Canon 7D vs Canon 7D Mark II – ISO review

I already had a Canon 7D camera and love the results I get with this, so I recently made the decision to stick with the 7d series and upgrade to a new model – Canon 7D Mark II.

As part of getting to know my new camera I thought I’d test it out at night as one feature of the camera I had read about was its ability to handle low light better than my current camera.

What is ISO?

ISO is related to light sensitivity – a camera on a high ISO setting will create images that appear ‘grainy’, ‘noisy’ but create a faster image. You may notice images you take in a dark room/at night without flash using your camera phone often appear almost pixelated, this is due to high ISO. The reason photographers use this more grainy imagery is not only for style but also so that they can keep the pictures from appearing blurred when shooting in low light conditions. (Low light means the shutter needs to be open for longer, and if the photographer is not using flash then this may mean the shutter speed is open too long creating blurred images)

The Canon 7D camera has a good ability to deal with low light (and certainly is superior to cameras I had used previously) but at times I was having to choose settings that I knew would create grainy images. The 7D Mark II has higher ISO settings and was recommended as being able to be used at higher ISOs with less grainy imagery, a really appealing option for my event/newborn/wedding photography.

To make a fair comparison I used the same lens, shot at approximately the same time in the same location so the only difference was to change the ISO. These images are untouched deliberately to give a fair comparison. The full set is shown at the bottom of this post.

Summary

Overall I was surprised at how different the two sets of images were particularly around ISO 400-800. My ISO 100 images were disappointing as I hadn’t brought a bit of kit (remote control) that would have enabled me to extend the shutter speed time to over 30s.

In spite of this across the range it was clear that the 7D Mark II gave me an image more quickly than the 7D and a brighter image. This is useful at events/weddings etc. where the light levels are low as it should mean I am going to be more able to take fast moving subjects in lower light than before.

Using the 7D mark II also enabled me have the confidence to capture an image of a watching Heron who I could barely see in the dark with my eyes but was able to capture at a relatively fast speed and get a recognisable albeit grainy image!

KingsatNight-7
f/4.0, ISO6400, 1/4 s, 200mm

 

Close ups

All images (side by side comparisons are below)

ISO 100

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D Mark II – ISO100 30s
Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO100 30s

ISO 200

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D Mark II – ISO200 30s
Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO200 30s

ISO400

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D Mark II – ISO400 30s
Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D ISO400 30s

ISO640

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D Mark II – ISO640 30s
Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO640 30s

ISO800

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D Mark II – ISO800 25s
Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO800 30s

ISO1000

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D MarkII – ISO1000 20s
Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO1000 30s

ISO1600

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D MarkII ISO1600 13s
Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO1600 15s

ISO2000

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO2000 20s

ISO2500

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D MarkII ISO2500 8s

ISO3200

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO3200 10s

ISO4000

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D Mark II – ISO4000 6s

ISO5000

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO5000 6s

ISO6400

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D MarkII ISO10000
2.5s
Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison reivew
Canon 7D ISO6400
5s

ISO10000

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D MarkII ISO10000 2.5s

ISO12800

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II comparison review
Canon 7D – ISO12800 2.5s

ISO16000

Lucinda Price Photography 7d canon mark II ISO comparison review
Canon 7D Mark II ISO16000 1.6s
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