You and Northrup find the 7DII impressive, and you're arguing that the 7DII's IQ is as good as the camera Northrup suggested might be ok for non-pros posting images to Facebook. Impressive, indeed.
I guess I don't understand the point of your post. I never argued the 7DII to be "better" than anything. I simply state, for low-light work, where some photographers crop images to get a desired composition, the 7D2 will provide you with similar performance (at certain ISOs), and double the megapixels. "Similar" to me, is what I'm impressed by. I'm not looking for a 1Dx, but if I can squeeze out 4, 6, or 8 MP from an image I'd normally have to crop, with minimal degradation due to noise, I'm pretty darned satisfied.
PS: Not sure about your AF tracking comment about some one walking on stage. Whether it's a presenter, a drummer, or a guitarist jumping off a speaker stack, I'm not relying on AI tracking, I always use single-point and focus each shot individually. I've just never found AI to be reliable in lecture/concert halls. Maybe that's a difference in our own techniques. But for what it's worth, the keeper shots on the 7D2 were higher than that on my 5D3. I put that down to the dual-pixel AF, though, more than anything else. The 5D3 certainly holds up when it come to AF, but the 7D2's AF in low-light seems to be on another level entirely, at least when it comes to consistency/repeat-ability.
I can see why some people don't find this to be interesting or groundbreaking, especially those who'd rather carry a 400mm lens and stick to full frame. For my clients (whether they be presenters, musicians, whoever) who sometimes prefer a larger file to a smaller one, the 7DII does it's job. It's a tool for a certain job, and it does that job well.
For the kind of running around I do at venues, I'd prefer to shoot a 7D2 with a 70-200mm, than a 5D3 with a 400mm lens. It's just a matter of practicality. But that's horses of course.
Thanks for your feedback, Neuro.
Agree with what has been said so far in response to the comparison; this is not a valid test - unless you are aiming to show the 7DII is better.
1: As has been said, the 24-105L at 100mm and f4.5 does not have the same sharpness and contrast as the 70-200ii f2.8 at 100mm at f2.8.
2: You shot the 5DIII at ISO 3200 at 1/125 with a focal length of 100mm, so at best for critical sharpness you were probably dependant on the efficiency of the image stabilisation. You shot the 7DII at ISO 2500 at 1/250 at 100mm, so much less dependant on the IS.
3: You shot the 5DIII at f4.5, the 7DII at f2.8 in relatively dim light, so the 7DII had over twice the (volume) of light reaching the sensor than (the crop area of ) the 5DIII. ( Bearing in mind exposure is calculated on light density, not quantity).
These three points are why you obtained the result you did.
1. I disagree that the 24-105 f/4.5L is any less sharp than the 70-200 f2.8L (Mark I) at 100mm. http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=355&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=1&LensComp=103&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=2&APIComp=0
2 & 3. And yes, in my initial post I noted that I would have preferred to compare the same lenses side by side, with the same settings. This was more of an "after the fact" attempt to compare images, as I wasnt planning this review during the shoot. In a next step, I will definitely be comparing the same lenses with the same camera settings.
Thanks for the input! It definitely helps with future videos and reviews, so I can provide better data.