It was the first of Canon's rangefinder cameras to have a built-in lightmeter. This is a dual-range selenium meter (the low range is EV 6-13 at ISO 100, and the high rage EV 12-19): the range is selected with the small knurled knob beside the finder eyepiece, to show either a black dot (low sensitivity; i.e. high EV) or an organe one (high sensitivity) in the hole above the knob. The meter is coupled to the shutter speed dial, which incorporates the film-speed dial. The meter output is a needle-meter giving aperture values in the centre of the top plate.
The camera has a focal plane shutter with metal curtains, travelling horizontally. This has speeds 1 - 1/1000 second, plus 'B', 'T' and an 'X' position for flash synchronisation at 1/60 second. The synchronisation is by a PC socket on the left-hand end of the top housing. In order to accomodate the meter in the top housing, there is no built-in flash shoe.
The Canon 7 has a normal 39 mm screw lens mount, and in addition a bayonet mount (bayonet mount 'M') to accomodate the 50 mm f/0.95 lens made specially for this camera.
The viewfinder has brightline frames for 35, 50, 85 and 135 mm lenses; one of these is selected with a dial on the top plate. The finder has automatic parallax correction.
Film advance is by a lever, and there is a frame counter, which resets automatically when the back is opened. Rewind is by a folding crank; the film is released for rewinding in the 'R' position of the collar round the shutter release button. The back opens with a catch on the left hand end, but there is also a lock on the bottom of the camera.
There is a self-timer on the front of the body.
- Canon 7 with the 50 mm f/0.95 lens, sold in the November 2011 Westlicht Photographica Auction in Vienna.