Products

[Part 3] Comparing Resolution, ISO speed and Low-light Ranging Limit

The EOS 7D Mark II, launched after nearly 5 years of development in the background, boasts specifications superior to the EOS 7D in almost every way. Steady progress has been achieved. How do the various upgraded functions change the actual shooting environment? In this series, we will explore the hidden capabilities of the EOS 7D Mark II from eight different points of view. Part 3 sees us comparing the camera's resolution, ISO speed, and low-light ranging limit. (Report: Ryosuke Takahashi)

Pages: 1 2 3

CHECK 4: Resolution

What does a difference of about 2.2 megapixels mean?

Testing method

Fix the camera on a tripod and attach the EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM to the camera. Focus on the scenery in the distance and shoot using Aperture Priority AE at different aperture values. Check how high the resolution is at the wide-angle end (18 mm, 70 mm) and the telephoto end (135 mm, 200 mm).

18mm

EOS 7D Mark II

f/3.5

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

EOS 7D

f/3.5

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

135mm

EOS 7D Mark II

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

f/22

EOS 7D

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

f/22

If you compare the image quality at 18 mm, you will find that the fine details of the buildings are slightly blurry on the EOS 7D but very clear on the EOS 7D Mark II.

70mm

EOS 7D Mark II

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

EOS 7D

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

200mm

EOS 7D Mark II

f/3.5

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

EOS 7D

f/3.5

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

At 70 mm, the depiction of the tiles and trees is reproduced in greater detail on the EOS 7D Mark II. At 200 mm, the difference in the depiction is not as perceptible.

The EOS 7D Mark II is better at reproducing fine details

The EOS 7D Mark II is equipped with a new CMOS sensor with an effective pixel count of approximately 20.2 megapixels. This is higher than that of the EOS 7D by about 2.2 megapixels. The basic structure of both CMOS sensors also differs. E.g. The EOS 7D Mark II is equipped with a dual pixel CMOS AF sensor. Because the sensor size is the same, the EOS 7D Mark II has a smaller pixel size. A number of issues have also been resolved by introducing a higher aperture ratio in the photodiode, a new refinement process and low profile technology. If you test the resolution, no large difference appears in telephoto shooting with a high magnification factor. However, when shooting wide angle scenes with a low magnification factor, the EOS 7D Mark II is better at reproducing the fine details in terms of the image quality. In particular, the improvement in the resolution is significant for subjects that consist of fine lines.

CHECK 5: High ISO Speed

What is the difference in the quality and level of noise?

Testing method

Fix the camera on a tripod and attach the EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM to the camera. Focus on the scenery in the foreground and shoot using Aperture Priority AE (f/11) while changing the ISO speed. Use the default settings for the various settings used in noise reduction. Check the noise level and quality.

ISO 800

EOS 7D Mark II – Standard

EOS 7D Mark II – Multi Shot Noise Reduction

EOS 7D – Standard

ISO 1600

EOS 7D Mark II – Standard

EOS 7D Mark II – Multi Shot Noise Reduction

EOS 7D – Standard

ISO 3200

EOS 7D Mark II – Standard

EOS 7D Mark II – Multi Shot Noise Reduction

EOS 7D – Standard

ISO 6400

EOS 7D Mark II – Standard

EOS 7D Mark II – Multi Shot Noise Reduction

EOS 7D – Standard

ISO 12800

EOS 7D Mark II – Standard

EOS 7D Mark II – Multi Shot Noise Reduction

EOS 7D – Standard

ISO 16000

EOS 7D Mark II – Standard

EOS 7D Mark II – Multi Shot Noise Reduction

When shooting at high ISO speed with the EOS 7D Mark II, setting noise reduction to [Standard] suppresses the colour noise. In addition, the [Multi Shot Noise Reduction] function makes the luminance noise (black and white specks) even lesser. This is the difference in performance that time brings.

The EOS 7D Mark II delivers vastly superior high ISO speed image quality

The basic characteristics of the image sensor and the image processing technology determine the image quality when shooting at high ISO speed. These are subject to the most changes over time in digital cameras and even a period of about 5 years is considered a very long time. Besides having a dual DIGIC 6 image processor, the EOS 7D Mark II is also equipped with [Multi Shot Noise Reduction], making it worlds apart from the EOS 7D. In terms of the basic performance, the EOS 7D Mark II enjoys a marked advantage over the EOS 7D when shooting at a normal ISO speed of 16000 that rivals the [Standard] setting when shooting at ISO 6400 on the EOS 7D. Moreover, due to [Multi Shot Noise Reduction], the image quality of a shot taken at ISO 16000 with the EOS 7D Mark II is the same as a ISO 3200 shot taken with the EOS 7D. In other words, the EOS 7D Mark II has a capability that is about two steps higher in total than that of the EOS 7D.

Pages: 1 2 3

CHECK 6: Low-light ranging limit

Which AF works better in dark areas?

Testing method

Use an incident light meter to measure the brightness and set the exposure from ±0EV to −3.0EV. Stick a black and white chart onto a wall. Then, focus on the border of the chart with the central AF point and carry out ranging 10 times at a focusing range of infinity. The AF will function and will produce a “beep” sound once the picture is determined to be OK. Fix the camera on a tripod and use EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM for the lens.

The AF on the EOS 7D Mark II is more stable, with markedly less instances of losing focus The focusing time is also shorter compared to the EOS 7D, allowing you to focus accurately even from a very blurred state.

The difference in true capability emerges in the central AF point

The EOS 7D Mark II’s low-light ranging limit is −3.0EV (f/2.8 sensor) for the central AF point, surpassing the values of −0.5EV on the EOS 7D and −2.0EV on the EOS-1D X. The peripheral AF points can also adapt to a brightness of −0.5EV. This figure is also higher than that on the EOS 7D. When a test was conducted, the EOS 7D Mark II, as expected, came out strong when shooting in dark areas, achieving a perfect focus up till −2.0EV. It is difficult to make out a subject even with the naked eye at a brightness of -3.0EV but the EOS 7D Mark II’s AF managed to work well in such a condition. However, in order to draw out this performance, it is necessary to use the f/2.8 cross-type sensor. Therefore a lens brighter than f/2.8 needs to be used. The obvious differences between the two cameras clearly demonstrates the capabilities of the new AF sensor.

*This design was produced using a prototype model. As a result, please note that the actual product may differ in terms of the appearance, image quality, etc.

Ryosuke Takahashi

Born in Aichi in 1960, Takahashi started his freelance career in 1987 after working with an advertising photo studio and a publishing house. Photographing for major magazines, he has travelled to many parts of the world from his bases in Japan and China. Takahashi is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS).

Digital Camera Magazine

A monthly magazine that believes that enjoyment of photography will increase the more one learns about camera functions. It delivers news on the latest cameras and features and regularly introduces various photography techniques.

Published by Impress Corporation

comments

Write a Comment

 

Login to comment

You have been logged off from your account.

An email with an activation link had been sent to your SNAPSHOT registered email.

After clicking the link, you will be able to login with your existing login detail.

Thank you for your continued support as a member of the CANON and SNAPSHOT Community. We will do our best to continue provide you with more exciting and meaningful content to help you in your everyday quest to bring out the best photographer within you!

Permission to continue

Your CANON ID will be MERGED with your SNAPSHOT ID.

An activation link will be sent to your email.

Please re-enter your password to give us permission to continue.

Type your password

By clicking this, you agree to merge your CANON ID to SNAPSHOT ID. Agreeing to this is subject to CANON AND SNAPSHOT’S TERMS & CONDITIONS.