1) Canon 7D Mark II Specifications
Main Features and Specifications:
Sensor: 20.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 4.1µm pixel sizeSensor Size: 22.4 x 15.0mmResolution: 5472 x 3648Native ISO Sensitivity: 100-16,000Boost High ISO Sensitivity: 25,600-51,200Sensor Cleaning System: YesImage Processor: Dual DIGIC 6Autofocus System: 65-point all cross-type AF system with EV -3 sensitivityLens mount: Canon EFWeather Sealing/Protection: YesBody Build: Magnesium AlloyShutter: Up to 1/8000 and 30 sec exposureStorage: 1x CF and 1x SD (SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible)Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism with 100% coverageSpeed: 10.0 FPSExposure Meter: 150,000-pixel RGB+IR Metering SensorBuilt-in Flash: YesLCD Screen: 3.0 inch diagonal Clear View II LCD screen with 1,040,000 dotsMovie Modes: Up to 1920 x 1080 @ 60pMovie Output: H.264/MPEG-4 in MOV and MP4 formats, Uncompressed HDMI outIn-Camera HDR Capability: YesGPS: Built-inBattery Type: LP-E6N / LP-E6Battery Life: 670 (CIPA)USB Standard: 3.0Weight: 820g (excluding battery)Price: $1,799 MSRPCanon EOS 7D Mark II + EF 400mm f/5.6L USM @ 400mm, ISO 640, 1/2000,
2) Canon 7D Mark II vs Canon 7D vs Nikon D7100Camera FeatureCanon 7D Mark IICanon 7DNikon D7100Sensor Size22.4 x 15.0mm22.3 x 14.9mm23.5 × 15.6mmSensor Resolution20.2 MP18.0 MP24.1 MPSensor Pixel Size4.1µm4.3µm3.9µmImage Size5,472 x 3,6485,184 x 3,4566,000 x 4,000Viewfinder Type and CoveragePentaprism, 100%Pentaprism, 100%Pentaprism, 100%Built-in FlashYesYesYesStorage Media1x CF, 1x SD1x CF2x SDContinuous Shooting Speed10.0 FPS8.0 FPS6.0 FPSBuffer Size (RAW)31259Continuous Shooting Duration3.1 sec3.1 sec1.5 secShutter Durability200,000 cycles150,000 cycles150,000 cyclesNative ISO SensitivityISO 100-16,000ISO 100-6,400ISO 100-6,400Boosted ISO SensitivityISO 25,600-51,200ISO 12,800ISO 12,800-25,600Autofocus System65-point all cross-type AF19-point all cross-type AF51-point AF with 15 cross-type sensorsAF DetectionUp to f/8Up to f/5.6Up to f/8Video Maximum Resolution1920×1080 (1080p) @ Up to 60p1920×1080 (1080p) @ Up to 30p1920×1080 (1080p) @ Up to 60iLCD Size and Resolution3.0″, 1,040,000 dots3.0″, 921,000 dots3.2″, 1,228,800 dotsBuilt-in GPSYesNoNoBuilt-in Wi-FiNoNoNoConstructionFull Magnesium AlloyFull Magnesium AlloyPartial Magnesium AlloyBattery Life670 shots (CIPA)800 shots (CIPA)950 shots (CIPA)Weight (Body Only)820g820g675gDimensions148.6 x 112.4 x 78.2mm148.2 x 110.7 x 73.5mm135.5 x 106.5 x 76mm
When compared to its predecessor, the 7D Mark II shows improvements in many areas. First, the autofocus system is drastically better, with 65 AF points, all of which are cross-type. The 7D Mark II is clearly a better choice for use with teleconverters, since it can now autofocus at up to f/8. There is a slight bump in resolution from 18 MP to 20.2 MP. Next, maximum native ISO is increased to 16,000 from 6,400. The 7D Mark II adds a dual card slot for both CF and SD card types. The continuous shooting speed has increased from 8 to 10 FPS and the buffer size has also been slightly increased to keep the camera shooting for about the same duration. The 7D Mark II comes with a new shutter mechanism rated to 200K cycles compared to 150K on the 7D. Movie shooting has been improved with up to 60p @ 1920×1080 resolution. There is also now a built-in GPS on the 7D Mark II and the LCD screen resolution has been slightly improved too. The only downgrade is battery life – the 7D Mark II is CIPA-rated at 670 shots vs 800 shots on the original 7D. So in pretty much every way, the 7D Mark II has improved over its predecessor.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II + EF-S17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM @ 18mm, ISO 100, 1/2, f/5.6
The comparison to the D7100 is a bit tricky, because we are dealing with a different brand and a different class camera. To start off, the D7100 has a physically larger sensor and there is a 4 MP difference in image resolution. The autofocus systems are quite different, with the 7D Mark II having a 65-point all cross-type AF system vs the 51-point AF system with only 15 cross-type sensors, putting the 7D Mark II ahead of the D7100, at least on paper. Where the 7D Mark II clearly shines is the continuous shooting speed of 10 fps vs 6 fps on the D7100 and a larger buffer that allows for twice longer continuous shooting. The shutter mechanism is also rated higher on the 7D Mark II at 200K vs 150K on the D7100 and it sounds quieter in comparison. The 7D Mark II has a built-in GPS, while the D7100 does not. Where the D7100 comes out on the top is its bigger rear LCD screen with more dots, better battery life, lower weight and smaller size. The most important differences here are autofocus system, continuous shooting rate, buffer and image quality. Aside from image quality (refer to the camera comparisons page of the review), the 7D Mark II is certainly a more capable camera for capturing fast action. Like I pointed out earlier, the D7100 is not a direct rival to the 7D Mark II and there is a pretty big difference in price too, so these differences are expected…
3) Camera Construction and Handling
When it comes to build quality and construction, the Canon 7D Mark II is as good as it gets, thanks to its full magnesium alloy shell and much improved weather sealing over the original 7D that can easily withstand dust, rain and extreme humidity. Canon describes the 7D Mark II to be closer to the 1D X in terms of construction and weather sealing, so you do not have to worry about abusing this camera in the field, as it is designed to be.
The camera feels very solid in hands and truly does feel like a professional camera when compared to other DSLRs like the Nikon D7100. I have been using the 7D Mark II in very cold, below freezing conditions (we’ve had our share of very cold days in Colorado this winter) and pretty much got it soaked in rain several times – the camera performed flawlessly afterwards as if nothing had happened.
Handling-wise, the Canon 7D Mark II is superb. It definitely feels more comfortable to hand-hold than the D7100, pretty close to what the Nikon D810 feels like. The large grip is very nice and comfortable and the controls of the camera very much resemble the Canon 5D Mark III. In fact, aside from the added lever under the multi-controller, the slightly repositioned LOCK switch and the minor differences in shape of the camera, there is virtually no difference between the 7D Mark II and 5D Mark III on the top or the rear of the camera (Left: Canon 7D Mark II, Right: Canon 5D Mark III):
The camera is extremely customizable and many buttons on the camera can be set to perform different functions, which is expected from this class of a camera. From the Nikon shooter perspective, the toughest thing to get used to was the lack of a rear dial. I am very used to the dual dial setup on Nikon DSLRs (with one on the front and one on the back), which makes it easy to change aperture, shutter speed and other camera settings. On the Canon 7D Mark II, the top rotary dial changes its behavior depending on what mode you are in. For example, in aperture priority mode, the dial changes the lens aperture; in shutter priority and manual modes, it changes the camera shutter speed. The big rotary dial on the back of the camera is used for exposure compensation in aperture and shutter priority modes and switches to changing aperture in manual mode. It usually takes me some time to get used to this behavior when switching to Canon, but it is not bad and you can get used to this behavior rather quickly if you shoot often.
The left back side of the camera has a similar layout as Nikon’s higher-end DSLRs, except some of the buttons serve different purposes. I like the button placement, except for the “Rate” button. The good news is that if you choose to rate your photographs in your camera, the information is carried over to Lightroom and Aperture when the images are imported. On the other hand, why would you want to rate pictures on your camera looking at the tiny LCD screen in the first place? I sort through and rate my photographs in Lightroom and if there is something wrong with a picture I took, I simply delete it. When working in the field, I do not have the time to sit and look through images on the camera – I import them into my computer as soon as possible. I really wish the Rate button was swapped with another zoom button, just like on Nikon DSLRs: one button would be used for zooming in and another for zooming out. I prefer using two buttons to zoom in/out instead of pressing a button, then changing zoom levels with a rotary dial on the top of the camera. At the same time, you can program the zoom button to jump to 100% view, just like you can program the OK button in Nikon DSLRs to show 1:1 magnification, which is very nice and useful for assessing sharpness images.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II + EF400mm f/5.6L USM @ 400mm, ISO 1250, 1/1000, f/8.0
Another huge annoyance that Canon has had in its DSLRs forever is image review after capture. For some strange reason, once you capture a single image, or a sequence of images, you cannot use the rotary dial on the back of the camera to see previous images (with image preview turned on). You have to press the Play button first and only then you can scroll back to previous images. This wastes time and I wish Canon finally addressed this bug in a firmware release