Canon EOS 7D Mark II Review
Body & Design continued
Viewfinder size and crop
One figure hidden away in every SLR's spec is the size of the viewfinder (often in a format that makes comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is a key factor in usability - the bigger it is, the easier it is to frame and focus your shots, and the more enjoyable and involving process it is.
Because of the way viewfinders are measured (using a fixed lens, rather than a lens of equivalent magnification), you also need to take the sensor size into account, so the numbers in the diagram below are the manufacturer's specified magnifications divided by the respective 'crop factors'.
The EOS 7D Mark II viewfinder boasts 100% coverage and 1.0x magnification in APS-C terms (0.63x magnification in full-frame terms) which puts it squarely with its predecessor as well as the Nikon D7100. To put this comparison in more practical terms, if you put equivalent focal length lenses on the 7D Mark II, 7D, and Nikon D7100 (which would require you to use a 1.07x longer focal length on the Nikon, given its slightly larger APS-C sensor), the scene through the viewfinders across all these cameras would appear exactly the same.
Set below the prism itself is a translucent LCD that can be used to display a number of things, like grid lines, customizable warnings (including flicker), levels, and to give a clearer understanding of which AF points are active. The focus screen itself is, thankfully, swappable. We're happy to see this feature filter down from the 1D X and 6D, as it was missing in the 5D Mark III and 7D. This allows you to, for example, swap out the included screen for a higher precision one that allows you to judge focus better with faster lenses (it gives a more accurate preview of the depth-of-field for fast primes compared to the ~f/4-f/5.6 preview the standard screen provides).
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