I got word that Canon is testing two different sensor configurations for the upcoming EOS 7D Mark II. As previously murmured there is a 20MP sensor as a possible candidate, and also a 24MP sensor that is undergoing field testing. Both sensors have the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology Canon introduced with the Canon EOS 70D. The source said that Canon wants to step up resolution for the 7D Mark II to distinguish it from the feature-rich EOS 70D, but that low light/high ISO performance is a priority. This spec list was given to me:
- ~24MP sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF
- Auto-Focus system similar to the EOS 5D Mark III (61 points), possibly the same as 5D3
- High frame rate, 10-12 fps
- “high grade” weather sealing, like Canon’s professional DSLRs
- Dual Digic V+ processor
- Single card slot
- WiFi & GPS
- Innovative video features
- Price around $2000
- Very good ISO performance
As for the last point of the list above, the ISO performance: I heard from different sources that ISO performance is a priority issue for Canon, and that they aim to make an APS-C DSLR that sets a new quality standard in the industry. ISO performance on the 7D Mark II could thus be on the same level as Canon’s full-frame DSLRs. And it is not the first time that a 24MP sensor is rumored. As mentioned earlier, the EOS 7D Mark II will not be released in 2013, one of the reasons being that Canon wants to see how well the EOS 70D will get accepted by the market.
All this is very interesting. The EOS 70D is Canon’s new APS-C flagship, a camera with features that easily surpass the previous flagship, the EOS 7D. If Canon aims to establish the EOS 7D Mark II as the new APC-S flagship, then they will have to pack features in it, features that change things in real world. As much as we always have to take rumors with a grain of salt, the spec list above makes sense to me. I think Canon can not avoid to pack a higher resolution sensor in the EOS 7D Mark II if they want to establish it in its own category. A more sophisticated AF system, weather sealing, high fps, and WiFi and/or GPS functionality are all more than welcome, but without a new sensor a lot of people might question if they should go for a 7D2 instead of the 70D.