Please note that the camera comparisons are only based on image quality. Also note that all images were down-sampled / normalized to the camera with the lower resolution.
Canon 7D Mark II vs Nikon D7100
The Nikon D7100 with its 24 MP APS-C sensor delivers impressive results, with exceptionally high dynamic range and excellent handling of noise. Let’s take a look at how the 7D Mark II compares to the D7100:
Aside from color differences (which is normal), there is practically no difference in ISO performance at low ISOs. Both cameras perform very well and there is no clear winner here.
The same trend continues up to ISO 3200, where both cameras look quite similar.
As we push to ISO 6400 however, we can see that the Nikon D7100 preserves colors better – look at the red area under the ship and you can see that the D7100 is not mixing colors and the details look slightly better in comparison.
And at ISO 12800, the Nikon D7100 still looks better, even in terms of noise. Still, the difference is not drastic – perhaps about 1/3 or less of a stop.
Although ISO 25600 is already past the native ISO range of the D7100, it is interesting to see how it fares against ISO 16000 on the 7D Mark II. Although ISOs are not equivalent, the 7D Mark II clearly looks cleaner in comparison.
Canon 7D Mark II vs Nikon D7100 Summary
Despite slight differences in sensor size in favor of the D7100, it looks like Canon 7D Mark II does indeed perform quite well in terms of handling of noise at high ISOs. There is practically no difference between the two cameras up to ISO 3200 and only after ISO 6400 it becomes apparent that the Nikon D7100 leads the game with better color and detail preservation. Overall, the noise performance of the 7D Mark II looks very impressive. My only gripe is dynamic range which you cannot really see here – if only Canon was able to push the dynamic range at base ISO by two stops to match the D7100, it would make the Canon 7D Mark II fully equivalent in sensor performance…
Canon 7D Mark II vs Fuji X-T1
Let’s see how the Canon 7D Mark II compares to the Fuji X-T1 mirrorless camera. Since the X-T1 cannot shoot RAW at ISO 100 and above ISO 6400, I am only going to provide comparisons from ISO 200 to 6400 range. Since the Fuji X-T1 has a lower resolution 16 MP sensor, I down-sampled images from the Canon 7D Mark II to match this resolution for a proper comparison. When performing lab tests, I noticed that the images from the Fuji X-T1 were coming out a bit darker by about 2/3 of a stop, so I had to compensate the difference by adjusting the shutter speed on the X-T1:
Interestingly, while the performance of both cameras is similar up to ISO 400, the Fuji X-T1 shows cleaner output at ISO 800.
The same thing happens at ISO 1600, where the Fuji X-T1 looks a bit cleaner in comparison.
At ISO 3200, the Fuji X-T1 is looking cleaner still, particularly in the shadows.
And lastly, at ISO 6400, the X-T1 still comes out on top with less grain throughout the image and better color preservation.
Canon 7D Mark II vs Fuji X-T1 Summary
Unlike the Nikon D7100 that looked pretty similar to the Canon 7D Mark II in noise performance at most ISOs, the Fuji X-T1 looks cleaner starting at ISO 800. There is less grain and the shadows contain less noise in comparison. So one could argue that the Fuji X-T1 indeed performs better in noise performance. However, others will argue that Fuji cheats its way to victory by providing darker images. If I had not adjusted the shutter speed on the X-T1 and increased brightness in post-processing, the X-T1 would look very similar to the 7D Mark II, which I do agree with…
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