I'll bet that the 7DII gets a 21-24 MP sensor...and that's about all except for relatively minor changes (like the updated sensor cleaning system). The 7D already has the best AF system outside of the 1-series, there is no need at all for Canon to update it.
Two weeks ago, I would have agreed with that. Now, with the 1D X, I'm not so sure.
Canon learned the dangers of incremental upgrades with the 50D. Great camera, but most 40D users didn't see enough of an improvement to upgrade and the DSLR market had matured sufficiently that there weren't enough new buyers for the 50D. They decided to push the envelope with the 7D and it worked.
Rather than go for incremental upgrades every two years, I see Canon lengthening the refresh cycle and making significant changes in order to convince existing owners to upgrade. For the sake of my checking account, I'd like to skip the 7D Mark II and wait for the Mark III. But that's not in Canon's best interests. I see them making changes in the Mark II to entice current 7D owners to upgrade.
At the same time, with the end of the APS-H format, and with the reduction in megapixels with the 1D X, Canon may be waiting to see what kind of blow back they get from sports and wildlife photographers. They may decide to position the next 7D as a second-body camera for pros who need longer reach in the field. Or, they could even offer a 7D X (one-piece body and grip with full weather-sealing, slightly faster frame-rate, but otherwise functionally the same as the 7D Mark II).
So, I ask myself, what features would entice me to upgrade to the Mark II?
My wish list is short, but similar to others on this forum:
- Sensor improvements that emphasize reduced noise, higher ISO and more dynamic range; and
- An even better auto-focus system (Granted the autofocus system on the 7D is the most sophisticated outside of the 1D series, but it could be improved. It is tricky to learn and not always intuitive. As this forum and others have shown, it can be very frustrating for users and simply chalking it up to "user error" doesn't really address the problem. A "baby 1D X" system would be a welcome addition.
Almost everything else is just gravy, including more megapixels.
Customer satisfaction with the 7D is very high. I think Canon will take their time before releasing a Mark II version and make it a significant upgrade that becomes a "must have" for current 7D owners.