7D Mark ii and 100-400 mark ii review: Sharpness results

I am a photographer.  I have never claimed to be a photographic lab rat.  No fancy equipment, just man and cameras.  I wanted to provide real life field testing results. People have been calling the new Canon 7D mark ii the junior Canon 1DX.  I had sold both my 7D’s when I bought my Canon 1DX last year.  I have been missing a backup body.  I have been torn between the 7D mark ii and the full body Canon 5D mark iii.  I ended up buying this combo from Best Buy for the 15 day return policy.  I knew I have 2 weeks to crank the combo through as many test and lighting conditions as I could.

So this review is a comparison of both the Canon 7D Mark ii and the Canon 1DX with different combination of lenses.  Here is the setup.  Could find any stationary wildlife so had to recreate.  It was freaking cold that day.  I set my tripod with my Gimbal head in my garage (wind break) and set Harley Bear 40 yards away across the street.  I struggled a bit with how to best show the results.  Here it is never before seen RAW unprocessed images right out of both camera.  Up until now I have never posted an raw image without my signature processing script.  I knew I couldn’t use any noise reduction or sharpening or it would be a processing test not a focus / sharpness test.  You can use the slider to see either or both images.  I plan to use this same image slider to show the high ISO test.

Shutter speed 1/160, f5.6, ISO 100, focal length noted on each photo.  I wanted to shoot at the lowest f stop showing worse case scenarios.  Every setup should look great at f11 🙂


See how much free reach you get with the 1.6 crop factor? Another way to think about it is the 7D2 has a built in 1.6 Teleconverter.


By putting the 1.4 Teleconverter on the 1DX it helps to make up for the 7D2 crop factor. 7d2 working length is 800mm and the 1DX + 1.4 TC is 700mm



This is the test I was most interested in. Is the 7D2 “Good Enough” to hike in the woods and use as a backup to my primary camera combo the Canon 1DX + Canon 500mm f4 IS.  I was interested in total weight and ease of carrying.  The 100-400 is shorter and lighter than the Canon 70-200 mark ii.


The new Canon 100-400 mark ii on both bodies

I was asked after I did this test to also shoot the Canon 7D mark ii with the 100-400 mark ii with the teleconverter.  I found this setup to be very shaky as I tried to track and shoot Eagles free hand.  This combo needs to be shot from the tripod, and if time allows I will do that test this weekend.

Canon 7D MKii + 100-400 IS Mark ii + 1.4 Teleconverter = 896mm working length


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8 thoughts on “7D Mark ii and 100-400 mark ii review: Sharpness results

  1. Kent,

    Thanks for posting the side by side comparisons of your focus/sharpness test for us to view. It is really nice to see the impact of the crop factor of the 7D II along side the 1DX at the same focal length. The images from both cameras looks sharp. The 100-400 vII looks very good at 400mm as well on both cameras. I look forward to your high iso comparison.

    I’m off to L&D 14 Friday morning. The sun looks like it will cooperate however I’m not too sure about the wind.

    Thanks again for your efforts.


  2. This is really an interesting way to show the comparison. Thanks for the work putting this together. I’ve decided to keep my 7DII after three days last week at L&D 14. I’m going to put up images soon, but family needs to come first right now.

    Thanks again,

  3. Hi Kent,

    Is there any possibility you could do a side by side comparison of the 300 2.8 II + 1.4x III vs the 100-400 II at 400? Preferably on the 1DX to eliminate any possibility of the 7D2 malfunctioning, but either way would be fine. If I am really being picky, two images on the 300 + 1.4x, one at F4 and one at the comparable F5.6 would be amazing.

    I find that my 1.4x never leaves the 300 and I am really thinking about buying a 1DX + 100-400 II instead of the 300 for a much more portable hiking setup and I am curious if the 100-400 is as sharp, sharper, etc?


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