The Canon EOS-7D Mark II: Wading Through the Morass & DPP 4.0 Camera Compatibility Issues and Info « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Canon EOS-7D Mark II: Wading Through the Morass & DPP 4.0 Camera Compatibility Issues and Info

The Streak Continues: 293

I am having a great time being at home and taking good care of myself. Eating just two meals a day, breakfast and lunches of protein and vegetables only, I have lost more than five pounds slowly. My left knee and my right shoulder are both improving a lot. I spent yesterday meditating and doing breathing exercises and taking a nice easy 2/3 mile swim. I enjoyed a short nap, a 44 minute ice bath, and answered another zillion e-mails. All that followed by another good night’s sleep. This blog post, the 293rd in a row, was published just after 7:30am from my home in Indian Lake Estates, FL.

As always, I would appreciate your using the BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases, using our Amazon logo-link for all of your household purchases, and visiting the BAA Online Store for your tripod, tripod head, LensCoat, miscellaneous, accessories, and eGuide purchases as well. Please remember, web orders only. 🙂

EOS-7D Mark II Thanks!

Thanks a stack to the 20 folks who pre-ordered their EOS 7D Mark II bodies (and lots of accessories) using a BAA affiliate link. If you missed all of yesterday’s excitement, click here. And best of luck to Geoffrey Cuff of the Cayman Islands with the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens that he ordered in similar fashion.

Convinced? Click on the logo-link immediately below to pre-order yours. This will be one hot-ticket item; the sooner you get your name on the pre-order list, the sooner you will have a 7D II in your hands.

Not convinced? Click here and be sure to see tomorrow’s blog post.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20% plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Click here to see all the current listings.

Used Gear Cautions

Though I am not in a position to post images of gear for sale here or elsewhere, prospective buyers are encouraged to request for photos of the gear that they are interested in purchasing via e-mail. Doing so will help to avoid any misunderstandings as to the condition of the gear. Sellers are advised to take care to photograph their used gear with care against clean backgrounds so that the stuff is represented accurately and in the best light; please pardon the pun :).

New Listing: Canon 400mm EF f/5.6 L IS UMS Lens

Bob Bass is offering a used Canon 400mm EF f/5.6 L IS UMS in excellent condition for $999. The sale includes the original box, the tough fabric case, the front and rear lens caps, the instruction CD, and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Your new gear will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made. You can contact Bob via e-mail or by phone at 781-275-5230 EST.

Original owner. The lens was purchased in 2012 and used infrequently. It was recently returned from Canon Professional Services where it received a clean and checked. Images of the lens are available upon request as are images made with the lens.

The 400 f/5.6, my old “toy lens” is an ideal flight or starter lens for younger folks with a steady hand. It will AF with a 1.4X TC with the new 7D II….

The Canon EOS-7D Mark II: Wading Through the Morass

If you type the words “Canon EOS-7D Mark II” into a Google search box it finds about 4,130,000 results in 1/3 of once second. And I have a very slow internet connection. I have spent the last three days reading each and every one of the more than four million articles and watching hundreds of 7D II videos. Actually not. But I have been doing lots of surfing, lots of reading, and watched more than a few videos from either trusted or interesting sources.

Below, each under a separate heading, I share just a fraction of what I have learned about this new camera.

Rudy Winston on the 7D II

Rudy Winston been with Canon USA’s Pro Products team for more than 17 years. He has been responsible for training Canon’s staff on new products, creating presentations for customers and dealers, numerous writing projects, and providing technical assistance to professional and amateur photographers including yours truly. Often. Currently, he’s a key figure in Canon’s Education department and contributes many on-line articles to Canon USA’s Digital Learning Center. Best of all he is a hell of a nice guy.

The 7D Mark II’s Intelligent Viewfinder

Rudy’s latest article is entitled “New Intelligent Viewfinder feature on EOS-7D Mark II.” You can read the whole thing here. I did, and here are my highlights.

Canon has packed a ton of potential info into the viewfinder via a clear, transmissive LCD overlay above the focusing screen. You can customize your 7D II so that it shows every feature–warning, it will be crowded in there. Or, you can customize it to show nothing. You choice. I was most excited to learn that you can turn on the new Viewfinder Electronic Level so that it is displayed in the camera’s viewfinder. It is in addition to and completely independent of the level display that can be programmed to appear on the large, rear LCD monitor. The one in the viewfinder is a dual-axis Electronic Level that shows any tilt (in 1-degree increments) from side-to-side, as well as up-and-down. It will be a dream feature for those like me who do lots of hand held scenic photography with wide angle or fish eye lenses.

You can opt to see a ton of shooting information across the bottom of the viewfinder if you choose. These are included, each with independent on/off control: Exposure Mode, White Balance, Drive, AF setting (One-Shot AF/AI Focus AF/AI Servo AF), Metering mode, Image quality (RAW or JPEG), and the Flicker! icon. And there are about a zillion options for displaying a great variety of AF info.

The Flicker icon? This is an amazing feature for those who photograph indoors or in other locations where unseen to the human eye, the lighting flicker or pulses thus causing mega-exposure problems for those who work in Manual exposure mode. Rudy explains the new Anti-Flicker technology in quite succinctly in a different article here.

Rudy sums up the 7D viewfinder article in part as follows:

There’s more extensive information in the EOS 7D Mark II viewfinder than any previous Canon EOS digital SLR but, again, the cool thing is you can display as much or as little as you like. With as sophisticated an AF system as this camera has, it understandably gives numerous options for how AF points (and even AF Operation Settings, One-Shot AF, AI Focus AF, and AI Servo AF) are displayed in the viewfinder. The viewfinder is the nerve center of any SLR camera and the EOS 7D Mark II provides options that make it almost like a heads-up display in a plane or automobile, figuratively speaking.

Tidbits and Gems from the Manufacturer’s Hype

In-camera lens aberration corrections

To help photographers with achieving high quality images, the EOS 7D Mark II corrects image distortions like peripheral illumination, chromatic aberration and distortion, in-camera, as the image is recorded. When shooting in Live View mode, the results of distortion can even be monitored in real time through the EOS 7D Mark II’s Image Simulation Function.

As far as I can figure, this feature will simplify the RAW conversions by eliminating a somewhat time-consuming step.

Speed and Accuracy with Intelligent Subject Recognition and Analysis.

The EOS-7D Mark II has an amazing iSA Intelligent Subject Analysis system that employs an independent RGB light sensor with approximately 150,000-pixel resolution. This sensor enables Canon’s intelligent Tracking and Recognition system (iTR AF) that detects and tracks subjects, automatically switching the AF point to optimize tracking. With new tracking algorithms tailored to recognize faces and colors, this system serves as a brilliant foundation to the EOS 7D Mark II’s AF system.

This sounds as if it might be great for photographing birds in flight or in action. The big questions are, truth or fiction? Fact or hype? The proof will eventually be in the pudding.

Specialty Controls, Built Right In

An EOS first, the EOS 7D Mark II offers time-lapse fixed-point shooting and long exposures without the need for a remote control. The EOS 7D Mark II’s interval timer takes from 1 to 99 shots at preselected intervals, ideal for shooting flowers as they bloom or clouds drifting through the sky. Its built-in bulb timer keeps the shutter open for a designated amount of time, perfect for night photography.

These two will be perfect for lazy folks like me….When the massive clouds are rolling by, it will be time lapse time. And there will be no more excuses for when it comes to trying my hand at night sky photography.

Full HD recording at 60p in MOV and MP4 Formats

Stunning full HD video with custom Movie Servo AF and multiple frame rates. While offering performance improvements across the board for still photography, the EOS 7D Mark II is also an incredibly capable HD movie camera. Taking advantage of its Dual Pixel CMOS AF capabilities, the EOS 7D Mark II has customizable Movie Servo AF options: not only can AF location be defined, AF speed and tracking intervals can be specified too, for fluid, smooth focus transitions. The EOS 7D Mark II delivers refined and detailed image quality with Full HD 60p recording at ISO values up to 16000, has an HDMI output and records to both SD and CF cards for versatility and security during important shoots.

Yours truly know zip about video so I will leave reviews of the 7D II’s video capabilities to others. You can see a 3 minute, 50 second sample video here. “Cello”is the second of the five videos. It was created at ISO 3200 in a great variety of lighting conditions using a great variety of Canon EF lenses.

Achieve Impressive AF During Video Capture

The EOS 7D Mark II features Canon’s revolutionary Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a milestone in AF speed and accuracy that unlocks the potential of Live View shooting. This advanced technology has truly changed what is possible with a DSLR camera. Dual Pixel CMOS AF involves a sophisticated rethinking of the CMOS sensor. Traditionally, image sensors have one photodiode per pixel for recording, but the CMOS sensor on the EOS 7D Mark II has two photodiodes per pixel, 40 million in total, enabling each pixel on the sensor to both perform phase-difference detection autofocus and capture light. With phase-difference detection AF, autofocus is achieved quickly and easily on the camera. This unique AF system enables autofocus on approximately 80% of the image plane, vertically and horizontally, and helps ensure virtually no loss in image quality.

The benefits of Dual Pixel CMOS AF are clearly evident in Live View and video shooting, where the EOS 7D Mark II achieves natural, precise focus very quickly, even when switching between subjects. And, combined with the predictive power of Movie Servo AF, subjects in motion are smoothly and consistently tracked – once focus is locked, the EOS 7D Mark II holds on! Plus, with the shallow depth-of-field afforded by EOS optics, video gains a brilliant, cinematic ambience lacking when shooting video with many other Digital SLRs.

Though I do not understand everything above, it seems pretty clear that the 7D II will offer AI servo AF with video…. That will surely tempt me. And it seems pretty clear as well that the new technology promises great improvement in the autofocus system when shooting stills of birds in flight or birds or animals in action. Again, we need to see how promised theoretical improvements pan out against reality.

More Great Stuff or Hollow Promises?

You can learn more about the features of the 7D IIby clicking here. In addition to those above these include the new 20.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor that promise gorgeous images, ten frames per second, a new mirror vibration control system, and brilliant, speedy AF tracking.

My Conclusions

I will sum things up here with two of my responses to questions left as comments on the blog.

The first was asked by Sandra Corless who wrote:

It would be very helpful Artie to know if the new features offered in the way of auto-focus require the use of the newer Canon telephoto lenses or if it will work just as well on some of the older lenses and converters.

Here is my response:

I am sure that the 7D II will focus better than the 7D on any lens. I am sure that the 7D II will AF just fine with the older EF lenses. And I am sure that it will AF faster and more accurately with the Series II super-telephotos than with the older lenses. Not because of anything to do with the camera, simply because the Series II lenses feature better AF than the older lenses.

To be sure that I was not stepping out of bounds with the statement above, I ran it by Chuck Westfall. He responded by e-mail: “Looks good to me.”

Next was a question asked by David Policansky who was kind enough to pre-order his 7D II and accessories using a BAA B&H affiliate link:

Do you plan to get a 7DII?

I answered:

Since I can say for sure that I am getting older every day I can say for sure that I would welcome a light weight 1.6X crop factor camera with very good to excellent image quality and very good high ISO performance. The crop factor would allow me to work with shorter, lighter lenses….

As I have been saying all along, the proof will be in the pudding. artie

Right now there are two chances that I might get my hands on a 7D II some time in mid- to late October or early November. If I do, and if I am permitted to share the images before the camera begins shipping, I will do so.

The two biggest promised and potential 7D II improvements for bird, wildlife, and nature photographers have to do with the all new AF system and with image quality. To get a handle on those, we need to have a 7D II in our hands in the field….


DPP 4.0 screen capture

DPP 4.0 Camera Compatibility Issues and Info

Thanks to Jim Simon who asked in a blog comment:

I have the Canon 1D Mk IV and the updater on the Canon site only shows the latest update as DPP 3.14.15. There is no explanation about why I should not update to DPP 4. Does anyone know whether the camera is just an orphan now or if there is a reason that DDP 4 should not be used for files from the Mk IV?

I wrote in response:

DPP 4.0 currently supports images from the following camera bodies: 1D X, 5D III, and 6D. Images from all other Canon digital cameras bodies including the EOS-1D Mark IV need to rely on DPP V 3 point whatever is the latest version.

It is not that DPP 4 shouldn’t be used for 1D IV images. It cannot be used to convert them. You need a serial # for a 1D X, 5D III, or a 6D to download DPP 4.0, but even if a friend gives you a valid serial number a 1D IV image will show in DPP 4.0 with a symbol that leaves no doubt that the image is incompatible: a pencil (indicating “edit”) and a circle with a diagonal line through it (indicating “sorry, Jack.”) I will try to remember to include a screen capture in tomorrow’s blog post. In addition I have the current news on DPP 4.0 and the 7D II.

Well, obviously I did remember :). In the screen capture above you can see the symbol that indicates that DPP 4.0 is not compatible with a given camera.

Here is some disappointing news: right now indications from Japan are that DPP 4.0 will not support 7D Mark II images…. I for one am hoping that this will change at some point, the sooner the better.

12 comments to The Canon EOS-7D Mark II: Wading Through the Morass & DPP 4.0 Camera Compatibility Issues and Info

  • avatar John M

    “The EOS 7D Mark II corrects image distortions like peripheral illumination, chromatic aberration and distortion, in-camera, as the image is recorded.”

    With other EOS cameras I have used, the in-camera corrections were only applied to jpegs not RAW files. Such corrections to RAW files had to be done in software like DPP or Lightroom. Maybe the 7D Mark II is different in this regard? Thanks, John

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I am not at all positive about anything but do know that with the 1D X and the 5D III if you enable Peripheral Illumination and Chromatic Aberration on the menu that that info is carried with the RAW but that only matters if you convert in DPP…. I will try to remember to ask Rudy Winston what is new with the 7D II when he gets back from PhotoExpo…. If I forget, remind me via e-mail in early OCT. artie

  • avatar M. Bruce

    Thanks for all the links Art – much help!

  • avatar Jim Magowan


    You mention being able to use lighter lenses with the 7D II due to the crop factor. I have read much the same idea about the crop factor from other well known photographers. My first Canon (a 20D) had an 8 mp sensor. I believe the full frame model below the 1Ds was the 1D; whatever it was, when I calculated the pixel density (pixels per sq mm) for the two cameras it was identical. If images were shot with the same focal length lens from the same location (or distance) the 1D image, if cropped to show the same part of the image as the 20D image had the same number of pixels (resolution) as the 20D image. If all other things (pixel size or quality, etc.,) are equal this means that you could shoot the full frame image and if you want to get the 1.6 ‘magnification’ of the aps-c sensor just crop the image in Photoshop.

    Of course, the sensors in the full frame cameras are supposed to be better so actually you got a better image using the full frame camera and cropping in PS. In short, if the pixels in the full frame camera are of equal or better quality to the aps-c pixels, image-wise, shooting full frame is like shooting with both cameras.

    The ‘magnification’ of the aps-c sensor has nothing to do with the sensor, it is a function of the way the images are displayed and printed. The aps-c image is ‘blown up to fill the same area on the screen as the full frame image.

    The advantages of the 1.6 crop factor do not include being able to work with shorter lenses unless you simply prefer to crop with the camera rather than PS. There is an advantage in being able to use lenses specifically designed for the 1.6 bodies in that they can be made smaller and lighter for the same focal length and speed because they do not have to project as large an image onto the sensor (not as much glass, etc.). When a full frame lens is used on a 1.6 body much of the image does not hit the sensor.

    The question I would ask is how a 1.6 crop of an image from the 1Dx compares with the image from the 7D II? I would love to see the result if you were to shoot from the same location with the same lens on the 1Dx and the 7DII and print the 7DII image and the 1Dx crop at successively greater enlargements to compare image quality.

    The advantages of the 1.6 bodies are:

    1. They are (more) affordable for people like me than the full frame bodies.
    2. You can leave the dual battery holder off to save weight and bulk, if desired.
    3. 1.6 specific lenses can be lighter and cheaper than the equivalent full frame lenses.
    4. The bodies can be more compact and lighter because components such as mirrors and sensors are smaller.
    5. They usually have a built in flash which is often better than no flash.
    6. On the 7D (and I assume the II)you can turn off the on camera flash, but still trigger off camera Speedlights with it.

    The image magnification, however, is a myth. If I shoot a bird with my 7D (or maybe someday with a 7DII) from the same place as you shoot the same bird with your 1Dx, using the same lens (focal length) and you crop your image to match my 1.6 image your cropped image can be blown up far more than my 1.6 image because your 1Dx has ‘better’ pixels (or so they tell me).

    Hi James, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the info above. I have long tried to stay out of discussions on this topic as I really do not understand the concept very well, I am not very good at pixel math, and I feel that the arguments are in large part semantic in nature….

    Lastly, seeing the image larger in the frame and larger on the LCD viewing screen gives many folks added confidence….

    That said I will try to remember to shoot some side by side images with all three cameras when I get my hands on a 7D II. I will likely need a sleeping bird.

    best and respectfully, artie

  • I might be wrong here…but compared to years ago, it seems to me that the line between a pro-sumer (or whatever the right terminology is these days) camera body and the pro bodies is growing thinner. Doug

  • avatar John Haedo

    Glad to read that your health is improving. Wish you the best.

  • avatar Tim Harding

    I wonder about the thought process that has a ‘new’ camera incompatible with the ‘new’ software?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Me too. I was obviously not part of the thinking process so not my business. I understand that Canon USA agrees with you and is lobbying the boys and girls in Japan. artie