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
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – Performance
Where the 7D Mark II shows the most dramatic improvements is in autofocusing, with a remarkable 65 focus points covering a large portion of the frame. What’s more, all are cross-type, so they can focus on both horizontal and vertical detail. The centre point even focuses at -3EV, which is essentially moonlight.
The centre point is sensitive to f/2.8, which improves accuracy with fast lenses. Also, for the first time, it works down to f/8. This means it’s possible to use a telephoto lens with a teleconverter and still have autofocus, providing the effective maximum aperture is f/8 or larger.
Advanced iTR AF tracking uses image information provided by Canon’s new 150,000-pixel metering sensor to track subjects across a frame. Like the EOS-1D X and the 5D Mark III, the 7D Mark II has an advanced focusing menu that allows users to configure the AF system for what type of subject they’re shooting. In use, I found the continuous focusing worked very well, and the different settings do help to achieve better results.
My first outing with the camera was to shoot an event in the Lightbox club in London. The lighting conditions presented a real challenge for any autofocusing system, but the 7D Mark II performed brilliantly. Using all 65 points, the camera quickly found the right point of focus and the hit rate of sharp shots was very high.
When shooting deer in dense woodland, I opted to shoot with a small cluster of AF points and move it across the frame using the joystick control on the rear of the camera. It made focusing very fast in operation and I got the shots I wanted without fault.
Like the 70D, the 7D Mark II has Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which provides better focusing in video. One improvement over the 70D, though, is its ability to change the AF drive speed for smoother focus pulls. However, the focusing in live view still isn’t as fast or decisive as using the viewfinder.
A new 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor provides four options for metering, partial, spot, evaluative and centreweighted average. All these settings give accurate results, striking a good balance between shadow and highlight detail. Evaluative metering is linked to all 65 AF points and I found there were no issues with inaccurate metering when this setting was used in the right situation. For most of my shooting, I rarely needed to switch metering from that setting.