Canon 7D Mark II

To say that this upgrade to Canon’s popular 7D has been “long anticipated” would be an understatement. It’s been a long five years since Canon announced the original. Frederick and Doug ask, “Was it worth the wait?”

The Mark II has excellent autofocus in both normal and (thanks to Dual-Pixel technology borrowed from the 70D) LiveView modes. It’s going to be an excellent camera for action and sports, and particularly good as a APS-C second body to those already shooting with a Canon 5D.

But Doug zips up his flak jacket and says, “Image quality is not the strength of this camera.” Particularly when there are competing bodies available for one-quarter the price.

5 Comments

  1. I have to agree with much of what is said on this review and I am a Canon shooter. Specifically I shoot wildlife and general nature/travel. We waited a long time for this camera and all the people I talked to wanted image quality to be the main concern with this release. Although Canon improved the IQ, I don’t think they met their target audience’s full expectations. Is it time for Canon to go third party on their sensors to break through the IQ barrier?

    I currently shoot the 7D and I am in no hurry to upgrade to the Mark II. If they had given me two stops better on the raw noise issues I would have to consider, but the 7D has a more than great auto-focus and can shoot at 8fps. Martin Bailey also recently reviewed this camera and found auto-focus issues which hopefully will be corrected with a firmware update.

    I would like to say that currently mirrorless cameras are not a good option for serious wildlife photographers from both and auto-focus and lens selection perspective. Also it is unlikely that Canon will compete with it’s own 1 series line by making this camera a cheap version of it.

  2. I’m baffled by the idea of testing IQ with the kit lens. A $300 lens on a $1800 body isn’t exactly showing you much. You’re also underselling the value of the AF. What mirrorless bodies can stand in front of a kid on a swingset and fire off 10FPS and get them all in focus?

    I’m not planning on upgrading my 7D to the II, but proposing a $400 body as a better value proposition is illogical if the user actually needs AF that can refocus between shots and capture 10FPS.

    I’m getting the indication that you know that the 7D is great for wildlife and sports… yet you’re not quite sure why that is.

  3. I agree with many of Doug’s observations about Canon and the extended time it took to get this updated camera on the market. However, I disagree with some of his observations and rating of this camera. This review seems to be targeted towards who this camera is not for versus the pool of users for whom this camera is a stellar choice. Not until the 22-minute mark of the 24-minute podcast does that really get addressed. Even then, it is just briefly mentioned. The 7DM2 is a weather-sealed, rugged sports and action camera and is targeted to those who have those related needs in a Canon camera. I would include sports and wildlife pros, enthusiasts, and even family photographers wanting to move up a notch in the action photography world from perhaps an entry level DSLR which they have outgrown. It is not intended to be a general use or family camera, which as Doug points out, there are much better choices.

    I have been shooting local high school sports and some college sports, especially football, for the past few years. I use to shoot with a 7D, which I replaced with a 5DM3 as I got tired of waiting for the 7D2. The 5DM3 was fine in most respects for my needs, but I missed the speed and extra reach from the crop sensor 7D. I also own a 6D. I was able to get a copy of the 7DII just before the season ended and was able to shoot two football games in decent daylight conditions. My results were very good and my keeper rate was improved over the 5DM3. I shoot with a Canon 70-300L as a primary lens and the 24-70L f/4 for closer shots and the 70-200 f/2 for night and low light. Based on what I want the 7D2
    for, I sold the 5DM3 and will hold onto the 6D as a second body for closer sideline and spectator non-action shots.

    I find the image quality to be very good and perfectly expectable for my standards including non-sports action use. Like another commenter, I think Doug’s image quality results were a direct result of using the kit lens which will not provide top-notch results. When Doug reviewed the Sony a6000, he did not like the image quality from the kit lens, and it is no different here with the 7DM2. To get the optimal results, you need to shoot with good glass. I also base my observations on actual 7DII prints in some larger sizes and also have made some excellent metal/aluminum etched prints from Mpix. I would mention also that just as the auto-focusing is excellent, so is the metering which just seems to get it right the majority of the time.

    I am not by any means a Canon fan-boy and own a Sony a6000 set-up and have shot micro 4/3s and mirror-less since its inception. Yes for many, the 7DM2 is not the right camera and there are better choices. But for some, it is a solid performer and an excellent choice. It can be viewed as Gordon Laing from Camera Labs said in his review – a mini 1DX and a value at its price point provided it
    meets your needs. Search the web and seek other real use field reviews especially from some pro sports shooters who have reviewed the 7DM2, and I think you will find it is a better camera and value in its niche than Doug’s conclusion.

  4. In the review you try very hard to compare this camera to about everything, but what does it really compare too? Can you compare it to a weather sealed Nikon that focuses like a d4 for $1800? How about a mirrorless camera that can actually focus at 10fps AND has a 500mm lens for birding available. You say if you don’t have Canon glass you wouldn’t recommend this camera. Who actually buys a huge weather sealed sports camera as their entry level camera to take pics of the kids? Canon and Nikon are sitting on their hands, not sure why but they are, I get that. Its not a Sony sensor we get that, but where is Nikon going to be when Sony has enough market share to quit providing their top sensor to other manufacturers The real question, is it a good camera for the people it is targeted for? Even better question, is it a good upgrade to users with a 7d or should they buy a 5d3 now that the price is dropping? Last, I really don’t want to handle an A7 with a 70-200 f2.8 on it, so quit comparing everything to that camera.

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