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Canon EOS 7D vs EOS 5D Mark II
Side-by-Side ISO Comparison

October 7th, 2009

The introduction of the new Canon EOS 7D has created quite a stir in the photography world online. The new advanced features, such as 8fps continuous shooting, improved auto focus, wireless speedlight control, 18-megapixel resolution, 100% viewfinder coverage, electronic level, and the ability to select the video frame rate while choosing between 720p and 1080p resolution has made many professional photographers on both the Canon and Nikon side take notice. These new features all come packaged in a camera that is priced identically to Nikon's new D300s, which still hangs to its 12-megapixel roots, and $1000 under Canon's popular full-frame EOS 5D Mark II.

Even before the EOS 7D was released there were many Canon EOS 5D Mark II owners drooling over some of these new features that this new "low-price" body was going to offer. For those who create FUSION videos or who are excited about cinematography, the much desired 24fps shooting setting is justification alone to ditch plans for the full-frame 5D and instead get the EOS 7D. But is it? I have done quite a bit of testing comparing both the still image quality as well as the video quality of the 5D Mark II and 7D side-by-side and the results that I am seeing do show why the 5D Mark II is still Canon's king of the hill when it comes to overall high-ISO noise control. Now let's hope that Canon releases a firmware update for the 5D Mark II that provides filmmakers with the desired and needed 24fps/25fps option.

Part 1: The EOS 7D vs. EOS 5D Mark II - ISO Comparison

New! Part 2: The EOS 7D vs Nikon D300 - ISO Comparison

In the side-by-side image examples below I have compared the Canon EOS 7D images side-by-side with Canon EOS 5D Mark II images inside Lightroom. While the differences aren't HUGE, the 5D Mark II's full-size sensor definitely made a difference at ISO 3200 and beyond. Of course that means both cameras were fairly well matched up through ISO 1600, not an easy feat for an 18MP cropped-sensor camera.

In the examples below the EOS 5D Mark II images are on the right, the 7D's on the left. These are shown side-by-side at 100% view inside Lightroom 2.0, then screen captured and saved out as JPEG imges for this comparison. Adobe has not yet released an update for Lightroom with full support of the EOS 7D, however these differences were just as apparent when viewing them inside Canon's bundled software. In all images, the DEVELOP settings in lightroom were all set to their defaults with noise reduction for both Luminance and Chrominance noised turned off (sliders to the far left).

Click on any of the images to get a 1600 pixel wide view of each.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

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