Sony A77ii embarrasses the Canon 7D Mark II

Featured Thursday, 06 November 2014 00:56

The Sony A77 mark 2 decimates the Canon 7D mark 2 on DXO Mark

 The much praised Canon 7D has just been tested by the techno boffins at DXO mark and no surprise, it has improved technically on the original 7D.


The surprisingly part though, is how LITTLE it has improved. The biggest gain is in the ISO performance, but colour depth and especially dynamic range are only slightly improved. Considering there was 5 years between the models - overall (on paper) it is a very modest improvement.

Check out Public Bodies:

Check out Public Bodies:

Let's take a look at the new Sony A77 Mark2... it decimates the new 7D, with 2 bits more colour depth and 1.6 bits of greater dynamic range, has focus peaking, a tilting screen, in camera stabilisation, higher resolution sensor and rear screen, built in wifi and en extra 2 frames per second... not to mention it is almost half the price.


In defense of the new 7D mark 2, the images are great, the handling is improved, it has GPS and the AF system is far more advanced than the Sony.

Just for giggles, lets throw the 18 month Nikon D7100 in the mix. It is still ahead of them both, with the highest dynamic range, and by far the highest ISO performance of the bunch.


Now of course, these are lab tests just telling us what the sensors are technically capable of. It says NOTHING of the handling, focus, reliability or experience of using them. And I wouldn't think these results would be enough to have anyone considering a change of brand... still, interesting to see the results of these cameras - ranging from the 5 year old 7D, the 1.5 year old D7100 and the brand new offerings.

All tables and stats from



  • Comment Link Jonathan Stewart Thursday, 06 November 2014 02:49 posted by Jonathan Stewart

    Canon users, I feel your pain. 5 years between updates and this is what you get? As a Sony A-mount user myself, this is good news to me, but I'd still like to see some meaningful improvement in an A99 replacement. The A77M2 is a good indication they're not killing the A-mount, but until we get a new flagship full frame, I'll have my doubts.

  • Comment Link Gian Thursday, 06 November 2014 06:45 posted by Gian

    Great article ..... And although I have no intention of making this a Canon vs Nikon debate .... why is the title about the Sony being better....... when the Nikon D7100 is even better than the Sony. The D7100 is a 2/3 year old camera, and it's performance fares very well.

  • Comment Link michael webb Thursday, 06 November 2014 07:11 posted by michael webb

    I was going to ask how the Nikon D7100 stood up against the new canon EOS 7D mark 2 but I have my answer now as i'am going to buy the Nikon D7100

  • Comment Link Kev Shere Thursday, 06 November 2014 08:31 posted by Kev Shere

    None of this matters. These new cameras with 24x16mm sensors have to many pixels, photo sites are just to small. I have owned D7100 for 5 months, not impressed on the upgrade from D200. Numbers are better but it doesn't help in all area's. Some plus points & some - points, after 5 months of testing to me, they just all even out. Skills and glass matter.

  • Comment Link Andre Silva Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:26 posted by Andre Silva

    Really sad that they don't give us any info on how they measure sensors, so that someone could replicate the results...

    That said, what to tell about this results, that show something a bit different. Taken as is from a post from Roger Clark, from

    "My sensor analysis of the 7D2 is showing the improvements and reasons for some of the posted results by others.
    I'll have a full report written up in a few days. A few advanced findings, though should be regarded as preliminary until I do a full writeup.

    Full well capacity is slightly higher, but actual photon sensitivity is only 14% higher (0.2 stop in actual sensitivity) than the 7d1.

    The noise floor is pushed down and pattern noise is a non issue at pretty much all ISOs and is lower than any other canon camera I have tested. Apparent read noise is an impressive low of 1.6 electrons at ISO 12800, raising to 2.4 electrons at ISO 1600. Image S/N in high signal regions will look similar to the 7D, but as brightness drops, the 7D2 images will look much better, and with the low apparent read noise and very low pattern noise, shadow areas can be lifted quite nicely. All this evidence comes from the sensor data with no raw conversion. The lack of pattern noise and clean low level noise means it should clean up nicely with filtering (unlike many earlier canon cameras).

    Overall, I am very impressed. A note on DXO numbers. It appears that DXO is not correcting Nikons truncating of the raw data, which artificially improves dynamic range by about a stop. Also Nikon filters the raw data, improving noise and dynamic range further. I believe, based on some experiments, that if the canon data were treated similarly, it would result it numbers at least as good.

    Previous to the 7D2 and 6D, pattern noise was a real limitation in Canon cameras (the 1D4 and 1DX are also pretty good, but not a good as the 7D2 and 6D). That pattern noise produced poor shadow areas compared to what could be extracted from Nikon sensors, especially at some ISOs (like 200 and 400 on many canon cameras). But Nikon's raw files look "wormy" in the shadow areas from the in camera filtering of the raw data. The Canon 7D2 raw data looks much more random, as it should be.

    The 7D2 sensor dynamic range should be capable of 14.3 stops. Downstream electronics are still limiting that, so the per pixel dynamic range maxes at 11.2 stops at ISO 200. Note the DXO dynamic range is a pixel averaged 20x30 inch print dynamic range. I compute the DXO normalized dynamic range at 12.4 stops at ISO 200, 12.3 at ISO100, though I see DXO is now reporting 11.8 for the 7D2. I'm not sure why their numbers are low compared to mine.

    I've also done some preliminary tests of the AF speed of the 7D2 compared to my 1DIV with a 300 f/2.8 version II. Results look very encouraging with similar performance. However, in some restricted cases, like focus moving from very close to very far, the 7D2 +300(vII) +2x (vIII)a is much slower and fails to find focus without hunting whereas the 1DIV nails it most of the time, but sometimes reacts as slow as the 7D2 (maybe 10% of the tries). If the focus range is limited, the 7D2 performs much better. AF from near to far is usually slow compared to far to near so if you prefocus, prefocus on the far side, so when you acquire the subject, the camera uses its fast rate direction.

    Other sensors I have reviewed are here:"


  • Comment Link Ryan Friday, 07 November 2014 03:35 posted by Ryan

    At the end of the day it's about having fun shooting with whatever camera you have.

  • Comment Link Ian Friday, 07 November 2014 14:06 posted by Ian

    To Jonathan Stewart
    I've had a Canon 7D for 5 years and can't falter it one bit. it's been knocked, banged hammered through everyday use. It works flawlessly and will still use it until it dies. Canon have their reasons not to go into warp drive with upgrades.
    I feel they use the 7D to add new tech then slowly filter that tech into the newer upgrades later on.
    Aside from no Wi-Fi, the 7D mk2 is a very good choice for anyone not using the 7D mk1 or wants a better camera but not go the full frame route.
    Don't knock what you don't have. I don't knock Sony.
    Don't feel sorry for Canon uses, we are a very happy lot.

  • Comment Link 70D vs a77ii Monday, 01 December 2014 16:16 posted by 70D vs a77ii

    Don't know for sure about 7DM2 but sony a77ii has better overall image quality as compared to 70D. I have tried 70D returned it and purchased sony a77ii. Not only the sensor but overall better response time and performance from it. apart from touch screen it is better camera than 70D. Neverthought of going SLT route but the package with a77ii ...IQ, performace ans speed feel very compelling. The so called drop in image quality due to transluscent mirror seems to be falls as the images are excellent. Also low light focusing is darn good with even mediocr 18-135 lense and excellent with 16-50mm. The only real limitation as compared to canon is Lense choice ...its enough but not that much variety as for canon.

  • Comment Link U. Dias Tuesday, 24 February 2015 20:29 posted by U. Dias

    Choices: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Sony SLT Alpha 77 II and Nikon D7100… The D7100 was my camera of choice. I shoot mostly landscape and the dynamic range of this camera is 13.7 EVs. I had borrowed the Sony a77 from a friend and although it produced beautiful quality image, dynamic range and ISO performance wasn’t nearly as good as the D7100. As for the 70D, the 1.6x crop sensor, 11.8 EVs and low-light ISO scored 1082, didn’t quite appeal to me. Here’s some photo samples taking with the D7100

  • Comment Link Gerd Monday, 20 April 2015 09:32 posted by Gerd

    Strange that you say here that the Canon's AF is far more advanced then the Sony's, while the AF system of the Sony is what all other review website talk about, being far ahead of competition ?

  • Comment Link Paul Shoopman Monday, 15 February 2016 17:00 posted by Paul Shoopman

    I agree about the focusing on the a77 M2. It's way more advanced than the other two. There are a lot of focus settings in the menu depending on what you're shooting. If you have them set correctly, it outshines the others.
    I have tis camera and couldn't be happier. The lens selection is good enough for me. How many lenses do you use on a daily basis anyway? They have all of what I need covered and with adding the Tamron 150-600mm I'm covered from 11mm all the way to 600mm which is 900mm on APS-C. The 16-50 f/2.8 is the best zoom period! I have shot all three brands and Sony is currently way ahead in new technology at the moment.


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