Canon 7D Mark II Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to excellent performance for a pro-level DSLR.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~0.5 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Powering on and taking a shot was fast, at about 0.5 second. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was a bit faster, at about 0.3 second. Excellent performance here.


Shutter Response (Lag Time), Optical Viewfinder, 18-135mm IS STM

Full Autofocus
Single-point (center) AF

0.249 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
65-point Auto AF
iTR on (default)

0.398 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
65-point Auto AF
iTR disabled

0.305 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Single-point AF
TTL flash enabled

0.370 second

Time to capture while forcing flash to fire. Preflash metering pulses from flash often slow shutter response.

Manual Focus

0.154 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.052 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Live View, 18-135mm IS STM

Full Autofocus
Live View
Flexizone Single
(center) AF

0.256 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. This is using the new Dual Pixel CMOS AF system.

Prefocused
Live View

0.052 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

In terms of the Canon 7D Mark II's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times using the optical viewfinder and the 18-135mm IS STM kit lens, its full autofocus shutter response was somewhat slower than average compared to most pro DSLRs. We measured 0.249 second for full AF lag using single point (center) AF, which is closer to consumer DSLR speeds. This is also significantly slower than the results we got for the 7D (0.131s) and 70D (0.075s). Using 65-point auto selection mode, full AF shutter lag increased to 0.398 second, compared to 0.149s for the 7D and 0.093s for the 70D, though those cameras only have 19-point AF systems.

To see how much impact Canon's new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF feature impacts lag (iTR AF takes input from the metering sensor such as subject color, face detection and other details to improve focus accuracy, however the 7D II's user manual does say it slows autofocus performance), we tested with it disabled as well. Turning it off improved 65-point mode to 0.305 seconds, but that's still noticeably slower than the 7D and 70D, however as mentioned they use 19-point systems. (Note that iTR is only available for Zone AF modes or 65-point auto selection mode, so disabling it made no difference to our single-point AF result.)

Shutter lag with manual focus was faster at 0.154 second, but still slower than the 7D and 70D which managed 0.083s and 0.075s respectively in our tests. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure resulted in a lag time of only 0.052 second, which is very good for a DSLR and slightly faster than the 7D (0.061s) and 70D (0.059s).

The Canon 7D Mark II's full AF lag time in Live View mode was similar to single-point AF lag with the optical viewfinder and was much faster than most cameras in Live View, at only 0.256 second using single-area center AFAnd prefocused shutter lag in Live View mode was identical to using the optical viewfinder; a very fast 0.052 second. Excellent Live View shutter lag performance.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.11 second (9.48 frames per second);
103 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 103 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.15s or 6.70fps when buffer was full.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.11 second (9.48 frames per second);
26 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 26 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.33s or 3.06fps when buffer was full.

Continuous mode
RAW + Large/Fine
JPEG

0.11 second (9.39 frames per second);
18 frames total;
10 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 18 shot buffer capacity, then slowed to an average of 0.61s or 1.64fps when buffer was full.

Flash recycling

3.2 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were so fast that they were difficult to accurately measure as they depend on the tester's nimbleness and ability to maintain an optimum rhythm, so your results may vary. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between.)

Full-resolution continuous mode speeds were excellent, at about 9.5 frames-per-second with best quality JPEGs or RAW files, and about 9.4 seconds with RAW+JPEG files, matching Canon's claim of 9.5 fps with the 7D Mark II's iTR AF enabled by default. (Top burst speed is rated at 10 fps with iTR AF disabled, however we did not test that in the lab.)

Buffer depth for best quality JPEGs was excellent at over 100 frames, and note that we use a difficult to compress target for this test for worst-case results, so typical buffer depths would likely be even higher. When shooting RAW files, buffer depths were of course lower than with just JPEGs but still quite good, at 26 frames for RAW files, and 18 frames for RAW+JPEG files.

Buffer clearing times were quite good considering buffer depths, ranging from 7 seconds after a max-length burst of best quality JPEGs, to 10 seconds after a burst of RAW+JPEG frames. Note that we also tested a UDMA7 CompactFlash card and found the buffer depths to be just a little lower but the clearing times a little shorter than the fast UHS-I SDHC card we use, so we went with the SD card numbers.

The Canon 7D Mark II's flash took an average of 3.2 seconds to recharge after a full-power discharge, which is good.

Bottom line, the Canon 7D Mark II offers good to excellent performance for a pro-level DSLR, providing fast power-up, mode switching, shutter lag, cycle times and burst speeds, with generous buffer depths. Autofocus speeds with the optical viewfinder tested slower the 7D and 70D and indeed slower than most pro DSLRs, though, but the 7D Mark II's advanced AF system likely pays off in added accuracy in the real world. And while the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system is still not quite as fast as top mirrorless models, it's much faster than most DSLRs in Live View mode.

Battery

Battery Life
Fair battery life for a pro DSLR.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Optical Viewfinder)
670
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard, Live View LCD)
250

The Canon 7D Mark II uses a custom LP-E6N rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a dedicated battery charger. Battery life is only fair using the optical viewfinder, rated at 670 shots with 50% using flash, and of course Live View mode draws more power reducing battery life considerably. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings or when using Live View mode a lot, or consider the optional BG-E16 battery grip which accepts two LP-E6N battery packs or 6 AA/LR6 batteries.

The table above shows the number of shots the Canon 7D Mark II is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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