With 10fps burst speed and 65 AF points, is the 7D Mark II the ultimate action camera? Callum McInerney-Riley finds out in our Canon EOS 7D Mark II review

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • - Fast 10 fps continuous shooting with large buffer
  • - Ultra-fast autofocusing system with 65 cross-type AF points
  • - Crop-frame camera giving more reach with telephoto lenses

Cons:

  • - No built-in Wi-Fi
  • - No touchscreen or tilting LCD

Product:

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review

Manufacturer:

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Introduction

Canon EOS 7D Mark II – At a Glance

  • 20.2-million-pixel, APS-C sensor
  • 65-point autofocus system
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • Dual Pixel AF in live view and video
  • ISO 100-51,200 (extended)
  • 3in, 1.04-million-dot LCD screen
  • Price £1,599 (body only)

Canon certainly can’t be accused of having a short product cycle with the EOS 7D series. It is five years since the original Canon EOS 7D was launched, but the follow-up is finally here.

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II boasts a host of features tailored for wildlife and sports photographers, such as a 10fps shooting speed, a cropped-frame sensor and a very advanced autofocusing system.

Bundling all this together into a durable, weather-sealed body makes a very exciting prospect for any enthusiast action photographer who cannot justify the expense of sports and wildlife monsters such as the Nikon D4S or the Canon EOS-1D X.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – Features

Canon EOS 7D Mark II reviewThe Canon EOS 7D Mark II features a 20.2-million-pixel CMOS sensor, which Canon describes as new but is probably closely related to the sensor in the EOS 70D. It’s an APS-C-sized unit with a 1.6x focal length magnification, meaning a 100mm lens will act as a 160mm equivalent. For users who rely upon long focal length lenses this is a big advantage, as it gives more reach.

The improvement to continuous shooting further increases the camera’s appeal to wildlife and sports photographers. As well as increasing the frames per second from the 8fps of the 7D to 10fps, the 7D Mark II has a huge buffer. Providing the card is fast enough, the camera can shoot full-resolution JPEG images until the card is full, and it’s also possible to shoot and write a burst of 31 raw images in one go.

Two separate Digic 6 processors work together to deliver this very impressive performance. In addition to the speed increase, they should also improve the in-camera JPEG image processing.

An impressive leap forward has been made when it comes to the ISO sensitivity range. The 7D had a rather limited native range of ISO 100-6400 (extended to ISO 12,800), while the 7D Mark II has an ISO sensitivity of 100-16,000, with two extended options of ISO 25600 (H1) and ISO 51,200 (H2).

It is surprising that there is no Wi-Fi connectivity included on the 7D Mark II. However, it is compatible with Eye-Fi SD cards, which can easily transfer files wirelessly to a mobile device.

On the top of the camera, in front of the hotshoe, is a small GPS module. This can record the latitude and longitude of where an image was taken, along with the direction in which the camera was pointing. There is also an option to track the photographer’s location even if they’re not shooting. Both functions can be disabled.

Canon says the 7D Mark II is likely to be bought not only by photographers looking to upgrade from an entry-level camera, but also existing 7D and pro-level camera owners. For this reason, two card slots, for SD and Compact Flash, have been included.

Full HD 1920 x 1080-resolution video can be recorded at up to 60fps in NTSC and 50fps in PAL. There are also options for 30fps, 25fps and 24fps. Using the HDMI port, it’s possible to output uncompressed (4:2:2) video to an external recorder. One useful feature is an improved bulb mode. Instead of needing a cable release to shoot exposures longer than 30secs, you can now specify a time in the menu.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – Build and Handling
  3. 3. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – Performance
  4. 4. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – Image Quality
  5. 5. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – Verdict
  6. 6. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – First Look
  7. 7. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – Full Specification
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  • Randip Sangha

    I’d say if shooting video is not a priority get a Pentax K-3, much cheaper and as much or more rugged, higher resolution

  • entoman

    Don’t worry about noise. I’ve got a 6D and a 7DMkII and I’ve done low light high ISO side by side tests to compare the quality. With NR turned OFF on both cameras, the 7DMkII only lags behind the 6D by about 1 stop.

    I regularly shoot wildlife and macro on the 6D at ISO 1600-2000 and get no discernable noise. The 7DMkII produces identical results at ISO 800-1000. At these settings it will produce superb highly detailed and noise-free images good enough for 300dpi double-page spreads in books.

    It really is an absolutely superb camera, an incredibly versatile tool. It’s built like a tank but nevertheless handles like a dream, all controls perfectly positioned, with just the right amount of sensitivity and resistance.

    The 7DMkII is perfect for wildlife, macro, sports, travel, action and reportage. It’s also excellent for landscapes. I do agree totally that it would have been even better if Canon had used a 24 megapixel Sony sensor, but if you shoot landscapes at ISO 400 the results are as detailed and noise-free as a 6D, 5DMkIII or D610.

    I’ve owned and used many DSLRs from Nikon, Sony and Canon. I can honestly say that the 7DMkII in my opinion is the best all round pro-standard DSLR on the market today.

  • craigs_gator

    Yes you did miss something because it is in the 7DMII and it is improved.

  • Dean Gill

    The reason why you do not have Wifi on the 7D Mark II is because of the casing. It’s different from the 70D. The casing on the 7D Mark II blocks the Wifi signal, however in return the 7D Mark II gives you better weather protection and can take more abuse(stronger).

  • entoman

    Er.. what is the relevance of that remark? No one has mentioned EOS-1V in this thread.

  • Adam Johnston

    Sony has among the worse performing APS-C camera’s on the market! They always have.

  • Adam Johnston

    Did you have an articulating screen on EOS-1V??? Nope didnt think so!

  • Eamonn Phillipson

    For me the top issue with my 7D is noise. (4+ years; nearly 20000 shutter count.) Canon need to make a fundamental change. Compared to others – notably Sony, the high ISO/Low light performance is unnecessarily poor. Though the sensor’s dynamic range is fine.
    It is technically “easy” to select silicon die, that generate low noise, from any given wafer. Use better ADC’s (which also generate noise) too and one would have a far more attractive tool for making photographs.
    If Sony can do it (NEX-7; A7 for example) why not Canon?
    “Feature set” is of little value if the RAW file is plagued by lesser quality than lower cost alternatives. If it were not for my investment in lenses, I would be using an A7R today and not reading this review – and having my hopes dashed. (again)
    Wake up Canon.

  • entoman

    I agree that fitting an articulated screen or a tilting screen would make the camera less robust and more difficult to waterproof, but other makers are beginning to fit them to professional cameras (e.g. Panasonic GH4) so it is certainly not impossible to waterproof them. Canon have enough experience also to make an articulated screen robust. The screen on the 70D is excellent. Tilting or articulated screens are regarded as essential by many photographers (I’m a pro, and I wish I had articulating screen on my 6D and 7D bodies!).

    Yes, to a certain degree it is true that the 7DMkII is designed as a sports/action camera, but I think Nikon and Canon are both making a big mistake in their marketing policies i.e producing cameras aimed at certain types of photography, rather than producing cameras that are truly versatile. We all shoot a variety of subjects, and it shouldn’t be necessary to have to buy different bodies for each. Not at this sort of price!

  • CHRIS

    I have just compared the price for the 400mm USM L DO mark 2

    Adorama USA $6899

    Wex photographic UK £6999 – £1399.80 VAT 20% = £5599.20

    5599.20 x 1.55 (exchange rate) = 8678.76 dollar price

    $8678.76 – $6899 = $1779.76 more

    1779.76 – 1.55 = £ 1148.24 more
    The Maths speak for themselves.
    I will be buying grey imports in the future.

  • CHRIS

    You are right about the prices in the UK.
    I have resorted to grey imports for the last 3 years.
    And have saved something in the region of a thousand pounds.
    (this includes the import duty for all of the items).
    You read the posts saying that there’s no UK warranty.
    All the items so far have been OK and most of the stuff comes
    from Japanese sources (the menu is in Japanese easy to change)
    via HK and for the money saved shipping back would not be to difficult.
    (you are also covered by the ebay warranty anyway)
    If enough people purchased gray imports it would force prices down.

  • 40D user

    I was hoping to replace my lovely EOS 40D with this, and to an extent still do. I don’t mind about the fixed screen as I rarely shoot in Live View, I’m not interested in touch screen as I’d be worried about fingerprints, and I’d not use Wi-Fi. What concerns me is the price. $2,000 equates to about £1,250, which is about what I expected. £1,600 is a joke and another example of us in the Uk being ripped off. It’s hardly as if they have to convert it to right hand drive!!

  • entoman

    This would be the best APS DSLR on the market if not for 2 major omissions i.e. an articulated rear screen, and a switch to toggle between single shot and auto-bracket. Disappointed by the sensor – at this price I expect a 24megapixel sensor with excellent noise control at ISO 1600. Isn’t it about time they swapped the dual-function buttons on the top plate for 6D-type single-function buttons? And, how about using better lenses in the viewfinder, to give a bigger view? All in all a great camera for sports/action photographers, but after 5 years of waiting I was hoping for more.

  • Luke Robinson

    Am I missing something or did the Dual Pixel CMOS AF from the 70D also not make it into this model? That’s a little surprising to me especially as they are touting its video capabilities. As a current 7D owner, the lack of that and the lack of wifi does put me off a bit.