Comparison of Nikon D750, Canon EOS 7D Mark II and Sony Alpha 7RII
When you talk about professional photography you just cannot do without full-frame DSLRs. We say full-frame DSLRs because the size of the sensor is the same as the size of the individual frame which is traditionally of 35 mm. Why do full-frame DSLRs capture better photos than smaller digital cameras? There are a number of aspects in which DSLRs excel more than digital cameras. The most important being the size of the sensor whose full frame provides larger surface area. This, in turn, means that each of the photodiodes is also larger in size hence improving the overall performance of the camera even in low light. Moreover, the full frame sensors help us achieve a comparatively shallower depth of field than the smaller digital cameras. There are many such reasons why full frame DSLRs are considered best while pursuing a career in photography even with their high-end price tags.
The Key Aspects of DSLRs
The important aspects of a full-frame DSLR camera are mentioned in brief below. These aspects determine the respective quality of the images that are to be captured by the cameras.
- The sensor
The sensors used in DSLR cameras are photodiodes which capture light and convert them into electrical signals. It is because of the performance of these sensors that the images appear of such high quality in DSLRs.
- The Lenses
The lenses are as important as the camera in case of professional photography. Full-frame DSLRs require full-frame lenses for optimum effect. The choice of the lens goes, to a large extent, in determining the quality of photography.
- The pop-up flash
The pop-up flash aids in providing the extra amount of light required when capturing photos in dimly lighted locations. Not all DSLRs have a pop-up flash, therefore, most professional photographers often use a hot-shoe-mounted flashgun.
- The quality of the build
The quality of the build of the professional camera is largely significant in determining the quality of the photos captured. Most professional camera builds come with weather seals and guards for protective reasons. They are also robustly built.
The top 3 professional cameras
This is a continuation of my value for money analysis of the top camera brands in this post: Value for money analysis of top camera brands. Although a lot of professional cameras have taken the market by storm and have their own share of customer base, three cameras have been remarkably distinguishable in terms of sale, fan count and technical superiority, and these were the winners of their brands when considering their features and cost. These three are as follows
- The Nikon D750
- The Canon EOS 7D Mark II
- The Sony Alpha 7RII
All of these three have their own share of pros and cons which have garnered a considerable large amount of customers for each one of them. Let us analyze each one of them on the basis of their features, their pros and cons, their utility and try to draw a brief comparison between them.
- The Nikon D750
This professional camera is one of the favorites when it comes to photo enthusiasts. Almost every aspiring photographer begins their photography tenure with this gem of a camera. While a fair share of hobbyist also prefers this camera for fulfilling their hobby it is with the professionals that this camera finds its true value. The D750 is a redesigned and modified form of the earlier version D610 with its 24.3 MP sensor being redesigned fully. It has an optical low pass filter which helps in preventing moiré patterning and also distinguishes it from the D810. It has an impressive max shooting speed of 6.5 fps and an ISO range varying from 100-12,800 and can be extended top 51,000. This helps the photographer to shoot faster and even make a higher stop than its previous D610 version. It also boasts a one of its kind 3.2 inch, 1299K-dot screen; a first from the house of Nikon. Further, it also has a built-in Wi-fi connectivity option.
Its design is somewhat monocoque with many constructive materials such as carbon fiber and thermoplastic thrown into the mix. Strength and robustness are added on the top and bottom of the body by Magnesium alloy. It might be smaller than the previous version but is by no means lighter in weight. One could feel it is well balanced and well matched with heavy telephoto lenses. The design layout is also a winner with the selection controls right beside the display and the mode dial located on the top plate. Although users might get a bit disappointed with the absence of the AF-ON button. The images clicked by this camera are effectively noise-free up to 1600 ISO and the color rendition of the camera is top notch also allowing spot white balance in live view. The LCD display can be tilted as usual and this camera is equipped with a modified which enhances its handling capability. This professional camera is one of the best with all-round capabilities that make it an obvious choice for many professionals.
- It contains 24.3 MP full-frame sensors made from CMOS technology.
- It has an impressive range of ISO from 100-12800 and can also be extended to 51,200.
- The screen is a 3.2-inch screen which can be tilted as per convenience.
- Contains Nikon F Mount.
- Shooting speed is 6.5 fps which allows continuous shooting.
- Video resolution is 1920 x 1080.
- Has an optical viewfinder
- The body is robust and has weather sealed protective appendages.
- Weighs around 840 g
- Contains built-in wireless connectivity.
- The LCD screen is very useful with a vari-angle tilting feature.
- The standard Wi-fi is included allowing wireless connectivity.
- The sensor is of high resolution.
- Does not have GPS.
- Absence of AF-On button.
- Some users might feel that the maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 might be a bit restrictive.
The first time users of full-frame DSLRs might find this to be their best buy. Has excellent all-round performance.
- Canon EOS 7D Mark II
The next biggie when it comes to professional photography cameras is the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. This camera is particularly fantastic for still photographs where it offers a 65-point AF, all cross-type modules. A 150,000 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor works in conjunction with this module which provides the current version of the ‘Intelligent Tracking and Recognition’ (ITR) focus mode. This effectively means that the user can initiate the focus with the help of a half-depress of the button of the shutter and the camera then automatically tracks the subject’s movement athwart the mount. In this circumstance, this camera will use whichever AF point it deems essential to maintain the acquired attention on the subject.
The shooting speed of the camera moves up to 10 fps which is extraordinary compared to the earlier versions of sport cameras. The shutter also has a survival rating of 200,000 cycles. The imaging radar is a fine version of the Dual Pixel AF design also seen in the Canon 70D which means the sensor provides an output of 20 MP. It correspondingly means that whenever the mirror is up while using the sensor the camera can capture info about both the depth and motion of the subject. So, the users will potentially obtain more decisive autofocus as well as subject tracking in a Live View and also while shooting videos. This camera also has capabilities of shooting 1080p/60 shooting which makes 7D shooting more efficient.
- Excellent Shooting speed of 10 fps which allows continuous shooting with autofocus.
- The sensor is 65 all cross-type autofocus sensor.
- Dual pixel AF CMOS sensor which allows enhanced photo capture.
- The environment sealing provides all-round protective features for the camera.
- It has USB 3.0 for enhanced connectivity.
- It has a GPS built-in which allows location identity.
- Shutter speed is enhanced up to 1/8000th seconds.
- It is supported by LP-E6N battery which provides larger power capacity to the camera.
- Enhanced Digic 6 processor which allows faster processing of the images.
- The ISO performance is quite high and better than its earlier versions.
- Headphone jack and external mic jack is also provided.
- It also contains dual memory card slots, both SD and CF.
- Equipped with touch sensitive rear buttons which facilitates noise free control while recording video.
- Some might feel that the battery life is not at par with other professional options.
- The LCD provided at the back is not touchscreen or articulating.
Best used for
Professional photography can reap its best benefits using this camera. Although it works great for first timers and hobbyists, experienced hands will know how to extract maximum benefits from this model.
- The Sony Alpha 7RII
Now, coming to the third giant of professional photography, the Sony Alpha 7RII. This camera has its own fair share of loyalists and there are many reasons for having so. This one is a full-frame camera having no mirror. A 42 MP camera which currently boasts of the world’s first and only 35mm BSI CMOS sensor and an impressive hybrid autofocus system. It also has 4K video capturing capabilities. This model is one of the largest steps taken by the company in their range of full-frame cameras. Although it is the fifth model of their a7 range and their second model with high resolution, it is nothing short of a great revolution in the world of professional cameras.
Two reasons support my above stated argument. The body of the camera might be astoundingly similar to the earlier a7II version but there are two subtle yet significant differences that distinguish the two. First is the fact that it is the first of its kind to feature a sensor that is based on CMOS technology. The advantages of the BSI designs are very valuable in small sensors and Sony has forever stressed on this fact. When we apply this on a larger scale the scale-level disadvantage seems to be nullified. This improves the quality of the picture on the whole. The second aspect is that the autofocus phase-detection abilities of this camera have been improved so drastically that not only does it focus quicker with its own lenses but is also able to focus with lenses designed for other camera systems. Now, for the regular photographer this might not feel like a great aspect but for professionals, this might be an aspect capable of switching loyalists of other brands towards Sony and hence increase their customer base.
Apart from these the rest of the features are on par with those you would normally expect out of a professional system of such standard. The magnesium alloy body is weather sealed, it has twin control dials, the control points can be extensively customized and it has a shooting speed of 5 fps. But what stands out is the camera’s video capturing abilities. It can record 4k (UHD) videos internally and thanks to its developed sensor it can shoot using an almost full-frame crop or even a Super 35 crop. These two modes allow the user to choose between low-light capabilities of the sensor and the shallow depth-of-field against the extra amount of reach and higher lens compatibility.
- It has an excellent 399 on-sensor Phase Detection points.
- Image stabilization of 5-axis.
- Full frame BSI CMOS sensor of 42 MP.
- Full magnesium alloy body with weather coating.
- Non-native lenses accompanied by high speed AF.
- It also has a 2.36m dot OLED viewfinder which allows magnification up to x0.7.
- The system also has picture profile system which includes S-Log2 gamma and ITU-709.
- Allows internal video 4K recording from either full-sensor width or the Super-35 crop.
- Its excellent resolution.
- Its effective OIS
- Greater performance of higher ISO.
- The battery stamina is quite limited
- No flash unit is available.
Best used for
Professional photographers can yield best results using this camera. Performance is top notch and provides a fantastic resolution to the images captured.
Which one wins the comparison?
Comparing these three giants was a big task given so much features were at stake. Loyalists will remain loyalist but here we intend to compare their feature and find out a winner. It is not necessary that the winner will provide the best photographic experience because that aspect is a relative one. Here we only provide the results of the comparison.
Why should I choose the Nikon D750 over the Canon EOS 7D Mark II?
The way I see it, features tend to support Nikon D750 in many aspects than the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. Let us see in what ways.
- Screen articulation: – The Nikon D750 provides the user with an articulating screen whereas the Canon model is devoid of any such feature. An articulating screen will allow the photographer the freedom of gaining flexible positions of shooting with the camera.
- Size of the LCD screen: – The display of the Nikon D750 seems to have beaten that of the Canon EOS 7D MII by 0.2 inches. While Canon’s model sizes just around the 3 inches mark the Nikon D750 sizes up to 3.2 inches. Although 0.2 inches seems little on paper, practically it provides immense visual benefits to the professional photographer.
- Wireless connectivity: – The Nikon D750 is way ahead of the Canon camera in terms of wireless connectivity. While the former is equipped with a built-in Wi-fi the latter does not hold any such facility.
- Screen resolution: – With 18 percent greater screen resolution than the Canon EOS 7D the Nikon D750 really edges past the former in terms of display superiority.
- Remote control via smartphone: – The Nikon D750 also allows its users to control the camera using his or her own smartphone. While some photographers might find this feature useless, it does come into effect more often than not. Plus, it is very cool. The Canon EOS 7D MII on the other hand has no such feature.
- Maximum Sensor resolution: – While the Nikon D750 is enhanced with 24 MP max sensor resolution, the Canon EOS has a value of 20 MP. Imagine how much 19 percent more pixels will enhance the quality of your photographs.
- Battery life: – This one is a let down from the Canon group which only allows 670 shots per charge while the Nikon D750 allows almost its double, a staggering 1230 shots per charge.
- High ISO performance: – The low light ISO value of the Nikon D750 races ahead of the Canon EOS 7D MII with a value of 2956 versus the latter’s 1082.
Why should we choose Canon EOS 7d MII over Nikon?
- GPS: – Location tracking is easier with Canon which has a built-in GPS.
- Shutter speed: – The Canon model provides faster shutter speed with 1/8000 versus the Nikon’s 1/4000. Just the half value.
- Allows continuous shooting: – One can shoot continuously more effectively with the Canon camera as it provides 10 fps compared to 6.5 fps of the Nikon camera.
- Price: – The Canon EOS 7D MII is $501 cheaper than the Nikon D750.
The Sony Alpha 7RII is a whole different ball game altogether and hence we choose not to compare its features, which are otherwise mentioned above, with that of the other two. I repeat, all of the above three cameras have its own fair share of loyalists and with good reasons.