My First Look – Canon 7D Mark II DSLR

February 6, 2016

Sure, the 7D Mark II has been out for ages and reviews have been around of pre-release and released versions for about a year. That doesn’t mean that this journalist was able to get his hands on a model early. In fact, I consider myself and my review a lot more accurate because I shelled out the $1600 to buy the camera instead of having Canon send me a review unit.

That said, here are my thoughts on the camera and the functionality it brings to my photography. *As an aside, if you’re not sure what I do for photo work, take a peek at the Photography tab on this site and at the Appearances sidebar on the home page. Most of my work is either creating fine-art photography or taking photos at social events and sporting matches.

Canon 7D MK II

Great things…

  • The camera body is nearly identical in size to my previous camera, the Canon 7D
  • The autofocus options are ENDLESS and make it easy (if you read the manual) to capture focus of a moving or still object and create crisp, perfect shots
  • There are two card slots – CF and SD – and you can write different quality photos to each card (or the same quality photos to both cards)
  • With an SD card, you’re able to use an EyeFi Wifi card and transfer images to iOS and Android devices – this DOES require a little manipulation, see LESS GREAT for details
  • It takes practically the same battery as the prior model so you don’t have to restock all your accessories with this purchase  – same argument for memory cards
  • 10 FPS means you can fire off a bunch of shots at once to ensure you capture a moment
  • The silent shooting modes are whisper quiet – much more so than silent shooting modes on earlier models
  • It has GPS and GPS tracking/logging so you can go for a photowalk and both tag all your shots with GPS and directional metadata AND you can download the track you walked if you’d like to share your photowalk trail with others
  • It has the most autofocus cross-type sensors of any camera in the Canon lineup and features a series of fine-tuning settings so sports and nature shooters can track athletes and wildlife better than ever before without having the camera lose focus if a person or object comes between them and their subject

Less-Great things…

  • It cost me $1600 for a camera body – there are plenty of cameras out there for less than that, and these less-expensive cameras are actually capable of capturing images too
  • So much on-board technology can make learning the camera’s features, functions and settings a little arduous and complicated
  • There’s no Wifi built into the camera – sure, GPS is neat but $1600 should be a Wifi no-brainer
  • Because there’s no Wifi built in, the use of an EyeFi or other Wifi card is necessary if you feel like sharing your images via social channels while you’re out in the field or working an event for a client
  • Setting up these cards – especially the EyeFi card as I found out and documented – can be a horror show and very confusing
  • I’ve had to exchange the camera body once for another one because the innards of my first model got a little wonky and communication between the camera, lens, function menu and the Wifi card was all screwed up (Hunt’s Photo and Video in Hanover went above and beyond in making things right and ensuring I’ll continue to recommend them as the best local camera shop around to anyone who will listen)

That’s probably quite enough for anyone to read and retain, so here are some of the first pictures I took using the new camera. They were at a fencing academy in Rhode Island. I expect I’ll be going back there to capture some more shots now that I know more about the camera’s low-light prowess and focusing ability.

Lastly, if you’d like, I’ll provide an update a year from now on the longterm viability and performance of this new camera. Thanks for reading!