Canon eos 7d

The one area build quality is a little off the mark is the lens that you can get bundled with the 7D. The Canon EF-S 18-135 lens was announced at the same time as 7D, but doesn't feel like it matches the body for build-quality

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It's made from all plastic, for a start, and unlike more expensive lenses doesn't have full-time manual focusing, so you can't simply grab the focus ring if you don't like what it's trying to do by itself

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Its specifications are nothing exciting, with a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at wide angle and f/5.6 zoomed in. On the plus side, it's a good starter lens if you're getting the 7D for video – it has image stabilisation, which greatly reduces frame shake when you're zoomed in

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Unfortunately its good video credentials are sullied by the fact that it isn't a USM (Ultra Sonic Motor) lens, and so makes all kinds of whining noises while hunting for focus. You only save £160 if you opt for the 7D without the lens, but once you start spending more money on more advanced lenses you're unlikely to look back.

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The lack of a full-frame sensor naturally means that the 5D MKII beats the 7D in a straight image quality comparison – but only just. Compared with shots taken by an original 5D, the 7D's 3200 ISO images were noisier, but not to the point of destruction.

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The difference between the 5D MKII and the 7D comes when you compare the maximum ISO – the 7D will go as high as 12,800 if you tinker with the custom settings. The 5D MKII goes twice as far, to 25,600

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Otherwise it almost goes without saying – the 7D's image quality is almost beyond reproach, and its chief limiting factor will be your abilities as a photographer and the lens you partner with the body.