Canon 7D New AutoFocus King…

for those on a budget.

Canon 7D AutoFocus Torture Test

This little camera bested every camera on our Auto Focus Torture Test when using the center focus point only. It came in second only to the revamped Canon 1D MKIII when using all 19 focus points. So, if you’re looking for a camera that can pass the autofocus torture test- on a budget- this camera simply can’t be beat.

For those of you who may have never heard of our Auto-Focus Torture Test you can find more background and an updated chart here.

How we tested the Canon 7D:

A camera wass placed on a tripod and a runner ran directly at the camera at a steady pace. The tests were all performed using AI servo focus mode at f/2.8 using the Canon 300mm IS f/2.8 lens. The camera exposure was set to ensure that a very high shutter speed (usually 1/2000 or higher) is achieved throughout the run. 5 test runs were conducted and then coded for the number of in focus images in each sequence. A percentage was then taken for each test run. These 5 percentages were then averaged to get an overall result. These tests were done using the default camera settings and default custom function settings. Tests were done using the center focus point only, and all available 19 focus points.

Canon 7D Results for Center Point Only:

Trial 1:

10 out of 31 Out of Focus= 68% in Focus

Trial 2:

10 out of 28 Out of Focus= 64% in Focus

Trial 3:

10 out of 41 Out of Focus= 76% in Focus

Trial 4:

5 out of 24 Out of Focus= 79% in Focus

Trial 5:

7 out of 31 Out of Focus= 77% in Focus

Average Total in Focus (Center Point Only)= 73%

Canon 7D Results for all Focus Points:

Trial 1:

6 out of 45 Out of Focus= 87% in Focus

Trial 2:

6 out of 40 Out of Focus= 85% in Focus

Trial 3:

4 out of 35 Out of Focus= 89% in Focus

Trial 4:

3 out of 37 Out of Focus= 92% in Focus

Trial 5:

7 out of 53 Out of Focus= 87% in Focus

Average Total in Focus (All Focus Points)= 88%

See the results of this test compared to other cameras we have tested.

Download all of the jpeg files from the above trials here:

All Focus Points (Caution Very Large Zip File 450MB)

Center Point Only (Caution Very Large Zip File 315 MB)

Drew Strickland

7 Responses to “Canon 7D New AutoFocus King…”

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  1. K says:

    You call that a torture test?? You must be joking!

  2. jwp says:

    your math is wrong on the 19 point test – 1-16/45= 64%

    you sure you can do a test correctly?

  3. admin says:

    Believe it or not, most pro cameras have a very difficult time with this task. Check out the results yourself by downloading the raw files. Or, better yet, do the tests yourself and present us with your full results. Would love to see how others fare.


  4. admin says:


    thanks for pointing out a typo in trial number 1. It has been corrected. The % correct has not changed.

  5. Rocky says:

    Was the AI servo system given a chance to adjust focus between frames, or were the test images taken using the maximum frame rate, wdich often doesn’t allow sufficient time for AF to refocus between shots? I would think any pro-level dSLR could keep the subject focused if the images were shot no faster than about 3 FPS…

  6. Hmmm, since the 1D3 has a highest AF % using the ring of fire, I would say it is the AF king.