Review: Nikon D750 full-frame DSLR
Professional cameras tend to cost an arm and a leg, but Nikon’s D750 tries to find a middle ground for less than $2500, packing in 24 megapixels, WiFi, and a body that makes it feel like a real camera.
Another entry in Nikon’s long running “D” series of cameras, the D750 takes what Nikon knows about full-frame technology and applies it to a mid-range camera, or a mid-range enthusiast semi-pro camera as the case appears to be with this one.
The specs are likely too long to go into given the size of this camera, so we’ll get into another of them as we can, starting with the sensor, and for that, Nikon is relying on a 24.9 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, measuring 35.9mm x 24mm, the same size of a 35mm roll of film (hence the term “full-frame”).
Because there’s a full-frame sensor being used here, Nikon’s “FX” format for lenses is also being called on. Despite this, the D750 is compatible with DX lenses, though you’ll only get the centre rectangle of the sensor to work with and changing that roughly 36×24 frame to something more like 24×16.
While Nikon is dabbling with mirrorless technologies in its “1” series of cameras, the D750 follows the mirror-box designs used in previous digital and film bodies, with a single-lens mirror reflex system and an optical viewfinder. Alongside the optical viewfinder offering 100% coverage, you’ll find a 3.2 inch vari-angle LCD offering the same 100% coverage with just over one million dots of resolution.
Nikon’s D750 continues some of the features found in previous Nikon digitals, such as RAW and JPEG compatibility, 1080p Full HD movie capture, and lots of points of autofocus, with 51 to report of in this camera. Low-light sensitivity caters to a fairly wide range of ISO options, starting with 100 and hitting up to 51200.
A flash is also included in the body, though there is also a hot-shoe at the top of the unit if you ever need to plug in a real flash head unit.
Bracketing options are also provided, as well as numerous buttons that can be made to work with various functions. You will also find a smattering of click wheels and drive controllers, and even scene modes, providing plenty of options for amateurs and professionals alike.
Two SD card slots are also included, allowing files to be written to the cards separately (such as RAW on one, JPEG on the other).
And just to shake things up, WiFi is also found on this device, with an app available for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android controlling the camera remotely.
A battery is included with the camera and is charged through a separate battery charge terminal.
It’s been a while since someone handed over a big camera for us to review, and that’s likely because so much of what we see has been replaced with smaller, mirrorless cameras.
Not that that’s a bad thing, though; we quite like the compact mirror-box-removed optics devices of today, but sometimes you just yearn for something more, something bigger, meatier, and more grunty.
For the past couple of weeks, that has been what it’s like coming back to an SLR, or a digital SLR (DSLR) to be more precise, with Nikon letting us take up a review of the D750.
We’ve written about Nikon’s bigger cameras before, and while the D800 and D810 grab attention for their large 36 megapixel sensors, and Canon aims to best it with 50 megapixels of goodness, not everyone has the thousands of dollars necessary to tackle those boxes, not including the lenses, of course. As a point, the Nikon D810 fetches a price around $3700 while the Canon’s upcoming 50 megapixel shooter grabs a price closer to the $5000 mark.
If you have a little less to spend, a slightly smaller machine is probably worth checking out, and that’s what leads us to the Nikon D750, a camera sitting closer to the $2400 price.
Taking a look at it, it’s easy to see where Nikon’s current large cameras draw their inspiration from, and that’s the previous large cameras, or an evolution of them.
In the hands, it’s a familiar feeling, especially if you’re coming from one of Nikon’s other big cameras.
This journalist is, mind you, which makes this review particularly interesting, since he’s been running with the D300 for so long, a camera that has suited him fine.
The question of “who needs more than 12 megapixels?” has long been something weighing on his mind, as he reached into his camera cupboard of not-quite-mysteries to pull out an ageing digital SLR, keen to take some images, though aware that the camera could probably do with an upgrade, especially since nearly every smartphone he’s reviewed features more megapixels.
Granted, the sensors are totally different, and the DSLR will always take a better shot, but that tells you just how old the Nikon D300 is, built from a day when 2 and 4 megapixels were the thing smartphones featured.
There has never been a true and proper upgrade from that body, not unless you count that half-measure that the D300S was, a slight change but not a true update, as Nikon made its move towards the full-frame sensor for the semi-professional bodies instead of the half-size APS-C sensor running with the DX lens format.
That might look like a bunch of acronyms and initialisms, but they’re essential, with full frame technology reliant on a bigger sensor closer to that of a 35mm roll of film, since the sensor occupies the same rectangular frame. Smaller APS-C sensors take up a smaller chunk of this frame, and so each has a different lens format designed to work with each, with the DX lenses of the D300 (and other cameras) designed for the half-size sensor, and FX lenses made for full-frame bodies.
So my old, ageing D300 is not only old and ageing, is not only running a megapixel amount that my smartphone can beat without trying (yes, there’s more to it than that), but also takes a smaller lens format now aimed at the consumer and enthusiast range, not the semi-professional and professional market that it was originally skewed towards.
My how time flies when you’re not buying cameras.