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Gear Reviews

Canon 7D Mark II Review: A Wedding Photographer’s Perspective

By Matthew Saville on January 13th 2015

This is part 3 of our 4-part review of the Canon 7D Mark II.  If you’re an action sports/telephoto wildlife photographer, click HERE.  If you’re a landscape or astro-landscape photographer, click HERE!

01-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait

Using The Canon 7D Mark II for Weddings and Portraits

So, why would you want to use the Canon 7D Mark II for weddings and portraits?  It’s a crop-sensor camera built for speed, and the only people who seem to be truly excited about it are telephoto sports shooters.

Still, as a near-flagship camera, it has a lot to offer.  Even folks who don’t need blazing speed or “extra reach” should consider the 7D mk2, and I’m going to explain why.

The camera is basically a 5D mk3 lite, with even newer autofocus. In fact, there’s no other way to get this much AF reliability in such an affordable package without compromising in other areas.

Since this is one part of our overall Canon 7D Mark II review, let’s just dive into the pros and cons of using this camera for weddings and portraits.  Please feel free to chime in with your comments or questions below!

10-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait

Pros:

Professional Image Quality

In past generations, it seemed like Canon’s APS-C sensors were decidedly less capable than Canon’s full-frame sensors.  Canon’s 8-18 megapixel 1.6x crop sensor technology was hot stuff back in the days of the 20D, but it hasn’t come very far since then.  The 7D Mark II is an attempt to change this trend, with image quality nearly on par with Canon full-frame sensors from ISO 100-1600, and “professionally acceptable” at ISO 3200-6400, too. Wow!

13-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait 11-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait 12-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait

05-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait 04-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait 06-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait 07-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait

Professional Build Quality

Wedding photographers, and photojournalist types in general, are notoriously abusive with their equipment.  Sure, you could “get the job done” with any camera.  We always seem to have that debate- yes, you could photograph a wedding with a Rebel if you had to…However, year after year, the more weddings and photo shoots you do, the more you’re gonna put serious mileage on your camera bodies.  I don’t know a single full-time wedding / portrait photographer whose camera isn’t all scratched up, with the paint worn off all around the bottom.

It’s not just a matter of weather sealing and magnesium-alloy, by the way. Controls and customization are a huge part of what makes a camera professionally useful.  For example, in most shooting conditions, I’d much rather have a Canon 7D Mark II than a Canon 6D, because the 7-series controls and customizations are much more extensive and versatile.  Call me crazy, but I like my pro-series buttons and dials and customizations THAT much.

22canon-7d-mk2-review

Professional Focus Performance

As sports photographers have already proven, the 7D Mark II‘s autofocus is stellar.  And if there is anything besides dimly lit sports stadiums that demand reliable autofocus, it’s dimly lit churches and downright pitch-black reception halls.

Then again, some pros seem to be happily dumping their DSLR systems in favor of either a Fuji or Sony mirrorless system, even some full-time pros. I know from experience and testing that none of these new systems can match the AF reliability offered by Canon’s high-end DSLRs, so clearly it’s a matter of personal preference and standards. I happen to have very high standards for low-light AF, and this has been the #1 reason why I can’t switch to a mirrorless system yet.  I shoot a lot with extremely fast lenses, wide open, and this is where I find that many other systems begin to choke.  If you personally shoot with less exotic lenses, at less shallow apertures, you might not need what the 7D mk2 offers.

24-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait 22-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portrait 21-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portraitMan-made snowstorm?  The 7D mk2 tracks subjects without a problem!

Superior Focus Point Spread

One thing that will always be a huge advantage for crop sensors is focus point spread. Canon shooters first realized this when they upgraded from the 20D to the very first 5D in 2005, and saw just how “clumped together” the AF points were in the dead-center of the viewfinder.  Nikon shooters, the same thing with the D300 and the D3…

The 7D Mark II follows this trend in a big way: It boasts 65 AF points, all cross-type, (when used with fast enough lenses) and they practically blanket the entire viewfinder.

If you shoot a lot of active types of portraits, such as families with children, you’ll find this to be a huge advantage over the likes of the 6D and 5D mk2, and even a slight advantage over the 5D mk3!  There is just no substitute for having AF points everywhere; it’s an awesome tool to have at your disposal when photographing kids that scurry everywhere…

Plenty Wide Angle Lens Options

Crop-sensors previously also suffered from a severe lack of ultra-wide angle lens options.  If you wanted to get to certain focal ranges, you had no choice but to go to full-frame.

Well, while both Canon and Nikon have admittedly not put much effort into rectifying this issue, the third party lens makers have been hard at work. We now have as many, if not more, lens options which are all extremely sharp and well-built:

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8
Tokina 12-24mm f/4
Tokina 12-28mm f/4
Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6

It is still true that if you want weather-sealed L glass on a crop-sensor, you’re out of luck, but to me even as a full-time wedding photographer, this has never been an issue; I’ve been heavily abusing all my crop-sensor lenses for many years and they’re doing just fine.

Plus, even though the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art isn’t all that wide, it’s a perfect focal range for photojournalism, in my opinion. It is also, possibly, an omen of things to come from Sigma.  Could a 10-18mm f/1.8 Art be around the corner?  I hope so!

Affordable & Lightweight

Crop-sensor kits will always be lighter and smaller than full-frame kits.  It may not seem like a deal-breaker to many, but add up the price and weight of 2-3 full-frame f/2.8 zooms and 1-2 full-frame bodies, and compare it to the price and weight of 2-3 APS-C f/2.8 zooms and 1-2 APS-C bodies, throw in a prime or two and the difference will be at least $3,000-$4,000, and many lbs/kg.

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Cons:

Slightly Less High ISO Flexibility Than Full-Frame

If you’re utterly obsessed with shooting natural light in pitch-black conditions, then the difference between crop sensors and full-frame may be a permanent deal-breaker for you. Even though today’s crop sensors are beating yesteryear’s full-frame sensors, today’s full-frame sensors are pushing the envelope even further.

Here’s what it comes down to for me: I have a certain style of shooting, and just don’t seem to need to go past ISO 3200 or 6400 for much of what I do.  I like to push the envelope from time to time, so yes, I’ll always own a full-frame body for that purpose. But do I need two full-frame bodies?  Not any longer.  More on that in a minute.

Slightly Fewer Options For Achieving Super-Shallow DOF

While crop sensors do have some awesome ultra-wide zoom options now, fast-aperture options are a bit limited at wider angles.  There is simply no way to match the look of a full-frame sensor with a 24mm f/1.4 or 35mm f/1.4. If this is important to you, then you’ll want at least one full-frame body in your camera bag. (Again, maybe just one).

However, there are a handful of great options for achieving shallow depth at medium and telephoto focal lengths, since 50mm and 85mm lenses work quite nicely on a crop sensor.  Plus, combining two different sensor size effectively doubles your focal range options.

For example, I’d pair a 7D Mark II with 5D mk3, using a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art and Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX. This would give me 35, ~50, 85, and ~135mm primes in a package far lighter and more affordable than two full-frame bodies and all four of those separate primes.

Some folks may not be able or willing to juggle the different focal lengths and crop factors, and that’s OK.  Personally, with cameras as similar in operation as the 7D mk2 and 5D mk3, I find that it’s a great way to simplify and lighten my camera bag, while saving a few bucks too.  Toss in a Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 on the ultra-wide end and a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 OS or Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC on the long end, and you’ve got pretty much the ultimate wedding & portrait photography kit that a budget-conscious shopper could ever dream of.

That is, if full-frame is at least an option for you, but maybe not your entire kit.  If you’re on a very serious budget, and can only afford a crop-sensor system, I might consider the following to be an ultimate DSLR kit:

Canon 7D Mark II
Canon 70D or Canon 7D “classic” as 2nd / backup camera
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 or Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX or Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art
Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS
-or- Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX OS
-or- Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC
-or- Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS

If you’re the type of person who likes the 24-70 range, then I suppose you could add that to full-frame kit, or get a 17-50 2.8 for a crop sensor kit, but personally I’d rather have the Sigma 18-35.

 Decide Between Crop-Sensor and Full-Frame, or Both?

This is where we come down to the decision-maker;  If you’ve got enough money for an entire full-frame setup, then you probably stopped reading this review a while ago, or at least you should have. Go buy whatever bag of gear you want, and enjoy!

However, if you’re like myself and most of the photography world, you do have to consider price even in your long-term gear-buying decisions, and a crop-sensor system might be a very good choice.  The bottom line is that if you’re going to shoot professionally, anything at all really, (not just weddings or portraits), YOU NEED TWO CAMERAS.  And as it stands, in my opinion, at least one Canon 7D Mark II belongs in your bag. Even if I had the budget for full-frame, I’d rather have a Canon 7D Mark II as my 2nd body to a 5D mk3, rather than an old 5D mk2 or 6D that I had laying around.

02-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portraitI threw as much flare as I possibly could at this AF system, and it just wouldn’t quit!

Conclusion

That’s about it. Just those two cons, compared to the rather significant set of pros. And while the drawbacks are really only relevant to the most extreme envelope-pushers who demand the shallowest DOF and the highest ISOs, all the benefits will be noticed by casual and serious shooters alike, the more they use their camera.

So if you’re a wedding/event/portrait photographer, part-time or even full-time, I would highly recommend giving the Canon 7D Mark II your consideration.  It is extremely capable as a primary camera for a working pro, and is even a superior backup/2nd camera for those who already own (or plan to own) a full-frame body.

Owning similar cameras with two sensor sizes does have drawbacks, but there are also advantages for those who can wrap their mind around it.  Throw in a crop-sensor lens or two in order to take full advantage of the 1.6x sensor size, and you won’t be disappointed!

20-canon-7d-mk2-review-wedding-portraitCanon 7D mk2, Canon 24mm f/2.8 EF-S STM

Final Review Summary Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for our final wrap-up of the 7D Mark II review.  Suffice to say, we’ve really enjoyed using this camera and we’re having a hard time finding reasons not to buy one!

Happy clicking,
=Matt=

Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Josh Marumoto

    I have a 5d Mark ii and am looking to get a second camera and I’m stuck between the 7d Mark ii and the 5d mark iii. Anyone have any advice? I shoot a lot of different events. Weddings sports landscape all of it. I’m stuck and I need help lol

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  2. Blanche Wheeler

    Hi matthew am shooting my first wedding next year on a 7d mark ii just wondering what lenses you would recommend to take for the day ? Afternoon outdoor ceremony with marquee reception.

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  3. Dave Gaustad

    Very nice article. This weekend I purchased a new 7D MKII with the under $1K sales that are taking place. I already own a 5D MKIII which I purchased last year about this same time. I’m looking to reduce shutter wear on my 5D. Photography is primarily a hobby for me with most of the action seen at my children’s soccer games. Although this last year I finally gave in to people asking me to take their pictures so some professional work starting as well. I’ve been shooting with an SLR since the late 80’s so not a new comer but still have lots to learn as I only recently started going after L glass. Wondering how the 7D with the 24-70 f2.8 would pair with the 5d 70-200 f2.8 or would it be better to have the other way around? Anyone using this setup? I also have a 70-300 USM lens however once I picked up the 70-200 F2.8L II in March it hasn’t left it’s bag.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Dave,

      It depends on which lens is more useful for the job at hand, and which focal range was more useful. If I needed all the “reach” I could get, I wouldn’t hesitate to use the 70-200 on the 7D mk2 for that total ~300mm worth of angle of view, and just leave the 24-70 on the full-frame body for whatever action does get close enough.

      The opposite, a 24-70 on a crop sensor and a 70-200 on full-frame, would be a whole lot of overlap and not really as practical for anything other than a backup camera. Unless you specifically were going to shoot everything at around ~70-110mm, and you simply wanted one camera with the most quality, (full-frame) …and one camera with the most FPS. (7D mk2)

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    • paul brogden

      Hello

      I need help and advise and I am wondering if my equipment is good enough to do weddings I am unsure to do weddings if I make a mistake but perhaps you can help. I own the following equipment let me know what you think. 7d,600d canon 10-18 4.5-5.6 is. Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 os canon 70-200 2.8 mk1 . canon flash 550ex /sigma 500. 18-55 kit lens . old 24-105 usm canon lens. I do own the 100-400 mk2 but not sure that be any good for weddings and portraits let me know thanks.??????

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Paul,

      Yes, your gear is definitely good enough overall to “get the job done” at a wedding. Especially if it’s an outdoor, daytime wedding with plenty of light.

      The main element in any professional job is definitely not this or that lens or camera body, but an understanding of how to masterfully create photos using light, posing, and a general eye for moments and framing etc.

      So, having said that, if you’re serious about weddings, I would encourage saving up for a more complete lineup of professional gear. The difference between shooting a friends’ wedding with “whatever gear is laying around” and shooting a $4,000 wedding for a complete stranger is massive, and I would personally prefer not to go into the latter without a fully professional setup. So your goal should be to use your current gear, and whatever income you can make from friends / family and simple word-of-mouth referrals, to fund the gear that you need to do a more serious launch of a business. But that’s just my personal approach, and I’m no business guru!

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  4. Emily Okerson

    Very well written with great points. I just upgraded to a 7D from a rebel after using my lead photographer’s while second shooting a wedding and I fell in love with it.

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  5. Basit Zargar

    love it

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  6. Micah Carter

    As a professional wedding/family photographer who just purchased a 7DII over the holidays, I couldn’t agree with this entire perspective any more. We’ve been shooting on a 7D classic and 2 60Ds for the last 2 years and using this camera is making me want to sell everything and buy 2 more. It’s a 1DX with an APS-C sensor (that can shoot usably at 6400 ISO) for <$2000. Side note: For a great perspective on the FF vs. crop debate, see Zack Arias' "Crop or Crap?" video.

    The only thing I would add that was a huge selling point for me is the dual card slots. As a professional being paid to capture a wedding day, there is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from being able to set the camera to "rec. to multiple" and know that you're protected from card corruption the moment you press the shutter. Great post!

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    • Graham Curran

      Good insight Micah, I think there is a general perception amongst the public that a pro wedding photographer needs to be wielding a FF camera. But often adding a battery grip bulks up an APS camera and makes it look more-like a FF.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Graham, for the record I don’t even subscribe to the “add a grip to look more professional” notion… I’m sure it has merits in some ways, but personally my back, neck and shoulders could care less what other wedding guests or clients think about the camera I choose to show up to a job with. I’ve shot plenty of times with a crop-sensor camera, gripless, side by side with an uncle bob who has a gripped FX camrea, or even a flagship pro sports camera. I just smile at them and keep doing my job. I’ve had plenty of uncle bobs get over-zealous with their own shooting while I’m on the job, but I don’t think it has ever correlated to what gear I was sporting. (I have also shot weddings with gripped full-frame bodies, too…)

      I’d show up to a wedding with a couple hipster cameras like the Fuji X100T, if I could. Just need a bit better AF and interface / customization, and I’m there.

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  7. Ralph Hightower

    Great review. I’ve been researching what DLSR camera to buy since December 2012, when my wife said she wanted to buy me a DSLR; she said her budget was a Canon T3i. I talked her out of it since I knew this would be the last DSLR. As a consolation, she bought me a used Canon FD 28mm f2.8 for my Canon A-1.

    But I ran into what I call “Analysis Paralysis”. To me, “Analysis Paralysis” is the fear of buying a DSLR with the knowledge that a newer, better model will be introduced in 3 to 6 months. The Canon Rumors web site didn’t help matters none. The 7D was what I thought would be affordable in the household budget. In the 1980’s, Canon and Nikon would upgrade their flagship cameras every 10 years; I bought a used Canon F-1N in July 2013.

    I weighed the features that my A-1 and F-1N have with their motor drive rate of 6 fps and the full frame aspects. APS shooters are cheated on the wide angle side, but cheat on the telephoto side.

    But I’ve shot full frame since 1980. I love my 28mm and didn’t want to think that a wide angle of 28mm would be a “normal lens” for an APS-C. December 2013, she found a deal for a 5D Mk III package on Amazon; I checked B&H and found a similar package for $500 less.

    Choosing between the 5D Mk III and the 7D Mk II would have been a difficult choice in 2013. Do I covet a Canon 1Dx? Heck yea! I also want a Chevy Corvette!

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  8. Jill Schindel

    Your reviews are always so thorough, and never pretentious! It is greatly appreciated.

    As an enthusiastic amateur my upgrade to my Rebel T2i will be a 6D or a 7D mark II. I was having trouble finding reviews that addressed the 7DII adequately in terms of its ability to perform in a portrait or wedding capacity, which is more my shooting style. My two primary concerns are 1) Autofocus and 2) low-light (high ISO) performance. I worried I’d be sacrificing greatly on the low light front if I went with the 7DII, but the more I read the more I think that won’t be such an issue.

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    • Barry Tobin

      Hi Jill, having compared both I can honestly say that while the 7d Mark ii is an excellent high ISO shooter given its smaller sensor there really isn’t much of a comparison to the 6d. Up until ISO 4000 or so if there was enough light around you would likely get something decent enough for smaller prints from the 7 but much higher and the grain and noise gets pretty full on… in similar lighting conditions shooting the 6d I was able to achieve similar IQ (albeit with pretty aggressive NR) at ISO’s as high as 12 800. As for AF – yes the 6d is pretty basic but perfectly useable… and at times shooting the 7d (using single point AF with all 65 points active) I actually found it to be a hindrance – there are just so many points to scroll through the “shot” would already have passed by the time you got there. That said the 7d’s AF is highly customisable and I had no real practice with it – so it could be a dream once you got the hang of it. And at base ISO’s any IQ differences are pretty negligible – but you mention the higher ISO range especially, hence my comments.

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    • Jill Schindel

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Barry. If I save up enough maybe I can snag a 5D Mark III or IV and get the best of both worlds :).

      I can dream.

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  9. Yechiel Orgel

    than ks for sharing.

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  10. Kevin Cucci

    Matthew. I originally purchased the 7d mark II on release as a second body to my 5d3 just as your article suggests. I don’t know if it was limited to a few copies but I had trouble getting tack sharp focus. The only other place I have heard about this is from Jared Polin (FroKnowsPhoto) in his review of the camera. He seemed to have the same issues I experienced. I ended up returning it because of this. Have you noticed this issue at all? It just seemed like shots that should have been SUPER sharp seemed like they were in focus, but justtt a bit soft. I’ve never had this problem with my 5d3 or 6d. Love the overall review, as a fellow wedding photographer it’s nice to see a review based on it and not sports for once.

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    • Matthew Saville

      To be honest, Kevin, sometimes I seem to have this problem with every camera I touch, while other times every camera I use just seems to sing for me.

      I’d say that, while my own needs for low-light AF are pretty strict and demanding, the real testament to whether or not you (and Jared) got a lemon is the fact that pro sports shooters are also raving about the camera’s AF.

      I will say that a more pixel-dense sensor is always a shock to photographers who are used to a certain way of shooting. The difference between 22 MP full-frame and 20 MP at 1.6x is not insignificant, and your focusing and hand-holding technique will need to be stepped up a notch if they’re even remotely sloppy on the full-frame camera that you’re used to.

      I felt this hurt in a huge way when I jumped from the Nikon D700 to the Nikon D800e, for example, because I was all of a sudden thrust into a 3x more “shake-sensitive” situation WRT my sensor resolution.

      TLDR, shooting technique makes a difference, and even so you’re not going to get perfect keepers every time if you’re shooting wide open on fast glass. You should be able to expect any Canon 2.8 zoom to nail focus 99.9% of the time on a 7D 2, but not as much using an L prime, let alone a non-L prime, or a Sigma prime.

      =Matt=

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  11. Priscilla Del Valle

    Great article I always look forward to them! Thank you so much for your feed back and advice. I admire your work, you as a photographer and I value your word. Thanks again! This really helps me make my decision with my new camera purchase.

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  12. Joram J

    Thanks for the insides, makes me even wonder more about the 6D i currently using. The IQ etc is great, but the AF speed… argh. For moving objects its rubbish, Al thou i’m a long way from being a full time wedding shooter, it might be a nice option.

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  13. Sada Domonkos

    For ultra-wide canon 10-18 is perfect too not a fast high light lens but the sharpness is ultimate for that price ;)

    7D2 rule just only a shame is that middle-class nikons can spot-meter light at any focus points … in canon 7D2 cant and any other cant do this little thing… only the 1D bodies…

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    • Matthew Saville

      That is one benefit of Nikons that I’ve taken for granted, thanks for pointing that out. I don’t always use it, but when I do, I appreciate the off-center spot metering capability, especially when using a crop sensor that has AF points all over the viewfinder.

      In other words, I hope this encourages Nikon to create a D400; as a wedding photographer I’d buy such a camera to compliment my D750 in a heartbeat!!!

      =Matt=

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    • Sada Domonkos

      and not just that for fill flash use nikon users can use this metering for spot… and this is a much faster work model than in canon method…
      If we want to use spot metering for natural light or for flash preflash ETTL or just an exact ETTL measuring we need to point the center to the area preflesh or lock the metering after recompose fous take the shoot..

      When i use my buddy d700 nikon i only need to set the point to the face and shoot exact spot measure on af point …

      yay for crop sensor it is so much more cool even the 1D X has af points for the 1/3 part of the screen nothing on the sides.

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  14. Steven Pellegrino

    Matthew,

    Even though I’m a Nikon & Fuji shooter I appreciate reading reviews of all cameras, especially when crop sensor cameras aren’t referred to as “great for amateurs, students and camera enthusiasts”. I wish other reviewers would follow what you guys do here and give crop sensor cameras and those who shoot professionally with them the respect they deserve.

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  15. Aaron Cheney

    This is a super thorough and well written review. Thank you for being this in depth Matthew. I am going to reread this to make sure I got everything

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  16. jouni rytilahti

    Great review Matthew!
    As i wrote last time and as you pointed out, almost every review has been talking about that this camera is great only for sport and wildlife…..
    I have been waiting reviews, that are talking about using 7d mk2 in other type of photographing…like landscapes, portraits and general use.
    Many of us, like me cant afford 2 bodies and need camera that will do all with reliability.
    In my case i allready own 7D with Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 and Sigma 50-150 f/2.8.
    Jumping to FF world would be a really expensive and it seems like 7D mk2 can handle everything from portraits to eagles.
    I think i upgrade only my 7D and spend my money elsewhere….maybe longer tele…or just to get those nice places to get nice photos.

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    • Matthew Saville

      That lens combo is pretty much the ultimate excuse NOT to upgrade to full-frame, as I said before. Grab your favorite f/1.4 prime for when you’re feeling especially needy in the shallow DOF department, (35, 50, and 85 being the top choices) …and enjoy! A 7D mk2 + 7D combo would be awesome, although I must warn you, once you try out the 7D mk2 you might just want two of them! ;-)

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    • jouni rytilahti

      I am shooting raw all the time and what is important to me is how the photos look like after Lightroom, printet in paper.
      I dont know if could see the difference in A3 print between Crop and FF…. If the ISO is something like 3200, after editing..,or even 6400.
      I think i dont have to push it higher than that very often.

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  17. Vince Arredondo

    Great Article! For me more than noise management, the deal breaker would be bokeh capabilities in a Crop-Sensor. I don’t shoot all the time wide open though, which throw me to the same case as you: one FF and one Crop-Sensor.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Vince, I think one thing to keep in mind when it comes to bokeh is this: New lenses are making ultra-fast apertures even more usable these days. For example while previously a crop-sensor Canon shooter with the Canon 50 1.8 or 50 1.4 would have had to stop down to f/2 or f/2.8 to get decent sharpness from their lens, you now can use the Sigma 50 Art wide open at f/1.4 and get pin-prick sharpness right out of the box. The same goes for 24mm, 35mm, and 85mm lenses across the board, especially with Canon. Lenses like the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, which can be shot wide open with zero compromises to sharpness whatsoever, are making a laughing stock out of older lenses like the Canon 24-70 2.8 mk1, or the 16-35 2.8 mk2…

      The bottom line is that in the real world, you’re not missing much bokeh by choosing a crop sensor.

      So yes, full-frame is nice, but it’s not as big of a difference as we make it seem. That is why I’d consider a two-body setup to be the ultimate pairing, when used with today’s latest, sharpest glass. I’m especially excited about the thought of Sigma making just a couple more new Art primes, or f/1.8 DC (crop sensor) zooms. This would make the ultimate full-frame + crop-sensor combo for sure!

      =Matt=

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