Canon 1D X Mark II vs 7D Mark II
The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2016 and September 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1DX Mark II) and an APS-C (7D Mark II) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Canon 7D II|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|20 MP, Full Frame Sensor||20 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 409,600)||ISO 100-16,000 (100 - 51,200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.2 LCD, 1620k dots||3.0 LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|16 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|1210 shots per battery charge||670 shots per battery charge|
|158 x 168 x 83 mm, 1530 g||149 x 112 x 78 mm, 910 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D X Mark II and the Canon 7D II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 7D II is considerably smaller (37 percent) than the Canon 1D X Mark II. Moreover, the 7D Mark II is substantially lighter (41 percent) than the 1DX Mark II. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the 1DX Mark II) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (7D Mark II). You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the 1DX Mark II gets 1210 shots out of its LP-E19 battery, while the 7D Mark II can take 670 images on a single charge of its LP-E6N power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1DX Mark II has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the 7D Mark II, Canon provides the BG-E16 vertical grip as an optional accessory (see here on eBay).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1440 g||2850||Y||Jan 2020||6,499|
|Canon 6D Mark II||144 mm||111 mm||75 mm||765 g||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||151 mm||116 mm||76 mm||890 g||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499|
|Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Canon 6D||145 mm||111 mm||71 mm||770 g||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099|
|Canon 1D X||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1551 g||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||150 mm||160 mm||80 mm||1385 g||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999|
|Nikon D5||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 7D Mark II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 70 percent) than the 1DX Mark II, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D X Mark II features a full frame sensor and the Canon 7D II an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the 7D Mark II is 61 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of chip-set technology, the 1DX Mark II uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6+ (Dual)) than the 7D Mark II (DIGIC 6 (Dual)), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Even though the 1DX Mark II has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 20 megapixels. This implies that the 1DX Mark II has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 6.57μm versus 4.10μm for the 7D Mark II), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the 1DX Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 4 months) than the 7D Mark II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-409600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II are ISO 100 to ISO 16000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the 1DX Mark II provides substantially higher image quality than the 7D Mark II, with an overall score that is 18 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.7 bits higher color depth, 1.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.2||14.5||3248||91|
|Canon 6D Mark II||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|Canon 6D||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
|Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||none||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 1DX Mark II provides a higher video resolution than the 7D Mark II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the 7D Mark II is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1DX Mark II and the 7D Mark II are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the 1DX Mark II has a higher magnification than the one of the 7D Mark II (0.76x vs 0.63x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1D X Mark II, the Canon 7D II, and comparable cameras.
|Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n|
|Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||optical||Y||3.2||2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||n|
|Canon 6D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5||n||n|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||7.0||n||n|
|Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 1DX Mark II has a touchscreen, while the 7D Mark II has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The Canon 7D II has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The 1DX Mark II writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or CFast cards, while the 7D Mark II uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Canon EOS 7D Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|Canon 6D Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1D X||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that both cameras feature internal geolocalization sensors and can record GPS coordinates in their EXIF data.
The 7D Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 1DX Mark II has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 1DX Mark II was succeeded by the Canon 1DX Mark III. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So how do things add up? Is the Canon 1D X Mark II better than the Canon 7D II or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (18 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.7 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.7 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6+ (Dual) vs DIGIC 6 (Dual)).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/60p vs 1080/60p).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.76x vs 0.63x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1040k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (16 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1210 versus 670) on a single battery charge.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 4 months after the 7D Mark II).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 7D Mark II:
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (149x112mm vs 158x168mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 620g or 41 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (70 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1DX Mark II is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1D X Mark II and the Canon 7D II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1DX Mark II and the 7D Mark II in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Canon 1D X Mark II||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 7D II||+||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 1D X Mark III||+ +||..||..||..||..||Jan 2020||6,499|
|Canon 6D Mark II||+||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999|
|Canon 5D Mark IV||+ +||87/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499|
|Canon 80D||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon 5DS||+||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 5DS R||+||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 70D||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|Canon 6D||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099|
|Canon 1D X||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Canon 60D||+||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|Canon 7D||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||..||Aug 2007||7,999|
|Nikon D5||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D X Mark II vs Hasselblad X1D
- Canon 1D X Mark II vs Leica V-LUX 4
- Canon 1D X Mark II vs Olympus E-5
- Canon 1D X Mark II vs Panasonic GH2
- Canon 1D X Mark II vs Sony A850
- Canon 7D II vs Fujifilm X-Pro1
- Canon 7D II vs Olympus E-500
- Canon 7D II vs Olympus E-PL6
- Canon 7D II vs Olympus E-PL7
- Canon 7D II vs Panasonic G95
- Canon 7D II vs Sony A6300
- Canon 7D II vs Sony RX10 III
Specifications: Canon 1D X Mark II vs Canon 7D II
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 1D X Mark II||Canon 7D II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2016||September 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 5,999||USD 1,799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1D X Mark II||Canon 7D II|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||22.4 x 15.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||336 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||27 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.57 μm||4.10 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.31 MP/cm2||5.94 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 16,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 409,600 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6+ (Dual)||DIGIC 6 (Dual)|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||88||70|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.1||22.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.5||11.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||3207||1082|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1D X Mark II||Canon 7D II|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1620k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1D X Mark II||Canon 7D II|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||16 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||500 000 actuations||200 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or CFAST cards||CF or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1D X Mark II||Canon 7D II|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 1D X Mark II||Canon 7D II|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1210 shots per charge||670 shots per charge|
158 x 168 x 83 mm
(6.2 x 6.6 x 3.3 in)
149 x 112 x 78 mm
(5.9 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||1530 g (54.0 oz)||910 g (32.1 oz)|
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