The New Canon 7D Mark II: Candid Thoughts from the Specialists at B&H


Anticipation for a replacement for the Canon 7D has been building for a long time and, this morning, the refresh finally arrived with the announcement of the 7D Mark II. When big camera news hits, you can read all about the new features and specifications on the Internet but, typically, you don't get to hear the thoughts and impressions of seasoned industry experts. Below, you'll find a collection of candid thoughts on the new Canon 7D Mark II from camera specialists here at B&H.

..... .... Gabe Biderman, B&H Camera Specialist

"What a long-overdue refresh. I can’t believe it has been five years since the original 7D came out! Canon seems to have definitely brought this camera up to speed. The feature that impresses me the most is the inclusion of the Dual Digic 6 Image Processor. The processor is the computer behind the camera, and makes it operate faster (super fast AF and 10 fps) and cleaner (ISO range from 100-16000). The 7D Mark II should excel at sports, weddings, in low light, and almost any other conditions you throw at it. I also see this as being a popular second camera for the pros who want the speed, image quality, and little bit more reach from an APS-C sized sensor."

..... .... Kelly Mena, B&H Video Director

"I was lucky enough to get a chance to see the Canon 7D Mark II and check out some of its features. As a video director and shooter, there were a few changes, in particular, that caught my eye. First, I was happy to see that with the new 7D Mark II you can shoot at 1080 60p. This is great for those who would like to capture footage and then slow it down in post without losing any resolution. On the original Canon 7D, you could only shoot 720 60p. The new camera also has two card slots (one SD and one CF). This allows the shooter to save to both cards or jump recording from one to the next. This is definitely useful for filming events and run-and-gun type shooting.


The most interesting advancement is the ability to customize your autofocus speed. This is a really helpful feature for those more advanced shooters who are used to focusing manually, and like having more control over the feel of their pull focuses. You can utilize the autofocus and then estimate how quickly or slowly you'd like this shift to happen in your shot. Adding even more control, you can lock focus by using the flash button on the front of the camera. As many experienced shooters know, the speed and feel of your autofocus influences the feeling behind the movement. So this has to be one of my favorites, in reference to camera usage.


Other notable features include an intervalometer in which you can record time lapses internally, and anti-flicker capabilities, useful in settings like gyms, where the lights tend to have a flicker not caught by the human eye but typically are captured by the camera. Also helpful is the HDMI output for both video and audio that allows the shooter to record externally. Last, I could not provide a reaction without noting the increased ISO Range from 100 to an expanded 512000, which is always helpful for low-light shooting. As with any camera, shooters have to gauge their shooting requirements and budgets to determine what will work best for them. There are some fun new features to play with here, useful for students, videographers, and professionals who are in need of a secondary camera."

..... .... Michael Hollender, B&H Social Media Manager

"Social Media is abuzz with Canon's blockbuster announcement today. People who use Canon's crop-sensor cameras are really impressed with the included Dual Digic 6 Image Processor, which allows the 7D Mark II to handle 10 fps and provides increased low-light performance. Where the camera falls short (for some) is the fact that the LCD does not articulate, nor is it touchscreen enabled. I guess once you go touchscreen you never go back, but at the same time many full-frame users would trade that touchscreen for a body that can handle rain and mud any day of the week! Can this be the second body full-frame users have been waiting for?"

..... .... Zevi Slotkin, B&H Camera Specialist

"The many improvements present in the 7D Mark II show that Canon is seriously committed to a top-caliber APS-C SLR—and that’s a good thing. Many photographers will value its increased AF and shooting speeds, durability, and extra 1.6x reach. In many respects, it’s like a “mini 1DX.” On the video side, the new choice of frame rates, MOV codec, and dual-pixel 70D sensor design are most welcome, but I think many are disappointed not to see 4K capture at this stage in the game. And in an overall sense, considering that it’s been a full five years since the original 7D, I find the totality of improvements to be somewhat underwhelming. But perhaps we’ve reached a point in SLR design where we’ll mostly see only incremental performance improvements and not huge leaps."

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These are more "canned" then candid thoughts. I was really hoping there would be more true insight and not just propaganga type buzz. At least Zevi kind of hinted at disapointment. I'm sure there are some nice improvements, but after 5 years I expected much more. I see nothing about a new improved sensor and a lot of the specs are still playing catch-up to other systems. 

LCD vari-angle? Wi-Fi? Forgot?

I cannot justify the cost of upgrading my current 7d for so little in new features and practically zero cool stuff. Highly dissapointed is also an understatement. Sony/Fuji/Samsung/Panasonic seem to have no problem innovating.

Wanted address some comments about 4k:

I think the reason Canon has not jumped onto the bandwagon with 4K with a "me first" approach is because many workflows are still evolving. The current HD bit rate is very high and with 4K it will be even higher. On the workflow end - the video bandwidth, storage and compute power has to catch up. Canon tends to be conservative, but it is steadfast in development.

If the technology and standards are not quite there yet, why allow them to stand in the way of great art.


Whatz the cost goingvto be for this camera

Our website is live with current pricing and availablity details, as well as full product details.  Please click on the following link to view the camera on our website and regard the current price there:

I suspect Kelly meant ISO 51200, right?

I can't imagine that full frame users would want a crop frame as a second body. Am I wrong? Are there people that carry mixed formats?

I personally am glad that WIFI, touch screen, and swivel screen are missing; They appeal to a different demographic than what I think this camera is meant for. With a crop sensor it has more pixel density on the subject than any other camera from Canon, making it ideal for wildlife and sports; which I think is the target demographic. I am a current 7D user, and if I had planned out the next gen camera it would be pretty much exactly as built. It shouldn't be a better video camera than the C100, but I am glad that they upgraded the video capabilities a bit; I expect that the 7D and 5D2 were seen as video cameras wasn't intentional in the first place. Canons top end crop sensor DSLR should be primarily a still frame camera. The high frame rate, better ISO performance, increased pixel, improved weatherproofing, and improved focus system sound like significant improvements that will warrant an upgrade for many of us. The upcoming tests will prove this out, but initial feedback and sample images seem to support this.

"""I personally am glad that WIFI, touch screen, and swivel screen are missing; They appeal to a different demographic than what I think this camera is meant for."""

I don't think that about the "different demographic" holds any water.

For one, DSLR video types are a larger market for this, and the absolutely want touch and swivel screen.

Second, all those are helpful features. Just because they are often found in cheaper cameras doesn't make them "cheap" or "consumer". It just means Canon is stupid for not bundling it and keeping their pro bodies straddled in 20th century designs.

Third, lots of pros have to do shots (especially in nature/travel) in difficult angles and without a tripod, where a swivel screen would help. And of course even more big pros use wi-fi solutions, e.g in the form of the Eye-fi, or custom tethering / transmition to computer tools.

I am a pro and I would very much appreciate a swivel screen, touch and wifi.

I suppose I disagree, as does Canon. I think the term 'Stupid' is a bit extreme, as I am sure they did studies and put some thought into this. Not being ideal for your particular needs/use doesn't make it 'Stupid'.

I personally would be discouraged if it had a swivel screen, might use touch though it doesn't draw me in, and simply wouldn't care if it had wifi as it wouln't have it on the vast majority of the time. None of these are features that I would be happy paying for in this camera. I can see the draw for the tilt screen and Wifi, just not in a wildlife/sports camera, which is what I envision the target demographic is. The touch screen could be good if it was in exchange for the dials in order to better weatherproof the body.

I suppose if people want these features they should speak with their wallets and buy a different camera. I personaly will buy the camera, and think it is the best option out there for me.

Now that I think about it, I would have preferred if they had removed the mode dial and gone with the twin buttons from the 1DX... perhaps in the mark3?

Yes, she did mean 51,200, the number was a typo.  Our apologies on that.  And yes, there are plenty of users carrying around mixed formats.  Every user is different and has a different approach and need as far as gear goes, and just like many mechanics, many shooters often have more than one type of tool for their work.  In this case the tool is another camera format.  The APS-C format is advantageous for photographers wanting to maximize the reach of their zoom lenses, say for sports, birding/nature work, events, weddings and paparazzi work.  Many also use the APS-C cameras for backup cameras simply due to the lesser cost.

How many ways can I say disappointed?

No 4K video?!?!?!

Panasonic has several sub $1000 cameras that do this.

No swing out touch sensitive screen?

Canon tilt out screens such on the 70D are unbelievably convenient in tight environments. Why did they leave it out on a more expensive camera?

No WiFi?


Raw video might be asking too much, but it would have been nice to have.

Back in the fall of 2009 I bought two 7Ds, they were great, but  I sold them years ago and replace them with other cameras. I was always hoping that Canon would upgrade this camera but they waited too long and added too few upgrades.

I have owned and operated over 130 still and video cameras since the 1970s. My maintenance system is to simply replace my cameras every two years. My last 25 cameras have been Canons. Prior to that it had been primarily Nikons, Sonys and Hasselblads. Instead of buying this camera I'll be looking at what their competition, especially Panasonic, have to offer.

Paul - 

Canon cannot afford to include 4K in their DSLR bodies at this time, given that they have fully vested into their Cine line of bodies (C100/300/500). Even if they did so with limitations, the popularity of the 7DII with some sort of UHD or 4K would eliminate need for their $5k-13k bodies, the C100 and C300. It looks like they didn't anticipate properly the popularity of micro 4/3 and mirrorless bodies coming so quickly to the market with 4K capabilities. They're stuck.

Add to that, it's amazing to see Nikon push forward without 4K - and still surpass Canon DSLR's in video quality (as for now).

I recently read an interesting article on EOSHD (.com) about a blogger that had a chat with the Canon reps at Photokina, and when he asked them about the small advancements in their DSLR line for video, they commented that they are choosing NOT to push the video specs of their DSLR's, in favor of the Cine line of bodies. They also acknowledged that the 7DII improvements are slight, and that it's a very minor improvement. 

Yet, with Nikon's D750 and great video specs, and the D810 offering more video features and resolution than any Canon DSLR available (despite the lack of 4K), I'm beginning to wonder if my Canon gear is worth it anymore. I'm thinking not.

The Canon 7D MarkII actually has Dual Digic 6 processors!!  That is important to make sure the camera can easily handle 10fps shooting!!

I was thrilled when the 7D came out with expanded ISO.  It, however, has been a huge disappointment.  The expanded numbers just didn't match quality expected.  IF the new 7D Mark II proves that the expanded ISO is for real, then I'm ready to buy, especially since my backup camera just died.  Otherwise, I'll find a used 7D for backup and wait another 5 years.

Sign me, Keeping My Fingers Crossed.