The're here, they're here!!
I received the new Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II just yesterday and the Canon 7D Mark II today, and after some quick shots with both together, I am incredibly excited for the possibilities that this combination offers. The camera and lens combo is quite simply fantastic!
I currently have been shooting with a Canon 6D and 60D and I have rarely ever felt as if I needed more than what these cameras provide. With the release of the 7D Mark II, I got to thinking about upgrading my crop sensor camera, but was on the fence because I didn't think I needed anything the 7D II offered that was different from my 60D. Then the 100-400L II was announced... and here we are today with both in my possession.
So what really closed the deal on the 7D II that isn't available on my 60D? The ability to center focus at f/8 max aperture... and the new autofocus system.
I could have purchased a 5D Mark III and received the benefits of being able to autofocus at f/8 max aperture and full frame, BUT the 1.6x multiplication factor for whatever lens is on the 7D II camera will be incredibly useful shooting wildlife this year in Yellowstone National Park. The 7D II also has the top of the line auto focus system of the Canon 1DX now ( the 1DX retails for $6799 compared to the 7D II's $1799 ).
Though I would love the 5D Mark III, I currently own the full frame 6D, which besides its rudimentary focus system, gives me exceptional photos even when shooting in low light situations. The 5D III also is currently $1000 more than the 7D II and has a slower autofocus system. Lastly, I'll be shooting most wildlife during the day, dawn, and dusk; therefore, I can use a crop sensor camera with negligible image degradation.
Now how about the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II? This lens is the answer to my biggest issue when I was in Yellowstone last year, more focal length!!
I had the chance to use a 500mm f/4L IS prime from a fellow photographer when I was in Yellowstone and it changed my perspective of "Just get closer." There are many times where the focal length you need is a lot more than what you can comfortably afford. The longer focal length also allows you to safely photograph some very large (or small) and dangerous wild animals. I always prefer to not be charged by a brown bear if I can help it.
With this 7D Mark II with a 1.4x III extender and the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II, I have an equivalent focal length reaching 896mm at f/8!! That's huge when you can't get closer to the wild animals because of the snow drifts that are between you and them, or when getting closer isn't an option because the animal may think you are a threat and come after you. Lastly, I want animals to act natural, and the added space gives you the buffer you may need for normal behaviors to be observed.
As of right now my 60D is on the sales page. It's been a fantastic companion and helped me capture some of my favorite photos around the country, but I think the 7D II will be a welcome addition to my photography bag. And if you shoot fast moving people or animals, and have never experienced a world class focusing system and frame rate, you just might be missing out.