If you wish to draw attention of the public, to make it talk about something, you must offer it something unexpected. This recipe works in most situations. Yet, what would it be like if after a number of years with something ‘unexpected’ we finally got something expected, undoubtedly better that the previous? This question was posed to the management of the largest company in the photo world, and as a result of working on the ‘expected’, we have got a new champion of action photography featuring the APS-C format, and perhaps the first APS-C of the new age in the pro category – Canon EOS Mark II!
The Mark II label in Canon’s nomenclature means an unambiguous connection with the previous generation. The Canon EOS 7D was at a time a real bomb in the world of the most serious APS-C DSLRs, and it has remained without a real reply of its competition, practically until this very day. There were some attempts, more or less successful, but they all gravitated outside the category where the old 7D belonged. Since the old model achieved truly amazing sales results and definitely deserved the renown it had won, it was expected that Canon soon continued working on the successor. However, that did not happen. In the last couple of years, we repeatedly expected that the successor of the EOS 7D was there, behind the corner, but its appearance would fail to come true over and over again. This time there is no dilemma – the new camera is before us, and the list of innovations is such that few will remain indifferent. Just as in the case of its famous predecessor, Canon was not cheap when it came to enhancing the basic subsystems, so the 7D Mark II also boasts unique characteristics, which even the top models of the greatest manufacturers do not feature!
Despite the clear statement that here we have a new CMOS sensor (in comparison to the EOS 70D), we tend to doubt it with reason, since the manufacturing technology simply has not been changed. Perhaps this fact is the reason for such a generous list of technical characteristics, which raise the Canon EOS 7D Mark II very high on the scale of bodies equipped to the max as far as their functions are concerned. Perhaps, while trying to preserve its infantry of users, Canon saw a sound reason to enhance the popular APS-C, since in that way it is possible to prevent at least one portion of dissatisfied users from switching to the rival camp. It is a well-known fact that over a last few years Canon has done very little concerning the technology behind the CMOS sensor, while the chief rival in that field (Sony) presented the market with by far the most desirable product, which is characterized by not only an exceptional level of details, but a superb dynamic range as well.
With the transition of the EOS-1Dx series from the formerly adopted APS-H (1.3x crop) format to the 35mm, Canon made plenty of room to provide the successor of the 7D with the possibility to improve without affecting their flagships. Since for a long time the rival camp has not presented us with a real successor of the D300 (not counting the Nikon D300S, which cannot be called a new camera), Canon nonetheless decided to carry on with the game on its own. It is perhaps excellent tactics for diverting attention from the technological domination with which the direct rival has been striking lately. And perhaps it is eavesdropping on the needs of the market? Over the last couple of years, Canon has completely made us grow out of such a practice. The symbolism in this case is very strong since the last Canon body that was produced in accordance with the wish of the interested audience was precisely the Canon EOS 7D.
Many years have passed since the introduction of the first offshoot of this class, but it is still interested to see how much the old 7D is still competitive with its specifications, even today:
Technical characteristics: Canon EOS 7D Mark II in comparison to 7D
A great time gap in relation to the first model of this category of the EOS line-up resulted in the two models having very few characteristics in common. To tell the truth, in contrast to some other cases, the name this time unmistakably indicates that here we definitely have the successor of the well-known Canon APS-C model, the 7D. The EOS 7D Mark II is one step ahead for many reasons. However, perhaps its main problem could be relatively shy improvement concerning the area that is a matter of great controversy when it comes to Canon Inc. Guess what! It is about the sensor. The sensor is more advanced in comparison to the 18MP CMOS, which has been exploited for such a long time. Nevertheless, its improvement did not go hand in hand with the improvements promoted by some other manufacturers, primarily Sony. While we could have a long debate about the characteristics of the sensor, all the other subsystems of the new camera simply shine with their features. The new and one of today’s most advanced autofocus systems, the continuous shooting rate that was the object of desire of many low-budget action photographers, the buffer that will make sure that each scene reaches its maximum... and there are some innovations that show their practicality only at the first encounter. It is impossible to include in a couple of sentences everything that the new camera offers in comparison to the predecessor, so – let’s start one thing at a time!
The typical Canon package is available in two kit versions (EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM), and body-only. The looks are recognizable:
Canon EOS 7D Mark II, the content of the body-only package
In the body-only package, which we had during the review, aside from the camera and the mount cap, there are also: an LP-E6N Li-Ion battery with a protective cover, an LC-E6 battery charger (i.e. an LC-E6E version with a cable, as in the picture), a wide shoulder strap, a USB 3.0 cable and a carrier for it, a printed basic manual and two DVDs, one of which contains the accompanying software, while the other consists of instructions in the electronic form. The accompanying software comes in two versions – Windows and MacOS – while in addition to the well-known Digital Photo Professional RAW convertor, it also contains the EOS Utility tool for controlling the camera via a cable or wirelessly, as well as transferring files to a computer. There are also Picture Style Editor, which is used to adjust color styles, Image Browser EX, for viewing and cataloging images, and Map Utility, by means of which image locations can be seen on a map, for the images that were produced when the GPS was switched on.