• APS-C 332.3mm2
  • 18.0 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400

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Differences

Canon 7D advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Longer battery life
    800 vs 660 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.63x vs 0.52x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More cross-type AF points
    19 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Less shutter lag
    0.13 vs 0.27 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • More AF points
    19 vs 11
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    8.0 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    8.0 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • More kit lens zoom
    3.8x vs 3.0x
    Zooming is easier than walking
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Nikon D5100 advantages over Canon 7D

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Lighter weight
    829g vs 1467g
    Lighter weight
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 22 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Wider angle kit lens
    27 mm vs 45 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • External Mic Jack
    Both provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Select your focus point more intuitively.
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Canon 7D

Review Excerpt

  • Excellent 18-megapixel sensor with impressively low noise and superb detail; Very good high ISO performance, especially for 18-megapixel subframe sensor; Rugged construction with magnesium body and weather sealing; Fast autofocus and fast burst rate of 8 fps; Full HD (1920x1080) movies at 30/25/24p, 60/50p at 1280x720.

  • No dedicated AF-assist lamp (flash is used), and AF-assist adjustment is buried in the Flash Settings menu; Kit lens (28-135mm) isn't quite up to the resolving power of the 18-megapixel sensor, odd focal length for subframe DSLR; No continuous autofocus in Movie mode.

  • Side-mounted tilt / swivel LCD screen; same sensor and processing as the Nikon D7000; good speed and battery life; in-camera HDR and filter effects; Full HD video capture with aperture control; audio levels control and external microphone jack.

  • AF-S lens mount doesn't offer autofocus with screw-drive lenses; popup flash isn't the greatest; no built-in wireless flash control; HDR function doesn't microalign source images.

The Competition

Compared to Canon 7D Mark II

Canon 7D
Canon 7D Mark II
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • Less shutter lag
  • $1683
  • APS-C
  • GPS
  • On-sensor phase detect
Nikon D5100
Canon 7D Mark II
  • $569
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $1683
  • APS-C
  • GPS
  • On-sensor phase detect

Compared to Canon 60D

Canon 7D
Canon 60D
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • More cross-type AF points
  • Less shutter lag
  • $573
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • Longer battery life
Nikon D5100
Canon 60D
  • $569
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Less expensive
  • $573
  • APS-C
  • Longer battery life
  • Shoots 60p video

Compared to Nikon D7000

Canon 7D
Nikon D7000
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • Shoots 60p video
  • More cross-type AF points
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Longer battery life
Nikon D5100
Nikon D7000
  • $569
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • Lighter weight
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Longer battery life
  • Top deck display

Compared to Sony A35

Canon 7D
Sony A35
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $569
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Sony A77

Canon 7D
Sony A77
  • $1129
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $755
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
Nikon D5100
Sony A77
  • $569
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Lens selection
  • $755
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-camera panoramas
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