Beautiful DSLR, built for speed, Canon EOS 7D Mark II is a huge upgrade from its predecessor. The Mark II is an amazing camera with notably improved performance and a couple of new features. It is completely rebuilt and redesigned and created primarily for sports, action and wildlife photographers.
It borrows many features and specifications from the 1D-series model but it is far more affordable. Mark II also continues the heritage featuring an even more powerful and drastically better autofocus system with 65 AF points, all of which are cross-type, Dual DIGIC 6 processor, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, more advanced video features and improved build quality.
However, there is one thing missing, there is no Wi-Fi connection, which is a shame because it doesn’t allow you to control the camera remotely via Canon’s smartphone app. There is, of course, an explanation for such a disappointment: the Wi-Fi has been left out because the metal body of the camera could jeopardize the Wi-Fi performance.
Learn more about the Canon 7D MK II on Amazon.
Canon 7D Mk II Specifications
Here are some of the pros and cons:
Excellent image quality, high ISO performance, amazing autofocus system, excellent burst speed, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and great build quality are only some of the reasons to buy this speedy sports camera. Video quality is also great
No Wi-Fi, no Image stabilization and disappointing Phase-detect AF in low-light are certainly not the reasons not to buy it but surely are the flaws.
Build and Design
A little larger and heavier than its predecessor, Mark II feels nice and solid and it is comfortable in hand. The body itself is already heavy because of the full magnesium alloy shell, but the weight difference between this camera and the original 7D can be attributed to the Mark II’s improved dust and water resistance.
Handling-like it’s amazing; it has a textured coating on the grips and the thumb ridge on the rear that make it quite secure in your hand.
There is a status display on the top of the camera with three buttons above it. Each of those buttons has two functions which are changing by pressing. When you press the button you’ll have two options: you can turn the dial on the back or the dial on the top of the camera in order to change the compatible setting.
It can be a little confusing in the beginning and it might take a while to remember what each button does. There is also a fourth button, slightly smaller than the other three, that sets off the light on the status LCD display, which makes it easier for you to use it in the dark.
There is also a regular, main display 3’’ color LCD placed on the back of the camera. You can also see the status on that display so you might ask why it needs the smaller one on the top. Well, it is quite simple, it makes the 7D Mark II quicker and easier to use while it also helps to save some battery life.
The LCD on the back has a fantastic resolution of 1,040,000 dots and it permits you to rate the sharpness of your images before viewing them on your computer.
Another important thing on the back of the camera is an optical viewfinder. It has a full 100% coverage with a magnification of 1.0x and diopter correction.
If you are a more experienced photographer you will be particularly interested to know that Mark II offers several manual and semi-manual modes which are great for those of you who want more progressive exposure control. There is a stubby and positive dial placed on the top of the camera body that allows you to control some settings manually, and you can prevent it from accidentally moving with the central lock button.
Besides the ‘creative zone,’ as they call it in the Canon, there are also all the normal settings that you are used to like Program, Aperture and Shutter Priority and the full Manual mode.
Underneath the shooting mode dial, you’ll find the power switch.
There is also the Multi-Function button which is placed next to the shutter release button, then there is the Multi-Function button (M-Fn) that leads you through the many AF area choices: Manual Spot AF, Manual 1-Point AF, Expand AF Area and Expand AF Area which offers an even longer list of AF settings.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II produces amazing images that look great straight from the camera. With its pixel count of 20.2 million pixels, it can easily stand alongside with 24 million pixel cameras. But then, there are also some cameras around that produce superb images with only 16 million pixels.
Through the native sensitivity range, it controls the noise magnificently, but it doesn’t handle the expansion settings very well, as usual. Those can be used only when images need to be viewed in small sizes.
The JPEG images captured at ISO 51,200 (which is the expansion maximum) have luminance noise visible. At the ISO 25,600, there is still a lot of luminance noise, but the colors are better controlled.
Stepping down to the ISO 16,000 the image is improved significantly. Images still look a little soft at 100% but there is a noticeable increase in detail resolution and less false-color visible. All the way down at the ISO 100 images have lots of detail visible, but there is still just a tiny bit of luminance noise in some areas (at 100%).
One of the most impressive things about this camera is definitely the new 252-zone metering system that gathers data from 150000-pixel and an infrared sensor and it does a great job of taking the brightness of the whole scene into account, preventing you from having over or underexposed shots.
Also impressive, 65-point autofocus might be a reason to buy the Mark II. It is both fast and accurate and it won’t disappoint you even in low light situations. It is complemented with seven focus point selection modes and various AF Al servo adjustment options that can be used in a continuous AF mode.
You can set the AF Al servo characteristics via a selection of shooting scenario Case Studies and if you chose it correctly along with the correct AF, you’ll see that it does a great job.
What type of photography is Canon EOS 7D Mark II good for?
Even if you have already fallen in love with this camera, you probably aren’t sure is it the right fit for you. In this section, we will review Canon EOS 7D Mark II in 5 different photography areas and hopefully help you decide whether this camera is the right fit for you or not.
|Sensor Resolution 20 MP
|Manual Focus Mode
|External flash shoe
|Ergonomics and handling
|Manual exposure mode
|Image Stabilization (IS Lenses)
The sensor resolution of 20 MP assures large prints of your portrait shots and it provides the shallow depth of field and blurry background, which you will definitely want for your portrait shots.
Good handling with a camera is really important during portrait shooting, just as good placement of the physical controls on the camera body. That allows you to change the camera settings faster and more intuitive.
Using a viewfinder allows you to stabilize the camera and reduce the camera shake, which is the only thing you can do about it while hand holding the camera unless you have an image stabilization lens. It is also very handy, especially under bright sunlight, when is hard to read the LCD screen.
For a great portrait shot, you really need to nail the focus perfectly which is even easier with manual focus mode available on this camera.
With the only thing missing from the table, Mark II proved to be an EXCELLENT candidate for this photography category.
|Fixed LCD Screen
|Image Stabilization (IS Lenses)
|No Built-in viewfinder
|Manual Focus Mode
|APS-C sensor size
Live-view is very useful for street photography where you don’t want to get people’s attention, but using the viewfinder allows you to stabilize the camera and reduce the camera shake which is really important since it doesn’t have image stabilization.
Face detection is a very helpful feature for street photography because it allows you to focus on framing and other settings while the camera focuses perfectly for you. However, if you aren’t satisfied with how your camera focuses on its own you can always focus manually.
With manual focusing available you can also play with one of the most popular techniques amongst street photography – Zone focusing.
Although the JPEG files are more attractive out of the camera, RAW files contain much more color information and it is great to have both shooting capabilities available. RAW also gives you space for post preparing without huge quality loss and those files provide more extensive dynamic range and option to recover shadow and highlight cut-out to some degree.
The large sensor in Mark II ensures a good light image quality and provides the shallow depth of field with a nice blurry background that you will probably need for street photography.
In the end, all of that makes it an average candidate for this type of photography.
|10 fps continuous shooting
|1/8000 Shutter speed
|Battery life 670 shots
|No Built-in Wi-Fi (requires separate accessory)
|Image Stabilization (IS Lenses)
|Ergonomics & Handling
|65 Cross-Type Focus Sensor
|65 Focus Points
|Good Low Light ISO
|1080mm Tele lens
When it comes to sports photography, you want your camera to be as fast as possible. Continuous shooting is one of the most important features in this category, along with the shutter speed.
In sports photography, faster is always better and continuous shooting at 10 fps is pretty fast. In combination with fast enough 1/8000s shutter speed this camera can track and freeze almost any sports action.
However, this kind of shooting lasts for a long time in most sports events which drains the battery pretty fast. Luckily, with a battery life of 670 shots per change, you hopefully won’t have to change batteries much in the middle of an event.
However, without the built-in Wi-Fi, you won’t be able to transfer files simultaneously without having to change the memory card which would be really useful in situations like sports events. Wi-Fi capability is available with the optional WF-E1 adaptor B01KURGUZG
Since all of the subjects are usually moving sports photography, you will be really disappointed that you don’t have the image stabilization. It would reduce any kind of camera shake while you are tracking your subject. Make sure you get one of the Canon IS (Image Stabilization) lenses. Without it, I recommend using a tripod to avoid shaking your camera.
The build of the camera is good enough for most of the conditions you might find yourself in. Since a lot of sports events are held outdoors, weather sealing is important. You will need your camera to be ready for some bad conditions because exposure to dust and water are very common in this photography category. Luckily Mark II has Environmental Sealing so you won’t have to worry.
This camera was actually made for wildlife and sports photography and it is undoubtedly an EXCELLENT candidate for this category.
|Requires Separate Lenses
The first thing that you want for your daily camera is to be small and light because that is the only camera you will be using for the day. We can agree that carrying 820g (plus lenses) around for the whole day would be at least uncomfortable and it surely isn’t pocketable with a thickness of 78mm.
However, you would like your daily camera to be ready for all kinds of conditions, and Mark II definitely is with the Environmental sealing.
We can conclude that Canon EOS 7D Mark II is just an average candidate for this photography category.
|Sensor resolution 20.0 MP
|Large APS-C Sensor
Large, high-resolution sensor is perfect for landscape photography because it provides a shallow depth of field and nice blurry background. It also ensures good low light images and higher pixel quality.
To shoot a landscape you usually have to go outside, and that’s why you will love the environmental sealing that Mark II has.
Also, the Live-view will make it easier for you to make fine focus adjustments, but having the viewfinder too is great, especially in the bright sunlight when is hard to read the screen.
The built-in GPS is also a useful feature when it comes to shooting landscapes. It often happens that the photographer wants to go back to a point where he had a shoot a shot earlier in a different weather condition. If you record the location via GPS, you will be able to find it easier.
When shooting outdoors you will want a wide-angle lens which is crucial for shooting landscapes. The 7d uses interchangeable lenses and is compatible with EF-S series lenses. Most full-frame (EF) lenses will also work. Check out our roundup of lenses for the Canon 7D.
With the appropriate lenses, the Canon 7D Mark II is a Good camera for this category.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II is definitely one of the fastest cameras in its category, and it is obviously made for a Canon fan looking for speed.
When it comes to the dynamic range it can’t really compete with other larger sensors, but it’s not a portrait or landscape camera anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. As you could have noticed Mark II has a slightly smaller sensor than other APS-C sensors on the market, but it still does a good job at high ISOs which is all that matters in the end.
Overall, I think Canon EOS 7D Mark II is a really impressive fast sports and wildlife camera.
Shop for the Canon 7D MK II on Amazon.