Real World Field Report on the Canon 7D Mark II

Hi gang: This weekend I got a chance to take two Canon 7D Mark IIs out for a real world field-test shooting two football games: On Saturday the Tennessee Vols vs. the Florida Gators, and on Sunday the New York Giants vs. the Atlanta Falcons at Met Life stadium in New Jersey. (Note: the two camera bodies I used were overnight loaners from Canon of pre-production demo units â” they are not the final shipping cameras â” so they’re not quite finished yet, but they’re far enough along that I could at least test them and give you, and Canon, feedback).

I’m posting some high resolution samples here (below), but make sure you watch the video above because we tackled all the important stuff you’d want to know about (of course, we talked a lot about high-ISO performance), plus we took loads of questions during the broadcast (I’m joined by RC Concepcion and Brad Moore in the studio). It’s really kind of “three guys sitting around talking about a camera” type of show and I show lots of my photos (not just sports stuff) taken with the 7D Mark II.

Above: Specs: Shot as JPEG image. 640 ISO. 1/1000 of a second at f/5.6. 560mm (400mm with a 1.4 tele-extender). If you click on this low-res preview, it will take you to the full high-resolution image you can download. I cropped-in a tiny bit to fix composition and I brightened the image 1/2 stop, but it’s still a bit under-exposed [I was shooting JPEG and used Exposure Compensation to overcome some highlight clipping I wouldn’t have even worried about if I had been shooting in Raw]. No sharpening, noise reduction, vibrance or any of that type of stuff in post. By the way, it’s killing me to post a non-sharpened image. Just sayin’.

We Covered a Ton!
We covered what worked, what I wish were different, and literally just minutes before we started taping a tech-rep at Canon called in and helped out by showing how to fix my #1 complaint about the camera for shooting sports (which we show how to address during the show above). I still had to whine about a few things (I hope Canon is listening), but I covered the stuff it did right as well. We really tried to cover all the questions we’d been hearing on social and here on the blog as best we could.

Above: Shot in JPEG mode (we explain why on the video). This one’s at 1,000 ISO at 1/1250 of a second. Same lens as above. Cropped in a bit. We also show a large print of this on the show. 

RC Totally Scores!
My favorite part of the broadcast comes around the 2/3 to 3/4 mark when RC absolutely nails why this camera is so important, and he really articulated what I’ve been trying to say about the 7D Mark II since the official announce. You’ll know when it happens because I literally high-fived him for stating it in a way I wish I had, because he really put it all on context.

Above: I used Auto ISO to shoot in the locker room before game time. That image you see above? That’s 16,000 ISO. Click on it to get the high-res version (no noise reduction in post â” and that was shot in JPEG mode). It’s shot at f/2.8 at 1/1000 of a second using a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. You definitely do see noise on the full res image (heck, you see noise on a 1Dx at 16,000 ISO), but I was still pretty amazed that a crop-sensor camera could get this kind of performance at 16,000 ISO. 

I’ll be around today to try and answer any questions we didn’t cover during the broadcast (if you’re going to ask about noise, please watch the video ’cause we covered it to death), so just leave me a comment here and I’ll do my best (Note: I just did a field test â” not an in-depth lab report, so if you ask me pixel-peeper style in-depth techie stuff I’m probably not the right guy to answer those, but I might be able to find someone at Canon who can answer those types of questions).

Above: I thought I should at least post one image actually taken at 100 ISO, so here ya go. This is uncropped, un-anything; shot in JPEG mode. Again, click on it to see the high-res version. 

Anyway, hope this helps, and here’s wishing you your best Tuesday yet!



P.S. We’re only four days away from my 7th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk. If you haven’t registered to join the local walk in your city this Saturday, it’s not too late. Here’s the link. 

  1. That’s quite impressive and a huge step up from the original 7D.

    I limit my 7D to a max of 3200, but that’s in a pinch. Ideally I keep in to 1600. This MkII has gone well beyond that!

    This is the camera I would’ve bought if it had of been around when I got the 5D MkIII in late 2012.

    Nice work Canon!

    PS: I agree with Scott. The buffer on the 5D MkIII is terrible! (It’s awesome in every other way though :)

      1. Hi Scott, Great info, thanks. The question from George whether you were in error when you refer to the 7DII having a 24mp sensor has gone unanswered. The published specs say 20mp. Can you clear this up?

    1. The JPG engine in the old 7D was really pretty bad, as it was the same aged engine in all Canon cameras. The recent changes in the JPG generation in-camera is so much better, and now the gap between what you can do with a raw converted to JPG and what the JPG looks like out of camera is much reduced. This camera looks likes like one could shoot both raw and JPG, and only use the JPG results unless some setting went awry, and you need the raw to fix it. Nice review!

      1. thanks Scott, the question was burning to the point where I did not watch the video to the end before posting, sorry.

        I realize that WiFI is not the same a data connection to the Internet. I just feel that

        1: with Adobe moving Lightroom onto the tablets, it would make sense in terms of first review/editing in the field and shooting tethered.

        2: remote control of the camera from your phone / tablet would make sense + enable creative app developers to utilize the camera in ways the firmware does not allow nor have thought about.

        As for the Canon explanation of the WiFi missing because of the magnesium alloy construction I’m doubtful. Within the phone industry both Apple, HTC and Samsung manage to construct high end phones in casings predominantly made of metals.

        Anyway thanks for the indepth review Scott, this was a great video and it sure seems like a nice camera.

      2. I dare you to look at any current smartphone – and then tell me how much of that casing is made out of metal… No it’s not 100%, it’s at most a little over 50% because there is one whole side that is made from glass.

      3. First of all, let me just stress that I would have a hard time arguing that one should turn down this camera because of missing WiFI. And any discussion about missing WiFI is just a discussion for the sake of it. It is clearly a fantastic camera, and the test images shown above at ISO 16000 are really amazing.

        But since you dare me. I’ve been in the telecom business for the last decade. You’re absolutely right that the one whole side is made from glass, but the fact is that any phone antenna designer does not design for antennas amplifying in that direction. Why? Because it is not beneficial to aim the signal directly into the head of your customer seen both from a health and a signal loss point of view. So you design your antennas to go out the back plate away from the head.
        But the point I’m trying to make is that phone manufactures usually don’t place the antennas behind the metal. They construct other materials into the metal back plate and place their antennas there. I fully recognize that you should not place antennas directly behind the magnesium alloy, but Canon places displays, buttons, connection interfaces on the outside of their magnesium alloy.They even placed a GPS antenna and compass which also have to be outside the magnesium alloy to receive location information, so what is the big hassle incorporating a wifi antenna?

        I just feel there must be another reason than the official explanation given from Canon. Be it commercial or whatever.

  2. I sold my 7D MK I because I wasn’t satisfied with high ISO. Most people said that the high ISO was great on it but even on 1600 while shooting at night on stadium with bad reflectors or sports venues with terrible light I wasn’t satisfied with photos. But this seems like a jackpot, specially for us amateur photographers who can’t afford 1DX and 300/400mm. In combination with 70-200 2.8 it seems like a powerful but still affordable sports weapon.

    1. As a wildlife photographer, I routinely shoot my 7D at ISOs above 800, and have gotten perfectly acceptable results (with some post work in Lightroom) at ISO 2500. If you want to see what a 7D can do when paired with the Tamron 150-600 zoom, look no further than my bird-in-flight shots on my portfolio on Shutterstock. ;)

      I also shoot the 5D3.

      When the 7D MkII was announced, I pre-ordered the next day and can’t wait to get it! Good review, Scott.

      1. Yeah, as I said I had 7D and sold it. I know how it looks on high ISO and what I want from high ISO. And also there is huge difference on shooting outside during the daylight on high ISO and on stadium at night under horrible reflectors and high ISO. I’m posting two photos of ISO 1250 from Maksimir stadium in Zagreb, Croatia.

      2. Those results are caused by bad conversion/processing decisions, not a failing with your 7D. I used to shoot my 7D in crappy light as a matter of routine at 3200 ISO and over, and MY results were INFINITELY better than those examples.

      3. This is 100% crop from RAW without any post processing so there were no bad decisions, this is whatI got with 7D. Now I’m shooting with 5D MK II and with same setup I don’t have that problems. Off course because it’s FF. But what I see from Scott’s samples this problem is gone. We have a great new camera.

      4. “This is 100% crop from RAW without any post processing so there were no bad decisions, this is whatI got with 7D.”

        Unprocessed raw files are always going to look worse than even in-camera JPGs when shot at high ISO. I shoot raw + JPG with a 5D3 and still post-process the raw files in Lightroom when prepping images for sale. That’s the very reason to shoot raw in the first place: to have the latitude in post to change the look of the shot.

        With regards to the 5D3 not being ideal for sports, I find that if I shoot football using JPG only, buffering isn’t an issue, and 6fps yields generally acceptable results, but the 7D2 will be much better. These were two consecutive frames from the same 6fps sequence shot as JPG only using the 5D3 and Tamron 70-200 F/2.8 VC.

      5. “Unprocessed raw files are always going to look worse than even in-camera JPGs when shot at high ISO.”

        Yes, but if the image is lacking in detail you can’t pull that out in post processing and this was always the problem I had with the 7D. I don’t have the 7D Mark II but I did try the 7D twice, two different bodies, early and late models, and both performed poorly in the areas of focus and noise at any higher than ISO 800. From all of the sample images I’ve seen thus far on the 7D Mark II it appears that the focusing issues have definately been laid to rest on this camera but the resolution at high ISOs is only marginally better than that of the 70D and therefore, not a solution for those of us shooting night time prep sports.

        I may rent one and see how it performs in these situations but I don’t really have high hopes on the noise issues and therefore will probably continue to depend on the 5D Mark III as my primary camera, even for sports. Then again, you can’t really expect an APS-C camera to perform

        at the same level as a “full frame” camera and having shot with one for so long it is difficult for me personally to be satisfied with anything less.

        That being said, I think if you’re shooting in decent light this is going to be a great camera for sports and action. For poor lighting like high school and small college venue you’re going to have to bring your own lights and go the “full frame” option. Still, I may give the 7D Mark II a try. I think of a lot of time over the past couple of years that a couple more fps would have given me more and better peak shots of the action.

  3. I haven’t watched the video yet, but I’ve been interested to see some images out of the 7D MkII, so thanks for posting these, and your comments.

    Still happy with my 7D, but keen to see what this next revision brings. Glad to see the improvements at higher ISO. GPS is nice, but I would have liked to see WiFi in it though.

      1. I was too disappointed at first about the lack of wifi. However, assuming that the 7D MkII will support eye-fi cards like the 5D MkIII, this should provide a solution for a lot of people that simply want to transfer their rated/protected images to their smartphone or tablets.

  4. Scott I think you are so enthusiastic about this camera because Canon have done what you do in that you get a kick from training people helping them get better and this camera enables as RC said people to shoot school sports with such a good quality piece of kit at such a reasonable price. I have the current 7D and really want to upgrade so could you have a word with my wife or do you know anyone who needs to buy a kidney! One last thing don’t knock the pop up flash as that little beauty will control a speed light wirelessly off camera.
    Thanks for a great review.

    1. Hey Phil. I’m happy to have a word with your wife to arrange a Kidney transfer. LOL!!! Also, you are absolutely right about the pop-up — while I don’t want to light anybody with it, it does come in darn handy for firing a speed light. :)

  5. Scott, nice review but i wanted to add a few things.
    1) I agree, you’ll need to add a battery grip. But with that grip I think you can add a 2nd battery so it should solve your battery performance.
    2) I think people should lower the expectation on the across the field locker room shot… Odds are of they’re shooting a 7dMII, they’re not attaching a $12k lens to it. Still with a 70-200 and at 1.6, it’ll reach pretty far.
    3) I’m still shooting with a couple of Mark IV for the same reason I can’t drop the money for a couple of 1Dx’s, but this does sound like a great alternative for having remote cameras set up. Cheap, fps, and decent quality without having a $3k (the mark IV) sitting up in the rafters.
    4) Most of the shots seemed fairly stationary, I’d be curious to know how it tracks subjects in motion and what the out of focus frame rate is. I’m sure a huge improvement over the previous 7d.

    For this price sounds like an awesome camera. Thanks for the review.

    1. Hey Brad: (1) That does fix the battery problem for sure. (2) They don’t have to have a 400m f/2.8 — Canon makes other 400mm lenses, like the f/5.6 for a fraction of the cost. (3) Agreed. (4) The auto focus is great! I didn’t have a 7D but I have to imagine it crushes it! I never really felt like there was any issue with the auto focus speed or lock-on whatsoever. I haven’t done a side-by-side with the 1Dx, but if there was a significant difference, I think I would have felt it. For the price, honestly it’s insane.

  6. Thank you Scott, Brad and RC!!! :-D I pre-ordered the 7D mk ii to replace my 7D but was having 2nd thoughts after reading different forums (I should have known better ;-) Your field report answered all my questions and now my pre-order stands and I’m confident that the 7D mk ii will be a great replacement for the 7D and I will have more keepers from my sons soccer games.

    1. Hey Rob. I’ve learned this — if you want to second-guess any decision you’ve ever made on any product, from phones to car batteries to chew toys for your dog, just go to an online forum and “experts” will be waiting there to tell you what’s wrong with it. You are going to absolutely love your 7D Mark II. It’s honestly better than it needed to be.

      1. “if you want to second-guess any decision you’ve ever made…”
        Best characterization of the internet forum situation I’ve read. I’m stealing that BTW.

  7. Hi Scott,
    Great video, I really enjoyed your insights into the 7D Mark II and sports photography.

    Not to be rude here, let me tell you in short how I became a “professional” photographer because as you know, it is not the gear that makes you a pro. I don’t do sports, the photography side of my business is made up of general events and weddings. To be honest I am not a great photographer, I’m good enough to make a living out of it but that is about it – compared to you Scott, I am an amateur.

    About a year ago a few after I got my 70D (that I purchased mainly for video capabilities as my main business is corporate video) I was at a swim competition shooting photos and video of my brother-in-law who is a competitive swimmer, one of the other competitors hired a “professional” photographer. This photographer comes up to me between a shoots on his way to get a drink or something and starts asking about my gear. At the time, I had on a 55-250mm F/4-5.6 lens, he has a 1DX (the first time I had seen one in person) with the
    70-200mm F/2.8L and 5D Mark III with a wider lens on it.

    So he’s giving me a hard time about being an amateur, I told him I don’t shoot much, he probably thinks that I just went out and got the latest gear because I have more dollars the sense or something – I didn’t tell him that I make videos for a living, this guys going on
    about the years he has been shooting and what he has shot, cool – the guys just a jerk.

    So this guy comes back up to me as I’m leaving and is showing me some of his shots on the back of his cameras, going through them I thought “meh” – it was on the back of a camera so you cannot really tell how good the photo really is, so he asked to see some of mine and this guys jaw drops. He was asking me how I got certain shots, to me it was intuition, I asked the guy what settings he was on shutter priority with everything else was auto, but I was on manual for everything by habit from video – I cannot have unpredictable exposure and color shifts half way through a video.

    A week or so later I sent off the photos to my brother-in-law who told my wife that they are the best images of him swimming he has, he was talking about some other images from the previous years and it turns out last year alone he went through 3 photographers including
    the same guy that was giving me a hard time – so my ego was feeling pretty good.

    A month or so passes and I haven’t thought about this since when my brother-in-law calls asking if I can shoot his friend, he had some images taken by a pro photographer but none of them were good enough, it turns out that my brother-in-laws friend was being shot at the
    same I was shooting my brother-in-law and the guy giving me a hard time was the photographer, needless to say my ego blew up.

    That is what gave me the confidence to start charging to photography as part of my business a few months later. Also consider that I had only been shooting photos for around 3-months at this point. As I said I’m not a great photographer, I have a lot to learn
    but this is something I do insanely fast, I still go to shoots with my amateur lenses, in fact I don’t own a professional lens and of course I get chromatic aberration but nobody that pays me seems to care or notice, I still use the 70D for everything and really want a pro body and lenses but my customers love what I do and this early on I cannot afford to upgrade gear and survive with photography – at the end of the day you can use gear to grow when coming up the ranks however it is not the gear that makes you, you make the gear with a combination of your vision, technical know-how and experience.

    Your video just reminded me of this. Thanks for reading and so sorry about the length!

    1. No worries on the length, Ryan — I enjoyed the read (plus, I’ve met guys like that many times), and I agree — the gear doesn’t make the photographer (and I talk about this extensively on my live tour, as anyone that has attended can attest). That being said, I have a 70D myself, and so I also know that you have an AWESOME camera! That’s the camera I always recommend to people who want an amazing DSLR for the money and I think the 70D is just that — perhaps the best value out there for all-around shooting (but a very different camera from the 7D Mark II which is aimed at a different market). Anyway, don’t like guys like that suck your energy out — you’re obviously making great images no matter what lenses you have, so keep on doing what you’re doing. Cheers :)

      1. Thanks Scott, I appreciate that. I wasn’t excited about the 7D Mark II until I watched your video to be frank! It does look like my next logical upgrade for me as going further than around 1600 ISO on the 70D isn’t a good thing and at most events there are the times where I need to push the limits or change how I am shooting at that event.

        As far as making great images go, I mentioned that I shoot weddings on this gear despite not being “pro” level gear, so with this in mind my measure of success isn’t really any individual images being great (having some “perdy” images is REALLY important for prints obviously and I always get a fair few) but my measure of success is when I put together the photo story that I do for every wedding does my wife cry? You see she isn’t much of a crier so if she does then my job was done, if she doesn’t then I screwed something up.

        I think that is the point of photography in the first place, more than a record but a reminder of what was felt and witnessed at that time.

        Anyway thanks again!

    2. I’ve seen these “pros” as well. If he’s asking you to see your shots as well as having you look at his shots, he’s clearly no pro. Most guys who know what they’re doing will just mind their own business, get their shots and leave.

      I’ll gladly give advice or pointers to people “if” they ask. Other than that, we’re both there doing a job. I run into a lot of other “pros” at high school games. :)

      1. They do seem to get around don’t they Brad!
        I think I grew an aversion to labelling myself as “pro” or “professional” because of these people and attitudes to be honest – I still do it at times reluctantly but I tend to just call myself a “photographer” when I need to give a label.

  8. Awesome work Scott. As I have said before, I am a Sony guy……But you are really making me want to start using my wife’s Canon then move up to the 7D….. All my glass is Alpha though…. So when my wife starts yelling at me, I will so blame YOU, lololol

  9. As someone that shoots HS sports with the 7D, I can’t wait. I regularly push the ISO of the 7D to 12800 to get the football or soccer shots. (B&W and a generous use of NR and everyone is happy) (Except that I am shooting next to someone with a 1DX #BiggerToyBudget) Can’t wait to use the AF system and the much better ISO performance on these dark fields and gyms.

  10. This is a great video. I’ll just differ in opinion on the fact that a 5D3 isn’t a capable sports body. I use all kinds of Canon bodies including 1D’s. I’ll just say this…I have pro and college sports action images in Sports Illustrated and many other publications nearly every week using the 5D3. And that is shooting RAW (so the FPS is even slower). While it’s not optimal and I’d never recommend it as a primary sports body if you have access to a 1D….if your timing is good and you’re used to it, the 5D3 is very capable.

    Just my opinion. I do have the 7D2 on preorder.


    1. Hey Andrew — The 5D Mark III takes great pictures of whatever you aim it at, for sure (I have one myself and absolutely love it). Like you said, it’s not optimal for a primary sports body, but I did use it as a secondary body for a game, and while the fps and buffer killed me, the shots it did get were beautiful. I just need the crutch of something faster. :)

      1. You must be using a slow card if you are running out of buffer with the 5D MKIII. With a 1000X lexar card the buffer is very large and should be large enough for even sports.

      2. I’m a little confused by this statement, ” but I did use it (5Dmk3) as a secondary body for a game, and while the fps and buffer killed me,…”

        The 5Dmk3 will take 25 to 27 full RAW files and an almost unlimited number of full JPG files in a single burst when writing to a UDMA7 compact flash card using standard mode writing only to the UDMA7 card.

        While 10 fps is certainly an advantage shooting sports, one can certainly “make do” with a 6fps second camera shooting sports. I photographed the 49ers vs Chiefs game last Sunday using a 10 fps 1D mark 4 and a 5D mark 3 essentially using the crop sensor of the 1Dmk4 as a tele converter on my 400mm f2.8. There are 6 photos from the game in this blog post of which 3 were from the 1Dmk4 and 3 were from the 5Dmk3.

        I double dog dare anyone to tell me which camera made which image. ( I didn’t know myself without looking.

  11. Thank you Scott! That video showed me that it is an awesome camera. I`ll get my 7D Mark II when it comes out! I`m 16 years old and this all I ever wanted in a camera! And the best thing? The price point of 1,799$. Just awesome!

  12. Too bad it took so long for Canon to bring the 7D Mark II out. I had a 7D from the moment it came out. But I sold it along with all my Canon lenses in the past year and switched to micro 4/3’s and an Olympus OM-D E-M1. Looks like a great sports camera though.

  13. A great and useful video. It makes me wish my D7100’s could do 10fps instead of the 6 they’re stuck at. I loved watching your epiphany when RC made the NFL gear statement.

    1. Hey Orin. I had been trying to articulate that very thought and I was really struggling with it, and to hear RC say it — I knew that was it! That’s what it is that makes this a game-changer. After the show I told him, “Why didn’t you tell me that a month ago!” LOL!!! :)

  14. Can you post a test tripod shot (non-moving subject) with the best resolution lens you have to show us how sharp it can be. The expanded jpg pics show too much “grain” to tell how good a combination it can be.

    1. I’ll have to wait and shoot something in the studio. No tripods at the game. Of course, since the camera is aimed at sports/wildlife shooters, they won’t be using a tripod either, so regardless of how sharp it would be shooting a product shot on a table, that’s not a real world use of the camera.

      1. Wildlife photographers do often use tripods, certainly not for birds in flight, but many situations allow/call for it. I do believe the 7D MII can reduce the need with the low light performance it seems to have.

      2. I use Gimbal heads on good sturdy tripods for birds-in-flight shots and monopods when I walking through the woods shooting bigger animals (deer, for instance).

      3. After thinking about it and listening to a couple of interviews, I believe Scott was really getting at the fact the high ISO performance might free you from a tripod in some cases. I use them sometimes and sometimes I do not. Where I use one now, I will continue to use one when my Mark II arrives.

  15. It looks like a really amazing camera but for what I am shooting 99% of the time, I absolutely love my Canon 5D Mark III. If I ever did start shooting action/sports etc, I wouldn’t hesitate to click the “Place Order” button at B&H!

      1. Right! As I’m advancing into a lot more pro event work now, I’m focusing on purchasing more glass. I’m ordering the Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS II soon, I’m very excited! I saw in your new book that this is often your go-to lens.

  16. Very interesting video Scott, I shoot Fuji now due to health probs, I know you cant cover every possible camera on Kelby one but any chance of classes on the Fuji system?

    1. I’ve always wondered about this- the pro-bodies have faster AF for sure, but all current (and previous generation) Canon crop bodies use the LP-E6 and there is still a pretty large variance in focus speed, say 60D vs. 7D/7D II, or 6D vs. 5D III.

  17. I agree with the comments on the D7100 – I love that camera but wish it had higher fps and better high ISO capability. I am not pro – shoot mostly smaller high school football games and the D7100 is great when the sun is up…but let the sun go down and the lights come on and it struggles. Had high hopes with the D750 but was hoping for better fps. I have been a true blue Nikon fan all my life….but if I were starting over…this would the the camera I would pick. I agree that gear does not make the photographer but there are times when stepping up to a better camera can make a difference and I would love better ISO performance…and fps in a Nikon without having break the bank.

    1. It’s the same problem that you’d have if you compared the 7D II with the 5D III- if the contemporary full-frame camera can get the shot, i.e. enough FPS and reach and nail AF, then it will give you a better shot every time.

      But the reality is that the ‘pro’ (really high-end semi-pro) crop cameras can get you shots that the full-frame bodies simply cannot, and it can get you similar shots in a lighter package or with less expensive glass, or some combination thereof.

  18. Thanks Scott! A longtime 7D owner as soon as I saw the specs & price I pre-ordered the Mark II. Love my 7D in the daylight but I quit using it at night a long time ago and I believe this camera will always be in the bag! Liked the discussion and seeing your images. Thanks again.

  19. Scott, how does the image quality of 7Dmk2 compare to Nikon D7000, D7100 ? The lab tests the past few years usually show Canon lagging behind Nikon in dynamic range and noise. What are your thoughts in real world usage in that regards ? Thanks.

  20. Not that the iso is that totally awesome, which it is… but someone needs to tell Eli that now everyone in the world is going to know he needs to trim his nose hairs. ;) Great video and topics – enjoyed it.

  21. Hi Scott,

    If I have grasped this right in your video, you effectively said that when you are shooting in auto iso, you would have liked the exposure increments to have gone up in 1/3rd instead of half stops. I may have got this wrong, but can’t that be set up in the preferences for exposure?

    1. Hi Dave: Marvin’s comment is correct — I set up my Auto ISO so my lowest possible shutter speed was 1/1000 of a second. I’d like it to be 1/1200 or 1/1300 — just a little faster, but the next stop was 1/2000 of a second. Hope that helps.

  22. Great video Scott …I own the 7D and love it and have been waiting a very long
    time for them to come out with it’s big brother (7D mark II, on order at
    B&H) I am a local Rodeo Photographer and shoot in our very poorly lit
    arenas during the winters with just the light from the arenas and the help from
    noise reducing software and pushing the 7D to it’s limit I can offer the Moms
    & Dads a some what decent 8×10 or smaller. So I have been waiting for this
    review….So Thank You ! 1 question you said 24 megapixels and the specs I have
    read say 20 sooooooo what is it ?

    1. Scott had the 400 f4 with the 1.4 giving him a 5.6 result. You are talking about putting a 1.4 on a 5.6 or a 2x on a f4 lens. The ole f8 focus issue. The 7DMii supports f/8 focusing on the center point. See page 103 of the manual if you are interested in more info.

  23. Great video — only one burning question: what’s the viewfinder like? When I went from my T3i to the 5d mkiii the viewfinder improvement was phenomenal. So, what’s it feel like looking through the 7d mkii viewfinder? Does it feel like you have a full view of everything? Or does it feel limited?

  24. I don’t really do sports, although did fire off a few as the Tour de france whizzed passed me in the opening stage here in the UK. I prefer to shoot landscapes and more weddings. I think the high ISO capabilities would be a great bonus for shooting weddings. I couldn’t see any of those on your blog though. Do you think this would be a waste of a camera. Id like to have the best crop if I could. Coming from a 7d as well

    1. For wedding and landscape, if you had a choice, I would go for the 5D Mark III. I know, it’s more expensive, but the full frame advantage, for what you’re saying you want to shoot, make it the better choice in my mind. However, you will need to buy new Full-Frame lenses as well, in which case you might should stay with the 7D Mark II. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer here, but moving to full frame is an expensive proposition. If you said you were shooting sports, this would be an easy decision. Hope that helps even a little.

      1. Hi Scott. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. Most appreciated. I had a feeling you might of recommended the 5DmkIII and yes having invested in the crop sensor lenses. It would set me back to base zero and then a range of lenses which cost a fe wore zeros too ;)
        Would you be able to add the wedding shots to the blog or a link somewhere. I loved the minimal/ambient lighting in these! English churches are know for being poorly lit and these looked stunning. You did a great job

  25. a question after reading the writing but before watching the video:

    Since the 7D & 7DMkII are APS-C cameras there is already a 1.6 multiplier on the focal length … when you used the extender on the 400 did that create a nominal 896 [=400×1.4×1.6] lens???

  26. Hey Scott,
    I really enjoyed the video, and I’m also glad (as I’m sure you are) that you on the Canon side of things now! I’ve been reading your photoshop books and attending your workshops for years, and it helps when your point of reference is the same as my own.

    I have to add my thoughts on wifi. Magnsesium alloy aside, I think that there is a way Canon could have put a wifi chip in the top where the pop-up flash goes. (who needs pop up flash?)

    I get the argument by Jeff Revell that the wifi feature would be useless for a sports photographer. As it is implemented on the 6D, it is clunky and confusing, and I sometimes just reset the whole connection because it isn’t working. This would be a nightmare during a game, or even any kind of shoot. However I do love having it, namely for transferring photos to my ipad, where I can then publish them. Without this feature none of my pictures would make it off the camera until I returned from vacation, etc. This would not apply to the sports photographer with an editor on the sideline, but it WOULD apply to most every wildlife photographer and the legions of prosumers out there who will buy the 7D II because it has such great features. It would also apply to the small-time sports photographer at the high school football games, who could upload the photos to the local paper’s editor from the parking lot at halftime, and after the action is done. I just do not think it is a feature that is to be written off so easily.

    Finally, it would not be such a big deal if Canon sold a wifi dongle for less than $99. But because they don’t, this becomes a missed opportunity for a truly well rounded offering.

  27. one big question you didn`t answer scott. and someone already asked it. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO NIKON D7100? regarding high iso and dinamic range. thanks a lot i`d appreciate to hear it from a master like you are.

    1. Well, no one asked it until now. I have shot with the D7100 and it’s a great camera, but I don’t think it touches the 7D Mark II (hey, you asked for my opinion). The D7100 is 6-frames per second. The 7D Mark II is 10-frames per second. That right there, is enough, but the high ISO performance is much better on the Mark II, the view-finder is better, it has a better crop factor (1.6 vs. 1.5) the auto focus is MUCH better, the build is much better, it has built-in GPS, and I could go on and on. That all being said; the 7D Mark II was designed for sports/action/wildlife photographer and the D7100 was designed as a general use camera. Hope that helps.

      1. yeah,it helped a lot. and sorry if i bother you too much,would it be better than d7100 for weddings and landskape too in your oppinion?

  28. Scott,I have a Canon 1ds MKll and I do a lot of landscape photography and stills of flowers etc. But after looking at the New 7D I’m thinking that I would get it instead of something like the 5D.
    Do you think it will be a good camera for what I shoot? My lenses are Canon 2.8f, 24-70 & 70-200. So far they are all I have needed. i do try and do some shots of birds etc. so it seems right up there. The one reason is the price for a camera that shoot great shots at high ISO. Aslo most of my photos are printed large 16 X 20 and sometimes larger.

    1. Hi tbear. The 7D Mark II is a big step up from the 7D, and it really shines for sports/action/wildlife but for what you’re shooting, I would think the 5D Mark III would be a better fit. Hope that helps.

      1. Scott,
        Thanks. You don’t know of any new Canon camera releases near like the 5D with an improvement? :):):)

  29. Scott, how’s the dynamic range compared to other Nikon or Sony APS-C cameras? Most tests and users this past few years often say that Sony makes better CMOS sensors than Canon in dynamic range, do you think thats true in real world situations? Would you say the 7D Mk II have equal pixel level bite, micro contrast or “magic” compared to full frame cameras in low ISO?

      1. Scott, thank you for your replies. Really appreciate it. I reread the paragraph and your answer to McLaren regarding comparison to D7100. But I didn’t quite see any mention of dynamic range, only high ISO. Could you elaborate specifically on dynamic range compared to the competition or full frame? Thank you.

  30. Mr. Kelby:

    Thank you so much for this video. It does wonders to showcase many aspects of this camera. It really just confirms that I need it! Maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas? Hey, does Santa read your blog? He should. This camera seems like if you are on a budget and need one camera to do it all, this could be it. Has the speed, has the auto focus has the great hi iso performance. Yep, I need it!

  31. The heck with this camera stuff….you didn’t tell us that the Bradster’s beard is on display for a full hour! :-)
    Scott, the release of this camera and its specs compared to the 1Dx reminds me of when Nikon released the D700. Everyone was saying how great it compared to the D3 at the time, and what a bargain it was at its price point. Every once in a while we get one of these game changing cameras. I’m still staying with Nikon, but I do envy the Canon users. Maybe Nikon will respond with that long awaited D400!

  32. Thanks for the video! I have pre purchased the Canon 7DM2…I’m more excited than ever to get my new camera. This will be a great upgrade from my current 50D.

  33. Hey Scott, Thanks for the video and all the info about the 7D Mk II. My wife uses the 7D Mk I and I was planning to get it for her. After your review, I can wait. Also thanks for the Eli photo, I printed it for my son who is a big Eli Manning fan. It came out great on my Canon Pixma Pro 100 on 13×19 Semigloss.

  34. Hi Scott,

    One minor correction. You said the it’s a 24mp when it is actually 20.2.

    It sounds like a great camera. Being a Nikon shooter, I’m hoping Nikon will release their version of of a pro version DX.

  35. Thank you Scott for the great insight to this new camera. I currently run the 7D with a range of lenses from 8-16mm sigma, 24-105 f4/L is usm, 70-200 f4/l is usm ii & with 1.4exii. Have won international awards at epson panos and have photographed on the international arena for rugby union. Absolutely love the 7D, so to know that this is an awesome upgrade to the 7d is certainly a winner for me. I will always have my 7d as a secondary backup.

    Great review, to me a very honest and open review and printing on a canon pixma pro 100 if I can get images at 19×13 or have some one print to 24 to 26″ i’m a happy man ..

    Thumbs up to canon.

  36. Wow – not surprised (as this is still a crop sensor pushing the laws of physics with respect to a single photon of light spilling onto multiple photo sites on the sensor), but disappointed at how soft most of the shots are. The wedding shots all seemed like the DoF was off they looked that soft. The video of the three men on the set of The Grid is sharper. Otherwise, nice review.

  37. Dear Scott,
    Many thanks for your thorough review.
    I loved the way that the three of you bounced between detailed insights, anecdotes and humour over the hour. I think your points about where the camera sits in the current canon line up were spot on.
    For me there was only one comparison that I think you missed (and having seen the whole video I think I know why).

    I’m looking for a wildlife camera to compliment my 5d Mk2 and the 7d mk2 has been in my sights for some time (since before it was a twinkle in Canons eye). The 1DX is so far outside my price range that its almost funny and I think your points on that comparison were spot on. For me a used 1D Mk IV is the more sensible comparison. Not only are the prices MUCH closer but they both have a crop factor (1.6 vs. 1.3).
    So after that rambling intro my question is 7D2 vs. 1D Mk4. What are your thoughts?
    I suspect the reason this comparison wasn’t in the video is because you were shooting Nikon at the time the 1DMk4 was ruling the roost for Canon.

  38. Dear Scott,
    Many thanks for your thorough review. I loved the way
    that the three of you bounced between detailed insights, anecdotes and
    humour over the hour. I think your points about where the camera sits in
    the current canon line up where spot on.
    For me there was only one
    comparison that I think you missed (and having seen the whole video I
    think I know why). I’m looking for a wildlife camera and the 7d mk2 has
    been in my sights for some time (since before it was a twinkle in Canons
    eye). The 1DX is so far outside my price range that its almost funny
    and I think your points on that comparison were spot on. For me a used
    1D Mk IV is the more sensible comparison. Not only are the prices MUCH
    closer but they both have a crop factor (1.6 vs. 1.3).
    So after that rambling intro my question is 7D2 vs. 1D Mk4. What are your thoughts?
    suspect the reason this comparison wasn’t in the video is because you
    were shooting Nikon at the time the 1DMk4 was ruling the roost for

  39. OK so it’s great for sports. How would you rate it for my ‘bag’ ? – which is photographing live jazz events. I have a 7D Mark 1 which suits well, but those ISO figures appeal as flash is usually ‘verboten’ . I use top quality portrait lenses, up[ to about 100mm mostly and prefer to shoot from about Row 10 (silently) in a concert hall or jazz club. Much of the requirement is the same as Sports. It’s those facial expressions and ‘the eyes have it’.
    Any comment ?

  40. Scott, enjoyed your video on the 7d mkii. I have used 20d, 5d, 40d and currently 6d and recently added 7d for action, backup. Got the 7d knowing issues with image softness/sharpness and need for post processing. From your experience, can you compare 7d mkii to 7d and 6d for image softness/sharpness?? Will upgrade 7d in a heartbeat if there is much improvement.

  41. That was a nice field report. Good job guys! I shoot Nikon, mainly Airshows where the action is really fast, and I have to say that this camera have me thinking about jumping ship… Hope Nikon comes up with something similar soon. Canon guys really nailed this one. Kudos to them!

  42. Scott – Great topic & thread! Brought up in the print film days, I can attest to the fact we as photographers are always looking for ‘bigger, better, faster… and cheaper’! Unfortunately, they usually don’t come in one package… especially the latter. When you boil it down though… good pictures are taken on ANY camera! However, from the comments in this review, it looks like the Canon 7D will greatly enhance your chances of getting a professional quality sports image. And this, is always a good thing! Thanks for the review… Mark Carruthers

  43. I’m just trying to decide if the 7D2 offers anything that I don’t presently have with my 1D4 and Sony A77-2. Obviously from your comments on this video you aren’t familiar with the A77-2 since you dismissed a body that is the same size as the 7D2 and offers a great AF system with superior tracking and more resolution than the 7D2 as a “little camera.” That tells me you haven’t actually compared the 7D2 with the current APS-C state of the art.

  44. We really enjoyed having you both at the TN game! So, after seeing the video and knowing first hand just how dark it is in the locker room, I am absolutely blown away with the results especially @16,000 ISO. The fact you shot across the field, up against the bricks into the opposite end locker room entrance is incredible. I was shooting with a 5DMII and primarily a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens. The buffer is indeed an issue with continuous frame shooting on the 5DMIII, but the prospect of loading the 70-200mm f/2.8 II on a 1.6 to reach 320mm at a zippy 10fps is a true game changer. Awesome pics, too. The fisheye shot during the WR huddle is one of the best shots of the game!

  45. I’m not a sports guy, but I shoot a lot of concerts and I have to deal with people moving quickly, dark settings, rapid changes in lighting, etc. How would the 7D Mark II do here?

    1. From the 7DMII manual: Focus brightness range: EV -3 – 18. The -3EV is as good as the 6D (I believe). However, the noise on the 6D in low light will be better. The 7DMII gives you more sophisticated AF and 1.6x reach with the same lens.

  46. The heart of the 7DII is its autofocus system, its versitile AF Area Modes to choose which AF points are in use and how they find and track a subject, the dedicated AF Menu and multiple AF Cases for different shooting situations that you can choose and customize, not to mention the ability to customize nearly every button for AF and other shooting purposes.

    How is it possible to make a one hour Canon infomercial on this camera without even mentioning ANY of these things?

  47. Guys, thanks for the field report! I know RC mentioned it at 52.36 but can you elaborate on the bracketing? The 7D I have is limited to 3 bracketed exposures. Did I understand that the MkII will do 5? (Also, happy to see USB3 on board!)

  48. Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Canon EOS 1Dx? My friends all shoot Nikon D3s. I must make amends.

    With apologies to Janis Joplin, yea, that is the camera that I want! Can I afford it? No!

    When I was researching a Canon camera to buy, I thought APS-C would fit in the budget, but I kept reading Canon Rumors about a 7D Mk II. Going to digital, I would have to invest in new lenses; I bought my Canon A-1 back in 1980 and I still use it; I can’t use Canon FD lenses on a DSLR or use EF lenses on my A-1. I bought a used Canon F-1N in July 2013.

    I fell into “Analysis Paralysis”, unable to make a decision “Should I buy now? Or wait?” December 2013, my wife showed me a package deal for a Canon 5D Mk III on a major bookstore/electronic web site. I checked B&H and found a similar package for $500 less and I am now a proud owner of a 5D and my very first “L” lens.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to APS-C sensors:
    Advantages: Cheating on the telephoto side. A telephoto lens has longer reach on an APS sensor compared to a full frame sensor.
    Disadvantages: Cheated on the wide angle side. A wide angle lens doesn’t have the same breadth on an APS compared to a full frame. I got a Canon FD 28mm as a consolation for talking my wife out of a T3i. The 28mm has become a favorite lens.

    The Canon 5D Mk III has the same FPS rate as my Canon A-1 and Canon F-1N with their respective motor drives. The 5D Mk III is a nice general purpose camera; I don’t have access to college or pro sports sidelines.

    The 7D Mk III is awesome, but what I’ll buy next is a zoom that reaches to 300mm.

  49. i am a amature photographer i have got a 1 d mark 3 ,and a 5 d mark 2 , mostly i shoot wild life , and landscape with the 5 d mark 2, should i upgrade the 1 d mark 3 with a 7 D mark 2 ???

  50. What are the chances Nikon will come out with something similar in features to the 7D Mk II? I’m shooting mountain bike photos mostly in the woods with a D7100. Usually in the ISO 1600 to 2000 range in order to get a > 1/500 shot. I don’t want to sell all my gear to get the 7D Mk II and a 70-200mm lens but I will if Nikon can’t come up with something in the same price range.

  51. Scott, big thanks for front-running the real world review on 7DII :) I would really like to see someone test 7DII and 1Dx back-to-back on really challenging conditions. Especially to see how the AF performs because I don’t think there will be a major improvement on iso performance to be honest, but lets wait until the lab tests are out.

    I was shooting some time with 7D on most challenging conditions, which is ballet and contemporary dance, usually taking place on very dark environment. It is not uncommon to have exposures of 1/250, f2.8 and iso12800 on these events to give some sort of background on the light levels. The decision to drop 7D in favor of 1Dx was therefore easy to come as 7D servo AF was very inconsistent, especially when light levels dropped and it was frequently “over” reacting to a subject movement by either front or back focusing and there was no way how to adjust that. The 7D iso performance was also not so good – 3200 was quite easy to manage with Lightroom, but anything over was a knife edge. Nevertheless I have big printouts made even with iso 8000 equivalent but even at iso3200 level the 7D RAW file was really lacking the headroom for broader upward exposure adjustments, especially in the shadows. which just started to look really ugly.

    Fortunately the 1Dx is a marvel, as it should be, given the price tag. I am still every time amazed how it manages to lock in AF in near darkness and provide consistently sharp shots of really dark and moving subjects as well as iso, which makes shootint at 12800 a breeze with plenty of room to push it later. I love to be in the position, where I am the weakest link in the process. As now everyone is hyping the 7D II AF system to be near “identical” to upcoming 1Dx and 5D bodies, then I really want to check how near or far it might be from the truth. I hope that you will make that comparison in near future, because I don’t think I will be getting hands on the 7D II soon and I am not anyway interested in buying the 7D II, but it would make quite spicy story how the 3x cheaper body fares to best what Canon has to offer :)

    All the best and keep up the excellent work!


  52. Would you upgrade to a 7D Mark ii from a 5 year old 7D?. I have the opportunity to do so – and I am finding that the high ISO performance of the 7D is not great – noise even at 800 ISO. Or is it worth waiting for the (2015 / 2016) next incarnation of the 5D?

  53. Hi Scott. Really enjoyed this video and your passion for the camera (and photography in general). I must admit, it’s the first crop sensor camera that has really excited me. Living up north in Canada, I have found a local nearby store offering the 1Dx for a limited time at $5399 and they’ve just received their stock on the 7D MKII at $1899. Just wondering if you think at the current price for the 1Dx, I should just jump on it. Thanks in advance.

  54. I just bought a 7D Mark II and the photos are wonderful. What software package can I use to process the Raw files? My current version of Photoshop elements does not recognize the files.

  55. Hi, I’m an amateur and I’d like to ask about the 1.6x crop sensor’s effect on the lens because I’m really struggling to understand how this works. In the video it is mentioned that the 70-200mm lens on a 1.6x crop sensor “gets you 60% closer” to your subject to effectively 320mm.

    So my question is, how does the size of a sensor affect the magnification factor of a lens?

    I understand that the crop factor means that 200mm FX on a DX body = an equivalent 320mm CROPPED image and so a 200mm DX lens will also produce an image equivalent to 320mm FX CROP factor. However I can’t see how it can actually be any CLOSER to the subject.

    This is something which will affect my decision on which camera I purchase so any detailed enlightenment would be appreciated.


  56. Hi Scott :0 Where do you focus and which focus points with the 7DII do you use for sports and to also get 2 guys flying in the air with the football and its all in focus with awesome DOF ??

  57. Just thought I would mention – that if you shot that end zone shot into the Vols locker area with a 400 + 1.4 extender then your reach with that camera is 896 mm. 400 x 1.4 = 560 x 1.6 crop factor is 896

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