 50mm 1.8 prime that looked fine as art prints (and I have extremely high technical standards for art photography)

      Unless you want to hold the shutter and use a strobe quickly, then get the 7D, but the sensors are just not the same at all.

  31. Time to change this page’s info!

    24p alive and well on the 5D mk2 and it is lovely! 🙂
    As well as 25 and 30 frames.
    AGC (automatic gain control) can now be disabled and there is a histogram that can be used before shooting.

    Lots of fun to be had.

  32. i have had my 5d mkii for the past month.. been to busy to have a chance to pull it out of the box.. i haven’t even looked inside to see if the body and lens are even there.. lol.. well, sunday is the day.. .should be grand…

    1. You should have checked it, it’s very expensive piece of equipment, and the return for replacement policy is usually just 15 days…

      We’ll post a thorough article about TESTING the 5D Mark II when you get it for the FIRST TIME (also very useful for any other DSLR camera with and without Movie/Video capabilities)


  33. I just received my new 5D MkII from B&H today. It will replace my aged 30D as top camera. Much to my surprise, it came with the new 2.0.4 firmware installed saving me some fumbling around on the computer. Suffice to say, it is a gorgeous camera and with only a few test photos this afternoon, the quality is clearly evident. I’m looking for to adding yet another 7k in photos to my library!

  34. So I’m wondering….if I set my shutter speed to 1/1000 or 1/2000 will the 7D shoot more frames( like i know it says it shoots more fps))…or is it dependent on the lense or what? Something I haven’t wrapped my head around yet!! I like to shoot surf photography…investing in either the 5DMII or 7D but I want the speed for shots…..????

    1. Author

      That’s a good question! The ability to shoot rapid stills requires (at least in the current world of SLRs) that the camera flip the mirror (which is used to send the image to the viewfinder) up and down rapidly as well as resetting the mechanics of the shutter. And it is this speed which determines the number of still frames per second that the camera can take. The shutter speed setting and the lenses have nothing to do with it. It is all about the mechanics inside the camera and how fast it can flip the mirror and reset the inner workings of the shutter.

      1. ok thanks for that …looks like I may have to go with the 7D(for what i want it for)….good thing is cheaper but I hope the quality will be good enough…love the full frame and high iso with the 5DMII…..?!?what to do

  35. Just like the thousands out there.. I’m in the same boat.

    $ not really a factor, but would love to get the best for the buck. I like to shoot in low light without flash but would also like to get great tennis action or golf shots, which I haven’t been able to with 450d. Current lens 50mm 1.8 & 24-105L.

    With the 7d, would give me a good 2 yrs to learn n experiment, and when I get better, 5dm3? Or miss out 2 yrs worth of magical pictures?

  36. @ John, I just had to underscore your point with the following fact. My 2 sons, film graduates, just finished working on a full feature film. The DP/Cinematographer used the Red (credits on IronMan 2 & many others), and the Director was shooting on his 5D Mark 2 for using in post pro/editing. SAG actors, Bob Shelley’s Special Effects (The Notebook & more). This was a full feature, real deal, w/ amicable credits amongst all key crew with actors flown in from NY. It is indeed “grossly underestimated” just what these camera’s can do! A previous comment read, “It’s not the arrow, it’s the indian”.


  38. I want to sell my Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with lens 24-105mm,never used,brand new and comes with full accessories in its canon box with warranty and invoice
    Canon EOS 6D DSLR Camera (Body Only)
    Eyecup Eb
    RF-3 Camera Cover
    Wide Neck Strap EW-EOS 6D
    LC-E6 Charger for LP-E6 Battery Pack
    LP-E6 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1800mAh)
    AVC-DC400ST Stereo AV Cable
    IFC-200U USB Interface Cable – 6.9′ (1.9 m)
    EOS Digital Solution Disk
    Camera Instruction Book
    Software Instruction Book CD
    Pocket Guide
    Digital Learning Center Leaflet
    1-Year Canon U.S.A. Limited Warranty
    Included Free
    SanDisk – 16GB Ultra UHS-I SDHC Memory Card (Class 10)
    200DG Deluxe Gadget Bag
    Watson – LP-E6 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 1750mAh)
    Oben – ACM-2400 4-Section Aluminum Monopod
    For more information, please contact:
    email contact:  [email protected]

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