Elan 7/7E and 7N/7NE were released in 2000 and 2004, respectively. EOS 7S is the JDM version of Elan 7NE Date. They are midrange bodies in EOS family, with pentaprism viewfinder, 1/4000 s shutter speed, and metal lens and tripod mounts. With many shared parts (such as back film door, eyepiece cup and more), the four models look similar, except finer and smoother texture surfaces of top and front panels on 7/7E than on 7N/7NE (the panels are made of aluminium), sliver color of LCD frame on 7/7e vs. black frame and backlight of LCD on 7N/7NE. On the two top dials of 7N/7NE, marked letters are elevated rather than printed as on 7/7E. Furthermore, under the hood, 7N/7NE have an upgrade AF system and E-TTL flash metering system.
Although AF points increase to 7 in 7/7E and 7N/7NE (vs. 3 in Elan II/IIE and EOS 55), the eye-controlled DOF as in Elan IIE disappeared in 7E and 7NE. The vertical dial on the back door (Quick Control Dial named by Canon) was not passed on to later Canon EOS T2 and EOS DSLR. In stead, some Canon DSLR bodies have a horizontal rear dial like those on Nikon N80, N75 and Minolta Maxxum 7.
Build quality of 7/7E and 7N/7NE are very good. The big eyepiece cup fits well to my glasses and sunglasses. If possible, get a body with the eye-control, which is amazing. By May of 2011, I have not seen any Canon DSLR with the eye control. All models numbered by 7 have both wireless remote and electric cord controls. I prefer them, but other brands such as Nikon N80 still use the traditional screwed-on shutter release cable.
If you are looking for a mid-range-price 35mm film camera body, consider/test these Elan 7/7N bodies before you buy.