Nikon D750 Conclusion

Pro: Cons:
  • Excellent image quality
  • Outstanding dynamic range at low ISOs
  • Excellent high ISO performance
  • Class-leading burst speed
  • Good buffer depths when shooting JPEGs
  • New highlight-weighted metering mode
  • Active D-Lighting helps with tricky lighting
  • Good performance from the built-in flash
  • Built-in flash can act as commander to remote flashes
  • Excellent 51-point AF system (though frame coverage could be better)
  • AF works in very low light (rated down to -3 EV)
  • Excellent battery life
  • Dual card slots
  • Large, articulated rear LCD screen
  • Thinner body design allows for deeper, more comfortable hand grip
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Headphone & mic jacks for video
  • 4:2:2 8-bit uncompressed HDMI output with simultaneous internal recording (4:2:0 compressed)
  • Power Aperture for smooth, step-less aperture changes in video
  • Buffer size when shooting 14-bit RAW files could be better
  • Very sluggish AF in Live View mode (very lens dependent, though)
  • 1/4000s top shutter speed
  • Weak AA-filter can produce moiré with certain subjects
  • OVF coverage closer to 97%
  • Auto and Incandescent white balance too warm in tungsten lighting
  • Default saturation, contrast and sharpening may be a little high for some (though most will likely prefer the change in JPEG rendering)
  • Matrix metering can sometimes produce unexpected results

The much-loved Nikon D700 finally gets its long-awaited upgrade as the Nikon D750. With the 2008 debut of the D700, Nikon finally had an affordable, more compact, enthusiast-level full-frame camera alternative to the large and expensive D3. Now, Nikon has a trio of such cameras, with the D750 squeezing in above the D610 and below the D810, and forms a hybrid camera of sorts by borrowing features and specs from both the D610 and D810.

Featuring a similar high-resolution 24.3-megapixel full-frame sensor as in the D610, the D750, on the other hand, pairs it with the faster EXPEED 4 image processor from the D810. The metering sensor and autofocus system are also borrowed from the D810 (though the AF system here is tweaked for better low-light AF), while the exposure system -- like maximum shutter speed and flash sync -- as well as life span of the shutter is shared with the lower-end D610. Of course, the D750 has a few unique tricks up its sleeve too, such as being the first full-frame Nikon DSLR with a tilting rear LCD, a slimmer body design with a deeper handgrip, and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. The battery life is also rated better than both the D610 and the D810.

What this all boils down to is a very impressive, very capable camera. In both our lab and real-world tests, the D750 produced outstanding high-quality images. The dynamic range at lower ISOs was fantastic with nice colors, though hue accuracy was a bit below average. The D750 also displays excellent high ISO performance with well-controlled noise levels and great fine detail performance up to ISO 6400. And, while the sensor does have an anti-aliasing filter, it's relatively weak, leading to very highly-detailed images, however there can be visible moiré with certain subjects.

The D750 is also a rather speedy camera, and our tests of its Continuous Hi burst rate actually slightly exceeded Nikon's stated 6.5fps rate, which is quite impressive for a high-resolution full-frame DSLR. Buffer depths were also good, especially when shooting JPEG-only, however, RAW format fills the buffer much more quickly. At full, 14-bit RAWs, the D750 managed just 14 frames over the 40 JPEG frames we managed in our lab tests. Dropping the bit-depth to 12-bit RAWs improved buffer capacity to around 22 frames.

Autofocus performance is very good for its class as a high-end enthusiast model. In our real-world testing, the D750 was able to quickly and accurately autofocus on a variety of subject in multiple lighting conditions, including very low light conditions. The 51-point AF system allows for lots of customizability and flexibility with composition as well as tracking moving subjects, however it would be nice if the AF points covered a wider area of the frame. Live View AF, for both photos and video, is still lacking, as the D750 uses much slower contrast-detect AF.

Altogether, the Nikon D750 is another excellent full-frame DSLR from Nikon. Sitting comfortably in their camera lineup above the "entry-level" full-frame D610 and beefy, high-res 36.6MP D810, the D750 offers photographers a bit more in the performance category like a higher-end model, but more control in the megapixel department with high-res -- but not too high-res -- 24MP files. For videographers, too, the D750 offers a host of pro-level amenities, such as an articulated LCD, uncompressed HDMI out and stepless aperture adjustment, to make a great all-in-one multimedia camera.

And while, yes, a batch of early production models had issues with flare and dark banding, Nikon was quick to recognize this and address affected customers' concerns with free repairs. Repaired models and subsequent production models no longer display this issue, including one of the samples we had repaired.

For its impressive image quality, performance and features, the Nikon D750 is a well-rounded, all-in-one multimedia machine and a solid choice for a Dave's Pick.

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