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FORUMS Gear Reviews Camera Reviews 
Thread started 31 Aug 2019 (Saturday) 03:50
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TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND aezoss (showing now: aezoss)
Overall Rating7
Overall Image Quality7
Value for Money7
Must Have7
Suitability to Intended Use8
Got What I Expected8
AF Performance7
Handling and Ergonomics9
User-interface9
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List all reviews of Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EOS 7D Mark II, reviewed by aezoss

 
aezoss
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Post edited over 1 year ago by aezoss. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 31, 2019 03:50 |  #1

Purchased in 2016. I use the 7D2 for outdoor stills, primarily with the 100-400 II. Birds, wildlife, landscape, airshows, rugby, etc. Pairs nicely with a Celestron 8" EdgeHD telescope for astrophotography.

Excellent outdoor camera. No issues in somewhat dusty environments or light rain. GPS has become an indispensible feature. The 7D2 and 100-400 II are particularly well suited for one another as a relatively light weight all-purpose body/lens configuration. 5D3/6D + 24-70/24-105 are good companion systems.

Indoors, the 7D2 benefits from f/2.8 or faster lenses and off camera flash. The more light fed to the sensor the better. The Anti-flicker feature is helpful under lights that cycle with AC power.

The 7D2 works well with Yongnuo YN622C-TX & YN685 wireless flash for portraits although I don't use it for that purpose often.

Ergonomically, the 7D2 comfortable to use. The grip fits nicely in hand. The button layout and menu system are intuitive for Canon users. Joystick and AF mode selection are easy to reach, makes switching AF points/modes quick and easy. The camera is more configurable than the 5D3/6D/7D making it easy to set up according to personal preference.

The shutter button is responsive, particularly in continuous drive modes. The shutter has a nice sound to it. Not as harsh as the 5D3, not as dainty as the 6D. The buttons feel good to the touch and aren't bad to use with thin gloves in winter. Coming from the 6D I had no problem adjusting to the dual purpose buttons.

The image quality is very good in favourable lighting conditions. Images tend to degrade when underexposed. ISO 6400 is perfectly usuable if the image is exposed properly. Good processing techniques help significantly. Raw files tolerate cropping fairly well although it's preferable to use longer lenses, get closer and put as many pixels on target as possible.

Plan to spend some quality time with the manual, online references and test subjects to get the most out of the AF system.

The 7D2 is my desert island camera. Despite its limitations, it is feature rich, rugged, reliable and easy to use once you get the hang of it. It's also sustantially cheaper than a full frame body with a similar feature set.

The D500 and XT3 are two notable alternatives to the 7D2. Both have superior APS-C sensors and as good if not better AF systems. Fuji's film simulations and video features are worth a serious look.

Canon's 100-400 II is somewhat unique in focal length range, optical/build quality and features which gives the system a slight edge over Nikon & Fuji for serious outdoor use in my opinion. I've found GPS to be an important feature for our outdoor adventures. There is a battery life penalty but not nearly as bad as pairing an XT3 to a phone with bluetooth.

If I was starting from scratch I'd probably go Fuji as a future-proof-for-the-moment APS-C option that isn't Sony (the a6000 series doesn't do it for me). Fuji's 100-400 isn't as well appointed as Canon's but is certainly capable of producing exceptional images.

Since the question of APS-C vs full frame comes up frequently, imo it's not a question of either/or. Different tools, different purposes. For general purpose use where budget is a concern APS-C should be just fine when coupled with suitable lenses.

Bang for the buck, 7D2 is a good option for amateur photographers and outdoor enthusiasts, particularly those who are already invested in Canon lenses. As end of life approaches, this camera should be available for a steal in the coming months.

Pros
- Build quality
- Ergonomics
- Flexible AF system
- 10fps
- 1/8000 max shutter speed
- 1/250 flash x-sync speed
- Decent buffer management when used with fast CF card
- Silent shutter is quiet enough to use around most skittish birds/wildlife
- GPS
- Battery life
- Comfortable in hand and balances well with 100-400 II
- Relatively good high ISO performance
- Flexible button configuration options, particularly back button AF
- Center focus point is easily identifiable (compared to 5D3)
- Anti-flicker feature
- Multiple My Menu tabs
- Well supported in DPP, LR, C1 and other applications
- Price

Cons
- Sensor is dated
- Under exposing in low light can seriously affect image quality, good post processing noise handling helps
- Twitchy AF, requires tweaking for different subjects
- SD card write speed limited to bus speed, buffer dequeuing takes much longer than using a fast CF card, noticeable in dance/sports/etc
- 100-400 + 1.4x limited to single AF point; only center point supports f/8
- GPS lock can be unreliable, 6D usually does better in the same conditions
- Enabling GPS slows down standby to on time, takes about 2-3 sec to power on when shutter button pressed half way vs instantaneously when GPS is off
- OVF light meter is on right side not bottom like other Canon bodies
- Top LCD doesn't diplay the light meter in the same manner as other Canon bodies, shows EC instead of exposure, cannot be changed
- No integrated WIFI

Untested Features
- Video
- Popup flash
- Integrated wireless flash


Example Images

1. 7D2 + 100-400 + Blackrapid

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651837852_6622b512f9_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651837852  (external link)
Strap On (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

2. 7D2 + 100 Macro
IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651361958_4f45b7f7a1_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651361958  (external link)
Make Small Things Big Lens (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

3. Rugby

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651484946_abf69229cf_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651484946  (external link)
Tough Ladies (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

4. Days Of Yore

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651481341_7ff05b96a3_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651481341  (external link)
Me Every Time I Enter A Voting Booth (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

5. Canada 150 CF-18

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651118578_e2edf40d1c_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651118578  (external link)
The Prettiest Airplane Ever (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

6. SBD Dauntless

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651486461_1f898fa0d0_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651486461  (external link)
Antiquated Human Flying Machine (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

7. Sunset Oil Well

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651624672_6e81462b77_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651624672  (external link)
Nature And The Thing That Destroys It (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

8. M31

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651117943_f7bcd18ce3_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651117943  (external link)
FBI Headquarters (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr



  
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aezoss
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Post edited over 3 years ago by aezoss. (2 edits in all)
     
Aug 31, 2019 03:50 |  #2

More images.

9. 7D2/XT2 Size Comparison

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651348828_1bf2465758_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651348828  (external link)
Equivalencies (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

10. Dock Dogs

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651123588_99871aa785_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651123588  (external link)
95th Canine Airborne (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

11. Macro

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651627102_3be892391d_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651627102  (external link)
Bell Labs Innovations (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

11. Squirrel

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651127868_bcb4f16315_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651127868  (external link)
Bushy Tailed Rodent Sampling Bark Mulch (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

12. Waxwing

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651126473_3f4d88f31e_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651126473  (external link)
Chonky AF (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

13. Heron

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651485846_8ba4e1c80a_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651485846  (external link)
Avian Quantum Superposition (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

14. Greyhound

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651121368_0d6381a24d_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651121368  (external link)
Wet Long Boy (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr

15. Paws

IMAGE: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48651128358_f3311580c3_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/4​8651128358  (external link)
Art. I Guess. (external link) by Houseplant Apocalypse (external link) on Flickr



  
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duckster
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Sep 08, 2019 08:57 as a reply to  @ aezoss's post |  #3

Very nice review and photos! Thanks.




  
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mike_d
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Sep 16, 2019 11:34 |  #4

I own a 5D3 and 100-400 II too. I just picked up a used 7D2 and have been putting it through its paces. I got it for more reach on the soccer field, faster frame rates, and wider AF coverage with the 100-400 II.

Your review is spot on. 10 fps is amazing and feels 3x faster than my 5D3 :lol:. In high speed drive, I'll rattle off 2-3 frames with just a light touch of the shutter. I don't know what they were thinking with the light meter placement. It makes it much more difficult to shoot manual exposure.

You're right about the need for light. I did some tests outside last night. It was just before sunset but it was overcast so the light was low. This sensor (even with raws) doesn't tolerate underexposure very well at all, so its critical that you nail the exposure or slightly overexpose. Even a 1 stop push from 1600 to 3200, that the 5D3 wouldn't have blinked at, looked pretty bad.

I can't wait to shoot my first game with it. Not being restricted to a narrow strip of AF points down the middle will be nice. I often have to crop heavily with the 5D3 if I get a good shot at the far end of the pitch, so I'm curious to see how the 7D2 holds up. It'll need less cropping, but it may handle cropping worse.




  
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bettyn
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Nov 17, 2019 14:14 |  #5

Is the 7D Mark II being replaced by another camera before January? Am thinking of buying one for our trip to Antarctica as my old 7D classic is showing its wear and age. I understand the 7D Mark II is being discontinued soon.
What's my best option?


My Gear: 6D, 7D, EOS-M w EF-M 22 f2 STM and EF-M 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS STM, 17-40L f4, 24-70L f2.8, 100 f2.8 non-IS macro, 70-200L f/4 IS, 400L f5.6,, Canon 1.4x II TC, Canon Speedlite 430 EX II, Better Beamer. Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod, 2 monopods, Manfrotto ballhead and pistol grip tripod heads.

  
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mike_d
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Nov 17, 2019 15:12 |  #6

I've now shot a few 10U and one 12U soccer games with the 7D2. The fields are 195 x 135 yd and 240 x 165 yd respectively. I usually shoot from near the corners, at least 5 yd behind the goal or touch line. 10 fps generates A LOT of shots to sift through.

I have mixed feelings compared to my 5D3. The AF does seem less consistent on the 7D2 as many have reported. I've been shooting both cameras in the AF mode where I pick the starting point and it tracks the subject onto other points as needed. I use back button focus, AI servo, and have used mostly AF cases 2 and 4.

The images from the 7D2 are very good, but there's a little extra something in the 5D3's results, particularly in skin tones. I'm not sure if parents looking at them on their phones notice. Probably not.

I got the 7D2 pretty cheap with low clicks and it has a higher shutter life than the 5D3. So its good for keeping the clicks off the more expensive camera even if the images aren't as pleasing.




  
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aezoss
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Nov 17, 2019 15:45 |  #7

bettyn wrote in post #18961627 (external link)
Is the 7D Mark II being replaced by another camera before January? Am thinking of buying one for our trip to Antarctica as my old 7D classic is showing its wear and age. I understand the 7D Mark II is being discontinued soon.
What's my best option?

Popular non-official opinion seems to be no, there will be no 7D3. The 90D is an indirect replacement although the reviews I've read/seen seem to agree that the OVF AF isn't great despite being pretty good in live view. The 90D may be a good video option.

Hard to say what the best choice is. A reasonably priced low mileage 7D2 as mike_d suggests might be the way to go for now.




  
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mike_d
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Nov 17, 2019 17:27 |  #8

aezoss wrote in post #18961678 (external link)
A reasonably priced low mileage 7D2 as mike_d suggests might be the way to go for now.

For $600 or so, its a huge upgrade from the 7D.




  
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GGAB
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Nov 18, 2019 14:44 as a reply to  @ aezoss's post |  #9

The 7D MkII is a speciality camera.
It is designed for action photography stills.
The various settings for AF are designed for the different types of action movement you would see in either sports, wildlife, action motorcycle or car photography, surfing etc.
Since it is a crop sensor camera, it's low light performance would suffer compared to a FF sensor camera.
The FF sensor version of this, 1DX MKII is over $6000.00 so at $1200.00 new, the 7D MKii is not bad.

It's build, is first rate.




  
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duckster
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Mar 23, 2020 14:42 |  #10

Great review and photos




  
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biffleg
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Apr 01, 2020 19:33 |  #11

Great review! And very well said GGAB




  
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Capn ­ Jack
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Apr 01, 2020 20:16 |  #12

Nice review, but I respectfully disagree about the low light-under exposure. My experience has been that it handles it well.




  
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aezoss
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Apr 01, 2020 23:50 |  #13

Capn Jack wrote in post #19038494 (external link)
Nice review, but I respectfully disagree about the low light-under exposure. My experience has been that it handles it well.

Yeah I guess it depends what you're doing. I shoot birds in the evening frequently. There's very little light to work with. Example 1 below is at least 1 stop under. sooc on the left, +1ev on the right. Typical night out for me.

There's subtle banding, loss of detail and colour anomalies in the shadows. Adding luminance NR kills the detail and in some cases creates this weird "painterly" look. Doesn't work for birds at all. Cropping more than a few percent renders the photo unuseable imo and this was as close as I could get to this particular owl.

I can't shoot the 100-400 slower than 1/100 handheld and 5.6 is as wide as it goes at the long end so it's typically ISO >=3200.

The image is fine as a snapshot but without some major TLC I don't think much can be done with this photo. Certainly can't print large, sell it or hang it in a gallery without drawing criticism. There's so much far better work under similar conditions in the potn bird threads I'm hesitant to even post it here.

Example 2 is an attempt to salvage a 3 stop underexposure. Dialed in the wrong settings. At ISO 400 pushing the exposure 3 stops adds a ton of noise and purple colour in the shadows. It's a throwaway.

Sure I'm dependent on the sensor to compensate for the fact I'm not a particularly good photographer but I don't think that's uncommon among amateurs.

Also note I'm comparing the 7D2's sensor to what's currently available. If the 5D4 goes down to $2700 CAD again (as it was in Dec 2019) I'd seriously consider saving pennies and buying that over a used 7D2.

Everyone's tolerance is different. If the 7D2 works for you, awesome. It's good to hear positive experiences.

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Capn ­ Jack
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Apr 02, 2020 08:01 |  #14

aezoss wrote in post #19038586 (external link)
Yeah I guess it depends what you're doing. I shoot birds in the evening frequently. There's very little light to work with. Example 1 below is at least 1 stop under. sooc on the left, +1ev on the right. Typical night out for me.

There's subtle banding, loss of detail and colour anomalies in the shadows. Adding luminance NR kills the detail and in some cases creates this weird "painterly" look. Doesn't work for birds at all. Cropping more than a few percent renders the photo unuseable imo and this was as close as I could get to this particular owl.

I can't shoot the 100-400 slower than 1/100 handheld and 5.6 is as wide as it goes at the long end so it's typically ISO >=3200.

The image is fine as a snapshot but without some major TLC I don't think much can be done with this photo. Certainly can't print large, sell it or hang it in a gallery without drawing criticism. There's so much far better work under similar conditions in the potn bird threads I'm hesitant to even post it here.

Example 2 is an attempt to salvage a 3 stop underexposure. Dialed in the wrong settings. At ISO 400 pushing the exposure 3 stops adds a ton of noise and purple colour in the shadows. It's a throwaway.

Sure I'm dependent on the sensor to compensate for the fact I'm not a particularly good photographer but I don't think that's uncommon among amateurs.

Also note I'm comparing the 7D2's sensor to what's currently available. If the 5D4 goes down to $2700 CAD again (as it was in Dec 2019) I'd seriously consider saving pennies and buying that over a used 7D2.

Everyone's tolerance is different. If the 7D2 works for you, awesome. It's good to hear positive experiences.

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I see what you mean, but that really hasn't been my experience, and I don't think it is a matter of "tolerance".
https://photography-on-the.net …hp?p=18898246&i​=i98301985
In this case, I couldn't even see the bird, but it focused and got a usable image, I agree this is a snapshot photo, but not bad for the ISO used, and I had to bring up the exposure.
https://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=18726510
I've a number of other shots at ISO 16,000 posted, but many of those are more landscape. I have some aurora that needed ISO 51,000 as it was hand-held in a jet, but those don't have a ton of detail. none the less, there wasn't a ton of noise, either.

As for the GPS, I agree it is far from the greatest. You may check the firmware version on you camera as I thought it was useless until one of the firmware updates, when I found it actually became usable. If I don't use the camera for a while, I will turn it on, enable the GPS, and then place it where it can receive satellites, so it can update the ephemeris data. That's something I had to do with an older GPS. Turning it on while en-route to wherever I go, and before I leave for breakfast when I'm on a trip helps a lot, too.




  
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aezoss
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Dec 23, 2020 00:50 |  #15

Capn Jack wrote in post #19038732 (external link)
As for the GPS, I agree it is far from the greatest. You may check the firmware version on you camera as I thought it was useless until one of the firmware updates, when I found it actually became usable.

Running latest 1.1.3 firmware for quite a while. GPS is still flakey.

The main dial is also skipping. I have to turn it several times to get it to change the shutter speed or value in the menu. There's a thread about that here.

AF (any mode) is having difficulty acquiring a lock at times. I usually have the 100-400 on the 7D2. The lens seems fine on other bodies. Going to send the body to Canon for a checkup in the new year.

Not changing my rating as my 7D2 is well worn but this is something to consider if buying used.




  
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Canon EOS 7D Mark II, reviewed by aezoss
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