Things to Know before you buy Canon 7D Mark 2

Shot with the Canon 7D Mark II

The Canon 7D Mark II is the world’s best camera for shooting indoor or night sports. Unless you have installed special lighting at the arena so you can use an older pro camera like the Canon 1D X or Nikon D4S, the new 7D Mk II has a special new flicker-compensating feature that lets you get consistently great photos without the random dark frames caused by most artificial lighting.

Even in daylight, the 7D Mk II is the best camera for less than $6,000 for shooting any kind of action because of its extremely high 10 FPS frame rate. Only a huge $6,500 pro camera goes faster.

The 7D Mk II is the world’s fastest APS-C camera and has more processing power than any EOS camera. It’s faster than any of Nikon’s pro DX cameras like the D2HS. For sports, unless you’re a full-time Sports Illustrated shooter with a $6,800 Canon 1D X or Nikon D4S, the 7D Mk II just became the new world’s best sports camera, in most artificial light, no camera is better at any price.

The 7D Mark II’s AF sensor array covers most of the frame, unlike full-frame cameras whose AF areas are still all stuck in the middle. Will this lead to pros abandoning the 1D X and Nikon D4S so we can focus all over our frame? It just might! Who said this was a consumer camera? Its shutter is rated for 200,000 shots!

Canon EOS 7D Mark II key specifications:

  • 20MP Dual-Pixel AF CMOS Sensor
  • 10 fps continuous shooting with autofocus
  • 65 all cross-type autofocus sensor
  • 150,000 RGB + IR pixel metering sensor
  • Dual Digic 6 processors
  • Enhanced environmental sealing
  • Compact Flash (UDMA) and SD (UHS-I) slots
  • USB 3.0
  • Built-in GPS
  • Larger-capacity LP-E6N battery
  • Shutter speeds up to 1/8000th seconds
  • Shutter rated to 200,000 cycles (vs 150,000 on 7D)

Compared to EOS 7D/Nikon D7100

What a difference half a decade makes. The EOS 7D was one of the first DSLRs to offer 1080p video recording – a feature that’s now expected, even though it hasn’t necessarily been perfected. The Mark II’s Dual Pixel AF has the potential to offer impressive autofocus during video capture, since it’s able to assess subject position and distance from every captured frame. In principle, this could be enough to allow the 7D II to offer reliable autofocus during video – which would be a major selling point for keen videographers.

On the stills side of things, Canon has made remarkably few advances in sensor technology since the launch of the original 7D, and variants of its sensor still underpin much of the company’s lineup.

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, the 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.

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