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Canon 7D II vs 7D

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II and the Canon EOS 7D are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and September 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 7D Mark II has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the 7D provides 17.9 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Canon 7D II   Canon 7D
Canon 7D II Canon 7D
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
20 MP, APS-C Sensor 17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-16000 (100-51200) ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
670 shots per battery charge800 shots per battery charge
149 x 112 x 78 mm, 910 g 148 x 111 x 74 mm, 860 g

Body comparison: Canon 7D II vs 7D

The physical size and weight of the Canon 7D II and the Canon 7D are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 7D Mark II – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 7D II and Canon 7D
Compare 7D Mark II versus 7D top
Compare 7D Mark II or 7D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 7D is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Canon 7D II. Moreover, the 7D is markedly lighter (5 percent) than the 7D 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 7D Mark II gets 670 shots out of its LP-E6N battery, while the 7D can take 800 images on a single charge of its LP-E6 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)
Camera
Model
Canon 7D II» 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon 7D« 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T5« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon 70D« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon SL1« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon 6D« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
Canon 5D Mark II« » 6.0 in 4.5 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D

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 7D was somewhat cheaper (by 6 percent) than the 7D Mark II at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 7D II vs 7D

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and 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 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.

In terms of chip-set technology, the 7D Mark II uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 6 (Dual)) than the 7D (DIGIC 4 (Dual)), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 7D II and Canon 7D sensor measures

With 20MP, the 7D Mark II offers a higher resolution than the 7D (17.9MP), but the 7D Mark II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.10μm versus 4.31μm for the 7D). However, the 7D Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 years) than the 7D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The 7D Mark II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 7D are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800..

7D Mark II versus 7D MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the 7D Mark II has a notably higher overall DXO score than the 7D (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 7D II» APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
Canon 7D« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466Canon 7D
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon T6i
Canon T5« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon T5
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
Canon SL1« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon SL1
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366Canon 60D
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663Canon 50D
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 7D Mark II provides a higher frame rate than the 7D. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the 7D is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 7D II vs 7D

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 7D Mark II and the 7D 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 7D II and Canon 7D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
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)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 7D II»optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
Canon 7D«optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n Canon 7D
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T6i
Canon T5« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon T5
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
Canon SL1« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon SL1
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n Canon 6D
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 6.3 Y n Canon 50D
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 20D

The 7D Mark II writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the 7D uses Compact Flash cards. The 7D Mark II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 7D only has one slot.

Connectivity comparison: Canon 7D II vs 7D

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 7D Mark II and Canon EOS 7D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 7D II»YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
Canon 7D«Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 7D
Canon T6i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon T6i
Canon T5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T5
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
Canon SL1« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon SL1
Canon T5i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
Canon 60D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
Canon 5D Mark II« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 50D
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D

It is notable that the 7D Mark II has a headphone jack, which is not present on the 7D This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

The 7D Mark II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 7D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 7D was succeeded by the Canon 7D Mark II.


Review summary: Canon 7D II vs 7D

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 7D II better than the Canon 7D or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 17.9MP) with a 6% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 6 (Dual) vs DIGIC 4 (Dual)).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years of technical progress since the 7D launch.


Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 7D:

  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (800 versus 670) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2009).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 7D Mark II is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 2 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.

7D Mark II 12:02 7D

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 7D Mark II and the 7D 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.

Expert reviews: Canon 7D II vs 7D

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 full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 7D II»Rec84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
Canon 7D«HiRec84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon T6i
Canon T5« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon T5
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
Canon SL1« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon SL1
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
Canon 6D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
Canon 60D« »Rec79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
Canon 20D« »-HiRec-rev- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

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.

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    Specifications: Canon 7D II vs Canon 7D

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 7D II Canon 7D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2014 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 1799 USD 1699
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.4 x 15.0 mm 22.3 x 15.0 mm
    Sensor Area 336 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6 1.6
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 17.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.10 μm 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 5.94 MP/cm2 5.39 MP/cm2
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-16000 ISO 100-6400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-51200 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 6 (Dual) DIGIC 4 (Dual)
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards CF cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    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
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E6N power pack LP-E6 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)670 shots per charge800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 149 x 112 x 78 mm
    (5.9 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
    148 x 111 x 74 mm
    (5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 910 g (32.1 oz) 860 g (30.3 oz)

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