Nikon D750 – An all-around full-frame camera

This blogpost is about my Nikon D750, which is a very versatile full-frame camera for many occasions. I bought it as replacement for my Nikon D610. It is not really a successor of the old D700 but rather a better and more capable version of the D6x0 series. In this blogpost I want to talk about my opinion of the cam.

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Specifications of the Nikon D750

  • Tpye: DSLR with Nikon F mount
  • Sensor: 24 MP Full-frame sensor with AA filter
  • Modes: FX (36×24 – 6016×4016), 1,2 Crop (30×20 – 5008×3336), DX (24×16 – 3936×2624)
  • File Format: RAW (NEF, 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed or compressed), JPEG (Baseline with fine, normal or basic compression)
  • Picture Styles: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls (Works in RAW when you use Capture NX or View NX)
  • Memory cards: Dual SD-Card slot (UHS-I – SDHC and SDXC)
  • Viewfinder: Optical penataprism viewfinder with 100% frame coverage and 0,7x manification. Diopter adjustment: -3 to +1
  • Lens compatibility: with all Nikkor AF lenses (G, E, D), AI-P Nikkor lenses, non-CPU AI lenses (in A and M mode)
  • Shutter: Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter with 1/4000 to 30 sec in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
  • Flash sync speed: 1/200 s, synchronizes with shuter at 1/250 or slower
  • Shutter modes: S (single frame), CL (continous low speed), CH (continous high speed), Q (quiet shutter-release), QC (quiet continous shutter-release), Self-timer (2s, 5s, 10s, 20s, 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 s)
  • Frame rate: 1 to 6 fps (CL), 6,5 fps (CH) or 3 fps (QC)
  • Metering: TTL exposure metering with RGB sensor (91000 pixels)
  • Metering method: Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot, Highlight-weighted
  • Exposure bracketing: 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV; 2 to 5 frames in steps of 2 or 3 EV
  • ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100 to ISO 12800 in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV – extendable to LO – ISO 50, or HI until ISO 51200
  • Focus: Multi-CAM 3500 II AF sensor module with TTL phase detection and 51 focus points ( 15 cross-type, F8 support by 11 sensors), AF-assist illuminator, -3 to +19 EV (at ISO 100)
  • Flash: Built in flash with Guide number 12
  • Accessory shoe: ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock
  • White balance: Auto, inacandescent, fluorescent, direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset, manual, choose color temperature (2500k to 10000k)
  • Live view: for stills and movies, contrast AF
  • Movie mode: 1920×1080 – 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p, 1280×720 – 60p, 50p, File format: MOV, Compression: H.264/MPEG-4, Audio recording: Linear PCM with built in or external microphone, maximum length: 29min 59 sec
  • Display: 8cm/3.2 inch with 1229 k-dot tilting TFT LCD monitor (170° viewing angle, 100% frame coverage)
  • Connections: USB, HDMI, 3,5mm microphone and headphone jack
  • WIFI: IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, Range: 30m/98ft, maximum data rate: 54 Mbps
  • Battery: EN-EL15
  • Size and Weight: 140,5x113x78mm / 5,6×4,5×3,1 in, 840 g / 1lb 13,7oz with battery and memory card
  • Supplied accessories: EN-EL15 Battery, Battery-Charger, USB Cable, Camera Strap, Body Cap, Eypiece Cap, Rubber Eyecup, ViewNX 2 CD

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Build of the Camera

The camera is mostly a magnesium/alloy construction with a front panel made of carbon reinforced high quality plastic. With this construction it is one of the lightest and smallest full frame DSLR cameras on the market. It has numerous sealing gaskets to prevent moisture and dust from reaching the inside of the camera. The grip has a very ergonomic shape, even big hands are able to hold the camera comfortably (The grip is deeper than the one of the Nikon D6x0). All the connections are covered with rubber doors. They feel a bit flappy, but they do their work as expected. A stable plastic door covers the two SD card slots. On the bottom of the camera you find the battery department, also covered with a plastic door and a rubber covered connection port for a battery grip. The bayonet is made of metal and very stable. On the right side of the bayonet you find the lens release button and further down next to the FX badge there is the focus control lever and button. On the upper left side of the bayonet you find the button for aperture preview. All the dials, levers and buttons have a very good quality and reasonable pressure points.

Ease of use

The camera offers many buttons for direct access to the functions. All important settings like AF mode, ISO, picture mode, shooting mode, live view and so on can be changed easily. Only an AF-ON button is missing (like the one of the D8x0). But the AE-L/AF-L button can also be set to use as AF-ON button. The mode dial offers a lock which prevents from accidently turning it. The picture mode dial underneath is also secured with a lock. You have to press it to operate this dial. The D750 offers a front and a back dial for changing aperture and shutter speed in the A/S/M modes. If you don’t care for manual controls you can also use the normal automatic mode or effect- and program modes (miniature, black and white, landscape mode, sunset mode, etc.). In the picture preview mode you can zoom the picture to 100 % with the OK button in the middle of the control pad. Zoom in and out in steps is possible with the + and – buttons on the left side of the display.

In regard of connectivity, the camera offers 3.5 mm jacks for headphones and microphone as well as an HDMI port for clean video output for recording on external devices for video shooter, an USB port and a connector for accessories (for example cable remote control).

The menu of the camera is logically structured and easy to use. As long-term user of Nikon cameras you will find all settings anyway, but even if you are new to Nikon all is very easy to find.

Ergonomically the camera is really great. It feels good in the hand and, as mentioned above, the deep grip allows you to hold the cam very comfortably and safely even for longer times. The solid mounted back display of the camera can be tilted up- and downwards for easier use when you are not able to use the viewfinder. However, you have to keep in mind that in live view only contrast detect autofocus is available which is noticeably slower than the phase detection autofocus using the viewfinder. The viewfinder itself is very big and bright and offers 100% coverage for easy composition although the phase detection autofocus points could have a wider spread. On top of the pentaprism hump you find the ISO hot-shoe which supports many accessory parts.

The LCD display on top of the camera shows you all important information about your settings. It can be illuminated when it is necessary.

The internal popup flash has the guideline 12 and can be used as master or as normal flash. I cannot say more about the flash system because I did not use it at all.

 

 

Viewfinder and Display

The D750 optical viewfinder (pentaprism) offers 100% field of view and 0.70x magnification. It is very clear and bright and is very good to user. You can activate help lines (eg. 3×3). These lines and the virtual horizon indicator helps you with the composition. Also you see the AF brackets and focus points. In the bottom of the viewfinder your settings are displayed.

The display has a diagonal of 8cm/3.2 inch and offers a resolution of 1229k dots. It is tiltable for easier work in situations where you have to hold the cam low to the ground or above your head. Also it has a viewing angle of 170° and covers 100% of the frame. Using the display for image preview (e.g. controlling the sharpness) works due to the high resolution very well.

Autofocus

The Nikon D750 offers the Multi CAM 3500 II autofocus system with 51 focus points (15 cross-type sensors, 11 sensors supports F8). The spread of the focus points is surprisingly smaller than the spread of the Multi CAM 3500 module in the Nikon D8x0, which is a bit unfortunate. Besides that it is very fast and accurate. You lock focus by half pressing the shutter button or you configure the AE-L/AF-L button with AF-ON for back button focusing. If you get a lens with a slight defocus you can fine-tune the focus via the menu. Also in low light you will not have any troubles to get a focus thanks to -3 EV sensitivity. For assisting in very low light the camera offers a light as help. You are also able to configure the autofocus in various ways: 9 points, 21 points or the full 51 points, group autofocus or 3D tracking focus. It offers a mode for really all situations. As most recent example: I managed to catch some flying swans in the evening light with my Tamron 150-600 F5-6.3.

The contrast autofocus in live view mode has the advantage to be available all over the sensor. You are not bound to the points of the focus module. It is also very precise. The big disadvantage is the speed. It is really slow. For landscape it works fine, but for scenes comprising for instance moving animals or for street/people photography it is totally unusable.

The manual focus is not really useful for me as the cam lacks all the helps in live view which the system camera offers (like focus magnification and focus peaking). For manual focusing with the viewfinder you clearly need a split-circle focusing screen. With the built-in matte screen accurate manual focusing is very difficult, wherefore I did not use it at all.

Image Quality

The Nikon D750 offers a CMOS full frame sensor with 24 MP. It also has a minor low pass filter to avoid moiree. The ISO range is 100 to 12800 (native). The pictures are very clean and crisp. Sharpness and details are, despite the low pass filter, very good. For best possible results you obviously have to shoot in RAW mode. In Adobe Lightroom you get very good results out of the RAWS. The dynamic range of the sensor is great. Raising details out of the shadows for several EV is possible without getting too bad noise.

The SOOC JPG files (Standard Setting, fine) are also very nice, they comprise decent colours, very good white balance and a good contrast. The noise in high ISO shots is well controlled (though there is some detail loss at ISOs above 3200). Also in the JPGs there are some reserves left to increase shadows or bring down highlights.

The camera is able to deliver stunning images. Here you find samples showing the dynamic range and ISO performance:

DR (1) DR (2)

DR 2 (1) DR 2 (2)

Video Quality

The Camera offers 1080p, 60/50 fps video with the H.264/MPEG 4 codec (37 mbps). The files are saved as MOV. The quality is not bad at all. You can make decent videos with the D750 although it is a bit difficult with the focusing in live view. The autofocus is too slow and nervous, wherefore you have to focus manually for best results. Also in manual mode you can change all settings while filming (you will hear the clicks of the dials in the footage). With a good filming rig, an external microphone and a headphone for controlling the sound level you can surely create very good looking 1080p movies. Also the camera offers clean HDMI output for recording on external devices.

Here you see handheld footage I made with the Nikon D750 in combination with the Tamron 15-30 F2.8:

And here a video I recently made with the D750 and the Tamron 150-600 on my Manfrotto tripod with Sirui K30X ballhead.

Conclusion

The Nikon D750 is the best camera I owned so far. It is a great multi-purpose camera offering stunning image quality with great dynamic range, ISO performance and plenty of resolution. The video mode is decent with the direct controls, the 3.5 mm headphone/mic jacks and the HDMI port. The usability in terms of ergonomics and direct controls is also very good.

24 megapixels seem low in times of full frame cameras featuring 36, 42 or even 50 megapixel sensors, but in my opinion, 24 is a sweet spot when it comes to resolution / file size. You can get very good pictures of landscapes or in the studio with a reasonably file size (a .NEF file, 14 bit lossless compressed raw, is around 30 MB) and therefore you need not as much computing power for editing (and your hard drive will not be full that quickly). Also sports/wildlife/bird photography is possible with this cam due to the very good autofocusing system and the maximum framerate of 6.5 pictures. In combination with a quick tele lens it is capable of very nice pictures in this regard.

I can recommend this camera to all who are in search of a very capable multi-purpose tool for a reasonable price. I had a lot of fun with it until now and I am sure I will have lots of fun with it in the future!

Real world sample Pictures (Flickr albums with full resolution images)

 

If you want to support my blog for more reviews please use following links to buy your gear! (It’s voluntary)

If you are near or in Wels, Austria, visit Photostore Werkgarner/Digistore!

Nikon D750 on Amazon: US | DE/AT
Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8 (Nikon F) on Amazon: US | DE/AT
Tamron SP 15-30 F2.8 (Nikon F) on Amazon: US | DE/AT
Tamron SP 150-600 F5-6.3 (Nikon F) on Amazon: US | DE/AT

Manfrotto 055 XPRO3 Tripod on Amazon: US / DE/AT
Sirui K30X Ballhead on Amazon: USDE/AT
Lowepro Flipside 400 AW black on Amazon: US / DE/AT
Hoya Pro ND 64 Filter 82mm on Amazon: US / DE/AT
SanDisk 64 GB / 95 MB/sec Memory card on Amazon: US / DE/AT
Transcend 64 GB / 90 MB/sec Memory card on Amazon: US / DE/AT

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9 Comments on "Nikon D750 – An all-around full-frame camera"

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Suzanne Balding
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I bought this camera in October as my step-up from the D5100. Purchasing decision was based on thorough research and reading of reviews.
I LOVE this camera.
It’s fast, it’s sharp, it’s easy to use.
Great review.

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[…] this trip I used all of my gear: Nikon D750, Tamron SP 15-30 F2.8, Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8, Tamron SP 150-600 […]

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[…] took my Nikon D750 with the Tamron SP 24-70 F2.8 and the Tamron SP 15-30 F2.8 with me, all sercurely packed in the […]

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[…] Information: All pictures used in this article are RAW files, made by me with my Nikon D750. […]

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[…] and I went for a walk on the Reinberg near Wels. It was a grey winter day but nonetheless I took my Nikon D750 with me. And for even more challenge, I mounted the Tamron SP 150-600 F5-6.3 on the camera for […]

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