Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review – God of the Wind


When Canon announced their EOS 7D Mark II, it was greeted with much fanfare. How would Canon improve upon their best APS-C DSLR? Would the much coveted dual-pixel autofocus system from the 70D find its way to it? How would it perform in high-speed scenarios? To find out, I decided to call Canon up and ask them for a review unit.

What’s new in the 7D Mark II?

The 7D Mark II with the EF-S 18-135mm kit lens attached

The best action-oriented camera from Canon has just got better. The physical dimensions have got larger by a few millimeters, and the 7D Mark II is heavier than the 7D at 910g. And as was expected, the megapixel count has been upped from 18.0MP to 20.2MP. Fret not, however. Together with increasing the pixel count, Canon has also increased the sensor size from 332.27mm2 to 337.5mm2 to alleviate any issues with increased noise.

In terms of the sensor generation, we see the older dual-Digic 4 processors give way to dual-Digic 6 ones, which also means that the burst mode has shot up from 8 FPS to 10 FPS. Action photographers will also be hugely pleased to find out that the focus points have gone from 19 cross-type AF points to a whopping 65 cross-type AF points — the same system as is found in the flagship 1Dx. Buffer capacity has also seen a huge boost, going from 22 JPGs and 16 RAWs to 103 JPGs and 26 RAWs.

Side-on view with the 18-135mm
Side-on view with the 18-135mm

More goodies we see is the maximum native ISO sensitivity shoot up from 6400 to 16000, expandable to ISO-25600 and -51200 as well. Screen resolution has also received a slight nudge, pushing it up from 0.92M to 1.04M dots.

As far as metering goes, it too has received an upgrade, now featuring 252-zone evaluative metering, up from the 63-zone in the 7D. There is also the presence of an intervalometer for those looking to shoot a timelapse.

Carrying on the feature we saw in the 70D, there is also dual-pixel CMOS autofocus, which makes autofocus during live-view and videos much faster and precise. How it works is by featuring two photodiodes in every pixel, and each reads light separately when using the display to focus. What’s more, video buffs will be pleased to know it can now also shoot at 1080/60p or 50p, and can even store the video files in MP4 format alongside the existing MOV format.

There's both CF and SD-card slots
There’s both CF and SD-card slots now

Storage options have also changed. No longer do you need to swap cards in a hurry during events — aside from the CF-card slot, there is also an SD-card slot. Other miscellaneous upgrades we see included are a built-in GPS, and a switch from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0.

So, with that out of the way, shall we begin?

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