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.
- Build quality
- Flexible AF system
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Popup flash
- Integrated wireless flash
1. 7D2 + 100-400 + Blackrapid
Strap On by Houseplant Apocalypse on Flickr
2. 7D2 + 100 Macro
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/48651361958
Make Small Things Big Lens by Houseplant Apocalypse on Flickr
3. RugbyIMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/48651484946
Tough Ladies by Houseplant Apocalypse on Flickr
4. Days Of YoreIMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/48651481341
Me Every Time I Enter A Voting Booth by Houseplant Apocalypse on Flickr
5. Canada 150 CF-18IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/48651118578
The Prettiest Airplane Ever by Houseplant Apocalypse on Flickr
6. SBD DauntlessIMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/48651486461
Antiquated Human Flying Machine by Houseplant Apocalypse on Flickr
7. Sunset Oil WellIMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/48651624672
Nature And The Thing That Destroys It by Houseplant Apocalypse on Flickr
8. M31IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …183940146@N04/48651117943
FBI Headquarters by Houseplant Apocalypse on Flickr