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Canon EOS 7D Digital Camera Review$1,699.99
The Canon 7D shines when it comes to maintaining detail in both bright and dark areas of a high-contrast scene, an ability measured as dynamic range. To measure dynamic range, we shoot a 20-part Kodak stepchart, with gradated patches from solid white to solid black, across the range of standard ISO settings. These individual shots are analyzed using Imatest, then the results compiled to produce an overall performance profile.
As shown in the chart below, the 7D starts at a generous eight-stop dynamic range, and falls off slowly as ISO levels rise. The range is nearly 6 stops even at ISO 1600; by comparison, the Nikon D5000 is down to 4.67 by that point. More on how we test dynamic range.
The 7D has a slight edge over the others at ISO 200 (the Panasonic trails the pack throughout, in part due to its very high image noise levels). As ISO levels increase, dynamic range inevitably falls off, but the 7D range narrows more slowly than the competition.