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Canon 70D versus Canon 7D II

The Canon EOS 70D and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2013 and September 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 70D vs Canon 7D II

The physical size and weight of the Canon 70D and the Canon 7D II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 70D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 70D vs Canon 7D II
Compare 70D versus 7D Mark II top
Compare 70D and 7D Mark II rear

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 notably larger (15 percent) than the Canon 70D. Moreover, the 7D Mark II is markedly heavier (21 percent) than the 70D. 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 70D gets 920 shots out of its LP-E6 battery, while the 7D Mark II can take 670 images on a single charge of its LP-E6N power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 70D» 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i
Canon 7D II« 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i
Canon 80D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon G3 X« » 4.8 in 3.0 in 4.1 in 25.9 oz 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 7D« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i
Canon 50D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i
Nikon D7100« » 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i
Sony RX10« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 4.0 in 28.7 oz 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 70D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the 7D 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 70D vs Canon 7D II

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 7D Mark II is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 70D and Canon 7D II sensor measures

Even though the 70D has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 20 megapixel. This implies that the 70D has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 4.11μm versus 4.10μm for the 7D Mark II), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the 7D Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 2 months) than the 70D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

70D versus 7D Mark II MP

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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 70D» APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
Canon 7D II« APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
Canon G3 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
Canon 7D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
Sony RX10« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the 7D Mark II provides a faster frame rate than the 70D. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the 70D is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 70D vs Canon 7D II

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 70D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 70D and Canon 7D II along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 70D»optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon 7D II«optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon G3 X« »- n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Sony RX10« »1440 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 10.0 Y Y

The 7D Mark II is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the 70D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 70D was succeeded by the Canon 80D.

Review summary: Canon 70D vs Canon 7D II

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 70D better than the Canon 7D II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 70D:

  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x104mm vs 149x112mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 155g or 17 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (920 versus 670) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2013).


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 2 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 70D is the clear winner of the match-up (7 : 3 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

70D 07:03 7D Mark II

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 70D 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 70D»HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i
Canon 7D II«Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i
Canon 80D« »HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon G3 X« »Rec-4.5/53.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i i
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i
Canon 60D« »Rec79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 7D« »HiRec84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i
Canon 50D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i
Nikon D7100« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i
Sony RX10« »Rec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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