Canon EOS 7D Review / Test Report - Resolution
DSLR Reviews - DSLRs
Friday, 29 January 2010 00:00


The EOS 7D features the highest resolution APS-C sensor tested to date. For whatever reason Canon wants to be light-years ahead here compared to the competition which is currently using 12mp or max. 14mp sensors. It's surely a great marketing argument but, as always in the real life, there's something called "diminshing return upon investment" and this effect is also hitting the EOS 7D.

The next chart compares Canons' JPEG and RAW output to some other DSLRs tested here at PZ. The RAW results are based on RAW files, transformed to DNG and converted to JPG using the same Adobe Camera RAW version in order to get comparable results.

The results aren't really surprising - while the EOS 7D is capable of delivering a slightly higher effective resolution than the lower MP DSLRs it is actually not exceedingly better. The data represents the center resolution @ ISO 200 using our benchmark lens at its sweet spot (Zeiss ZS 50mm f/1.4 @ f/4). It may well be that the camera is able resolve more than that using better SLR lenses but you'll have a hard time finding those actually. There're probably no zoom lenses out there qualifying here.

However, let's be fair - the EOS 7D own the current resolution crown in APS-C land. The pixel-to-pixel sharpness is only good though. The straight JPEG quality is only about average so if you want to exploit the potential you should definitely go for RAW.

Before moving on to the sensor noise analysis - here an overview of 100% crops taken across the various ISO settings (THIS chart is NOT about sensor noise). Please observe the difference in the very fine detail portions between JPEG (standard noise reduction) and converted RAWs here - especially at high ISO settings. If resolution is your priority you should strictly stick with RAW images.

(it may take a while till all images have been loaded)

Move the mouse cursor across the respective ISO mark in order to display the corresponding 100% resolution chart crop

JPEG (standard NR) Converted RAWs (Lightroom)
ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 400 ISO 800 ISO 1600 ISO 3200 ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 400 ISO 800 ISO 1600 ISO 3200