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Nikon D750 Initial Thoughts | More A Winner’s Dinner Than A Dog’s Breakfast

By Kishore Sawh on October 10th 2014

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Resentment. It’s strange to begin a review, albeit more of an initial thoughts, speaking of resentment, yet it’s somewhat fitting for what’s at hand. There’s been a lot of it for years now that Nikon gave us the D700 and then had many wet themselves with excitement over the successor, that never came.

A lot has changed in the world of technology since then, and living in a tech world, that means how we do business has changed, consumers have changed, and what people want their images for, and how they are distributed has also changed significantly in that time.

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So there’s been much brouhaha since Nikon let loose that an FX camera was en route bearing the tag 750. The obvious first question on many a mind was, would this be the D700 successor? The answer is no, but it’s also the wrong question. The D700 was a brilliant low light FX shooter for its time, but that time has passed, and we should let sleeping dogs lay. The question is now:

Where does it fit into the Nikon family today?

Nikon has an unprecedented 5 full frame cameras in their current line up, and three of which announced this year alone. There’s the D610, D750, D810, Df, and D4s. In comparison, Canon has 3. So, who is the D750? Does it sit in the family like Kim does in the Kardashians, groping for headlines and making the front page, or is it more like Rob, who sort of tries for the attention, but is unworthy of it? Neither, it sits in the group like the family dog – gets less airtime, and probably deserves the most mention.

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It looks a lot like the D610, sure. The button layout is similar, the size is similar, but in fact, I think it’s more different than alike. It’s slimmer, which allows it to have that new wonderful grip. A grip that even takes my long hands and makes me feel like I’m not pinching with my fingertips. It’s lighter, though weather sealed and still robust; and looking through the eyepiece is reminiscent of looking into the D810 with the large OLED present, and bright view. Then there’s the elephant in the room, the tilt-screen.

[REWIND: Why You Need A Tablet & How It’ll Transform Your Lightroom Workflow]

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While it may look like the D610, it’s not like one. For those of you who looked quickly at the basic spec sheet and thought this was just a D610 in a party frock, you’d be forgiven, but mistaken. It outperforms the 610 in pretty much every conceivable way so far as I can tell at this junction, and I’ll explain that further in the full review, and why I think it’s worth the extra $400.

How about the D810, what I believe is its clearest rival? Again, more will be discussed later, but I think for many, from my usage so far, this is the camera many would’ve wanted instead, and really, unless you’re a D810 user with really expensive glass, this will likely be a good bet. It’s a little faster than the D810, has about the same AF system which they somewhat share with the D4 (though may be a bit better given its new CAM 3500FX II AF module that can shoot down to EV -3 vs -2 in the D810 and D4s), it’s got WiFi, and better for video should you care.

What It’s Like So Far

It’s good. I’m surprised just how good it is at the moment. I haven’t done any high speed testing, or really low light shooting, or really serious shooting with it yet, but so far, it’s good.

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I like the light body. There’s a nice sense when using a heavy camera that you’re wielding something impressive, the Sony RX1 comes to mind, but with a DSLR, when you’re out, on a job, or just out, with heavy DSLR lenses, maybe a battery grip, etc, that weight saving is nice.

The colors represented are alsoo so impressive. I hate to say it, but there has always been something nice about how the Canon 5D Mark III rendered colors, and this reminds me of that. Combine that with the fact the dynamic range is so good, and the white balance is so much better than older Nikon models, it’s really a nice camera to work with. Did I mention how great the auto white balance is? Because it is.

The tilt screen is one of the issues where my verdict is still out. I know it has applications for certain types of photography, but I’m not sure I like that it’s not quite flush with the back, and I have a concern about its longevity.

I’ll be traveling and shooting with this over the next two weeks, after which you can expect the full review. If you have any particular questions you’d like addressed, please do shoot me a line.

CREDITS: All photographs shared by Kishore Sawh are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Sathiaseelan Pitchai

    Waiting to get my hands on it ….

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  2. Nikos Delhanidis

    Question.

    Speculating on sensor size choice for aviation ( to replace my recently stolen equipment ).
    My subject here is aviation / airshows / motorsports.

    I have been so far prioritizing the subject pixel estate and magnification / crop over the sensor size image quality. Haven’t used FF so far. Nor have the option to rent and try where i live.

    Are there advantages of FF worth choosing it over the “extra reach” / higher pixel count of subject offered by crop sensors?

    If I stay at the Nikon side I will have to choose between D7100, D750 and D810. (Especially curious about the value of the D750 IQ over the significant maybe? magnification difference from D7100.

    The lens of interest to couple with the new body probably will be Sigma 150-600 until I gather the funds to replace my stolen 200-400 f/4 class glass

    Thanks

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    • Matthew Saville

      Honestly if I were you, I’d get two bodies. D7100 and D750. It’s really nice to have two bodies for telephoto sports usually, one crop and one FX so that you can maximize what you get with your lenses. I’d buy the D7100 first, since it’s been out a while and can be found on sale, and I’d buy the D750 next, once any potential bugs are revealed and fixed, and/or any lens rebates you might want also begin to add the D750 to their options list.

      Personally I’m happy to buy used gear too, and if I were you I’d buy a used D7100 now and then just keep saving for a D750, and buy it new / used whenever I have enough money saved up…

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  3. Chris Nachtwey

    I finally got my hands on one the other day to check it out. I will take 2 please…lol. Personally, for the work I do this is the camera I’ve been waiting for. The price is so cheap when I think about what it offers to a working pro like myself. The new grip is phenomenal, and I honestly like the tilt screen, I won’t use it all the time, but I can see a use for it in my work. Overall, I can’t wait to buy two of these puppies in the new year!

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  4. Sébastien D’Amour

    I just switched from 2x Canon 5DIII, 24L, 35L, 50L ,85L ,100L, 135L to the new Nikon D750, sigma 35A, sigma 50A, Nikon 85mm f1.8G, Sigma 105 macro and Nikon 70-200 VRII. Coming from 8 years of shooting Canon, I find this camera to have a very workable AF in low light. I had to fine tune AF but now I have confidence in this setup. The DR is pretty amazing, the flexibility if you under exposed a shot in high ISO, you can fix it without a seriously loss of details.

    Tomorrow is the real test, I am shooting my first wedding since switching last week.

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    • George Chan

      How’d it go? I just shot my first wedding with it yesterday also. But I’ve never owned a Canon so I can’t compare.

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    • Holger Foysi

      Perfect choice of lenses. Own the same and am very happy. I like the 85/1.8G most: very sharp, contrasty, nice Bokeh and excellent price.

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  5. Rieshawn Williams

    Excellent first impressions. I am excited to see the full review!

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  6. Eric Sharpe

    I never owned or shot with the D700, so I don’t have much of a point of reference. What I do know is the D700, as great as it is/was, is old tech now. I’m going to buy a new full frame camera, in the Nikon family, because I have nikon glass. For me, and where my budget is, that’s going to be the D750. I don’t care that it does say it’s an enthusiast camera. I’ll still use it to make money.

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  7. Anthony McFarlane

    I am looking forward to this being my first full frame purchase!

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  8. Mark Warren

    I don’t know why this camera has had such a bad run. For amateurs that want to take professional grade photos and purchase a complete system with a modern autofocus the D610 no longer does that. The D810 was firmly on my purchase list until this camera came out, and I was annoyed because I didn’t want to spend money on or need the high mega-pixel count. I guess Nikon have lost a bit of my money from that but I will probably drop it on glass at some point anyway. I’m down right excited by this camera, it has absolutely everything I want. The tilt screen is the only criticism I have only because it separates it from pro level cameras and could easily break. This camera is easily the most complete in the 2-3 thousand dollar range, easily. That is a pretty big price range to dominate.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Mark, I would hardly say that the tilt screen could easily break. I’ve held it, played with it, etc. Its is VERY solid. Under the right convergence of events and being hit the right way could it come off? Sure, but I wouldn’t be worried about it, as in those situations even a standard LCD would likely be damaged.

      I was worried about it at first, but since touching it, and feeling it, the screen doesn’t worry me at all.

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    • George Chan

      Owned this camera for about a week now, very excited about its capabilities and I absolutely love it! The tilt screen is great! However I do see the concerns. Placing the camera in my bag or any containment can lift the tilt screen upwards. No big deal, just lift up, assure screen is flat and re-place the camera. However if in a very rushed situation, with heavy gear/equipment, I wonder how much pressure can this tilt screen handle before it snaps off?

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    • Loretta Nichole

      I too am excited to get my hands on one of these as I’m in the market for a new body. (In every sense of the word! Haha) The lighter weight is definitely a plus! As I said, I really am in the market for a new body as I have parts ready to fall off due to the stresses of years lugging heavy gear.

      I am also a bit concerned with the tilt screen. Not so much because of the risks presented in transit but because.. Well, I have been known to be a bit of a klutz. In my own defense, that isn’t hard to imagine when you’re lugging 2-3 cameras while shooting larger events or weddings. The last thing I need is to add something else to the list of “things that can get hung up on”.

      If only technology could catch up to my Sci-fi photographic fantasies of Go-Go-Gadget camera bodies and auto lens changes on voice command.. Until then, I’ll wait for the reviews from you guys on this camera and continue my endeavors looking like a clumsy octopus with awkwardly large cameras.

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