Canon 7D pattern noise at low ISO problem

My canon 7D suffers from severe pattern noise at low ISO numbers. I am finding a solution with both my dealer and Canon; some 7D’s do NOT have this problem, so it’s a manufacturing issue. Very bad very bad…

Meanwhile i am stuck with a camera that produces patterns and lines in e.g. flat (unsharp) skin colors, even at 100 ISO.

A massive discussion is going on on this subject at: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=759283&page=1

The only thing i can do at the moment to minimize the effect, is sticking to fixed ISO numbers (see previous post) and switch off the Highlight Priority setting. But that is NOT why i bought this camera…

I advise Canon AGAIN to come up with a solution, now things are exploding in their face at a global level…


34 Responses to “Canon 7D pattern noise at low ISO problem”

  1. 1 sanders
    December 31, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I have the same problem whit my 7D.
    There´s anything that i can do to fixed the problem??

  2. 2 Vertomaa
    June 3, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I have that problem too.
    All editing have to be gentle or noise pattern will come on sight.
    It’s very annoying.

    Here is exsample: http://vertomaa.kuvat.fi/kuvat/Password%20protected%20folders/Example/IMG_0947.jpg

    (Blue luminance -79)

    Is this normal or do i have to change camera?

  3. June 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Yep – I’m get that as well. I’ve talked to Canon and they reckon they can fix it. Sending my 7D into then for that and then I’ll see if it improves, if not, then I will be wanting them to change my camera.


  4. July 8, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I totally freaked out when I took a close look at my shots with my 7D! My 1D Mk II looks so much better. I did a whole slew of shoots and now I have s#$%^& pictures for my clients, that is just totally and completely unacceptable! So I’m hoping I can send it back and have Canon fix it. If not I’ll be screaming! I have been buying Canon gear for 4 years with NO problems and all the reviews I read on the 7D were great. I feel pretty screwed:( Any info you have to help with this, please feel free to pass it on!

  5. 5 Kptl
    August 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I also have the same problem with my brand new 7d. Just got it 13days back. I hate this noise all over the image in any lighting condition. Please let me know how to fix this. Should I return my camera. I checked and compare images with my very old 300d 6.3mp was better producing noise free images up to 400 ISO. Noise looks almost similar with 7d Images taken at ISO 100-200 and with 300d images took at ISO 800.

    Almost 90% review shows positive about 7d. I understand it comes with excellent features but without Image quality everything is dull and useless. Canon can you please stop this megapixel war.(Do remember User always wants quality not quantity) I wish I could get same 7d but with properly interpolated 12mp which gives me a top quality!!!!!! First time I really disappointed with canon camera!!

    So far I used 300d (great camera),400d (great camera),T1i,7d(I hate noisy image even at ISO 100)

    Thats why I am not selling my 300d. I can zoom in up to 150-200% and still image looks great!!!

  6. August 21, 2010 at 4:27 am


    I am having the same problem as you, would you able to get your issue resolved with Canon?

  7. October 12, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I too have the same issue. I’ve had my 7D for about 8 months now and I didn’t notice the noise at first. Now I’m getting noisy images even in studio lighting at 100ISO? I sent in my camera last week and I’m hoping I can get this resolved. The guy at Canon was extrememly helpful and he said I should not be having any noise issues. Fingers crossed.


  8. 8 marvelsfilm
    October 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Scott, let me know the result if it’s returned!


  9. November 2, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Hi Martin,

    Took them a little more than a week to return and camera and so far so good. I’ve shot quite a bit in studio at 100 ISO and all seems to be in order for now. The slip I got back from them didn’t go into much detail as to what the problem was. They mentioned something about calibration and that was it. Overall, bummed I had the issue, but they did a great job of rectifying the issue. Hope this helps you.


  10. May 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I have the exact same problem with my 7d. I will have to take mine to service and see what they say. I wish Canon would face the problem in a decent and responsible way.

  11. 11 Becca Ulmo
    July 16, 2011 at 12:02 am

    There’s a loophole in the system:

    If you set your ISO setting in increments of 160, it eliminates the noise. The SLR’S are weird with the ISO settings. But i know a few filmmakers that follow this rile of thumb.

    Try that and see if the problem progresses.

  12. July 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I’m having the same problem with my Canon 7d. The ISO increments of 160 don’t help the problem. It seems the focus is off as well, no matter which lens I use, auto focus or manual. We’re going to have to send the camera in. My Canon 5d has always been solid, it’s unfortunate our new 7D is causing such a headache.

  13. 13 chris
    August 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    i do have the same troubles!

    so i took it to the service..waited a week…they said he something about new calibration of sensor and backfockus.
    and the problem should be solved now.

    but it wasnt same issues with the noise at 100.
    tried the 1690 iso…just the same.

    so i whent back to the shop to get it in service a second time.
    after 2 and a half weeks of waiting they brought back my 7d with an exchanged sensor also calibrated and new setup in backfocus.
    nice that should fix all the problems…so i took a shot..still the same problems.
    hardcore noise all over the pic.

    as my photographic style depends on enormous details i totally cant use it!
    so iam damn screwd!

    gone to the shop a 3rd time.
    been a little harsch to the guy in the shop…and he exchanged my cam to a totally new one.

    problem solved?

    also the new 7d has this issues.
    now i really dont know what to do.
    will there be a solution with firmware update or is the 7d just crap!

    my 50d is way better in noise…but all the previes i wrote told me that the 7d should be way better in noise issues than the 50d!

    i really need a plan now…..caus i do not have the cash and i sould a lot of stuff just the efort the 7d..and than its crap? WTF?

    so if anyone can help what to do…let me/us know!

    thank you in advance!


  14. 14 Paula
    September 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Same problem here with my almost 2 yr old 7D. I thought I was crazy until I saw all of you having the same issue! WTH?? I wish I still had my 50D. Maybe I’ll go to a 60D??

  15. 15 howard
    October 16, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Just had a 7D for one day. All my pictures were ‘fuzzy” even though I shot raw and used low iso (100, 200 and 400) I was using my trusted 100-400L lens. The light conditions were good and the picture quality was terrible. Even on a bright and sunny day I had to operate at +2/3 of a stop to get good exposure. Normally under these same conditions with my other canon cameras I have to under expose by 1/3 of a stop!. I think the camera is focusing correctly, but the pictures do not have that sharp appearance of my other cameras (used with the same lens).

  16. 16 Roy Lewin
    January 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Same problem here, I have used 450d 40d 50d and then i went and did a stupid thing by purchasing a 7d, noise issue even at low ISO, i have some fantastic shots of the lake district, all ruined by noise issues.
    It is time Canon came up with a fix for this issue before it loses its credibility.

  17. February 8, 2012 at 4:22 am

    just used a 7D last friday…it was DECENT lighting in some parts of the room, and i was at ISO 800….NOISY…..and tested some shots at ISO 1000….super grainy. I expected more and thought i was promised more. Pretty disappointing. I would rather use my 40D 🙂 and i was using the 70-200 2.8 L2

    we are sending it back this week. Just not worth it for what I do. the 5 is super worlds better.

  18. 18 feliks kleyner
    March 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Potential to print larger was the reason to buy 7D. Unfortunately, it just did not work. I have returned 7D for the same reason, ugly noise with 100 – 400 L IS at 200-400 ISO, much worse than on my 40D. The focusing in bright day conditions and at overcast at Mexico was better than on 40D.

  19. April 12, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Been using 7d for almost 2yrs, the noise issues when filming is terrible even when shooting in very good light conditions.

  20. 20 Sarahky21
    May 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I have the same problems as those described above. I am scratching my head because I will get a few GREAT images and then noise ridden, ruined ones. I have tried different lighting, different ISO settings, lenses… Still 1% decent and the rest make me want to puke. My Rebel took better photos. I tried my brother’s 7D and his doesn’t have all the noise. I am highly disappointed.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:00 pm


  22. 22 Ellz
    June 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I just got my 7D a month ago coming from a 5D classic and a 30D. I wasn’t sure what to expect except for the amazing videos I’ve seen online by videographers using the 7D. Still images seem to be fine but it’s the video function that’s killing me. Shooting at ISO 160 outside at noon when the sun is centered above, I still notice a large amount of noise. I’m starting to think that it’s not completely the camera but rather the video compression that’s doing it. I’m disappointed since I’ve waited this long to get one. My next option is to get a 5Dii or 5Diii or wait for the new 7D firmware to hit and see if it solves anything.

  23. 23 tim neate
    June 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    get a nikon d7000

  24. July 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Took my new 7D out on a 3 week road trip out back oz. Totally miffed and frustrated with the noise at 400iso. Was shooting birds with it. Everything else about the camera
    was sweet but I can’t live with the noise. Now to figure what to do!

  25. 25 Simi
    August 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm


    I use the software dfine 2.0 from NIK, that has a debanding function. It works as a plug in with Lightroom and other programs. Also in Lightroom I get a better colour noise reduction with the TIFF/JPEG generated for work with the plug in. My Canon EOS 7D was also in service, but the banding ist still there – for pictures that need higher post production (shadow recovery). As expected no improvent of the vertical banding with firmware 2.0. May we get a 7DMKII next year with a Sony EXMOR sensor 😉

    Enjoy your camera!

  26. August 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Also have the same problem, upgraded from a 50D but feels more like a downgrade, I mean noise at iso 100 is rediculous, and i dont have cheap lenses either, so theres no excuse for bad image quality with such an expensive body. For the meanwhile i bought an old bashed up 1d mk 2 allthough its only 8mp image quality is way better.

    There are two solutions, buy a different body or canon must bring out a new version with decent noise reducing capabilities,or plain simply a better sensor!

  27. 27 Simi
    August 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    You may try Dfine 2.0. This software has a debanding function.

  28. August 12, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Hi There! I don’t know how I did not see these comments about 7D before or else I would not have purchased it about 4 weeks back. I sold my 450D and an HP Touchpad + my hard earned money to buy this camera hoping to get fantastic quality of my shots. All now gone to vain – all my images has so much noise and I am so frustrated. How could a company like Canon could do this to their loyal customer. My father introduced me to Canon which he left behind before he died and I grew up with that. Later I bought SX10, 450D and now with 7D I am completely devastated. I am going to take it back to the Canon dealer from whom I bought this camera. How could they lie on their ad and website? I don’t know how could all those people say that it produces amazing picture!! Were they all paid to put these comments!!! One of my friends told me to buy Nikon – I am now totally regretting it. I even upgraded to Firmware version 2.0 – but no change at all. Can Canon survive by doing this to their thousands of 7D users???!

  29. August 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I dont have this problem with my 7D. You all probably got crappy units. Return and get a replacement or contact canon to fix

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  31. 31 carl cooper
    May 8, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Hi all, i just bought the 7d from ebay second hand so very new to this camera. i still have my 300d which is a great little camera but it’s getting old like me lol.
    i’m not having the problems that your guys are having but in lightroom 4 all looks fine until i hit zoom to check for sharpness. i use lightrooms zoom that you hit the left mouse button, it is grainy but i don’t know what the zoom is on lightroom, it must be well over 100%, it must be a lot due to it zooms into say a birds head. again this is odd as lightroom adds it’s own sharpness which helps with colour noise which is only light, my ISO is from 100-400 and is ok but lightroom makes the noise look way worse.

    i can’t say about it’s focus due to my slow sigma 170-500mm lens but when the lens gets there the photos are sharp.
    can i say if the camera was made this bad would it of ever made it in any shops, hope you get yours sorted out because this is a fine camera.

    ps i’m not using any of the cameras processing

  32. 32 carl cooper
    May 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Hi me again. all i can say this is very odd. i have a photo of a bird with the back ground out of focus as you do, the ISO is 250 and at 100% zoom there is loads of noise, there are all colours in lightroom 4 in raw but sending it to CS6 gets rid of all colour noise but leaves just the grain, how odd is that. so just did a mini bridge in CS6 did nothing to the photo in the cs6 raw zoomed in and there’s no colour noise just that grain, send it to cs6 as jpeg again no colour noise, lol whats going on with lightroom 4. have i found some odd problem or is my lightroom not set up right, so a noises camera and and odd lightroom problem.

  33. 33 Dillon Magnuson
    August 29, 2013 at 7:09 am

    same crap here. severe banding noise at iso 200. I’m sending my camera to “Will it Blend”

  34. May 10, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I’ve just realised this. Was processong a shot last night which was shot at 400 ISO and I couldn’t believe the noise. My 40D is better at 800 ISO than the 7D is at 400 ISO.
    I’ve read about in camera NR settings so will take a look at that when I’ve got time.
    Failing that this body will be going back to be looked at!

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