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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Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – Build and Handling

The type of photographer who will use the 7D Mark II is likely to subject it to pretty challenging conditions. It’s reassuring, then, to see that Canon has not scrimped on the build quality. The camera body is made of durable magnesium alloy, and weather sealing has been improved over its predecessor, making the 7D Mark II the second-best weather-sealed DSLR in Canon’s line-up behind the flagship EOS-1D X.

During my test of the 7D Mark II I subjected it to some brutal weather conditions that gave it a thorough soaking, and it came through without damage. I can confirm first-hand that you can take the camera out in the rain with nothing to fear!

The 7D Mark II’s body shape is almost identical to that of the 7D, but the button layout is much more like the EOS 5D Mark III. The Q menu has been moved to the right side of the LCD, and other buttons have been shifted around to accommodate a rate button. This is particularly useful for highlighting the best shots from a burst sequence. The rear dial gains inset touch buttons for changing settings silently during video recording. Also, Canon has opted for a locking mode dial, to help prevent accidental changes.

Making its debut on this camera is a thumb-operated sprung lever, which is centred around the joystick on the rear of the camera. This can be assigned to carry out multiple functions. I found setting it up to toggle through AF area selection options was great when shooting with a long lens. However, when I wasn’t shooting in this way, I assigned the lever to be pulled down to give me the option of using the front dial to change ISO sensitivities. It’s one of the most useful functions I’ve seen on a camera. Without taking my eye from the viewfinder, everything was available for me.

Tapping the Q button brings up the quick menu on the LCD screen. From here, there are numerous custom controls and button reassignment options. As standard, the 7D Mark II comes with a new, longer-lasting LP-E6N battery, although it will still work with older LP-E6 batteries.

LCD/viewfinder

Canon EOS 7D Mark II reviewThe 7D Mark II’s TFT Clear View II LCD has an ample 1.04-million-dot resolution. It’s very easy to see and has accurate colour rendition, but I’m disappointed by the omission of both touch sensitivity and LCD articulation. These are both really useful on the EOS 70D, especially for video work.

A transmissive LCD panel is located above the focusing screen, which allows information to be visible through the viewfinder. This can be turned on/off or set up to suit the photographer’s needs. I found the dual-axis electronic level to be very useful. Gridlines are available to aid with composition, and various settings, such as focus, drive and metering modes, can be displayed in the viewfinder too.

  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.