This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Introduction

The Canon 7D and the 7D Mark II are both budget-oriented DSLR cameras which have their differences in specifications, whatsoever, they are both good at what they do best.

We’re going to try to compare them, but take in mind that price doesn’t really matter when it comes to what your requirements are since the cheapest one can provide you with what you need, with that specific feature or performance that you’re after.

Since it was first announced, the Canon 7D has become a popular option, in fact, the most popular APS-C DSLR among hobbyists, enthusiast photographers, as well as semi-professionals. Due to the Firmware Version 2.0.X, the 7D has gained a multitude of feature enhancements for higher performance befitting the flagship APS-C EOS.

There are many improvements such as continuous shooting, the definable maximum limit for ISO Auto, compatibility with the GPS Receiver, GP-E2, and manual audio level adjustment. However, for more details, we’re going to do a head-to-head comparison with the Canon 7D Mark II later in this review.

But before we get started, let’s also take a quick look at the Canon 7D Mark II.

Just as the first 7D, the Canon 7D Mark II is also a DSLR camera that is designed to accommodate photographers and videographers who are in search of a camera that is able to provide a wide range of artistic opportunities. However, the 7D Mark II does come at a more expensive price, but as we told you before, price doesn’t mean that this camera is best for you, since the other one can provide you with that specific feature that you need the most for your job, photography, and so on.

Although, there are quite some differences between these two cameras when it comes to specifications, such as the 20.2MP boost in the Mark II, the dual card slots, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF for brilliant Live-View, and much more.

Okay, now, let’s see which one has the most features, and why one of these cameras can be the perfect addition to your photography.

Similar Comparison: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7R II

Head To Head Comparison

Canon 7D

The confusion in most people’s minds is whether they should go for the 7D or the 7D Mark II. To start off with the first 7D, this one is Canon’s top of the range APS-C camera, which is also why it has gained all its reputation.

In terms of aesthetics, focus area, drive mode, and sensitivity can be controlled from a row of buttons next to the shutter release, while each button is able to control two functions.

There is also an LCD screen included on the top-plate which tells all the information you need when you’re using the camera, while there is also a final button on the top shoulder which lets you control a handy backlight for making changes in the dark.

There are also people who like to check settings via an on-screen display, while for this there is a Q button on the camera back which gives you a big-screen glance at the camera’s settings.

What I also like is the inclusion of a raw/JPEG button which comes in handy for one-off RAW shooting, for example, if you’re faced with a scene with a particularly wide dynamic range.

To continue, this camera is incredibly good for wildlife, while it has a responsiveness that is helped by the 7D’s excellent focusing system, along with its 19 cross-type focus sensors, it tracks superbly. Apart from that, the 7D’s autofocus system is better than most other camera’s in this price range and some of the above.

Totally, you can find five ways of selecting the AF point, however, in default settings, you will find only three, the Single-point AF, Zone AF, and Auto-select 19-point AF. As for standard and most commonly used are the first and the last, which you can find in almost any other DSLR camera.

Therefore, in Zone AF mode, the 19-points are divided into five zones while the photographer gets the option to choose which one of these to use. Personally, I find this very useful, especially with moving subjects that can be tricky to follow with a single AF point.

As we mentioned above, the Canon 7D has an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor, however, as a DSLR, it lacks full-frame capabilities, which can be disappointing for some users. However, it has a 100% viewfinder coverage, which is great because you won’t miss any details or parts of ambient when you take photos. As for the ISO range, it goes from 100 to 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, to up to 12800 with a boost.

For video capture, the 7D provides an incredibly powerful manual mode, while fully automatic modes are still there for those who want to point and shoot, however, if you want to set your own aperture, shutter, and ISO speeds, you can flick the mode wheel to manual.

All and all, we would highly recommend this camera to everyone seeking an affordable DSLR option which covers most features of a premium DSLR. It is suitable for most semi-professionals, photography enthusiasts, and people who want to use it for portrait photography, either way, it’s a win-win.

Canon 7D Sample Images:

Similar Comparison: Sony A7 III vs Nikon D750

Canon 7D Mark II

Okay, now as for the successor of the Canon 7D, the Mark II comes into the spotlight. Compared to the Canon 7D, this one has a 20.2MP sensor, while apart from that, the microlenses have also been redesigned for improved efficiency, which results in image quality at higher ISOs.

Speaking of ISO, this particular model features a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000 while it can also be expanded to 51,200. For your information, this is the highest non-expansion setting in any Canon APS-C format DSLR.

Another noticeable improvement from the Canon 7D Mark II’s predecessor is the autofocus system, which improves upon it with a 65-point system, while all of them are sensitive cross-type. Other than that, this new camera also has EOS iTR AF and Al Servo AF III autofocus technologies which provide the user with a selection of six shooting scenarios to tailor the AF system so it has the best chance of keeping a moving subject sharp.

To continue, to point out another improvement from the original 7D, you’ll also be happy to know that now there are seven AF point selection modes, such as the Single Point Spot, Single Point, AF Point Expansion(Manual Selection), AF Point Expansion(Manual selection, surrounding points), AF Zone, Large Zone AF, and 65-point automatic selection AF.

Thus, these will enable the photographer to set the starting AF point and as an addition, in continuous AF mode, you can tell the camera how to track the subject if it moves.

As far as you’re concerned about exposure, it is handled by a new 150,000-pixel RGB and infrared sensor, while that is a lot better than most other DSLRs at this price range. In addition to this, since the 7D has Dual Pixel AF Technology, the camera’s sensor has pixels that are good for phase detection focusing in Live View and Video mode. Therefore, you will get a smoother, faster focusing than contrast detection alone.

Moreover, other good news is that for videographers that want Full HD video, they can record everything in MOV or MP4 at up to 60p in NTSC mode or 50p in PAL. An HDMI port will provide a clean uncompressed feed to external recorders, while you will also find ports for connecting both the microphone and a headphone for better sound recording and monitoring.

For image transfer, there is a USB 3.0 port for faster image transfer, and bracket ships with the camera which organizes the cable placement securely in place when shooting with the camera tethered to a computer.

Before we end, let’s not forget to mention that on the back of the camera, there is a 3-inch 1,040,000-dot LCD screen which can be useful when it comes to composing Movies or images in Live View mode.

Overall, if you are just a starter or a semi-professional who wants to take his photography to a whole new level, then this is your ideal choice, because not only that it is cheaper than most other premium cameras, but it also covers everything that you would need for your videography or photography.

Canon 7D Mark II Sample Images:

Similar Comparison: Fuji X-T10 vs Sony A6000

Canon 7D vs Canon 7D Mark II Feature Comparison

Canon 7D Canon 7D Mark II
Camera Type
DSLR
DSLR
Megapixels
18.0
20.2
ISO Range
12,800
100-16000 (51200)
Flip-Out Screen
No
No
Microphone
No
No
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
No
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C
CMOS

Similar Comparison: Fuji X-T3 vs Sony A7 III

Conclusion

As we reached the end, by now, you should know exactly which camera outperforms the other. Nonetheless, we mentioned it a couple of times, it all depends on what you need the camera since there are specific features that make a camera great for a specific purpose.

For example, for portrait photography, the Canon 7D would be perfect, however, for more sophisticated photography, specifically, for photographers who want to take their work to a whole other level, we would recommend the Canon 7D Mark II.

The Mark II is better than the original 7D in many fields, starting with the greater MP, the ISO range, the plethora of features that can make your experience a whole lot better, and so on.

Due to these advantages, the Canon 7D Mark II comes at a way more expensive price than the original 7D, however, if you have the money, you should go for it, but if you’re looking for an affordable option which packs several premium features and a decent performance, then the Canon 7D could be your ideal choice.

Similar Comparison: Sony A7 II vs Fuji X-T2