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The Nikon D750 – Is It The Best Wedding DSLR Ever?

By Matthew Saville on January 26th 2015

Star Portrait Single Exposure-editedNikon D750, Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, FotoPro C5C Tripod
Click here to read an article on how to create portraits under the stars!

Whenever I test a hot new camera that is purporting to be a qualified (let alone superior) replacement for the camera I am currently using, or did use for many years, there is this one special test I like to attempt.  Basically it goes something like this: “How does it feel to get accustomed to the new camera, and then suddenly switch back to the old one?

I’m a full-time wedding photographer, so usually what I do is shoot 3-5+ weddings with the new camera, get it dialed in exactly how I like, then after shooting half a day with the newer camera I force myself put it away and grab the older camera to finish the job.

How does the experience feel?  Are there any bell/whistle features on the new camera that I actually miss? Or is it the same back-of-my-hand workhorse camera?  Then, (later on the computer) is the difference in image quality going to affect how I shoot, or what I can deliver to my clients?

For example, I performed this test when doing my review of the Nikon D810.  I swapped out the D810 and D800E a few times during a multi-day Hindu wedding, and honestly, it was very hard to tell which camera I was shooting with. Once or twice I didn’t even realize I was using the D800E again instead of the D810; there was barely a difference in both functionality and image results!  I therefore was forced to conclude that even though a new buyer ought to go for the superior D810, if they could afford it, anyone who already owned a D800E should probably just sit tight and enjoy their already awesome camera. (And last, but not least in my book, a used D800/e makes a very good buy, especially since they’re dropping below $2,000 here and there!)

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The D750 versus the D700

D700 die-hards have all been cursing at the Nikon D750 for looking more like a D610 than a D810, and leaving out key sports-related features. However, the more I use the D750 for weddings and portraits, the more I realize this is just the new design of their semi-pro cameras. Sorry, D700 lovers, but this actually makes the D750 a superior camera in many ways.

nikon-d750-review-versus-d700-wedding-photography-1The Nikon D750 loses a circular eyecup and top-left settings buttons, but gains the widely popular U1 and U2 custom settings modes, a “Qc” mode that is actually quiet, and an articulated LCD screen.  A fair trade, in my opinion!

So, how did the D750 fare against my Nikon D800E, and my D700? In short, the D750 blows the D700 out of the water, and gives the whole 800-series a run for its money in many respects, while actually beating it in others.

Keep in mind that my D700 has been relegated to backup duty for a whole season now, and I’ve been shooting with a D800E in the meantime.  Anyways, when I “downgraded” from the D800E to the D750 I must admit that I did miss a few of the 800-series flagship-style features.  The circular eyecup and viewfinder shutter is nice.  The size of the “joypad” is a bit smaller on the D750, and the AF points are just a smidge more centralized. However, these were all things I got over quickly, or didn’t mind putting up with.  They were not deal-breakers. And the image quality?  The D750 won me over completely.  (Keep in mind that for weddings, 24 MP is actually more practical than 36!)

nikon-d750-review-versus-d700-wedding-photography-9At ISO 100, the dynamic range of these NEF files is staggering, in fact, so much so that you have to be careful not to go too far! I’ve had to re-teach myself that not all shadows should be dug up entirely, images benefit from having a little bit of moody contrast.

I’d never encourage another photographer to shoot “sloppy” and under-expose everything they shoot, however when an emergency arises it’s good to know the cushion is there.

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Reverse Psychology: What Does the D700 Feel Like After Using the D750?

So, back to that test I did.  Just how “tried and true” does the D700 still feel? I’ll be blunt: after shooting half a wedding with the D750, the moment I picked up the D700, it felt like a chunky old dinosaur. The D750‘s amazing grip design, lighter weight, plus a couple new functions, have already totally spoiled me, after just a few weddings. (Okay, a dozen? It was a busy year!)

To me, the D700’s grip now feels like it’s been over-inflated. It’s packed on a few pounds, and not in a healthy, hefty, cushion-y way. I’ve got pretty big hands, too, and I’ve been happy the D700 and D300, etc. style grip for almost a decade now, so the fact that I’ve found something better says a lot. Also, for what it’s worth, out of the dozens of professional wedding photographers I’ve heard from, all but one of them have absolutely raved about the D750‘s new grip design.

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The D700 is still a solid workhorse, with all the right switches, functions, power, and reliable focusing. Any wedding photographer would be lucky to have one in their bag.  Still, the D750 just seems to run laps around it when it comes to new functionality, customization, and overall shooting comfort.

D750 Key Advantages Over D700

nikon-d750-review-versus-d700-wedding-photography-2

1.) Right-handed ISO control

With the addition of the REC button, Nikon now allows you to re-program this button to change your ISO quickly with your right index finger and thumb, instead of having to remove your left hand from supporting your camera to reach up to the dedicated ISO button on left-hand top/back. The D750 is not the only camera to have this REC button ISO control, of course; this feature has been available since a firmware update brought it to the D800 / D800E, and probably a few other flagship cameras. Either way, once you get used to this customization, any other camera is annoying to use if you change your ISO a lot.

2.) Face-detection scrolling during image playback zoom

Another feature that I’ve already talked about in my D810 review, this feature single-handedly won me over to the next generation of Nikon pro / semi-pro DSLRs. Once you get used to seeing every face in a group photo at 100% within 1 second of clicking the shot, anything less just makes portraiture seem painfully slow.

3.) The usability of ISO 6400

New cameras have claimed to offer a noticeable improvement in high ISO capability.  However, ever since the D700, I’ve been “stuck” at ISO 3200 as my ceiling of acceptable image quality.  I’ve avoided ISO 6400 about the same on the Nikon D810 and D610, plus the Canon 5D Mark III. The Canon 6D and Nikon Df are the only cameras I’ll use more freely at 6400, but neither of them had the AF power to be my main camera; they always just served as general candid work cameras.

The D750 has changed that.  ISO 6400 is still a little “dull” looking compared to ISO 3200, however the noise levels and detail retention are enough that I do, in fact, use it more.

I’m not going to lie, I would have been a little happier if Nikon had put the Df sensor in the D750, if ONLY for the purpose of high ISO performance, but the difference is probably mainly in my head.

4.) Pleasantly lightweight body

While many pros talk about how they like hefty cameras and loved the heft of a D700 with a vertical grip, plenty of others are jumping ship left and right to the Sony A7-series of mirrorless cameras. Clearly, full-sized DSLRs could stand to shed a few ounces without their entire target market throwing a fit.

Simply put, the D750 makes me stop caring about switching to mirrorless, at least for weight reasons. Especially with the ultra-light f/1.8 G primes that Nikon has been delivering lately, a series of primes that Sony has repeatedly stated they have no interest in developing yet.

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 5.) Did Nikon finally figure out better grip rubber?

Nikon has been notorious for making cameras that have amazing grip rubber….that falls off every 6 months. Canon grip rubber, by comparison, never had this problem, but only because it was much harder, almost plastic, and felt almost slippery if you had sweaty fingers / palms.

On the D750, something seems to be different.  I’ve only been using mine for a few months, not the usual 6-12 that it takes for grip rubber to fall off a heavily-used camera (in humid and/or warm weather). However, something already feels and looks different, especially on the memory card door.  It looks like Nikon has figured out a better type of rubber, or a better way of securing it to the camera.  I’ll report back if this changes after a full season of wedding photography, but so far I’m very excited by the thought of not needing gaffers tape to hold my camera together!

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D750 Disadvantages Compared to D700

Few of the following issues apply to what I do personally, but to not list them would be unfair to many folks who do strongly value these things:

1.) No More 8 FPS boost with V-grip

For me, the difference between 6.5 and 8 FPS is no spilt milk worth crying over, but I know that certain action sports photographers really loved the D700 as the only affordable option for getting to 8 FPS full-frame.  The D700 and D750 both have decent (but not jaw-dropping) buffers, however the D700’s meager 12 MP files, especially in 12-bit compressed RAW, could put a buffer to very good use. In short, it’s only a problem if you’re VERY serious about sports, and even then, only if you “spray and pray.” Plus, you can always use 1.2x or 1.5x crop mode to reduce your megapixels and use your buffer less, if you’re shooting telephoto sports.

3.) Unsafe QUAL button placement

On pro Nikons, the QUAL (image quality) buttons are positioned relatively safely. On the D750, as with its siblings the D610 and D7100, the QUAL button is on the back of the camera, smack-dab in between the WB and ISO buttons. This is just a recipe for disaster since I use both of those other settings a lot.  Thankfully, re-programming the REC button to control ISO has dramatically reduced my risk of accidentally bumping my camera from RAW to JPG, since it’s the setting I change without taking my eye away from the viewfinder.

I wish Nikon would update their cameras to allow “settings lockdown” for image quality (and other things) in a menu somewhere.

4.) Annoying “for dummies” LCD interface

Another hand-me-down feature on the D750 that makes you feel like you’re using a camera designed for those recently upgrading from a D5300 or something is the unavoidably helpful LCD interface.  It turns itself on whenever you change your ISO or white balance, like a beginner camera, which is not only a little annoying, but also hinders operation of functions like the REC button ISO control. Nikon ought to fix that in firmware, if they want pros to think the D750 is an option they’re supposed to consider.

5.) Lesser AF point spread

Horizontally, the AF points reach out far enough, but vertically, they’re a bit restrictive. However, when I’m shooting really active stuff and I want an off-center AF point, I just bump the camera into 1.2x crop mode and it gives me plenty of AF point spread.

4.) No separate buttons for AF-L/AE-L and AF-ON

Many action sports shooters may use both of these buttons, however, I don’t so this is another thing I’m doing OK without. It is one of the major strikes against the D750 though.

5.) 1/4000 sec shutter speed limit and 1/200 sec. flash sync limit

This is another major strike against the D750 for some veteran sports shooters, however I must be quick to point out that from an overall exposure standpoint, compared to the D700, this is a moot point since its own base ISO was 200.  The D750‘s base ISO of 100 actually gives you the same exposure ability at 1/4000 sec, and even better flash sync ability at 1/200.

6.) The lack of a PC sync port

The last thing wedding and action photographers have argued to be a major shortcoming on the D750 is the lack of a PC sync port for external flash control, and I must admit I was very concerned at first.

However, the minute I tried a work-around (a PC port adapter that connects to your hotshoe), I realized something: Over the years, I’ve actually spent a few hundred dollars repairing damaged PC sync ports on my Nikon D700‘s, and now the only thing that would break is a $7 adapter. All of a sudden, I feel pretty dumb about the whole thing!

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What About The Flare?

Okay, nay-sayers and anti-fanboys, what about that horrible issue that everyone is freaking out about?  To be honest, I have an “affected” D750 and I haven’t ever had a problem in real-world shooting conditions.  Sure, it might be an issue for a select few photographers who just love flare THAT much, but that just doesn’t apply to 95% of photographers out there. Besides, Nikon seems to have already solved it, and is offering a free fix even to grey market owners here in the USA, which is very impressive in my opinion. So, in other words, the issue doesn’t even come close to stopping the D750 from remaining my absolute favorite camera in the world to photograph a wedding with.

Conclusion: The D750 Indeed Replaces the D700….For Most

I gotta admit, as a full-time professional wedding photojournalist and low-light action photographer, I  un-ashamedly participated in all the discussions (OK, arguments) about Nikon’s legendary D700, and whether or not a true successor would ever arrive.

The D800 had too many megapixels and was too slow.  The D600 was too “prosumer” and had inadequate autofocus.  The Df, well, it was indeed a perfect wedding camera….for hipsters who thought looking retro was worth multiple compromises in functionality and versatility.

Enter the D750.  Let’s be honest, it’s the camera the D610 should have been. However, with D4s autofocus and some other new features thrown in, it becomes another milestone for Nikon.

nikon-20mm-18-g-review-astro-landscape-lens-04Nikon D750, Nikon 20mm f/1.8 G, SLR Lounge Preset System
Click here to read our review of the Nikon 20mm f/1.8 G!

By naming it the D750 instead of “D650,” Nikon is clearly speaking to all the whiners:  D700 lovers, this is IT.  This is what the continuation of the D700 series will look like; in fact, it may be what all semi-pro cameras below $3,000 look like, period. Any other full-frame camera in this price range can be expected to look very similar, as well as a Nikon D7200 if rumors are true.

So let’s face it:  A D810-like body is never going to get a 24 MP sensor.  Actually it already has one, in 1.2x crop mode.  More importantly, a D810-like isn’t body going to get a 16 MP sensor either.  Or if it ever happens, it won’t cost $2300. In fact, the only camera I think may still be remotely possible is a DX D400, a D810-like body with Nikon’s latest 24 MP DX sensor. Although at this point I think that a DX version of the D750 is much more likely: a D7200.

So if you were waiting for a D4s sensor in a D810 body, with ~8 FPS and a huge buffer, now is the time to give up that dream. Pick up a Nikon D750, or a Nikon D810, or whichever camera you think is right for you, and go take pictures! Even if that mythical camera does come out some day, a D750 still deserves a place in the bag of any wedding or portrait photographer.

D750 Versus….Everything Else

So, I’ve concluded that the D750 is better for weddings than the D700 ever was, and is also better than the D800 or D810, with caveats.  But what about the other camera makers?

The only DSLR that could come close to the D750 would be a properly executed Canon 5D Mark IV.  The Canon 6D has great image quality, but lacks the AF power to be a truly well-rounded workhorse.  The Canon 5D Mark III is a very powerful workhorse, but Nikon pulls ahead in the specific genre of weddings and portraits for a handful of reasons.

A Canon (or any other) DSLR that wants to really knock the D750 off its pedestal would have to offer the same breakthroughs that Nikon has begun offering recently: insane base-ISO dynamic range, uncanny low-light AF, face-detection during image playback zooming, in-camera crop modes that can turn a prime into a zoom, and the kill-flash custom function for creative low-light shots, plus a few other small details that I think really set the D750 apart.

In other words, people have been saying “it’s a matter of preference” for years, and sure, Canon and other companies do make amazing cameras. However when I tally up the real-world benefits and drawbacks of each camera on the market, the D750 wins by a margin that any wedding or portrait photographer will find hard to ignore…

Happy clicking,
=Matt=

Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

48 Comments

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  1. Yaakov Kranz

    Hi Matthew, nice article. I recently switched platforms from Canon and was deciding between the new D500 (crop sensor) and the D750 which I ended up with. The major issue I have is in fact the lack of a PC port. I tried the adapter but 2 broke on me within hours of use, and they were the more expensive ones. I like haveing on camera flash as well so that negates Nikons adapter. If you have a good solution for this I would greatly appreciate it if you can steer me to a solid adapter where I can also use with a flash on top. I’m ruunning out of ideas . thanks!

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Yaakov, Yes, I do have two different solutions.
      Unfortunately, one of them is to use the traditional PC sync port adapter. I actually had decent luck with the cheap one; I believe neither of them broke on me, but I had one where the screws started to get loose so I had to tighten them and put a little loctite on the threads too just for good measure.
      Honestly though, I hate PC sync ports altogether anyways, so if you can avoid them in the first place, do it. What I do now is, I use the Yongnuo YN-560 III flashes, and these can be controlled both via the 560-TX controller, AND via a standard 603 II trigger.
      So what I do is, I put the 560-TX in my pocket (my belt pouch) but it is not connected to anything at all. I just use it to adjust the power of my flashes wirelessly. Then, I put a 603 II trigger between my camera and my on-camera flash, and it triggers all the remote 560 III flashes at whatever power I set from the 560-TX.
      Unfortunately, the Yongnuo 603 triggers are probably just as cheap and breakable as the PC port adapter that you were using; I’ve already broken two 603 triggers in the last year.
      However, once again, I find this to be preferable to damaging a PC port on my camera- that is a $100-200 repair, while a box of two new 603 triggers is just $20. I know it is a bit wasteful to just break them and buy new ones, but it works for me for now…

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  2. Mike Hemery

    I’ve laboring over this camera purchase for months…but do I go D750 or A7ii?

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  3. IS I

    Dear all,
    I would like to give a bit of light of the tunnel.
    +Nikon 700,750,610,800,800E,810 HAVE THE SAME SENSOR.
    ITS JUST DIFFERENT THE SIZES OF THE PIXELS.
    +BEST PIXEL SIZE AROUND 7. (WINNER is 750).
    +D800 overcomes D810 because the filter is still in. Color correction please
    +Canon is by far a peace of shit. The same sensor on the two new DSLR models that announce in 2015.
    +Canon lens is VERY GOOD
    +Nikon 70-200mm lens is for kids.
    +Voigtlander/ Sony zeiss Lovers just get a Fuji, you will do better photos with 1/4 of the price.
    +For MASTERS OF SHOOTING GET A LEICA SUMMILUX. The best composition of lens on the planet.
    ***WE ALL KNOW HOW GOOD IS NISSAN AND HONDA AND HOW GOOD NAME AND SALES THEY HAVE BUT WILL NEVER A SKYLINE BE A PORSCHE SPYDER!

    +PHASE ONE FOR EXTRA ORDINARY PEOPLE.

    REGARDS
    IS

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  4. Emily Wiest

    I have been doing weddings and portraits for 5 years now with a Nikon D90. I am in desperate need for an upgrade! Considering the 750 after reading a ton of reviews. Would welcome your opinions and insight. Thanks!

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Emily, I know it’s a late reply, but I hope you went ahead and got the D750! You won’t be disappointed. :-)

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  5. Casper Bulanov

    hi Mattew ! you wrote ”

    UNSAFE QUAL BUTTON PLACEMENT

    On pro Nikons, the QUAL (image quality) buttons are positioned relatively safely. On the D750, as with its siblings the D610 and D7100, the QUAL button is on the back of the camera, smack-dab in between the WB and ISO buttons. This is just a recipe for disaster since I use both of those other settings a lot. Thankfully, re-programming the REC button to control ISO has dramatically reduced my risk of accidentally bumping my camera from RAW to JPG, since it’s the setting I change without taking my eye away from the viewfinder.

    I wish Nikon would update their cameras to allow “settings lockdown” for image quality (and other things) in a menu somewhere.”

    do you know any solutions so far ? took a wedding yesterday , half of my work is “JPG M” :((((((((

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Casper,

      Unfortunately no, so far Nikon has not offered any sort of settings lockdown feature like I have suggested. This would be a HUGE help for the types of folks who always shoot a certain way, especially with the QUAL button.

      The best thing you can do is to use the REC button to adjust QUAL 100% of the time, and check your QUAL every now and then throughout the day. I also know exactly how many images my various size memory cards hold, so if my camera all of a sudden says it can fit “1.6K images” on my memory card, I know something is up.

      Checking your QUAL all day long is a chore, but checking your remaining frames all day long is a very responsible thing to do as a wedding photographer IMO.

      Hopefully the JPG images are deliverable!

      =Matt=

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  6. Dennis Rogers

    Well, I wasn’t lying in my above comment when I said my color preference for the Mark III over the D750 was low priority. However, after five months of shooting both cameras, I sold the D750 last week. I was spending too much time trying to get the blues and greens and the vibrance adjusted to taste. Over time I started dreading editing the D750 images. So this was a discovery process for me. I did not know I had such a strong preference for “Canon color” until this in-depth experience with both cameras. As I also mentioned above, the lack of a locking rear dial was nearly a deal breaker for me anyway. For me, it presents a serious usability problem compared to the Mark III. So now the D750 is gone and all of my Nikon glass is gone except two lenses that will hopefully sell this week. I don’t miss the D750 at all and am glad to continue shooting weddings and portraits with the Mark III.

    I’m glad that the D750 satisfies the needs of so many professional shooters, and is even the “ultimate” wedding camera for some. Five months with it simply reinforced to me just how good the Mark III is. I feel lucky to have it and look forward to what the Mark IV might bring!

    Cheers and happy shooting!

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  7. Richard Hammer

    I’ve been in love with my D700, but it’s time to move on. Excellent review that sealed the deal for me about which camera to upgrade to. Thanks for the thorough insight, Matt…and great photos to accompany the words!

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  8. Anshul Sukhwal

    Thanks a lot, Matt, for the wonderful review. This was indeed helpful.
    Even I fell in love with D750 after realising that it produces negligible noise at an ISO pf 300. Really amazing. 24 MP works really well for weddings.

    Thanks again for sharing your insights with us.
    Anshul Sukhwal
    Candid Wedding Photographers in India

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  9. jozef povazan

    I had been in the same pool trying to decide between D810 vs D750 and went with D750. I admit I need to get used to this tiny body vs mine D3s but in terms of AF, Dynamic Range, and weight I am happy to have it. Have not shot a wedding with it yet, bought it just 2 weeks ago but just from playing around with it and my children I am impressed what Nikon achieved here. I used to shoot D700 and this camera is not its replacement but something better IMO. The circular viewfinder and AF ON are two main things which I miss, the rest is just simply better…

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    • robert garfinkle

      Paraphrasing Ken Rockwell’s site on the D750 “the CFN f4 let’s you change the AE-L/AF-L button turning it into the AF-ON button”

      ok, in the D810, it does have a dedicated AF-On button, we know that. And I do use it all the time, great feature…

      here would be a great-to-have, for every SLR; not just a couple re-programmable buttons but the capability to re-program the entire set of buttons, dials, rockers etc. all of it!

      and they should use miniature illuminated LCD screens on buttons, dials for icons representing the feature – the icon set should either be the custom setting number like s4, or n3, etc or a little icon. They should also, as a feature in the rear LCD screen display an exploded / numbered view of the button re-assignments.

      but in allowing ALL buttons to be reprogrammed you could not only re-arrange the buttons / dials your way, but bring forward features like AF-On etc…

      what would really be cool, if it were nikon, let the U1 and U2 dials be used to switch between button re-assignments… therefore you could switch back n forth between OEM buttons and re-assigned etc (even the U1 or U2 to shift between button re-assignments or other setting changes…)

      or, simpler than that, ever camera manufacturer should just include 2 or 3 blank buttons on the back and front, that by default are not assigned at all, yet allow any feature to be assigned (that can be triggered by a button).

      and better yet, here we go, while we are on the path of programmability it would be so cool, to wirelessly flash button assignments (or all settings) to another camera. Let’s say you have two D750’s, and you spent a bucket load of time changing settings / assignments. it’d be an excellent idea to sync your second (or someone else’s) camera with those same settings, maybe like phones have NFC transfer capabilities…

      just some thoughts

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    • jozef povazan

      Well Robert, that is nice in theory, but once you do change the AE/AF button to AF-ON your main trigger only works as a focusing button and that is a disaster, because from that moment you can only back focus even though you do not need to for certain compositions. D810 AF-ON is a dedicated button and does not influence the trigger, which also focuses and at the same time if needed :). So wrap it up, this D750 AF-ON button would be a huge help in the future if they could solve this mess via update like fuji does for X series :)… well Nikon I doubt you would ever do that so I just work around it as good as I can. The D750 is a nice camera, respect for a beast in small body… :)

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    • robert garfinkle

      on second thought, I am not sure I’d ever get a camera without a dedicated AF-On button – that probably limits me quite a bit, but I am so used to it, just like owning HID headlights; once you go AF-On you never go back baby… :)

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    • Matthew Saville

      Again, Robert, this is really only an issue if you A.) need to have both the AF-ON button AND the trigger do autofocus, which is something I’ve never needed personally, or B.) if you also heavily use the AE-L / AF-L button separately from the AF-ON button, which is again, something I’ve never needed.

      So, that’s what it comes down to. I can understand the omission being a deal-breaker for anyone who is truly bent on either of those features, but personally, I think most photographers will be happy to just use the AF-ON re-programming option on the D750 if they want “back-button focus”…

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  10. Orlin Nikolov

    I was wondering what should I choose – D810 or D750, and now I’m very satisfied with my D750. The flare “issue” didn’t appear in none of my photos, although my camera is listed as affected.

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  11. Jason Boa

    Very comprehensive , we’ll done

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  12. Basit Zargar

    Great

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  13. Holger Foysi

    Nice Review. In my experience there is not much difference at ISO 6400 with D750 and D810, after downsizing to the same resolution (and slight NR before, since you lack an AA filter on the D810). I have seen many comparisons doing that (dpreview forum has plenty of examples) and only at even higher ISOs you get a small advantage with the D750.

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  14. Rieshawn Williams

    Great article as always Matt!

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  15. Vince Arredondo

    I have rented the D750 for a few weddings. I was totally sold. Coming from D610 you can tell the difference in 5 main areas:

    1. Better Grip
    2. AF (overall is much better)
    3. OK button to zoom 100%
    4. Rec button for ISO
    5. Bigger buffer

    First chance I will buy it with no hesitation.

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  16. Dennis Rogers

    Sigh….

    I own both the D750 and the 5DIII. I do go back and forth between the two. I also shoot weddings but have not done so with the D750 yet, though I’ve done portraits with it.

    The praise for the D750 seems never ending and I agree with nearly everything. But in my experience, the Mark III still wins in the focus department and I trust it more. That’s saying a lot since the D750 is quite good. The wider cross type AF of the Mark III is indispensable to me. The dual cross type vertical points with wider aperture lenses makes the Mark III AF very aggressive and hyper accurate. I’ve experienced numerous times when the center point of the D750 AF just stops trying to lock on to anything after it gets confused. It makes this whole D4 AF praise seem overrated to me. Yes, it’s good, really good. And I trust it. But after a couple months and thousands of images, I trust it just a tad bit less than the Mark III.

    Lastly, I set the “record” button to change my ISO almost immediately after receiving the camera. I still find it unreliable, out of the way, and slow to respond. In other words, entirely unacceptable in a fast moving environment like a wedding. Using the Set button to change the ISO on the Mark III is ultra-reliable and I can make the change with one hand and without having to look at any LCD or other readout to trust that it has changed correctly. With the experience I’ve had so far, I dont know that I will ever fully trust it.

    I guess one more thing – I can’t lock the rear dial on the D750 and my thumb/hand moves the dial unintentionally on a regular basis. This is truly inconvenient and is a serious usability problem for me. I can lock the rear dial on the Mark III and forget about it. This one feature is nearly a make or break feature for me.

    Now I mostly plan on using the D750 as a travel camera for less serious work and for play. I love how light it is, love using it with the f/1.8 primes, really appreciate its high ISO performance, love the low light focusing when it behaves (which it does most of the time), and am happy enough with the color rendition, though I still like the Canon better for color. The latter is very low priority for me though.

    So I love the camera. It’s at Nikon now for servicing and I kind of miss it. I also would highly recommend it and will probably find a way to work it in to parts of my wedding shooting. Still, for the above reasons, it’s usability is subpar for a fast moving wedding environment compared to the 5DIII.

    Cheers and thanks for a great article.

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    • Dennis Rogers

      This site won’t let me edit my comment from a mobile device, so I’ll clarify in this comment regarding changing ISO: With the experience I’ve had so far with the D750 and changing ISO using the Record button, I don’t know that I’ll ever really trust it, especially in a fast moving shooting environment.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Denni, off-center cross-type AF points is indeed a huge plus in Canon’s favor, and one of the main reasons why I don’t disqualify the 5D 3 as one of the best wedding cameras ever made. I definitely hope that Nikon gets around to putting cross-type AF points off-center ASAP.

      Regarding the rear command dial, I actually prefer its position by far compared to Canon’s thumb wheel, when it comes to changing camera settings.

      What you gotta do is re-program the front and rear command dials so that the control you use the least is on the front below the trigger, and the control you use the most is the one in back. For me as a wedding and portrait shooter I barely ever change my aperture, so I “traded” shutter speed and aperture and now I dial my shutter speed on the rear command dial, which is pretty much the only setting I ever change when shooting in certain conditions.

      It takes a bit of getting used to, like AF-ON does, but once you get in the groove, it’s the best way to go IMO.

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    • Holger Foysi

      Interesting. Our experience is the opposite. I found the AF to be extremely good, especially in low light and faster than that of the 5Diii. But maybe that’s beacause I’m more used to Nikon and know the system. Many fellow photographers entirely switched form Canon to Nikon because of it, too. Regarding the rec-button. For me it is extremely fast and reliable to change in a wedding environment. No problem here. Most of the time I’m in manual mode with auto-iso anyway, however.

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    • Matthew Saville

      While I do envy those off-center AF points on the 5D mk3, I’ve always felt like Canon’s AF has had a slight pick-up time lag that was inexplicable compared to my D700, D800, and D750. The Nikon’s just seem to respond immediately and lock as instantaneously as they can, (even if it’s not perfect every time with lenses faster than 2.8) ….while the Canon 5D 3 seems to take it’s time when you press the shutter. It’s definitely a fraction of a second, but it always bothered me. Maybe it’s simply that a “half-press” on Nikon is triggered with less pressure than on a Canon, I’m not sure?

      =Matt=

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  17. robert garfinkle

    I purchased the D810, yet was highly considering the D750, seriously.

    What kept me on the path for the D810 – well, first (but not most important by far) the cheapo answer, “Once you have 36mp you never go back, baby…” (yet Matt indicates was not that important, right?), yet other features did in fact keep me on the D810 track, like 64 ISO, 1/8000 shutter, and of course the removal of the OLPF. Though I am NOT a pro and could never live up to that honor, there is a need for the features I stated. I do solar shooting quite a bit and the shutter speed is very important to me – although I could use filters I suppose. it was brought to my attention that I could have saved close to a grand, got the D750 and purchased filtration, yes? but if faster shutter keeps me from having to put something in front of the lens, no matter how transparent or distortion free it is, I go for quicker shutter – personal preference.

    And I can’t wait to take advantage of the D810’s 64 ISO and no “true” OLPF –

    I will however note that a less important feature in the D750, the wifi, how it is implemented / built-in is excellent compared to getting a D800(e) or D810 into a wireless state. If anyone has had the great displeasure in discovering how to setup wireless on a D810 – using the Nikon approach, only to discover a very very very expensive venture and having to tag it as a franken-DSLR project just assembling it. Then try using it… The D810 with Nikon’s wireless solution looks like a “Rube Goldberg” contraption and may be illegal in some parts due to zoning violations and may cause interference to some radio stations (j.k.)

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    • robert garfinkle

      And to add – I have heard that the D750 was more like the D600/D610 from an ergonomic perspective – or in other words, the D750 is, what the D600/D610 should have been. So, claims that the D750 replaced the D700, well, I think speculation ran amok, maybe…

      Personally I see two general ergonomic patterns used for controls with Nikon DSLRs, ones like D7000, D7100, D600 / D610, D750 (and other’s like these not listed), and the “Pro” lines like D1, D2, D3, D4, D800(e), and D810 –

      So, my point is, the D700 and the D750 look like two different cameras ergonomically, where the D700 might have been patterned after the pro line, yet the D750 patterned after the enthusiast line, but not to say it’s an enthusiast camera by any means… Matt is not an enthusiast.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Robert, personally I have to break “ergonomics” down into two categories: button layout / customization, and actual feel / operation.

      In the first sense, the D750 is no D700 at all, it is a D610. That’s just a matter of where they put the buttons, plain and simple.

      However in the second sense, once you get used to where the buttons are, (and program the REC button to control your ISO!!!!) …the D750 is BETTER than the D700, or even the D800 / D810 for me.

      Why? Because I just love how deep the grip is, first and foremost, it just feels RIGHT. The D700 by comparison doesn’t feel more professional by being chunky, it just feels chunky.

      So, as I mentioned, there are a couple serious shortcomings that hold back the D750 when comparing it’s button layout, but that’s about it. Unless you change your WB incessantly and without looking, you’re not going to accidentally bump your camera from RAW to JPG. And other than that, “where the buttons are” is completely overshadowed by 1.) the feel of the grip and 2.) the articulated LCD. Those two things right there are just making my day, every single time I pick up the D750…

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  18. Lex Arias

    D750 = A freakin’ Awesome Beast…

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  19. Ashton Pal

    The Nikon D750 is a good camera. For me personally, I am still torn between the D750 and the D810. I’m glad the flare issue received so much attention because that led Nikon to issue a statement regarding how they plan to fix the problem. Some people say it’s not that big of a deal and others say it is. Everyone is different and generally people don’t expect to buy a product that has a minor issue with it especially if that’s your only camera and you need that for your business. I have read a lot photography websites and reviews by professionals and hobbyists that only had good things to say about the Nikon D750. The 24 megapixels is more than enough for some people on top of everything else.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Asthton, what is causing you to remain torn about the D810, then? The only reason I can imagine “needing” the D810 is for very specialized work where resolution is of the utmost importance… Because while the D810 is much more professionally well-rounded, the D750 is so comparable in each respect, and even better in some, that I’m hard-pressed to think of a specific type of photography that would truly “require” the D810.

      Just my thoughts, of course…

      =Matt=

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    • Stephen Jennings

      I’d go with the d810 personally.. the d810 is “better” than the d750, even if only very slightly in some respects, such as color depth or shutter speed. And doesn’t have the prosumer menu, which is annoying.

      When I buy gear and I’m investing that much money my philosophy is always “6 months down the road am I going to want some of those extra features or quality?” then spending the extra $700 on a d810 would be worth it. I think the d750 is the perfect backup camera, but the d810 still takes the lead. And if you’ve ever seen some large wedding prints from a d810/800 I think you’d have your mind made up. :)

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    • Matthew Saville

      Stephen, if you’re making it sound like the D750 is some sort of “good enough!” compromise, you’d be wrong. While the D810 has a decidedly more professional interface and a few extra pro features, the D750 has more than enough professional performance, and plenty of features that may even make it a better choice than the D810 depending on what you shoot. As I’ve said elsewhere, now that I’m used to the articulated LCD, I get really annoyed when using other cameras in certain conditions. That, and the AF on the D750 is more capable, and the resolution is more manageable for high-volume shooters. Oh, and as I tried to drive home, that grip just feels…wow…

      So yes, the D750 is a much better camera for me personally, even though I’m one of the biggest sticklers for professional equipment and needing it to do exactly what I want…

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    • Stephen Jennings

      I’m not really saying whether it is or is not “good enough” I’m just say’n that the d810 is a “better” camera all around. I think the d750 is perfectly fine for most professional applications (personally for me, a backup), but really that all comes down to the photographer anyways.. I’ve seen people with tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear take downright terrible photos.

      Oh to heck with it.. we should all just buy d4s’s!! Yeah! =P

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  20. Brandon Silvera

    To think I almost bought a D810. I love my D750.

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  21. Nick DiGiallonardo

    Great write-up. This just makes me wants the D750 that much more.

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  22. aaron febbo

    The more i read about NIkon the more think about switching over ! Might wait 6 months first to see what canon does. None the less very tempting ! The more I look at nikon images the more i find myself wanting ! Why canon why !!

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    • Matthew Saville

      To be honest Aaron, most photographers who have actually switched to say that they prefer the look of Canon images, especially skin tones, over Nikon’s sensors. There is a subtle quality to Canon skin tones, and not to mention the bokeh of their larger lens mount, that does keep many portrait & wedding shooters standing firm.

      The main reasons I consider Nikon’s D750 to be such a winner have less to do with the look of the images themselves, (aside from the crazy things that are possible with dynamic range) …and more to do with the subtle customizations that really make a difference while I’m shooting.

      I’ll be recording a video on the subject, just as soon as Nikon announces their new firmware program, since that could bring some major improvements to older generation cameras…

      Stay tuned!
      =Matt=

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    • robert garfinkle

      It’s interesting Matt, from the respect of color differences, was the reason way back I chose Nikon, of course this was when the D7000 first came out, where patrons had said the opposite – they preferred Nikon over Canon. But did go after the D810 for dynamic range – a major reason…

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    • aaron febbo

      Yeah Ive heard that was well Matthew. I never shot Nikon but from what Ive seen from some of my friends and from what Ive read i keep getting more and more interested. Don’t get me wrong I love my Canon, I really would just like to see Canon more active so thats why i complain. Very good points all around though and yes Canon glass is amazing i personally feel like it has more character but thats just me.

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    • mark allen

      @Matthew, I recently change from using Capture NX2 to Lightroom and I found that I had to work much harder at getting skin tones right. Do you think this is an issue with Lightroom’s Raw conversion? As to which company – it comes in waves does it not? Looks like Cannon have made some big sensor technology breakthroughs recently.

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    • Matthew Saville

      @ Mark Allen, yes Adobe’s RAW conversions are terrible when it comes to the finesse of color and tone. Adobe’s name-of-game is sheer brute force in editing speed, dynamic range, and overall quality.

      I’ve heard good things about Capture One, but it is unfortunately not as capable at high-speed workflows compared to Lightroom.

      As a landscape photographer, I often use Adobe’s “Vivid” profile instead of their standard profile. But lately it has been giving kinda nasty results with the latest sensors that have such high dynamic range, which is a shame.

      It can help to shoot RAW plus small JPG, or to use View NX to export crappy quality JPGs from your NEFs, and then import both into Lightroom for a post-production reference point. Sometimes if I’m really happy with my in-camera colors but I still need to use a RAW file for other reasons, I’ll just batch out a few “tonesetters” straight from my camera or from View NX 2, just one image per lighting scenario or something, and use those to aide in my Lightroom color accuracy…

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    • robert garfinkle

      Hey Matt (and Everyone) –

      Nikon Just released their latest software –

      http://nikonimglib.com/nvnxi/

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    • mark allen

      @Matthew, I think its a real shame that Google bought out Nix software as I think Capture Nx ( I don’t know Capture one and haven’t used it) was actually very good but the user interface was terrible. I am thinking of going back. I have also found that the banding issue with the D7100 is much less of a problem in Nikon View and Capture NX programs, its really bad in lightroom. Its a shame that Cannon and Nikon don’t just sale their Raw conversion to Adobe so that we always get accurate colours.

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    • Tom Dubowski

      I too bought into the D750 after using a crop sensor for a couples of years. I shoot weddings and have always rented a second body. I’m on the fence about getting another D750, or just buying a used D700 for 1/3 of the price. Any thoughts of spending 2k on a body or $600 on a used D700. It’ll be my 2nd body so I plan on using it the entire day. Choices … choices …

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    • Matthew Saville

      Tom, I’d look for used D750’s or Grey Market D750’s, if it’s just going to be a backup camera. Honestly after using the D750 I think it would be annoying to have to use either a D600 or a D700, however I guess if you made me pick, I’d go with a D610. But it would only be a backup camera!

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