Final Review of Canon 7D mkii and Canon 100-400 markii

So I have had the combo for 2 weekends / 10 days, and it time for me to decide.  Keep them, take one, or both back.

Canon 100-400mm IS Mark ii:
I wanted something lighter than my 500mm to hike deeper into the mountains and also have a back up to the 500mm.  I wanted a more compact travel lens that I would count on and not be forced to feel like I left something home going without my trusty 50mm. Mission accomplished.  The lens is extremely well built.  On par with the mark ii version of the 70-200 IS.   The lens focused and tracks well on both bodies I used it on.  It is slightly slower to lock on that my 70-200mm or my 500mm prime.  But then again I would expect it to.  It held focus really well.  The IS is very quiet and smooth.  A definite improvement over a handheld Canon 400mm 5.6 without IS.  The over size of the lens is shorter than the 70-200 and will be making a home in my camera bag!

Canon 7D Mark ii and Canon 100-400mm IS Mark ii combination:
It is like this pair was designed at Canon to be paired together.  The combo is incredible!

Day 1 Pheasants
Day 2 Eagles
Day 3 More Eagles
Day 3 Six Pack on Ice
Sharpness, Focus, Telephoto Results
High ISO comparison
Day 9 Eagles

One of my favorite Eagle photos came from this combo during my field testing.
KJ7D0225-FrameShop

Captured under perfect light and perfect conditions!

This combo is perfect for sports and or wildlife.  I didn’t have the chance to shoot any sports with it, but it might be limited by the f5.6 @ 400mm on a game under the lights.  It should perform well on daytime games.  My keeper rate on birds in flight was higher than normal with this combo. I am accrediting this to the lighter weight and being able to hand hold verses shooting from a tripod and gimbal.  If you are looking for a really solid pair, the search is over. If you are coming from anything other than a Canon 1DX, you will be very happy with the performance and results from this combination.

I was also asked to test the 7D2 + 1.4 TC + 100-400 2 = 896mm.  This combination is a ton of reach for the money.  I did find it to be too much zoom to effectively handhold.  I shot it off my gimbal and got decent results.  Softer and slower to track.  Here is a sample result.

Canon 7D Mark ii Body
What got me interested in this body is a couple things.  First I used to have two matched gripped 7D’s.  I shot weddings and wildlife successfully with them.  I finally saved up enough to buy a 1DX for Christmas 2013.  Right away I sold one of the 7D’s and held the other one for a backup.  I never picked up my backup 7D once.  Once rumors of the new 7D2 were flying I sold my second backup 7D before the used market prices fell.

So I have been shooting without a backup body for 6 or 7 months and my camera fund had grown enough to start shopping.  My son upgraded one of his 7D’s to a 5DMKiii. I have really enjoyed shooting with his 5D3.  I was torn between staying fullframe and getting a 5D3, or trying out the 7D2.  So that brings up to the past 10 days and my field testing.

If this combo would have been around before I bought my 1DX, I would be owning 2 of them.  One gripped and one without a grip.  But I already own and have mastered my Canon 1DX, so I find the 7D2 a step down and the body will be returned.

The 7D2 body MSPP is 1800, the Canon 1DX MSRP is 6800. It wasn’t ever fair for me to compare the the two.  I was hoping for 80% of the 1DX for 38% of the price.  Dont get me wrong this is a SOLID body and WAY better than the 7D1.  I am blessed and can afford the 1DX for my hobby.  I will be picking up a 5D3 or a second 1DX if when the price falls.

I really hope people don’t take my review in anyway of bashing the 7D2.  I just don’t need a second wildlife camera, and really needed more of a landscape / portrait camera body.

If there is interest, I’ll do another review of the 5D3 after she arrives.  Hope the past 10 days worth of blogs have been worth your time, but I figured tons of other people are struggling with the same question: where is the best bang for the buck?

Conclusion:

Keeping the 100-400 mkii, returning the 7D2 body.

I would also like to take a moment to thank all my new blog followers and supporters!
THANK YOU!

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Thanks for stopping by, Life is good, and I am blessed!
Kent

7D Mark ii and 100-400 Mark ii review: Day 9 Eagles Again

Saturday 1/17/15 was my last Eagle trip with the combination of the New Canon 7D mkii and the new Canon 100-400mm IS Mark ii.

Light was crappy all day.  I also was lucky enough to have a paid client that day, so I didn’t focus much my photography as much as making sure he knew his gear and his subject.  A few minor tweaks and he was off and having the time of his life photographing my Bald Eagles on the Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 14.

Anyway on with the review.  This will be my last write up before tomorrow big total review on which gear I will be keeping and if any gear is being returned.

Canon 7D Mark ii and Canon 100-400 Mark ii 

KJ7D1261-FrameShop KJ7D1268-FrameShop KJ7D1310-FrameShop KJ7D1314-FrameShop

Canon 1DX and 500mm f4 IS:

PBKJ0662-FrameShop PBKJ0668-FrameShop PBKJ0676-FrameShop PBKJ0713-FrameShopPBKJ0804-FrameShop

 

I think this last image comparison speaks loudly.  Final write up later tonight or tomorrow!

I would also like to take a moment to thank all my new blog followers and supporters!  I think this blog had roughly 50 subscribers, and as the time of this post it is at 112!

THANK YOU!

Enjoy what you read and the photos? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!  Feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for stopping by, Life is good, and I am blessed!
Kent

 

7D Mark ii and 100-400 mark ii review: Sharpness results

I am a photographer.  I have never claimed to be a photographic lab rat.  No fancy equipment, just man and cameras.  I wanted to provide real life field testing results. People have been calling the new Canon 7D mark ii the junior Canon 1DX.  I had sold both my 7D’s when I bought my Canon 1DX last year.  I have been missing a backup body.  I have been torn between the 7D mark ii and the full body Canon 5D mark iii.  I ended up buying this combo from Best Buy for the 15 day return policy.  I knew I have 2 weeks to crank the combo through as many test and lighting conditions as I could.

So this review is a comparison of both the Canon 7D Mark ii and the Canon 1DX with different combination of lenses.  Here is the setup.  Could find any stationary wildlife so had to recreate.  It was freaking cold that day.  I set my tripod with my Gimbal head in my garage (wind break) and set Harley Bear 40 yards away across the street.  I struggled a bit with how to best show the results.  Here it is never before seen RAW unprocessed images right out of both camera.  Up until now I have never posted an raw image without my signature processing script.  I knew I couldn’t use any noise reduction or sharpening or it would be a processing test not a focus / sharpness test.  You can use the slider to see either or both images.  I plan to use this same image slider to show the high ISO test.

Shutter speed 1/160, f5.6, ISO 100, focal length noted on each photo.  I wanted to shoot at the lowest f stop showing worse case scenarios.  Every setup should look great at f11 🙂


See how much free reach you get with the 1.6 crop factor? Another way to think about it is the 7D2 has a built in 1.6 Teleconverter.


By putting the 1.4 Teleconverter on the 1DX it helps to make up for the 7D2 crop factor. 7d2 working length is 800mm and the 1DX + 1.4 TC is 700mm

This is the test I was most interested in. Is the 7D2 “Good Enough” to hike in the woods and use as a backup to my primary camera combo the Canon 1DX + Canon 500mm f4 IS.  I was interested in total weight and ease of carrying.  The 100-400 is shorter and lighter than the Canon 70-200 mark ii.


The new Canon 100-400 mark ii on both bodies

I was asked after I did this test to also shoot the Canon 7D mark ii with the 100-400 mark ii with the teleconverter.  I found this setup to be very shaky as I tried to track and shoot Eagles free hand.  This combo needs to be shot from the tripod, and if time allows I will do that test this weekend.

Canon 7D MKii + 100-400 IS Mark ii + 1.4 Teleconverter = 896mm working length

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Thanks for stopping by, Life is good, and I am blessed!
Kent

7D Mark ii and 100-400 mark ii review Day 3: Six Pack on Ice

As promised here are “Six Pack on Ice”.  These were taken on Sunday 1/11/15.  Not over exposed, feel a little hot to me.  Might have had something to do with them standing on a large photo reflector in harsh mid day sun!

All shots in this post are from the Canon 7D mkii + Canon 100-400 mkii

Take time to Reflect!KJ7D0654-FrameShop KJ7D0747-FrameShop KJ7D0748-FrameShop KJ7D0755-FrameShop KJ7D0758-FrameShop KJ7D0774-FrameShop

I had to work today, so as soon as I finish a little web work, heading down to my studio to put the 7D2 through some high ISO comparison.

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Thanks for stopping by, Life is good, and I am blessed!
Kent

7D Mark ii and 100-400 mark ii review Day 3: More Eagles

Today I headed back to Lock and Dam 14 on the Mississippi River.  Today was my local photo club’s Eagle Outing.  I knew I was there mostly to guide and pay it forward.  There was a total of 23 Photographers from our We Click Photo Club.  The club even rented a pair of 15-600’s for the people to share.  I believe a good time was had by most of them.

Snow was in the forecast, clouds and tougher lighting and warmer temps meant less eagle activity. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I took 681 photos and have 116 keepers.  That is a pretty good “keeper” rate.  Especially for only being the third day on the new combination in my hands.

All shots in this post are from the Canon 7D mkii + Canon 100-400 mkiiKJ7D0698-FrameShop KJ7D0717-FrameShop KJ7D0740-FrameShop KJ7D0787-FrameShop KJ7D0788-FrameShop

Study the eye in the eagle below, you can see her Nictitating eyelidKJ7D0868-FrameShop

Money Shot: Classic Fishing PoseKJ7D0904-FrameShop

What do you think so far?

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Thanks for stopping by, Life is good, and I am blessed!
Kent