Updated (September 2009): Compare the Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS 5D Mark II vs Canon EOS 7D

Winner
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

73

Canon EOS 7D

59

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,815 ISO
Great color depth
Color depth
23.7 bits
Large viewfinder
Viewfinder size
0.71x
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
 

Reasons to buy the Canon EOS 7D

Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
8 fps
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
131 ms shutter lag
Viewfinder coverage
Great viewfinder coverage
100%
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
Explore our gallery of 43 sample photos taken by the Canon EOS 7D.

competitors

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Competitors

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D

Pro DSLR

$1,259 - $1,399 body only

$1,679 - $1,799 with 24-105mm lens

Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
HDR Has in-camera HDR
Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Pro DSLR

$2,150 - $2,499 body only

$2,700 - $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

Screen size Much larger screen
Cross type focus points Many more cross-type focus points
Dynamic range Less dynamic range
Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D

Pro DSLR

$780 - $999 body only

$839 - $1,099 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
HDR Has in-camera HDR
Low light performance More noise at high ISO

Canon EOS 7D Competitors

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D

Pro DSLR

$780 - $999 body only

$839 - $1,099 with 18-55mm lens

Autofocus Video autofocus
HDR Has in-camera HDR
Startup delay More startup delay
Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200

Entry-level DSLR

$879 - $1,097 body only

$1,389 - $1,397 with 18-140mm lens

Overall image quality Much better image quality
Color depth Better color depth
Shutter lag More shutter lag
Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D

Pro DSLR

$1,259 - $1,399 body only

$1,679 - $1,799 with 24-105mm lens

Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
Shutter lag Much more shutter lag

discussion

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
EOS 5D Mark II
Canon

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Canon EOS 7D
EOS 7D
Canon

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Showing 25 comments

Guest (1:03 AM, March 24, 2013)
I know where you are coming from and in one way you are right. Things in nowadays a "little" different though ... You can do movie with iPhone as one Japanese filmmaker did and celebrate success ...
5D MK II and III are used widely for making future movie with no problem. It is always about script / skills and artistry which paramount the final cut.
 
Apd198 (1:41 AM, July 03, 2012)
 You need to go up to a 1DX level camera for true weather sealing.
 
Ash Hamdi Films (3:12 PM, May 26, 2012)
first of all he asked for which camera to use and not an analysis if it "POSSIBLE OR NOT" , second i don't know in which industry you are working, but to make it easier , read about the movie "LIKE CRAZY" , it won best film in Sundance and it was shot with 2 7D's with a budget of $250,000 and sometimes the crew was a max of 10 people. There are countless films to be mentioned that doesn't support your whole analysis
 
Avatar for Dartanian Dartanian (5:49 AM, April 22, 2012)
It's incredible that you would say that.  Perhaps your 40 years of experience has caused you to stay in the 1970's.  The 'Singularity' (Google it) is what's happening here, and you are fast becoming obsolete if you cling to your opinions based on previous experience.
 
Avatar for Mike the Realtor Mike the Realtor (0:56 AM, April 05, 2012)
I think you should burn your degree...LOL. Have you been living under a rock?! More and more people are doing incredible things with DSLR cameras (final episode of "House"). And they do it with little or no budget. Go on youtube or vimeo; dont be a dream killer. Do you know what I could do with three 5D's and a $250k budget?!!
 
Avatar for Sol_Invictus Sol_Invictus (8:53 PM, March 30, 2012)
I hope you realize that the movies "Hell and Back" and "Act of Valor" were both shot with the 5D Mark II.  They didn't have anywhere near the assets you're referring to. Google Danfung Dennis and you'll see the gear he used to make his movie.  Which incidentally was nominated for an Oscar.  

 
Avatar for Leonard Washington Leonard Washington (3:49 AM, March 25, 2012)
I owned both of those cameras. I definitely preferred the 7D for its quickness. I could care less for stills. 7D will focus much much much faster than 5d mk2 in the lower light and sports or whenever you need a fast candid. 5D mk2 has a harder time focusing and only useful with a center AF point really. Though 5D mk2 low light performance if you get it to focus right is OUTSTANDING, and image quality is AMAZING. I usually manual focused on my 5D mk2 and AF in Cont. high on 7D. 

I sold both now and buying a 1D series camera ;) 
 
Bcdane (9:05 PM, March 22, 2012)
Salt water splash from a Hawaiian wave.... immediate towel dry, was prepared incase with a silica cube and stuck camera in a bag in case.... Canon... sorry,... complete write-off!. Weather sealed? tickles of rain, dust ok. The NIkkon shooter at front of boat and camera got complete heavy wave soak.... A OK. Nice 'false' sense of security. Readers.... don't get it wet, especially salt water.... didn't even get a chance to corode... done.
 
Filmbird (8:25 AM, March 17, 2012)
And 'For Lovers Only'. With a cast and crew of about 5-10 people, on a $0 budget. They've made a profit of over $200,000. Sorry Delijaxd, but you're wrong...
 
ADPTraining (7:34 AM, March 07, 2012)
Delijaxd is an idiot. Redtails and Act of Valor were shot with 5Ds and 7Ds. DSLRs are the future.
 
Wdeptuch (2:57 AM, March 07, 2012)
You have no clue what you are talking about, the canon 5d mark ii and the 7d have been used on feature films and television shows over the past several years.
You dont have to worry about the sound on these if you are shooting for a feature because you should be shooting that seperately (like with an h4n zoom) like they do with the reds and film cameras.
 
Delijaxd (6:14 AM, February 25, 2012)
Having both a college degree in film making and 40 years of experience in the industry, I can assure you that it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE for ANYONE to make a "full length feature film" with any digital SLR type camera - a complete waste of time. In theory, yes "impossible" may be over-stating it, but unless you have a crew of 100 or so, plus a viable script and a huge budget - while technically possible, it would also require at least 3 or more cameras, a complete sound system (you can't expect to get even sound from 2 or more cameras) and there's just so much more I could go on for 10 full pages and only address a small fraction of the obstacles you would face.  Take a look at the Nikon website and they have a 4 or 5 minute "movies" made with the new D800 camera. Take a look at the credits at the end - there are well over 100 people that were credited with their contributions to a movie that ran for less than 5 minutes - a typical 'full length feature" would require everything they had (my guess is at least a half dozen cameras, countless lenses, and a separate sound recording system - which is expensive but an absolute requirement) - and my guess (based on the cost of shooting 30 second TV commercials) or a $250,000 budget - a full length feature film is on average over 100 minutes long, so multiply that budget by 20. (Only $5million - which seems WAY too low - but maybe possible if you don't have to pay anyone - just pay for the equipment, the sets, permits, etc.) - Of course if the unions get wind of what you are doing, expect the cost to be much higher.
 
Avatar for Feral Thibedeaux Feral Thibedeaux (5:40 PM, February 14, 2012)
Easy... 5d... the 550d (t2i)  side by side comparisons have shown that
in almost all respects, performs like the 7d... If you are upgrading... spend the dosh, get the 5d... the bigger sensor, lower contrast ratio (due to the larger sensor) and video capabilities are amazing
 
Steve (5:25 PM, January 06, 2012)
7D : Magnesium body with shutter durability up to 150,000 cycles and exclusive dust and weather resistance. (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/digital_slr_cameras/eos_7d#Features)
5D:High performance with 3.9 fps continuous shooting, new shutter with a durability of 150,000 cycles and improved weather-resistant body.
(http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/digital_slr_cameras/eos_5d_mark_ii#Features)
Seems They are *both* weather resistant but the 5D isn't dust resistant.
 
Doctorz (2:37 PM, December 26, 2011)
I looked at these two cameras before choosing the 5d MkII. IMO these two cameras are just about equal except that the 5D has the full frame 35mm CMOS  sensors while the 7D has the smaller  APS-C CMOS sensor. Thus  the 5D behaves as a true 35mm camera while the 7D behaves as "smaller" frame camera. By the nature of physics, the APS-C sensor has a 1.6x focal length multiplier -which becomes important when one is shooting wide field of views: e.g. a 24mm lens shoots as a 24mm lens on the 5D while the 7D with the same lens shoots as a 38mm lens (24 x 1.6).  Thus it's tougher to shoot "wide" with the 7D. Conversely, because of the 1.6 focal length multiplier, a longer lens (e.g. 200 mm) on the 7D will have more "reach" than that on the 5D. It will behave as a 320mm lens. (200 x 1.6). To those still undecided, may I suggest reading Canon's CMOS White Paper found here: http://media.the-digital-picture.com/Information/Canon-Full-Frame-CMOS-White-Paper.pdf

As for lenses: keep in mind that if you already have an investment in EF-S lenses, you cannot use them on the full frame 5d as these lenses are designed only for APS-C sensor cameras.
 
Teknodogg (3:45 PM, December 13, 2011)
if you do a lot of sports than go with a 7D
 
Rizengrom (7:29 PM, December 12, 2011)
It's weather Resistant, not weathersealed
 
xeres (6:03 PM, December 07, 2011)
Being an amateur photographer I've understood, through the years, that lenses are at least as much important than cameras. After an uppgrade from a 500D to a 7d (I really love that machine !) I got the feeling that my best lens did a better work with a 500D than my worse lens did with my new 7D.
Anyway, I.m quite sure the 5D is a better rending camera concerning details, colors and sharpened pictures. But the 7D has got newer technology (autofocus, 2x digic-4 processor for real fast pictures series and so on...). I would advise people with my ambition (wanting to take real good pictures and make nice HD movies to buy a 7D and put the money that is over in a better zoom lens. The 7D is more than enough camera for the creative amateur!  
   
 
Bobraposo1970 (9:17 PM, November 17, 2011)
I am looking to upgrade my Rebel XTi and considering Canon 7D or 5D.  Issue is that I have a lense 18-200 that is not compatible with the 5D, but I love the power of this camera.  Any recos?
 
Boskovicluka (9:37 AM, September 21, 2011)
I prefere the 5D too, but this review is the worst ever. Expecially the "weather seal" kix hahahah
 
SHAMWOW (3:04 PM, September 13, 2011)
I am looking to upgrade my Canon T1i. I currently only use the 50 f 1.4 and the 85 f 1.8. I shoot a lot of basektball and landscape things. I am really starting to get into portrait photography as well. I am a college student so obviously I am on some what of a budget but I could probably get enough for the 5d if need be. Any comments or suggestions would be great on which camera is better and why. Thank you
 
Dadvianphotography (10:36 AM, September 13, 2011)
can't afford a 5d mark II =( and L lenses...wish i could ..but 1,000 extra for the body...and twice the price of any lens...help please..can't decide betwin a 5d mk II  with a 50 mm lens  or a 7d with a 18-135 mm  ,a 10-20 sigma wide angle  a rokinon 8 mm fish eye..and a nikon sb 28 vintage flash for off camera flash =(....something inside of me tell's me go for te 5d...but other part tells me that its a 3 year old body and an up grade can come real soon...reasons to buy 5d..low noise at high iso  and full frame format...reasons to buy 7d..focus system and the option of 60 frames ps ..i love slow mo  =( please help
 
Stefanots (9:23 AM, August 23, 2011)
http://canonfieldreviews.com/7d-1-weather-sealing/
Isn't 7D weathersealed?
The weathersealing isn't as good as 1D series, but it's quite complete
 
Ted Ciesielski (3:37 AM, August 20, 2011)
Absolutly 5D!  All Zeiss P2 pro lesnses and Shift lenses are for full frame cameras only like 5D

Ted Ciesielski,  DP
"man w the movie camera"
 
BobGuch (8:07 PM, August 08, 2011)
ahh which one to buy when you already own a canon 550D :P