Canon 5D vs. 7D Digital Cameras: Choosing a Model

bestcameraforbeginnersCanon is and has always been a leading manufacturer of some of the best photography equipment in the world. Canon digital cameras are fantastic for experienced photographers and even students trying to learn the fundamentals of photography, something this Udemy course can help you with, Canon’s ability to produce cameras with unparalleled image quality has put them at the top of the leader board for amateur and professional photographers alike. As a matter of fact, the cameras manufactured by Canon are of such high quality that it can often be difficult to choose one model over the other.

The truth is you won’t go wrong buying any of the digital cameras produced by Canon in today’s market. Anything you pick up by Canon will impress you with its clear image quality, abundance of features, and ease of use. Just ask those who publish and sell photos for a living and they’ll tell you that Canon cameras are the way to go if you want a camera you can depend on in any situation. However, if you are a discerning photographer or someone who is seeking specific features or capabilities for your next DSLR, there are a couple of current models in Canon’s arsenal that you should seriously consider.

Checking Out Canon’s Lineup

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera is a high-end camera with an incredible array of functions and features. Built for professionals, it is simple enough to be used with ease by amateurs. It’s a great camera for taking candid and action shots and is therefore great for those who are learning the basics of wedding photography (as detailed in this Udemy course) as well as those looking for more artistic use out of their camera. Similarly, the Canon EOS 7D digital SLR camera offers an array of image processing features and creative functions for about half the cost of the Canon EOS 5D. However, like its competitor (Canon EOS 5D) – it is still simple enough to be used by amateurs with enough punch to easily satisfy professionals.

Although both cameras provide a wide variety of features and functions, there are a few significant differences that need to be addressed before making a choice. A good place to start with the decision making process is determining the budget you have for a new camera and what features are the most important for your personal needs. By addressing these two chief concerns, you should be able to make a good choice and get the best deal for your money.


The price comparison between the Canon EOS 5D and the Canon EOS 7D is substantial. The Canon EOS 5d Mark III digital camera is pricey at around $3,400 for just the body (lenses sold separately in most cases). For about half that price (around $1,500 MSRP), you can take home the Canon EOS 7d body. By the time you add in the costs of a decent set of lenses, you are looking at a hefty investment. Both models are costly set ups, but each will pay for itself time and again with the outstanding quality photos you will enjoy.

ISO Range

Both the Canon EOS 5D and 7D are comparable when it comes to effective ISO range. At 22 megapixels, the Canon EOS 5D is automatically set within ISO 100 – 12800 but is expandable to H (ISO 25600). The Canon EOS 7D is set to ISO 100 – 6400 at 18 megapixels but lacks the ability to expand to the same range as the Canon EOS 5D. This limitation is one of the standout differences between the two models but for normal shooting conditions and casual photography, the difference is barely noticeable. Unless you are asking your camera to perform in extreme low light situations or other unusual settings, either of these models will work perfectly.

Image Processor Comparison

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III features a DIGIC 5+ image processor that delivers amazing speed (up to 6.0 fps for RAW and JPEG images) while improving data processing performance and improving noise reduction at higher ISO ranges. In contrast, the Canon EOS 7D features a CMOS sensor for noise reduction and dual DIGIC 4 image processor. Relatively speaking, both cameras will provide a quality image that can be easily cropped without much pixilation, but the DIGIC 5+ processor on the Canon EOS 5D is slightly better overall. All in all, it’s a great camera for taking vivid shots in full color, but it can be a great camera for black and white photography as well. (Be sure to check out Udemy’s Black and White Photography course for more information on this deceptively difficult style of photography.)

Shutter Controls

Shutter controls and speed are pretty close in comparison for the Canon EOS 5D and 7D. Both have a 1/8000 to 30 second (bulb) shutter speed with the 7D having a slightly slower x-sync at 1/250 seconds vs. 1/200 seconds on the 5D. The Canon EOS 5D has a soft-touch electromagnetic release and so does the 7D. Shutter lag-time on the EOS 5D is approximately 0.059 seconds which is similar to that of the 7D.

Drive System

The drive system for both models is chock full of shooting modes and image options. The Canon EOS 5D has single, high-speed continuous, low-speed continuous, silent single shooting, maximum burst, and self-timer modes. The EOS 7D is lacking only the silent single shooting mode but offers every other shooting option as its more expensive cousin, the EOS 5D. Image count options vary in maximum burst mode depending on format chosen.

In this case, the Canon EOS 7D beats the EOS 5D simply because the megapixels and quality of image is slightly less and therefore takes less memory to shoot and save. The EOS 7D will shoot approximately 23 images in maximum burst (RAW format) while the EOS 5D can only manage around 13 shots.

Video Options

Both the Canon EOS 5D and EOS 7D offer a video shooting option. The Canon EOS 5D offers HD video with manual exposure control, multiple frame rates, and selectable i-frame or IPB compression with improved sound recording that will produce impressive overall video quality. The Canon EOS 7D also offers full HD video with 12 minutes of continuous shooting time in HD or 24 minutes in SD. In all other aspects the two models are relatively similar in video shooting features.

LCD / Tilt Display Differences

The LCD screen is slightly larger on the Canon EOS 5D (3.2 inches) when compared to the EOS 7D (3.0 inches). This makes for easier viewing but adds a little more bulk to the overall camera. Display quality is a little bit better on the EOS 5D as well with approximately 1.04 million pixel dots in comparison to the EOS 7D at 920,000 pixel dots. Tilt display is available on both models but the EOS 7D rotates 360 degrees whereas the EOS 5D only has a 170 degree rotation.

Customization Options

When it comes to customization, the Canon EOS 7D is the better choice. The EOS 7D offers a total of 27 customizable functions where the EOS 5D is limited to only 13 choices. On both the EOS 7D and 5D, controls can be customized by assigning the desired function, such as shutter button halfway pressing, AF-ON button, AE lock button, depth-of-field preview button, lens AF Stop button, multifunction button, SET button, main dial, quick control dial, and multi-controller function.


Whether you decide to go with the more costly Canon EOS 5D or the more versatile EOS 7D, you are sure to be pleased with your decision. Canon has gained a reputation as an industry leader for their solid work with image quality and technological advances and that reputation is well-deserved. Professionals and amateur photographers alike have trusted Canon with their images for almost 60 years with astounding results.

Canon image quality is second to none and for that reason. Both professional and amateur photographers at all skill levels favor their product lines. The EOS 5D and 7D are both capable of being used for training courses in commercial photography, something you can learn more about here on Udemy, as well as indoor professional work or just as a casual family camera. If you’re willing to pay the price, either of these camera models will do just about anything you ask of them.