It was five years ago when Canon released its EOS 7D and everyone was waiting in anticipation for Canon to launch an upgrade to that, since compared to many other brands, the EOS 7D can be considered quite dated by some. Anyway, let’s take a look at what Canon has to offer in terms of upgrade in its EOS 7D Mark II.
If you are an EOS 7D user, then you will feel like not all that much has changed with the Mark II since they are both very similar in its body shape, size and grip. The Mark II now sports a larger DOF preview button, and for most part, the button layout remains pretty similar except for a few changes, such as AF area selection button, Menu and Info buttons, magnification buttons and a few other reshuffling of buttons.
Brand New Insides
The Mark II is quite an improvement compared to its predecessors – in fact, the difference is quite a gap. The new Mark II now sports a 65-point all-cross-type autofocus system; new shutter mechanism of up to 200,000 cycles; faster burst mode to 10 frames per second, while in the 7D it was only 8fps; new 150,000-pixel RGB infrared exposure meter; and a new 20.2-megapixel sensor.
Although having the option of recording 1080p videos is a norm these days and even back then with the Canon EOS 7D, it still wasn’t that great especially when it comes to focusing. It is good to see that this problem has been solved with the Mark II’s faster autofocus that also applies to video capturing. This is probably due to the Dual Pixel AF the Mark II now sports, making the Mark II a DSLR videographers might think about getting.
Now, speaking of video shooting, there is one thing that many videographers appreciate found in the EOS 7D Mark II – mic/headphone jacks. You may think this to be a small issue and take it for granted thinking all camera models have this feature, but surprisingly not so. It is really helpful when as a videographer, you can hear what sounds the camera is recording to ensure good quality video and audio. In addition to that, the Mark II also offers full manual control during recording.
There is one thing I noticed about the Mark II that was not apparent in the EOS 7D. Somehow the buttons, ports and dials feel different as if to bounce back as soon as you press on them. I suspect this is due to the additional weather sealing done on the Mark II, as Canon did mention that it improved that quite a fair bit – by as much as four times more. I would’ve taken it out to test it in the rain, but I don’t think Canon would like it very much if I accidently destroyed a review unit.
I was actually quite disappointed with the fact that Canon did not think to do something about its LCD screen despite taking five years to release the Mark II. They could have made an articulating LCD to make shooting at odd angles more conducive, or maybe made the screen touch sensitive.
That Perfect Image
Now for the million dollar question. How is the image quality? In general terms I have to say that the EOS 7D Mark II is really a solid all-rounder, with the ability to capture great quality photos in different conditions. There was very little distortion and the sharpness was stunning. Even at high ISO, the colours were still vibrant and had little noise.
After testing the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, I would have to say I am mighty impressed. Despite a few things that irked me and could have been better, I am generally satisfied with the quality of photos, videos and additional features. However, I do have to say that despite that long gap between this and its previous model, the Mark II might not pack as many things as you might hope. In terms of image quality, there is improvement, but not as much as you might expect. I still think it is a worthy new generation that EOS 7D users will appreciate.
Price: RM6399 (Body Only)
Dimensions: 148.6 x 112.4 x 78.2 mm
Weight: 820 g (Body Only)
LCD Monitor: 3.0-inch TFT colour, liquid-crystal monitor
Recording Media: CF Cards (Type I); Compatible with UDMA CD cards; SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards
Image Format: Approx. 22.4 x 15.0 mm (APS-C size)
Compatible Lenses : Canon EF lenses including EF-S lenses
(35mm-equivalent focal length is approx. 1.6x the lens focal length)
Lens Mount :Canon EF mount
Image Sensor Type: High-sensitivity, high-resolution, large single-plate CMOS sensor
Total Pixels: Approx. 20.9 megapixels
Aspect Ratio: 3:2 (Horizontal: Vertical)
Color Filter System:RGB primary color filters
Recording Format: Design Rule for Camera File System 2.0 and Exif 2.3
Image Format: (Still) JPEG, RAW (14-bit, Canon original), sRAW, mRAW, RAW+JPEG; (Video) MOV (Image data: H.264, Audio: Linear PCM), MP4 (Image data: H.264, Audio: AAC)
Verdict: A worthy upgrade from the EOS 7D.