Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera with 70-300mm Lens, 32GB Memory Card, Extra Battery, Bag and Manfrotto Tripod, reviews, comments

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera with 70-300mm Lens, 32GB Memory Card, Extra Battery, Bag and Manfrotto Tripod

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Comments / reviews:
On Sunday I had my 7DII for two full days. I got one day shipping. The 7D replaces my 60D.

I found the photos from the 7D are sharper then the same scene shot with the 60D. (I mounted my 70-300 mm L lens on a tripod, then switched cameras to shot the same scene.) The viewfinder is brighter and has more contrast.

One of the first thing I found was that the controls for navigating the various menus are very different between the 60D and 7DII. The menus are very similar but the means of navigation are different.

The 7DII is not a point and shot camera. I spent considerable time going through the 550 pages full instruction guide. Since I shoot landscapes I could skip much of the manual. That is the pdf version that comes on the CD. Not the 180 page BASIC instruction guide. How someone could spend 45 minutes in a store during which he bought a card and battery then gain command of this camera indicates the quality of his effort. The auto focus is very complex since it supports still and moving subjects. It is easy to see why the camera would not focus well right out of the box. The problem is not the camera but rather the operator.

The 7DII is a very customizable camera. It can be tuned to the particular type of shooting a user does - wildlife, landscape, etc. But a very tunable camera requires study. However, the basic 180 page manual shows you how to simply take pictures

The 7DII is so customizable that Canon has prepared 6 tutorials to explain these capabilities: http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/galleries/galleries/tutorials/eos7dmarkii_tutorials.shtml. If you are really into photography and want to create your own camera, the 7DII is the way to go. The customization is really oriented toward fast action shooting. Practically every setting is viewable in the viewfinder and can be changed with a push of a customized button. It seems to be junior version 1DX.

All in all I found the 7DII to be a substantial upgrade from my 60D.

One difficulty with this camera is that Adobe does not yet support it. (Canon may have been unwilling to pay Adobe enough.) I shoot RAW. To post a picture here I must first process the photo using DPP, etc. Just not worth the effort. However, I could compare the CR2 images using Windows Photo Viewer. I could examine the comparable photos at 200% in DPP.

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NEWEST (and I'm pretty sure FINAL) UPDATE, 09/09/2015:

I had to make one final update to this review: Canon has fully corrected the focus problems with the EF-S 17-55 mm lens with firmware update version 1.0.5! Single point focus with the center point now works perfectly at all focal lengths of this lens.

My EF-S 17-55 mm is now spot on using the center point, with only mild AFMA corrections of W=-1 and T=+2. This is way better than the +5/+6 values I had previously, and even with those corrections the camera still missed focus using the center point, as I described in my earlier updates. Now, it's pretty much perfect.

So, if you're reading this review for the first time, read the ORIGINAL REVIEW, below. With autofocus of the 17-55 lens now correct, everything I originally wrote is unconditionally true. If you want to see what all the fuss with the autofocus was about, skip down the page to see the previous review updates that describe the focus problems.

Canon, my hat is off to you. Well done. Back to 5 stars from 4.

ORIGINAL REVIEW
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An exceedingly good APS-C camera body that offers pro level features at a hobbyist price. This camera will excel at sports and wildlife shooting, as well as doing a great job on just about everything else.

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Pros:

Interface -

The interface is consistent with Canon pro and prosumer DSLRs, especially the 5D3. It does a good job accommodating the many different tracking modes and many different focus point layouts of the sophisticated autofocus system. Focus point or area selection is quick and greatly aided by the thumb lever on the joystick. The lever is not at all easily activated by accident, and I have large, strong hands and a touch that could hardly be described as light. If, however, it is a concern that the lever might be activated accidentally, it can be deactivated with a lockout switch at the lower right of the body. The inclusion of a locking shooting mode select wheel is welcome. The viewfinder is impressive, both bright and with 100% coverage, and is capable of displaying an enormous amount of shooting information as well as gridlines and a digital level. Actually, the viewfinder can present so much information it can be overwhelming, but you can choose exactly what shooting information you want to show, and leave out the rest. The button layout is also typical Canon, which I like quite a lot. You can also customize most of the right hand buttons, the joystick, and the top and back dials with a variety of functions. Bottom line is this is a typical Canon interface with some very nice evolutionary touches.

ISO performance and overall image quality -

Much has been debated about this camera's ISO capabilities. Many have decried it as being below state-of-the-art of sensor performance. My impression of the ISO performance is that it's excellent for a crop camera. 100% views of RAW images that I've shot show very acceptable noise even at 6400 ISO. The luminance noise is finely patterned, and looks considerably like actual film grain. The color noise is relatively well controlled, and cleans up easily with software. With some modest noise reduction in post processing, nearly every photo I've taken at this ISO reaches quality I'd be happy to print at 13 x 19. Ordinary exposure pushing and pulling on badly exposed shots (within 2 stops, sometimes 3 ) does not destroy the image, and certainly doesn't create the horrible blotches and bands I've seen with the Canon 50D and the original 7D. The Mark II is also a bit sharper and less noisy than the 70D up to ISO 6400 (which is as far as I compared them). I am quite pleased with this, and I can say I'm giving up little if anything in image quality to any other crop camera around. It's good enough that I'll gladly use this camera for all purposes, including portraits and landscapes. If you must have less noise, then you really should move to full frame.

At the time of writing this, the only photo editing software that can display 7D2 RAW files is Canon's own Digital Photo Professional, which is mediocre (but free). Still, even using this software, I'm getting lovely images from the Mark II. It'll be really interesting (and fun) to see what happens when companies like Adobe and Phase One update their editing software to convert the Mark II RAW images. I'm willing to bet my workflow for processing images in Phase One's Capture One will become super simple, because I won't have to spend as much time trying to clean up noise without trashing the overall image quality.

***Update on RAW conversion: Adobe and Phase One have updated their software to edit 7D2 RAW data. I have both Adobe Camera RAW and Capture One, but so far I've only used Capture One. As I had hoped, my workflow in Capture One is very simple. Image noise cleans up quite well, and I usually don't have to stray from default noise reduction settings unless I've underexposed the image at 1600 ISO or higher. Highlights recover quite well. I estimate there's enough latitude to safely overexpose at the highest tone value by about 1 stop while still being able to recover the highlights. The images also sharpen well, and have excellent contrast using the default tone curve (Capture One's "Film" curves). In short, I haven't had to spend more than a few minutes editing to get high quality images. For the best looking images at high ISO, I strongly recommend slight overexposure of midtones (expose to the right) followed by highlight recovery in the software of your choice, if necessary.

Autofocus performance -

AF is quick and exceedingly precise. With the lousy weather I've had little chance to see how well the 7D2's new autofocus tracking system works when challenged, but I did have no trouble getting shots of a jumpy squirrel that was flitting around a tree (I was about 40 feet away, shooting with a 70-200 f/2.8). I took about a dozen shots, all in focus. The spread of the 65 AF points is excellent, so I had no trouble always having a focus point available for the little critter. For static shooting under ambient lighting, I'm seeing very few out of focus shots, and nearly all of those were due to a beat-up Canon zoom lens I have that has faulty autofocus to begin with. I've also missed a couple of test shots of black or dark objects in a dim room, but otherwise in low light the focus has been remarkably good. With f/2.8 lenses I get consistent focus lock in about -2EV light, which is quite dim (I estimate it takes about 1.5 seconds to lock focus at this light level). This is consistent with Canon's specification that the camera will focus down to -4EV with f/1.4 lenses; actually, the performance is possibly a little better than the Canon specification (I say "possibly", because the amount of light a lens passes isn't just determined by aperture). Overall, this is pro level autofocus. A really neat antiflicker mode allows for shooting under stadium or gym lighting at high speeds while keeping the exposure uniform from frame to frame, instead of occasionally having darker frames due to light flicker.

I've had no problems using this camera body with third party lenses. Interestingly, I have a Tokina 11-16 lens that on two other Canon bodies has had flaky autofocus, especially when focusing to infinity. This lens on the 7D2 works perfectly, and I'm now able to leave it in autofocus mode all the time, whereas before I'd have to frequently use manual focus.

Speed -

Canon rates the shooting speed at 10 fps. I'm not getting 10 fps. With a 1066x UDMA 7 Compact Flash card I'm getting over 10, and to the best of my ability to measure, closer to 11! The buffer is deep enough for bursts of 31 full size RAW images, and something like 1000 full size JPGs. Again, this is performance usually associated with professional cameras.

Other -

Build quality is excellent. The thing is solid as a rock, feels good in the hand, and allows for easy handling of large lenses. The new shutter is relatively quiet for a DSLR, which is a nice bonus. A recent tear down of the 7D2 published online shows it has outstanding weather sealing, among the best ever in a DSLR.

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Cons:

The 7D2 is a battery pig, even with GPS off and screen set to auto brightness. I estimate that one might get 350 RAW frames from a single LP-E6 battery if lucky (I've yet to blow off a battery completely, but based on shutter count when removing a battery with about 15% estimated capacity remaining, 350 shots is probably right). The omission of WiFi has been criticized, but if they had managed to include it the additional power draw would have been made the mediocre battery life rather poor. Unfortunately the Canon original LP-E6 is quite pricey, and the Canon LP-E6N that comes with the camera is even pricier. However, there are a couple of third party solutions that work, but don't count on them having the same quality as the Canon original. Some brands are really iffy, and even the better ones have spotty performance from battery to battery. I use LP-E6 equivalent batteries from SterlingTek, which will work in the charger and are chipped so the show shot count and battery life when installed in the camera. They seem to work pretty well, but don't have quite the life of the Canon original.

***Update on battery life: the number of shots I can get is heavily dependent on my shot rate. Shooting at high speed consumes far less power per shot than taking single shots. Perhaps this is because I'm more likely to examine a single shot on the display, which consumes power. Or, possibly in single shot I'm more likely to take time setting up and will activate the focus several times before shooting, which drives the lens and the image stabilizer, using more power. Interestingly, I also seem to get more single shot frames if I first run off a hundred or so high speed burst frames, and then resume normal single shot shooting. This is a bit unexpected because Li ion batteries usually show less capacity as discharge rate increases, and I'd assume the high speed shooting is a high discharge case. But who knows - what I do see is that with a combination of high speed and normal shooting I can hit 600 to 800 frames per battery.

There appears to be a firmware bug involving the digital level. If the camera goes to sleep while displaying the level on the LCD, it may freeze in the sleep state requiring a battery removal. The thing is I've had it happen twice but haven't been able to deliberately reproduce it, so it's either random or there is a specific set of operations that I unknowingly performed to get it to happen. Likewise, there are a couple of instances in the interface where the icon used to represent a custom function is incorrect. I suspect both of these items could be easily fixed in firmware.

I'm not a fan of the skinny little exposure meter that is set off to the right side of the viewfinder when in Manual shooting mode. I believe this comes from the Canon 1D. When shooting a backlit subject, it's almost impossible to see the meter. There should be an option to use the meter at the bottom of the viewfinder for Manual mode. At present, the meter at the bottom only works in the other shooting modes, such as Av, Tv, P, etc.

The red flash in the viewfinder to confirm focus lock is too dim to be seen outdoors, even on a cloudy day (that is, if you set it to come on under all lighting conditions -- by default it's set to come on only in low light). However, this is probably due to the fact that the viewfinder is inherently bright, so I guess it's a good trade-off, because I really like the bright viewfinder. It just means I have to turn on the focus lock beep when outdoors.

***Update on a user interface issue: I've come to dislike having the button to enter the mode to magnify a recorded image placed on the left, while the image zoom and position controls are on the right. Because the left hand is really for camera support, it shouldn't have to be used during routine shooting operations like viewing an image that was just snapped. All such operations are best performed with the right hand. It's inefficient to have to reposition the left hand to activate the magnifier, and it also deviates from Canon's previous convention for this operation.

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Things of note that I didn't test, or that may be drawbacks (though they aren't to me):

The 7D2 also does 1080p/60 video, but I'm not a video shooter, so I have no comment about it.

There is no WiFi on this unit. To me, it doesn't matter, because I'm never in a situation in which I'd want to transmit files immediately. Shots I take with a DSLR aren't meant for Instagram or Facebook, so I have no need to upload them immediately. I use my phone for that. The one possible drawback is that built in WiFi could have allowed for remote control with a smartphone, but again, there are other control options that are reasonably convenient, so I'm not bothered by it.

The LCD screen does not pull out and articulate. This is because a movable screen would have lessened the weather sealing of the camera. Again, to me this is not an issue, but this could be a big drawback for purposes of shooting video, so be aware of it. Likewise, there is no touch screen.

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Summary:

This isn't a camera that has one or two big out-of-the-park improvements that make it revolutionary, although the new AF system comes really close. However, as a total package, it's a pretty remarkable camera. The Mark II is currently so new that it's not cheap, and will probably stay at MSRP for a while, but if it's within your budget I think even at full retail you get a lot of camera for your money, especially considering that the next big overall performance gains in the Canon line will run $1k to $4k more at street prices. I give the 7D Mark II a solid recommendation.

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FIRST REVISED REVIEW:

I'm revising my original review from five stars to two. As with a number of other users, my camera is now having a problem with autofocus. The particular issue is that it cannot correctly focus a static subject farther away than about 100 feet, when using a Canon EF-S 17-55mm lens at wide angles (17 to about 30mm) and shooting in one shot mode with the center autofocusing point. About half the time it front focuses terribly, to the point that the actual plane of focus is much closer than half the distance to the subject. I'm not talking small, low contrast, low light subjects here -- I'm talking city buildings (for example, the United States National Archive), shot straight on, in broad daylight, from 100 to 500 feet away.

The camera and lens (both bought new at the same time) have been back to Canon three times for repair. Each time they come back the Canon Repair Center has declared them without flaw, yet they continue to give the exact same incorrect focus results. Canon USA technical support has seen the photos I've taken that show this problem, and they agree there is definitely an issue, but the Canon Repair Centers have been unable to resolve it. I have also tested the body with another copy of the 17-55 lens, and the results were the same. Also, the lens focuses perfectly well in Live View, and also has no autofocus problems on my other Canon bodies.

Search the internet and you will find multiple reports of users with this and other autofocus problems. Please note I am an extremely experienced hobbyist photographer, and through my profession as a scientist I have years of experience designing and building optical systems, so this is not a matter of technique or unfamiliarity with the camera.

I'm guessing (hoping) that not all 7D Mark II cameras have this or other autofocus problems, but it seems that enough have it to make the risk of getting a faulty one uncomfortably high, in my opinion. Until more is known about these issues, I recommend against purchasing the 7D Mark II. If you do purchase it, please test it thoroughly with all of your lenses under your intended shooting conditions (i.e. shooting wildlife, landscapes, portraits, etc.) within the return period, so you can get a refund or exchange if you do get a bad one.

SECOND REVISED REVIEW:

I'm increasing my review from 2 stars to 4, because I have a workaround for the focusing issue with the Canon EF-S 17-55mm lens (see PREVIOUSLY REVISED REVIEW below, for details of the problem). With this workaround, this camera becomes really outstanding.

FURTHER TESTS (skip below to WORKAROUND if you want see the solution). I tried a brand new copy of the 17-55 mm lens on a second camera, and it displayed the same problem as before. Likewise, a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8, which is similar to the Canon, also had this issue. However, a Canon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 did NOT have this problem at 18 mm f/3.5. The chief difference of this lens is the slightly slower aperture. At this aperture, the center focus point reverts from a dual cross to a single cross type point (this is true on the 7D2 for any lens with less than an f/2.8 max aperture). This might indicate that the problem is with the diagonal cross sensor, which is the sensor that becomes inactive at max apertures less than f/2.8. Then again, the camera works without problems with a Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 at 16 mm, and the cross diagonal sensor should be active for this lens. Also, I tested the 17-55 with external apertures made from tape on the rear element that reduced the max aperture to about f/4.0. With this aperture, lens still had the same problem.

So, to sum up: two separate new 17-55 lenses showed this focus problem from 17-35 mm with two separate new 7D Mark II bodies. The Sigma 17-50, which is very similar to the Canon 17-55, also had this problem. The Canon 18-55 f/3.5 shot at 18 mm did NOT have this problem, neither did a Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 shot at 16 mm.

I suspect that this is a firmware problem, and I now believe it occurs in all combinations of the 7D2 and 17-55mm, but not everyone has noticed it yet. This is because it doesn't always happen. For example, I can take shots from several hundred feet away of one building that are in focus nearly every time. But then I can shoot the building right next to it, and those shots will be out of focus nearly every time. I don't think it's hardware, because the problem is so specific to a narrow focal length range of the the affected lenses, and doesn't show up with other very similar lenses (the 18-55 and the 11-16). Of course, this is just my speculation, and it could be a hardware problem after all.

WORKAROUND: Simply don't use center single point focus in One Shot Mode from 17-35 mm on the Canon 17-55 or Sigma 17-50, and use zone focus instead (zone focus is the 3x5 array of focus points). You can try expanded center single point (these are the focus modes represented by the center single point surrounded by "smaller" focus point squares), but I found that while it was more reliable than just the center point on its own, it was not as good as the zone focus. With zone focus, I can nail focus 95-99% (and by "nail" I mean complete visual agreement with Live View) of the time on static subjects that the center point alone will miss, and that includes the troublesome landscape shots that were at the center of the whole problem to begin with. You'd think that with the zone being as big as it is, that you'd get a lot of shots where the camera has focused on something at the zone edge instead of your intended subject at the center. But amazingly, this focus mode is incredibly good at picking out the central target and optimizing focus around that when in One Shot Mode. Of course, at least some of that has to do with the generous depth of field that exists when shooting at 17-35 mm at a good distance, but that certainly doesn't entirely account for how accurate zone focus is. The zone mode just seems really well designed and implemented, in complete contrast to the troublesome center point.

Just to be clear, the "zone" is the 3 x 5 matrix of autofocus points that is in the middle of the frame. This is not the "large zone", that encompasses the entire block of points in the frame center. Consult the manual if you're having trouble identifying it.

Above 35 mm, the center point works great, which is perfect for portraits where you're framing in close and want to hit focus on a persons eyes.

In short, I can now finally use my camera productively and enjoyably. I certainly hope that this same method will work for others having this problem. Please leave a comment letting me know if you've had this issue, and if this workaround solved it for you.

Bottom line:

I'm only going to four stars, because there is definitely a problem with what is usually a very important focus method for landscape and interior architecture photos on the single best lens Canon makes specifically for its APS-C cameras. 17-55 mm is an ideal general focal length range for the APS-C format. Also, the fixed f/2.8 aperture allows low light shooting and maximum creative flexibility. Right now, Canon does not make another single lens that embodies these qualities, so for those of us who really want them there aren't any alternatives that don't involve buying two lenses. The workaround is great, but it is frustrating to have to use it instead of the single focus point mode that is the customary norm for doing this type of shooting.

I wanted to wait until I have been shooting with this camera at least a month to write a review. I am a semi-pro/advanced amateur shooter. I primarily shoot landscapes with the Canon 6D, but I wanted a faster camera for my son's sports games. First impressions of this camera are excellent! It is super fast, and feels great in the hand.

I highly recommend you watch some videos online about the autofocus system, if this is an upgrade from a consumer Rebel line. There are so many different customizable things you can do with the focus system, and the buttons that control it. Shooting my first soccer game, I was blown away. I used the center cluster of focus points, and it was tack sharp on almost every shot. The rate of keepers skyrocketed from trying to do the same thing with a 6D.

The 10 frames a second burst is also handy. You will get a very gentle trigger finger, because the shutter button is very sensitive. If you have a heavy finger, you'll be shooting 10-frame bursts for every shot :). Just turn the high speed burst rate down. It will give you a much slower burst rate if you're not shooting fast moving objects.

Image Quality: This camera takes incredibly clear images. I find myself second guessing whether it was a crop body, or a full frame that took the images. When I am post-processing images, I usually batch the 7D's and the 6D's RAW images together. The dual processors, and improved technology makes this crop body deliver extremely crisp and clear images. See the attached images, and judge for yourself!

ISO Performance: For a crop body, this is a huge selling point for me. As I said earlier, I mainly use the full-frame 6D. That camera takes incredible images, and the high noise performance is top notch - like any full frame. But, this camera is on par, or just barely below the 6D up through ISO 1,200. No kidding, I can't believe how great the ISO handling is. I shoot a lot of macro with the 7D now, and I can very comfortably up the ISO to 1,000 if I need to. The three attached images all were shot with an between 800 - 1,000.

Battery Life: I can't lie, the battery life isn't the best. If you're lucky, you can get 1,000 - 1,100 shots per battery charge. Just carry an extra battery with you, and you should be good to go! I am eventually going to get the battery grip for the body.

Getting the Most of out the Camera: If you really want this camera to deliver the best possible images, you should really pair it with some high quality glass. The camera will come with the 18-135 EF-S kit lens. If you're going to spend $1,800 for the camera, do it some justice and purchase some of Canon's signature L glass to go with it. The red ring lenses are pricey, but they are worth every single penny.

Browse my images that I have attached to see the quality of the images, and then click on "Add to Cart!"

OMG I'm 40+ years old and using omg...yes...this camera is that good! I upgraded from the original 7D which I was in love with...however it was not great in low light. I shoot a bunch of high school football and basketball which do not typically have great lighting! I can shoot 6400 quite easily now and almost not tell if the photos are not blown up for large prints. Can easily be used as desktop wall paper size with little noise reduction in post. I love the focus system, the 10 frames a second (on paper it doesn't sound like much from 7fps on the 7dmk1 but it truly shoots 10fps and you may not have been quite getting 7 on the org 7d. This thing is a machine gun! Uses same digic 6 processors as the very latest 1dx. It's a killer camera. simple straight forward!

3/29/2015 – The GPS function has been an invaluable tool in helping me identify towns, areas, restaurants and attractions that I have been to. When the metadata of each picture is combined with Lightroom 5 �Map Mode’, tracking down locations is a joy to find places that I may have forgotten about along my journeys. Within the last two months, I travelled to a few international locations and I did not realize how fast and accurate the GPS can be when pictures are downloaded to Lightroom 5.
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3//29/2015 – In my original post, I made a comment about the strength of the 7D Mark II ISO that I have to make a correction to help other customers get the most accurate information. Originally, I stated “Honestly, this camera can shoot excellent shots even at 6,400 and above, and in order to see noise, you would have to blow up the picture on a computer or a very large print by zooming in at every single detail. Compared to most DSLRs on the market except the 1D-X (or Mark Five for those counting), the ISO performance on this camera is first class.” After over 1500 shots later, my experience is telling me that the high ISO function of 16,000 is a �strength’ to help the 7D Mark II shoot in low light situations much easier than a DSLR that can only typically produce 6,400, but it does not really improve the noise issue. When I made my original post, I was using the Canon’s �Digital Photo Professional’ (DPP) software which I believe masks a lot of the noise by default settings, but now that I upgraded to Lightroom 5 (LR5), I can see much more detail (noise) with the same pictures in RAW. There were shots that I have taken at 320 or 800 ISO now in daylight or slightly indoor settings that had significant noise issues, which are much lower than 6,400. While the higher ISO in the 7D Mark II helps the photographer take shots in low light situations with ease, I think the high ISO of 16,000 is considered an �overcompensation factor’ probably needed to help the APS-C sensor shoot pictures on 7D Mark II easier than say a full frame 5D Mark III or 6D DSLR. I have actually seen other photography videos run test on this sensor and ISO issue, and I believe that there is truth to this issue. The 7D Mark II is a great all around fast and powerful camera for the money. (My favorite at the moment) While every camera has noise issues, don’t expect this model to have the best sensor and noise functions compared to full-frame cameras. Regardless, with Lightroom 5, you can clean it up anyway, problem solved!

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Update 2/1/2015 - One negative thing I noticed about the 7D Mark II is the GPS function. I love it, but I have been observing for the past few weeks how if you enable the GPS, and turn off the camera, the GPS is still on and drains the batteries fairly quickly in a matter of days. Canon should have made this function turn off when the camera is turned off, not the same as camera on, but in sleep mode. Ever since, I disabled the GPS with the camera turned off, the batteries maintains its energy. Strange that this GPS function can be still use power even when you shut off the camera.

Update 1/19/2015 - Just learned that the 7D Mark comes with a built in intervalometer for long term continuous shooting for photography like star trailing. This camera is getting better by the day.
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My review and proud new owner of the Canon 7D Mark II. I graduated from the Rebel T5 and I must say up front that this camera is by far quite possibly the fastest and most advanced APS-C 1.6x (60% more zoom with any lens) crop factor body on the market! This camera is already becoming the envy from other photographers and my review will be updated periodically to provide deeper insights of this valuable piece of technology. One of the main inspirations for purchasing the 7D Mark II is because I kept coming across features that I wanted to use, but could not on my lower end model such as built in transmitter for wireless flash, IR sensor for wireless shutter, GPS for location stats for pictures taken and a slew of other internal functions. I wanted a camera that I did not have to worry about lacking features that only the top tier Canon body lineup had for the next 5 years, so I made the jump. With that said, the 7D Mark II has an astronomical and dizzying amount of awesome features, so my review is based on a hands on experience and focused on the major highlights. So here goes something!

1) The first observation I immediately noticed is how heavy and solidly built the 7D Mark II is. At 820 grams or 1.80 lbs., this camera weighs like a beefy beast. This body contains magnesium alloy and you can tell immediately. My other cameras feel like a feather weight compared to this. This weight does not count adding a pro standard or telephoto lens, flash and battery grip. In the end, it may add up to be nearly 4 - 10 lbs. depending on your setup. All the buttons are placed in the right spots, the LCD screen is surprisingly smaller at 3 inches instead of the standard 3.2 inches like my Rebel T5 and other DSLR bodies. I could not reuse my extra screen protectors. You notice a cool eight way directional `joystick' with a lever right above the `Q' button to operate on board controls such as the highly anticipated 65 AF All Cross Point System , which will be discussed later.

2) Second, at 10 FPS High Continuous shutter speed, the 7D Mark II is a rapid fire beast! Let me explain, on most cameras, you can hear the shutter close and release making a sound like `Chit...Cher'. (Sounds like Transformers, Don't laugh, lol) On the 7D Mark II, you just hear "Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick". The sound of the shutter is so fast, it literally moves faster than the blink of an eye, a heartbeat, or maybe close to the speed of light. (No exaggeration). Although you can use this camera for any type of photography, this body is most certainly made for sports, wildlife and anything that moves fast. I even love how you can set the shutter to shoot photos from ranges such as 1/1,000 to 1/8,000 of a second, preventing the camera from falling below a certain shutter threshold if the subject moves very fast. Also, you can decrease shutter speeds in High Mode from 5 to 10 FPS, Low Mode from 1-9 FPS and even switch to a Silent Mode from 1-4 FPS. Interestingly, many other high speed shutter functions on other camera sound like rockets at war, whereas the 7D Mark II sounds fairly quiet even in High Mode at 10 FPS. (No joke) The buffer on the camera also does a great job loading the multitude of all the recently taken pictures very quickly to the SD or CF cards, which you have the option of adding both at the same time and changing which one you want to use for pictures and video (I only use SD Cards for now)

3) The 65 All Cross Point AF is a masterpiece of the smartest Canon technology. The ability to switch on the AF Points while looking through the viewfinder and A) Increase the size of the AF Points, B) Move the AF Points to different subjects in the view, C) See clearly with a red lit VF Display, and D) Allow the AI Servo Mode to perform an extra six `Cases' to track your subjects with the AF mode.....insane computer camera technology! My words cannot do justice for the function alone, I hear that this mode alone surpasses anything on the market right now. I will admit that the 65 All Cross Point works like 99 % of the time for that tact sharpness of your intended subject demanded by the most professional photographers. I would prefer 100% of the time, because of the cost and value of this product along with an expensive Canon lens. In addition, the Viewfinder is so intelligent that it allows the user to add or remove certain icons to be displayed through the viewfinder itself such as AF Mode, Shoot Mode, White Balance, Drive Mode, Metering, Image Quality and even Anti-Flicker Mode. Amazing! Other than that, the 65 All Cross Point system works excellently.

4) ISO, ISO, ISO. Concerning ISO, if you use a 7D Mark II, you really do not need to worry about noise and grain on most shots. Even in low lit environments, the 7D Mark II performs exceedingly well with a healthy range of 23 ISO increments from 100 - 16,000. If you want more, you can go to 25,600 or the max 51,200. Honestly, this camera can shoot excellent shots even at 6,400 and above, and in order to see noise, you would have to blow up the picture on a computer or a very large print by zooming in at every single detail. Compared to most DSLRs on the market except the 1D-X (or Mark Five for those counting), the ISO performance on this camera is first class.

5) Another function that I thought I should add to my review is on exposure. This may seem insignificant to some, but I thought this was awesome. On my older models including the Rebel T5, I had trouble in Shutter and Aperture Priority Modes where the use of a Speedlite Flash would cause over exposure. (I tried adjusting my settings to no avail) However, on the 7D Mark II, there is a function that allows the user to command the computer to correct and over and under exposure specifically in those modes mentioned prior. Now when I use my Speedlite Flash in Shutter and Aperture Priority, I don't have that over exposure problem anymore.

The only negative thing I noticed about the 7D Mark II is the battery life. I don't think it is the battery itself, but I believe this body juices so much battery power with the high speed 10 FPS. The shutter speed is absolutely insane and the camera by design encourages you to switch from One Shot Mode to High Speed Continuous Mode; it is that addictive to shoot shots so fast during live action events that you do not want to miss a beat.
So there you have it, I really wish I could write more because there really is a lot to talk about this particular camera. It is a first class DSLR that outshines some of the many other Canon and other competitor cameras on the market. When you compare the specs and hands on experience, the 7D Mark is (IMO) the 1D-X's `little BIG brother" for much lower, but still price tag. Believe me, I did thought about getting the 5D Mark III, but I extremely satisfied and overwhelmed with prideful ownership for the 7D Mark II because it is really a stellar DSLR camera. I strongly believe this camera will retain of its value for photography professionals and enthusiast for years to come.

I have been using this camera for 10 months after buying it to replace a 7D. I use it primarily to shoot equestrian events with a 300mm prime lens. The crop factor puts it over 400mm for field of view, and it was very useful for that purpose. Focus is very fast, consistent, and accurate after calibrating to the lens in use. The shutter speed is perfect for the purpose I used it for, the buffer is large enough and the processing in camera fast enough to record many shots in succession in RAW format. With a battery grip installed, shooting all day long, several thousand shots, is entirely possible, even when using auto focus and the rear screen nearly constantly during the day. It is a very serviceable camera for sporting events, has acceptable noise reduction for low light shooting, and in my opinion is the best value in the Canon line up for such purposes.

I LOVE this camera ! I bought this as a back up camera to my 5d Mark ii for a big shoot I do every year for Veterans Day. I decided it was time to retire the Canon XSI that I was using as my back-up and after much deliberation decided to go with the 7d Mark ii rather than the cheaper 70d or the earlier model 7d also much cheaper.

I didn't get to play with it much before the shoot but from what I could see it has a lot of menu customizations. The AF is also far superior in my opinion with 64 point AF and many settings for how they work. I read other reviews that state the video is also superior but I haven't tested that myself yet.
SO I put my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on this and threw it in my camera bag. I planned on just shooting some secondary pictures with it during the 5 day events- UNTIL I pulled it out at the Rodeo and I was blown away after just a few shots. I didn't even touch my 5d again until the very end for the posed shots. The 7d mark ii captured the action like a pro. The camera performed flawlessly in low dusty light, yes of course the good lens is important but the camera certainly held it's own . I am very happy with pictures !

The only thing this camera doesn't bring is the full sensor of the 5d. Maybe I will find other flaws as time goes on but for now I can see me reaching for this one just as often as my 5d. If the full sensor is not a big thing for you then you will LOVE this camera and with the money you save you can buy a good lens !
I posted a few photos from the shoot - I did reduce size and resolution for this site so quality is slightly less than out of camera.

Zoe
After years of use from my Canon EOS 7D, I started to look to the enhanced AF wonders of the higher-end Canon EOS 5D MK III. The 7D gave this amateur bird and micro guy a fine education, but of course one always wants more. (Though I know perfectly well, through hard experience, that pro-technique will prevail over the amateur in possession of all the bells and whistles available at hand.) But the pricey 5D MK III was simply more camera than I could justifiably afford, even to myself. So imagine my delight when I heard of the new 7D MK II. I've never felt I needed the full-frame body, but here was a camera with the enhanced AF, at a price comparable to my original 7D. Of course I purchased it as soon as I could. I should probably wait a year to review it; there's a learning curve here that I'm just beginning to climb. (The full manual, included on disk in PDF format, is more than 500 pages, nearly twice the length of the original 7D's manual) -- there is much to learn. But I'm delighted by this camera and its design. On the low-hanging fruit portion of the bells and whistles -- you can dial in a grid to sight through the view-finder,so your vertical subject is vertical and the horizon is level, not at the 15% slant I usually attain. So a happy and confident five stars from me. I'm going to have years of fun and growth from this camera. I couldn't ask for more.

But I got more. . .

I purchased this camera through The Photo Center, via Amazon fulfillment. A day or so after receipt I noticed the price had dropped $200. I was still very happy with the camera, the price had been stated, and I paid it happily. But on Saturday I emailed The Photo Center and told them that while I was delighted by my purchase, I wondered if there was something they might do for me on the price end of things. A couple of hours later, Brendan, at The Photo Center, contacted me saying he was sure that there was something that could be done for me, but that he'd have to work through Amazon on Monday to get it done. By dinner time on Monday, Amazon had placed $200 back on my card. It doesn't get better than that. A great camera. And fast, responsive, five-star customer service. And one delighted customer.

Pros:
Fast Shutter speed on Continuous High Speed (10+ fps)
Dynamic Range, Excellent
Price, Excellent
Design, Flawless

Cons:
Battery drain when off, ( 2 or 3 times I've had a full or half full battery in and a day or two later i turn on the camera and battery low icon was blinking) No real issues since I have several backups but it's worrying if I'm doing a long day of shooting

Aperture change seems to cause mirror lockup, in the middle of a shoot on the first week I had the mirror lock up twice, (once during an important part of the session), I solved this by ejecting the lens the lens and replacing it, that cleared up the issue, but again a worrying problem for a brand new camera.

AF hit or miss in high speed situations, could be the lens, but I have had no issues with it on my 60D, I will test with others but I'm nitpicking here

other than these issues it is a solid camera and a great complement to my 60D which i now use as my portrait shooter, Withouth these issues I would have definitely given it 5 stars

I bought this as an upgrade to my 7D, which had done yeoman-like work for 5 years as my primary body. The biggest improvement in this body over the 7D is the ability to autofocus at a max aperture of f8, previously restricted to the 1-series bodies. This comes in handy for those times when you need more reach and want to use a teleconverter.
I've only had this camera for a few weeks, but so far it has focused consistently and performed at least as well as the 7D at high ISOs, if not a bit better.
I very very very much appreciate the way you have to push down a lock button to change the settings. I've had more than one occasion where a prosumer camera with the dial adjuster for the mode setting got jostled out of manual and into automatic. One time it cost me a once in a lifetime shot of a white wolf killing a goose in the Yellowstone River.
I also like the addition of a second card slot for an SD card. Saves time otherwise wasted trying to switch out cards in the middle of a shoot.
So far, I have no complaints and the camera is exactly what I expected when I ordered it.

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Canon Rebel XS 10.1 MP Digital EOS Camera w/ 32gb SD Card & New Battery Excellent Canon Rebel XS 10.1 megapixel digital EOS camera body. Camera comes with 32 gb SD memory card, NIB high capacity compatible battery and wall/car charger and camera bag. Everything has been tested and is in perfect
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