Can the Canon EOS 7D Mark II hold its own against the newer Nikon D500? Antony Henson finds out
Canon EOS 7D Mark II and Nikon D500: Verdict
From the moment I first used the Canon EOS 7D Mark II following its launch in September 2014, I thought it was a brilliant camera. With the exception of Wi-Fi connectivity, it had just about every feature I wanted in a tough, weatherproof body.
Its blistering 10fps shooting rate is perfect for shooting sport and its 65-point AF system is fast and accurate. And although some find its customisation options confusing, these can be extremely useful.
The evaluative metering system is also good, balancing the brightness of the scene well in most situations.
The fact that the 7D Mark II’s specification compares so well with that of the Nikon D500 is a mark of how far ahead of the game it was at the time it was announced. However, there are little tell-tale signs of its age now.
For example, the D500 doesn’t make huge use of its touchscreen functionality, but it makes reviewing images much more intuitive. I know it’s only using swipes and screen taps instead of pressing buttons, but I somehow feel more immersed in the images. It would be nice if Nikon could add an on-screen rating button to tag images before they are downloaded though.
Compared to the EOS 7D Mark II’s fixed screen, the D500’s tilting screen is also very useful. A vari-angle screen would be even better, helping with low-angle upright shots. Nevertheless, the tilting screen is good for low or high-level, landscape-format images and it’s a godsend for videographers.
Speaking of which, video enthusiasts are likely to be drawn by the D500’s 4K capability. However, its live view and video AF system are nowhere near as good as the 7D Mark II’s. Seasoned filmmakers will be used to shooting with manual focus anyway, but it’s disappointing that Nikon hasn’t progressed its DSLRs’ live view AF system to include phase-detection focusing.
Nikon’s SnapBridge system makes sharing images a real breeze. I love how the D500 can send images automatically to my phone.Although there are a couple of handling niggles with the D500, its speedy focusing and superb detail make it a really great camera and a worthy winner of this duel. Just don’t get too excited about those uppermost sensitivity expansion settings.