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Nikon D750 First impression review.

Discussion in 'Camera Reviews Forum' started by Carmen, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Carmen

    Carmen Forum Geek :) Honorary Life Member

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    As many here know I bought my new D750 at the photography show last month. I wanted it as a a second full frame camera to use along side my D800, as having the little Nikon 1 system cameras has rendered DX out of place in my collection and two FX bodies makes more sense for my shooting now.

    Item type: Semi-Professional full frame digital SLR
    Make and Model: Nikon D750 announced Sept 2014.

    Price: Around £1750 body only.
    Where to buy: Most reputable camera shops
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Build Quality and Handling

    The D750 is a "prosumer" body layout similar to the D610 but larger and with better features, it has a lighter weight than the D810 and D700 and it does feel less tank like than the older and higher level models like the D700, 800, 810. But it still packs a very good professional feeling build quality. To aid the lighter weight the body is made of carbon-fibre reinforced thermoplastics and magnesium alloy, and is weather sealed like the other higher models. The flip screen could be seen as a weak point, in terms of physical "break ability", yes if the screen was tilted out and you dropped the camera it could well break, however the bracket that holds it is very robust feeling and it would take more than a slight knock to bend it, it's much better built than similar hinges on lower grade cameras. One weak point could be the ribbon connector which connects the screen to the camera, in the instruction booklet there is a warning not to touch or disrupt this area, however when folded back into place it doesn't feel any more vulnerable than a normal screen, however unlike other models you don't get a plastic cover for the screen on the D750 so I bought a expert shield stick on one to help protect from scratches.

    I knew that the general layout of the D750 was more like the D7000 I have than the D800 so I was a little worried it'd be a bit small and cramped in the hand but when I felt one at the show I was instantly reasured, as you can see from the images below, the D750 sits fairly square in the middle sizewise between the two, but has plenty more space than the D7000 for the controls.

    Relative sizes, left to right D800, D750, D7000

    _DSC0485.jpg
    D750 next to D7000
    _DSC0488.jpg


    The biggest difference for me compared to my other full frame DSLR's is the huge improvement in hand grip feel. Nikon have redesigned the body to be much thinner front to back than previous models. This has repositioned the battery to sit horizontally across the back rather than in the hand grip and has repositioned other components in order to achieve the thinner body, this means that despite the smaller size of the body the hand grip is relatively much deeper. I particularly notice this compared to the D800 where the hand grip now feels particularly shallow, and in addition the "lump" on the back where your thumb is, is much bigger on the D750 which enables more leverage, though I believe these were improved on the D810 models, most reviews point to the D750 being the best handling DSLR in terms of hand grip. Personally I love it, it feels so nice in my hands that I enjoy it a lot more than other DSLR's I own and the lighter weight also helps here too.


    Features: Where to start... this camera is probably the best value DSLR on the market at present due to the features packed into it's somewhat diminutive (for it's spec) body. It packs a 24mp sensor which is newly designed and has a very wide dynamic range even beating the D800 (14.5 EV to 14.4) (though not the D810 (14.8 EV).

    Of note to mention that the D750 has an improved 51 point dynamic AF system even more up to date than that in the D810. This makes it the most advanced AF system in the Nikon line up at present. From my initial testing it does seem incredibly quick, tracks accurately and focuses well even in very low light and in situations with limited contrast.

    The D750 also boasts the latest EXPEED 4 image processor making it the fastest non- dual grip Pro body full frame DSLR since the D700 with continuous shooting up to 6.5fps. It's certainly quick on shutter response too, I often accidentally shoot two frames instead of one when in continuous high speed mode. I don't do that on the D800 which feels slug like in comparison, but we're kind of comparing apples to oranges there.


    Other features are a new metering system, which includes a high resolution metering sensor which enables face-priority metering, and also a new "highlight priority" metering mode. It certainly meters differently to other Nikon cameras that I have owned, and will take some getting used to. Highlight priority metering mode seems of most use in situations where random high intensity lights may lead to burn out, such as with stage lighting burning out faces etc. It does lead to quite under exposed images, with and no highlights anywhere near burning out, but the shadows can be lifted an incredible amount without much noise becoming apparent. I doubt I will use this mode that much but as said in certain scenarios it may be helpful rather than spot metering or guesswork with exposure compensation

    In addition to these feature the D750 inherits some features from lower level cameras, one of course is the tilting screen, it may not be as useful for stills, though can be of use when shooting high or low level and certainly of use in video mode enabling waist level capture.

    Daisies captured from a low angle using the tilting screen and live view.
    _C2C0282.jpg

    It is also the only FX Nikon DSLR to offer built in wifi, this works with the Nikon app, which is available for iOS and android, but there is no desktop version, however you can buy Nikon Camera Control software which is Very expensive. However I have got it talking to my surface pro via wifi using a third party free app which has versions for Mac Linux and Windows. I do hope that Nikon will improve their rather limited wifi app, and also bring out a less expensive desktop software suite.


    Ease of use: Well this is very subjective and dependent on what you're used to shooting. Many people are disappointed that Nikon have gone for the lower-level button layout similar to that of the D610 and D7000 series cameras, and that it has no dedicated AF-ON button and has all the gimmicky auto modes and effect modes of lower level cameras. Personally I don't actually mind the button arrangement, and in fact in some ways prefer it to the "higher spec" arrangement on the D800 I have. There are many buttons that can be customised, in my case I've set the AE/AF-L button on the back to be the AF-ON button, but other buttons on the front, and in addition the video record button can also be set to different functions. I actually prefer the more standard PASM mode dial to the "MODE" button and turn dial of the higher spec models, and also find it easier to toggle metering modes on the D750 without removing my eye from the viewfinder than I do on the D800.

    The top LCD screen is much smaller, but the D750 makes up for it by showing more information on the back LCD though it took me a while to get used to looking there for it - things like the image quality mode are shown on the back screen instead of on the top screen.


    Image quality - I haven't shot a lot with the D750 yet but I've already seen what it can do in terms of shadow detail capture… it 's very, very impressive! And the low light noise is very well controlled. This I will update when I've shot more pics but here's an example of shadow recovery possible with the D750.

    Original shot in highlight priority mode to conserve the bright highlights where the sun was streaming through the clouds... as you can tell very underexposed really. This is straight from RAW.

    _C2C0286.jpg

    This is the same shot after some treatment in Lightroom only - no tonemapping etc. Just shadows adjustments etc and a couple of graduated filters added.
    _C2C0286-2.jpg

    Here's a shot at ISO 12,800 with NO noise reduction added. Totally zeroed in Lightroom.

    _C2C0230.jpg


    and here's a 100% crop from that shot with a darker area which is where noise will show, again just taken from the above so NO noise reduction added to the RAW (I honestly think this is as good as my D200 was at ISO 400...lol).


    _C2C0230-3.jpg


    Value for money: 5/5 Excellent, stated above this camera has a LOT Of very good features for the money.


    Comments: Not a lot else I can say about that really at this early stage, except that this is the first DSLR I've owned in a while that's really shouted at me to take it out and shoot with it (instead of just using my V1...) there must be some reason for that!

    Basis of your review: Owned for one month

    Rate your experience level: Intermediate

    At what level do you think this product was aimed at: Professionals and serious amateurs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  2. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    Great review, Carmen. Looks to be an excellent camera.
     
    Carmen likes this.
  3. anothernikon

    anothernikon Here a lot

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    I see on another thread that you did a few videos with the camera the other day. What is the quality of the video? I am thinking about upgrading from my aging D300 to FF and would like to use it to make a number of videos in the near future.
     
  4. Carmen

    Carmen Forum Geek :) Honorary Life Member

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    The video is broadcast quality similar to the D800 - they use D800's to film the station London Live apparently, but the D750 has some improvements for video use such as a smooth stepping auto-ISO mode in video and you can also change the aperture apparently and it has zebra stripes to show you areas that are over exposed I believe. I rarely shoot video so my clips are simply handheld bits but they look really good. Same with any DSLR video though AF is slow and tricky and you really nead a focus puller and all the bits to do it well.
     
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  5. Colin Hughes

    Colin Hughes Member

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    Hi Great review. Am hopefully taking the big step up to ff soon and have looked at many reviews on d750. My question is forgetting slight upgrades is the d8xx series still a better camera. My passion is land scape and nature photography and at mo have d300s and d7000 and for my sins I do crop a lot losing image quality slightly so which camera gives better results in this . TIA Colin
     
  6. Jason

    Jason Always on Premium Member

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    I’ve a D750 and it suits my needs perfectly. 24mp is way more than enough for my landscape work as I only print at 16x12. The 8** series will give you more pixels but do you really need them.? The D750’s AF is great for airshow photography as well, the other genre of pics I mess about with.

    What lenses do you have?
     
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  7. Colin Hughes

    Colin Hughes Member

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    Hi I have printed 3' X 1' ft but reverted them to b&w so they didn't look to bad. I dabble in drip photography and wanted to print one about a metre square as have large wall and wanted a feature and not sure 16mp is enough to accomplish this. Lenses at mo are 12-24/ 18-105/ 35/50 & 55-300 all dx unfortunately
     
  8. Jason

    Jason Always on Premium Member

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    If you’re really struggling for reach/cropping then maybe it’s worth thinking about something longer than the 55-300.
     
  9. Colin Hughes

    Colin Hughes Member

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    Had crossed my mind but with drop shot you don't want to get in to close so you don't miss anything out then crop in losing pixels so more pixels sharper shot especially going as big as m2 plus decent Tele will cost same as ff camera
     

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