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Author Topic: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review  (Read 22760 times)

powerslave12r

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DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« on: November 05, 2014, 08:48:00 pm »

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synn

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 08:52:00 pm »

While as a package, the 7D II is the strongest deal for APS-C based action shooters, it's quite concerning that canon sensor tech has been lagging for years now. Hopefully, they have something good up their sleeves with the whole foveon style sensor talk.
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powerslave12r

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 08:56:28 pm »

I hope they do. I think Canon's strategy seems to be:

1. Launch something really good and leapfrog everyone by a few generations,
2. Milk the market until the others catch up and perhaps surpass them,
3. Repeat Step 1.

Right now though, I am begging Canon for a "multi-layer full color" sensor. With their resources, a better sensor is inevitable.
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K.C.

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 01:16:35 am »

1. Launch something really good and leapfrog everyone by a few generations,
2. Milk the market until the others catch up and perhaps surpass them

That's a pretty pessimistic point of view, particularly for a Japanese company.

I think it goes more like, let's exploit the market we blew wide open with the 5DII. Do the R&D on better sensors we don't have to buy from someone else and reap the rewards of the work we've already done in the compact market before everyone's phone finally eliminates the market for good.
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Ed B

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2014, 01:23:03 am »

What did DXO have to say about the AF system?
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dreed

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 02:25:30 am »

What did DXO have to say about the AF system?

DxO don't review the AF system, only the sensor.

I hope they do. I think Canon's strategy seems to be:

1. Launch something really good and leapfrog everyone by a few generations,
2. Milk the market until the others catch up and perhaps surpass them,
3. Repeat Step 1.

I'd concur with that. The interesting thing is that the 5D2 is a full frame version of the 20D and its sensor isn't leaps and bounds ahead of that, with the 5D3's sensor about as different to the 5D2 as the 30D to the 20D. So you might well argue that Canon is effectively using sensor tech that is 6+ years old in its latest full frame DSLR. Canon must be laughing at all of the pundits that are lapping it up.
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CptZar

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 02:31:25 am »

I was just talking to a rep of Canon. I mentioned that the sensors lagged behind and maybe an EVF would come in handy too. He said, that most good landscape images have only 8 Stops, so dynamic range would not be a factor. I don't where he got that from, but maybe he was talking about images with Canon sensors. I don't think he was in landscape anyway.

He then said there will be  large MP camera coming, but that wouldn't be for me, to expensive. Maybe I didn't look like a potential buyer that day. Jeans and sneakers, but I was wondering why he excluded me, an enthusiast who buys some serious gear, right away as a customer.  

But what made me really wonder , is that he pointed out as marked leader they would do fine anyway. I think that is just the attitude a declining empire has. Being overconfident and not able to adapt to a changing environment.

There  is always talk of a new Canon sensor, which does it all better. It never comes. I might be wrong  and there is guys who know much better here. But I guess that sensor development is cutting edge technology. Sony jumped and focused on the train long time ago. Not only they use their  own sensors, but hey also provide them to third party sellers like Nikon. It looks like Canon is just not up to the task and the are missing the technological capabilities required. And on the other hand they are so arrogant, that they will not use state of the art sensors provided by others.

Question to those who know more than me is...
Is it still possible for Canon to catch up with Sony in sensor development in the foreseeable future or is the specialization required so specific that it is at least very doubtable?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 03:14:03 am by CptZar »
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John Koerner

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2014, 12:11:31 am »

Is it still possible for Canon to catch up with Sony in sensor development in the foreseeable future or is the specialization required so specific that it is at least very doubtable.

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the 7D Mark II perform better, at ever function, at every level than the Sony "except" at base ISO?

It is faster, more versatile, better AF, surpasses the Sony's sensor at high ISO ... just not at base ISO.

To say Canon "is lagging behind" is rather laughable, actually. They surpass Sony in every single possible way, except 1, in a static environment at base ISO.

I don't know if you've ever shot nature photography, but hardly anyone shoots either macro, or telephoto, at "base ISO" ...

It is Sony that is lacking on almost every level, including ergonomics and functionality ...

Jack
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CptZar

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2014, 03:50:09 am »

The term "Nature Photography" is a little vast. If it includes moving objects like birds, I guess a higher ISO performance is helpful. But this is luminous-landscape, so the title of this website at least gives the impression that it is mostly, though not exclusively, about landscape photography.

And in landscape photography dynamic range at base ISO is what is usually used and nothing else. Of course there are exceptions. I guess you haven't had the chance to work with the files of the modern Sony sensors, like a D810 or an A7r provide. The dynamic range is covering just any situation you might encounter. If you are bracketing, as your histogram, which annoyingly uses jpg and not RAW data, gives you the impression, the scene can not be captured in one shot, in 99% of the case you may push the shadows  in post production. You get all you wanted in one shoot without, green or blue noise artifacts, which by the way may not be recovered with noise reduction. There is no way you can do that with a Canon sensor.  You will always find yourself blending images which may be very annoying. E.g darks trees with light skies in the background.

But if you may achieve what you desire with your camera, that is just fine. Don't be offended. The AF is great, if you are a birder or shoot animals. For that purpose the 7D might just serve well. And you have a nice lens line up to. I myself had a 5DIII. A Sony is not made for that.  The D810 again is another bread.

But in terms of color accuracy and dynamic range you might have to reconsider. Almost 2 stops difference at base ISO is quiet a statement.

Two images attached. They are from the same RAW file. Can you do this with a present Canon?


PS Anybody knows why I can see the images only when I am logged in?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 05:23:06 am by CptZar »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2014, 06:13:37 am »

Nice photograph of Meiji Jingu!

Cheers,
Bernard

BernardLanguillier

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2014, 06:14:41 am »

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the 7D Mark II perform better, at ever function, at every level than the Sony "except" at base ISO?

How do you like your 7DII John?

Have you had the opportunity to capture some images with it already?

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 07:30:58 am by BernardLanguillier »
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Abe R. Ration

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2014, 06:19:03 am »

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the 7D Mark II perform better, at ever function, at every level than the Sony "except" at base ISO?
Ok, I'll do some correction since you asked  :)

The DxOMark is about sensor performance, not camera performance. Besides you didn't specify which Sony-sensor camera you meant - Sony provides APS-C sensors for Nikon, Pentax, Fujifilm and it's own camera division.

If we look at what they measure, then the 7DII sensor performance does trail at lower ISOs and catches up on latter ones giving very similar performance on high ISOs though with lower colour accuracy and possibly higher colour interpolation induced noise.

It is faster, more versatile, better AF, surpasses the Sony's sensor at high ISO ... just not at base ISO.
High ISO is a toss up.
But the other properties you mention are not sensor properties, but camera properties. There are many cameras using Sonys sensors, including Nikons, and I'm sure Nikonians might disagree with some of your points  ;)

To say Canon "is lagging behind" is rather laughable, actually. They surpass Sony in every single possible way, except 1, in a static environment at base ISO.
DxO measures sensor, not camera, and there Canon is lagging.

Canon has used very weak colour separation for a long time now - the colour accuracy is better on pretty much all the competition (when it comes to colour filter array). Also, it's not just "base" ISO, but 7DII trails all the way to and including middle ISOs. Also has slightly lower pixel count.
And the high ISO is a toss up.

When it comes to sensors Canon is handicapped by some things things:
  • Their APS-C sensor is about 9% smaller than the main competitions
  • They use their own rather coarse fabrication line (180nm) for APS-C and the competition uses 90nm or less
  • To make above items even more significant, 7DII has two photodiodes per pixel due to AF
  • Canon's analog to digital conversion has been subpar for ages - that's the reason for low ISO issues - maybe it's due to the 180nm geometry limitation?

Canon's pixel designs are state of the art, no question about it.

What Canon should do, and will likely do, is to move their full frame sensor production to 180nm process from current ancient 500nm (the competition again is already at 180nm or even less and outsource the fabrication of their APS-C designs. Of course they may also build or buy a new fabrication plant, but they're not exactly cheap.

I don't know if you've ever shot nature photography, but hardly anyone shoots either macro, or telephoto, at "base ISO" ...
Macro is usually done with a tripod and often with a ring flash - low ISO is just fine.
Telephoto on good light is certainly base ISO stuff.
High ISO is much more marginal than low ISO.

Also, most modern sensors - not Canons - are close to being ISOless, that is you can shoot at base ISO in low light and get the same result you'd get with high ISO, but with less risk in blowin highlight (ie. much more headroom).

It is Sony that is lacking on almost every level, including ergonomics and functionality ...
DxO still is about sensors, not ergonomics or stuff.
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CptZar

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2014, 07:51:49 am »

Thank you Bernard!

ErikKaffehr

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2014, 08:39:39 am »

Mr. Abe R. Ration, I really appreciate your writing, as it makes a lot of sense.

Best regards
Erik

Ok, I'll do some correction since you asked  :)

The DxOMark is about sensor performance, not camera performance. Besides you didn't specify which Sony-sensor camera you meant - Sony provides APS-C sensors for Nikon, Pentax, Fujifilm and it's own camera division.

If we look at what they measure, then the 7DII sensor performance does trail at lower ISOs and catches up on latter ones giving very similar performance on high ISOs though with lower colour accuracy and possibly higher colour interpolation induced noise.
High ISO is a toss up.
But the other properties you mention are not sensor properties, but camera properties. There are many cameras using Sonys sensors, including Nikons, and I'm sure Nikonians might disagree with some of your points  ;)
DxO measures sensor, not camera, and there Canon is lagging.

Canon has used very weak colour separation for a long time now - the colour accuracy is better on pretty much all the competition (when it comes to colour filter array). Also, it's not just "base" ISO, but 7DII trails all the way to and including middle ISOs. Also has slightly lower pixel count.
And the high ISO is a toss up.

When it comes to sensors Canon is handicapped by some things things:
  • Their APS-C sensor is about 9% smaller than the main competitions
  • They use their own rather coarse fabrication line (180nm) for APS-C and the competition uses 90nm or less
  • To make above items even more significant, 7DII has two photodiodes per pixel due to AF
  • Canon's analog to digital conversion has been subpar for ages - that's the reason for low ISO issues - maybe it's due to the 180nm geometry limitation?

Canon's pixel designs are state of the art, no question about it.

What Canon should do, and will likely do, is to move their full frame sensor production to 180nm process from current ancient 500nm (the competition again is already at 180nm or even less and outsource the fabrication of their APS-C designs. Of course they may also build or buy a new fabrication plant, but they're not exactly cheap.
Macro is usually done with a tripod and often with a ring flash - low ISO is just fine.
Telephoto on good light is certainly base ISO stuff.
High ISO is much more marginal than low ISO.

Also, most modern sensors - not Canons - are close to being ISOless, that is you can shoot at base ISO in low light and get the same result you'd get with high ISO, but with less risk in blowin highlight (ie. much more headroom).
DxO still is about sensors, not ergonomics or stuff.

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John Koerner

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2014, 12:33:09 pm »

The term "Nature Photography" is a little vast. If it includes moving objects like birds, I guess a higher ISO performance is helpful. But this is luminous-landscape, so the title of this website at least gives the impression that it is mostly, though not exclusively, about landscape photography.

I guess you can't be forced to admit what I am saying: MOST nature photography, involving whatever animal you want to talk about, is done at 320 to 1600+ ISO.

You're a genius on your second point, so let me advance your understanding to realize that the 7D Mark II is not designed for landscape photography ... but for nature/sports photography ... which comprises a lot more folks than mere landscape photography ... and all of which rely on higher ISO.



And in landscape photography dynamic range at base ISO is what is usually used and nothing else. Of course there are exceptions. I guess you haven't had the chance to work with the files of the modern Sony sensors, like a D810 or an A7r provide. The dynamic range is covering just any situation you might encounter. If you are bracketing, as your histogram, which annoyingly uses jpg and not RAW data, gives you the impression, the scene can not be captured in one shot, in 99% of the case you may push the shadows  in post production. You get all you wanted in one shoot without, green or blue noise artifacts, which by the way may not be recovered with noise reduction. There is no way you can do that with a Canon sensor.  You will always find yourself blending images which may be very annoying. E.g darks trees with light skies in the background.

See my last paragraph: the 7D II is not for landscape photography primarily.

I seldom waste my time trying to get photographs with a lot of heavy shadows over the subject ... I zero right in on live subjects, preferably in optimal light.



But if you may achieve what you desire with your camera, that is just fine. Don't be offended. The AF is great, if you are a birder or shoot animals. For that purpose the 7D might just serve well. And you have a nice lens line up to. I myself had a 5DIII. A Sony is not made for that.  The D810 again is another bread.

Exactly my point. I am not offended. I am saying, I could care less about base ISO, since I almost never use it.



But in terms of color accuracy and dynamic range you might have to reconsider. Almost 2 stops difference at base ISO is quiet a statement.

Allow me to repeat myself: I almost never use base ISO ... 320 is about the lowest I go, and I usually am at 640+ in optimal light.


Two images attached. They are from the same RAW file. Can you do this with a present Canon?

No offense, but I would never bother taking such an image.



PS Anybody knows why I can see the images only when I am logged in?

Because it's coded so that "only members" can see the images: which your loggin-in confirms you as being.

Jack
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 12:35:39 pm by John Koerner »
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John Koerner

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2014, 01:01:10 pm »

Ok, I'll do some correction since you asked  :)

The DxOMark is about sensor performance, not camera performance. Besides you didn't specify which Sony-sensor camera you meant - Sony provides APS-C sensors for Nikon, Pentax, Fujifilm and it's own camera division.

I realize that.

But whoever wrote that DxO article is a geek behind a desk, not someone who's ever been outdoors trying to take nature or wildlife photography. You rarely use "base ISO" for that. The article was written from the perspective of a guy who doesn't even know what a camera is FOR ...

If he had the first clue about what a crop camera is for it is REACH ... and if the Canon 7D Mark II has better low ISO performance than all the others and better ergonomics, AF, functionality, etc. ... then it eclipses the competition pretty much on every level, as a wildlife/sports camera.

A person who actually uses cameras, and doesn't just "measure sensors" would realize this.



If we look at what they measure, then the 7DII sensor performance does trail at lower ISOs and catches up on latter ones giving very similar performance on high ISOs though with lower colour accuracy and possibly higher colour interpolation induced noise.
High ISO is a toss up.
But the other properties you mention are not sensor properties, but camera properties. There are many cameras using Sonys sensors, including Nikons, and I'm sure Nikonians might disagree with some of your points  ;)
DxO measures sensor, not camera, and there Canon is lagging.

Wow, I keep having to repeat myself: people who actually use cameras for sports and wildlife photography don't really care about "base ISO," as they almost never use this.

The EOS 7D II is a more fully-functional camera, on pretty much every level ... and surpasses even the "top sensor" cameras where it matters, and that is at the higher ISOs.

For wildlife and fast-action, it is very compelling camera all the way around, including its sensor.



Canon has used very weak colour separation for a long time now - the colour accuracy is better on pretty much all the competition (when it comes to colour filter array). Also, it's not just "base" ISO, but 7DII trails all the way to and including middle ISOs. Also has slightly lower pixel count.
And the high ISO is a toss up.

I am not sure this is a fact.
I have heard Canon reproduces skin tones better than Nikon, etc.
Most of the really great macro I have seen comes from Canon.
Most of the keen sports photography comes from Canon.



When it comes to sensors Canon is handicapped by some things things:
  • Their APS-C sensor is about 9% smaller than the main competitions
  • They use their own rather coarse fabrication line (180nm) for APS-C and the competition uses 90nm or less
  • To make above items even more significant, 7DII has two photodiodes per pixel due to AF
  • Canon's analog to digital conversion has been subpar for ages - that's the reason for low ISO issues - maybe it's due to the 180nm geometry limitation?

Interesting facts, thanks. But, again, high ISO is what matters most to wildlife/sports photographers, so if that is where Canon excels ... and if its ergonomics, frame rate, and functionality also at the top of the food chain, then this merely confirms its position as THE best camera of the lot of them for this purpose.



Canon's pixel designs are state of the art, no question about it.

And AF, and FPS, and lenses, and programmable functionality, etc.



What Canon should do, and will likely do, is to move their full frame sensor production to 180nm process from current ancient 500nm (the competition again is already at 180nm or even less and outsource the fabrication of their APS-C designs. Of course they may also build or buy a new fabrication plant, but they're not exactly cheap.

Whatever they're doing now, they already have the best all-around wildlife and sports camera available. If they do what you suggest to their next FF camera, the would be nice, but already what they have is nice.



Macro is usually done with a tripod and often with a ring flash - low ISO is just fine.

Speak for yourself: I am a natural light macro shooter.
I do use a tripod, but I almost never use flash, because I prefer the rendering of natural light.
Because of this, I am invariably at a mid-to-high ISO.



Telephoto on good light is certainly base ISO stuff.

I know some awesome super telephoto wildlife photographers, and have seen scores of their images, and almost none are at base ISO ... so I think you're just making this up in your head, and don't actually try to capture wildlife photography yourself with such lenses.



High ISO is much more marginal than low ISO.

I am not sure what you mean by this.



Also, most modern sensors - not Canons - are close to being ISOless, that is you can shoot at base ISO in low light and get the same result you'd get with high ISO, but with less risk in blowin highlight (ie. much more headroom).

Don't know what to say about this, nor what fantacizing about the future has to do with the present subject: the Canon 7D II right now a full complement of superior features to the competition and possesses a sensor which is equal to/better, at higher ISOs, where it matters to people who actually use their cameras.



DxO still is about sensors, not ergonomics or stuff.

And cameras are all about being used for a purpose, not just having one, isolated aspect sensor performance evaluated by bespectacled geeks who don't actually use cameras.

And, for the purpose of wildlife photography & sports photography, which usually involve REACH, higher ISOs, and the ability to nail "a moment" before it's gone, the EOS 7D II delivers.

Jack
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 01:06:35 pm by John Koerner »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2014, 01:13:47 pm »

... A person who actually uses cameras, and doesn't just "measure sensors" would realize this....

Jack, my friend, that is a pointless argument. DXO measures ONLY sensor quality, so there is no point in accusing them of not taking into account anything else. It is like looking at your car's speedometer and complaining it does not tell you antyhing about your car's cargo capacity.

Also, DXO clearly states "landscape" as a criterion, not nature/wildlife, so base ISO is absolutely relevant there.


Quote
...surpasses even the "top sensor" cameras where it matters, and that is at the higher ISOs....

I have yet to see that in any test. At best, Canon starts matching other sensors at higher speeds.

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2014, 04:03:16 pm »

I do not remember the DXO numbers for this camera, but I do recall many of the beautiful images shown here by Glenn Bartley  and Jack Koerner using the original, now 5-year old 7D. If they both like the new camera model and plan to get it, we can expect even better and cleaner images from them in the future (and hopefully also from other 7DII owners).

The DXO sensor numbers don't lie, but the final image quality is a result of multiple factors and camera features, absent in these tests.
For photographers of insects, wildflowers, and birds, Canon 7DII seems like a great tool and sensible investment for the next five years.


 
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synn

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2014, 08:26:04 pm »


I have yet to see that in any test. At best, Canon starts matching other sensors at higher speeds.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison?attr18=daylight&attr13_0=canon_eos7dii&attr13_1=nikon_d7100&attr13_2=sony_a6000&attr13_3=pentax_k3&attr15_0=raw&attr15_1=raw&attr15_2=raw&attr15_3=raw&attr16_0=1600&attr16_1=1600&attr16_2=1600&attr16_3=1600&normalization=full&widget=1&x=-0.9288428760810555&y=-0.17592214230792416

I see the Canon files having a little less chroma noise, but are much softer than the Nikon or Sony files. The canon RAWs actually look a bit "Cooked", which is ironic as a few years ago, it was Nikon who used to cook their high ISO RAWs.

That chroma noise will clean up in a second in any decent post production software, but getting those lost details back won't be so straight forward.

Truth be told, unless you're heavily invested in the Canon lens ecosystem, there's no compelling reason to choose their bodies over the competition now.
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LKaven

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Re: DxOMark's Canon EOS 7D Mk II review
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2014, 08:51:35 pm »

...Wow, I keep having to repeat myself...

The important thing is that it works for you, and it sounds like it does.  But the point about the Canon sensor stands.  It performs poorly at base ISO for anyone who wants to use it at base ISO, and the fact that it delivers two stops less DR than comparable sensors along with prodigious pattern noise is a deal-breaker for many of us.  The fact that you don't need to use it in its worst area of performance is a good thing for you.  I would not go so far as to suggest that this kind of performance deficit was a design decision on Canon's part. 

I'm very curious to see how the Samsung NX-1 stacks up in the APS-c arena when DxO gets around to it. 
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