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Initial impressions of the Nikon D750

Nikon D750

Nikon D750

When Nikon made their announcement just prior to Photokina in September of this year (2014)  that they were launching the D750, my interest piqued, especially as the specs on paper were ticking all my requirement boxes. The price looked good too!

I have had the Nikon D750 a little over two months now, but have yet to put this camera through any serious testing. Over the following months, I will give this camera a thorough workout. In the meantime, this article will outline my first impressions and why I chose this particular camera.

‘Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all’…why mirrorless of course!’

Before I finally went ahead and purchased the Nikon D750, I did seriously consider taking the mirrorless route. Sony and Fuji have some excellent ones on the market. At this moment in time, I do feel the choice of lenses available are still limited. That said, because these MILC (mirroless interchangeable lens cameras) are much lighter than DSLRs, this is a serious factor to consider, especially if travel and landscape photography is your speciality.

If you are interested in reading more about this topic, Simon Ringsmuth has an interesting article here the whole DSLR versus Mirrorless debate.

Main considerations before I bought the D750

  1. I was looking to upgrade from my APS-C sensor camera to a full frame one. I’m not bothered about the brand – it’s what the camera can do for me.
  2. I wanted more dynamic range, so a larger sensor and megapixels was a prerequisite.
  3. Faster AF system.
  4. Trade-in my older gear to lessen the financial blow, plus it didn’t make sense for me to hang onto to older gear with the current speed of technology.
  5. Video – I want to get more adept at shooting HD video footage.

A camera is an important tool in the photography profession and whatever camera suits your needs and gets the job done is the one for you.

I wanted to upgrade to a full-frame camera and use full frame lenses. My Nikon D300 which has an APS-C sensor had served me well and it was seven years old. I don’t believe in holding on to digital equipment for too long, because it depreciates so quickly. I traded-in this camera with the 18-200mm lens which did make a difference to the final bill.

Ergonomics

When I held the D750 for the first time, the ergonomics felt great. The extra dimension to the grip makes all the difference and it fits very comfortably in my hand. I don’t have large, nor petite hands. The body feels lighter than my previous body and more slimline but still has that solid feel of a DSLR.

Grip-on-the-Nikon-D750

The grip on the Nikon has been extended to allow for a much more comfortable hold.

I got the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 lens with the camera in a bundle deal. In doing so, I got the lens for nearly half of the purchase price. This particular lens isn’t light though, it weighs nearly the same as the camera body, which is about 755g(1.7lb) including the battery. The camera plus this lens was now more hefty to hold.

Nikon-D750-24-120mm f/4-lens+50mm-f/1.8D-lens

Nikon D750 with the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 lens plus the 50mm f/1.8D.

First Test Run

On the day that I took the camera out for its initial test run it was a fantastic sunny day. I had the 50mm f1.18D lens attached. It felt so light, mind you this lens weighs practically nothing in comparison to other lenses.

Immediately, the camera felt very intuitive as I wasn’t fumbling around getting to grips with dials and menu systems. I am biased here given that I am more familiar with Nikon cameras so I had an advantage.

Image Quality

I have to admit that I am a bit of a pixel peeper. This camera has a high resolution 24.3 megapixel sensor, which is reflected in the quality of the images. I was impressed with the detail and color of the images.

Detail-on-dinghy

Zoomed in at 100% to show the detail on the elastic cord on this dinghy.

Autofocus

The speed of the Autofocus was just amazing. It was very responsive and super fast.

Autofocus

The AF was super fast and a dream to use. I was able to focus on the yachts in the background and then re-focus quickly on this part of the rope.

Dynamic Range

I had the opportunity to go on a night shoot in early November. I had never shot at night before, so this was a first. There was a full moon, so seemingly that’s not good if you want to catch star trails. I was happy enough with the moon. When I uploaded the images onto my computer, I wanted to see how much detail I could recover using Camera Raw. I was gob smacked!

Night-shot-original

I took this shot on a night shoot with a group. This is the jpeg version, straight out of the camera.

Night-shot-details-recovered-by-3.5-f-stops

This is the RAW file of the same night shot. However, when I brought it into Camera Raw, I was able to push the exposure by three and half stops to recover this detail, amazing!

misfired-original

This jpeg image that is straight-out-of-camera was taken accidentally while holding the camera down. If you look closely, you can just barely see the highlights from the plastic bag with the batteries in it.

misfired-recovered-by-5-f-stops

This is the RAW file of the same accidental shot processed with Camera Raw, where I was able to push the exposure by five stops.

Adobe have launched camera raw 8.7 for the Nikon D750 but anyone who is using Adobe CS6, can download Photoshop Camera Raw 8.7 here.

Pros

This camera exceeds my expectations and then some with regards to image quality and dynamic range. The autofocus is so responsive and super fast.

I haven’t tested out the WiFi but this would not be a main consideration for me.

However, the tilt screen is a nice feature. This would be particularly useful, especially if you are a wedding photographer and you want to get down low for an interesting point of view or if you want to take an overhead shot at  a concert.

Cons

Not enough time!

I have yet to put this camera through its proper paces. Once I have properly tested out this camera, the cons may present themselves or will they?

Have you picked one up to try it or invested in the D750 already? What are your initial impressions?

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Sarah Hipwell

Sarah Hipwell is an independent professional photographer based in Dublin. She specialises in high-quality corporate, stock and portraiture photography. Her background is in Design. She received her BA in Hons Design from the University of Ulster, Belfast. She has many years commercial design experience working as a designer and as a trainer for large multimedia companies. See more of her work at SarahHipwell.com or at 500px.