Testing the Canon 7D2

I took a deep breath and bought one of the first available Canon 7DIIs and will share some of my early thoughts and images. The following photographs were shot as JPGs rather than the RAW files I prefer to use; RAW files gather more data when the shot is taken. Hopefully Lightroom will soon be updated to include software for processing RAW 7DII files, I have not chosen to use Canon’s DPP though I believe it’s a good program.


Welcome Swallow 2 - Kim Wormald
Welcome Swallow
Canon 7DII, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/500, f5.6, ISO 800, focal length 400mm


This somewhat scraggly looking Welcome Swallow posed nicely for a few moments. I have chosen images shot at a range of ISO levels up to 1600 as noise (or graininess) could be an issue with the 7D when used in low light conditions. I have not applied noise reduction to any of the images.


Spotted Dove - Kim Wormald
Spotted Dove (previously known as Spotted Turtle-dove)
Canon 7DII, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/400, f5.6, ISO 400, focal length 400mm


Spotted Doves are an introduced species that have a gentle look about them. I like their soft cooing call and the way they talk to each other when foraging. The highlights on the dove’s head have caused a loss of detail that should be recoverable when using the RAW file.


Red-browed Finch - Kim WormaldRed-browed Finch
Canon 7DII, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/800, f5.6, ISO 400, focal length 400mm


This little fence-sitter appeared while I was watching honeyeaters dancing amongst the bottlebrushes.


Agile Antechinus - Kim Wormald Agile Antechinus
Canon 7DII, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/500, f6.3, ISO 1600, focal length 360mm


And now for something completely different. This tiny marsupial mouse was darting around like a wild thing, well it is a wild thing. It ran along fallen branches, hid in the ground cover, climbed nimbly up the Coprosma quadrifida (warning: do not underestimate the prickliness of prickly currant-bushes, and definitely don’t sit on them). It was a challenge to photograph in poor light conditions. At one point I saw a circular pouch opening which appeared to contain several tiny offspring.

I hadn’t intended to share images from the 7DII until I could use RAW files but as not many of the cameras are in use yet a friend encouraged me to share some more quickly. Another friend has shown me 1600 ISO images with even less noise than mine appear to have, it’s impressive. I can’t comment on the image quality until I can use RAW files but the camera’s features are excellent and it is very comfortable to use. The upgrades that interest me most from the 7D are the noise level, the auto-focus system (65 points), the tracking system, dual card slots, 10 frames per second, silent shooting option with up to 6 frames per second, the improved viewfinder with added information, dial lock, significantly improved weather-proofing and GPS. It chews through batteries more quickly but the new and slightly more powerful LP-E6N batteries and the standard LP-E6 batteries are interchangeable. The extra reach of the 1.6 crop sensor is good to be using again. I’m still rapt with my 5DIII and am curious how my use of the two cameras will evolve. For the past eleven days I’ve had the 100-400mm lens on the 7DII, effectively making it a 160-640mm lens, and my macro lens on the 5DIII ready for close-ups of interesting critters on birdless days.

Happy birding, Kim


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16 comments to Testing the Canon 7D2

  • just recently got the 7DII and as someone who shoots RAW ALL the time I’m surprised that I’m preferring the jpegs I get out of it for wildlife, plus I don’t have to wait for the buffer, it just keeps going, have a lot more testing to do but it may end up with me shooting the 7DII as jpegs and the 5DIII RAW strange

    • lirralirra

      I’ve only just seen this comment Julie! It’s really interesting that you found the same thing that I did re 7DII jpg images. Do you still have both camera bodies and are you still finding the same thing? I’ve just been talking with a friend about it which is why I came back to this page. I was wondering if it was something to do with the software that was initially available.

      You may never see this comment in which case I’ll look out for you on fb.

  • they look pretty good, Ive always managed to get nice shots out of the 7d but was more annoyed with the auto focus at times. Owning the 5DIII like yourself I have been kind of hesitant to upgrade to the 7DII but seeing these makes me more keen to get one now and retire the 7D which admittedly in very low light can be a pain. I hope lightroom with support RAW files soon

    • lirralirra

      I got some beaut shots from the 7D too, it seems weird to be thinking of selling it, hopefully all will be good with the 7D2! The 5DIII is hard to beat.

  • I’m impressed with the jpegs and especially the one at 1600 iso. I think your photos would be perfect with ANY camera though just sayin but isn’t it funny how quickly we become tecno-geeks. No new body for me any time soon but am hoping for a new lens come spring! 🙂

  • Hi Kim, Fascinating times…I’m going through a similar journey myself. Will be very interested to see what you find out. I have spent the last couple of months chopping and changing lenses on my 6D and my crop camera and settled on the crop for good light and the 6D in the bush; Like yourself it is either the macro or wide angle on whichever I’m not using for birds.

    • lirralirra

      Lovely to hear from you Rick. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to conjure up whatever combination we wanted when we wanted it. It sounds like you’ve worked out a perfect plan, mine is still evolving.

  • Helen Colman

    Beautiful Photos as usual!
    I will be interested to see your comparison between the 7DII and the 5DIII.

  • Glorious.
    And I am really, really looking forward to seeing the additional hoops you can jump through when you can shoot in RAW.

  • Carole King

    Beautiful photos Kim, the Canon 7D Mark II is looking very promising, can’t wait to see photos shot using Raw.
    I am looking forward to the release of the Canon 100-400mm L IS USM II lens, what a beaut combination that will be.
    A must have lens for me.

  • Margot Capuano

    More delightful pictures Kim. I loved the marsupial mouse. What a cute face! It must have been very tricky to catch that picture as it darted around.

    • lirralirra

      It was very funny trying to take shots of the marsupial mouse, even harder because watching it was making me laugh. I’m glad you liked it 🙂

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