An excellent sensor, tilting screen and Wi-Fi make Nikon’s latest full-frame SLR attractive to creative enthusiasts
Full-frame photography used to be the preserve of professional photographers, but SLRs like the Canon 6Dand Nikon D610 have made it a more realistic proposition for amateur and enthusiast photographers. Nikon’s latest full-frame camera, the D750 sits above the D610 and below the Nikon D810 in the company’s range, giving enthusiasts another model to choose from.
At the heart of the D750 is a newly designed 24.3-million-pixel CMOS sensor and an Expeed 4 processing engine. Unlike the 36Mp D810, the new camera has an anti-aliasing filter over the sensor.
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This sensor and processor combination enables a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800 with extension settings taking this to ISO 50-51,200. It’s also possible to shoot at up to 6.5 frames per second (fps) and record Full HD video at up to 60p. While 6.5fps is a fair rate, some sports photographers may have been hoping for something a bit higher, perhaps 8fps or more.
Enthusiast videographers will appreciate the stereo microphone and headphone ports along with the ability to fine-tune audio levels in isolation before and during recording. It’s also possible to select the sound range (wide/voice) for adjustment and adjust aperture with buttons rather than dials for smoother, quieter operation. Wind noise can also be reduced when recording with the built-in microphone.
When shooting in Live View or video mode, there’s a handy Zebra pattern display to indicate on the screen which areas are in danger of burning out. The D750 can also output uncompressed footage via an HDMI connection to allow high-quality recording to an external device.
Nikon has given the D750 a new Multi-CAM 3500 II autofocus (AF) module, an updated version of the one in the D810. This has 51 AF points, 15 of which are the more sensitive cross-type and 11 that operate down to f/8, which is especially useful for photographers who want to use an extender with their telephoto lenses. As in the D810, the new Group Area AF mode is available to help when shooting subjects that are comparatively small and against a high-contrast or distracting background.
Exposure metering is handled by a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor and this enables face detection metering even when the image is composed in the viewfinder – although rather unhelpfully you are unable to see when a face has been detected.
There’s also a useful highlight metering option which is calibrated to take greater note of the brightest part of the scene and suggest an exposure that will prevent it from being burned out, but not render it a mid-tone. That could be a blessing for wedding photographers. The spot white balance option that enables white balance to be set from a small part of the scene in Live View mode could also find favour amongst these demanding users – especially those that shoot lots of video.
Like the D810, the D750 uses the EN-EL15 Li-ion battery and when flash is used Nikon claims that it will last for 430 shots. Without flash, this extends to up 1,230 shots. Nikon has also introduced the MB-D16 battery pack to complement the D750 for longer shoots.
Although there are two card slots, they both accept SD/SDHC/SDXC. One can be used as an overflow store or it can operate as a back-up. Alternatively, the camera can send different file types to one card or the other.
While the D750 is compatible with the Nikon’s UT-1 and WT-5 for professional-level wireless image transfer, there’s also Wi-Fi ‘n’ connectivity built-in for the speedy sharing of images and wireless remote control via a smartphone (using Nikon’s Wireless Mobile Utility app).
Taking the lead from cameras like the D5300 lower down in the range, the D750 has seven Special Effects modes including Nigh Vision, Color Sketch, Miniature Effect, Selective Color, Silhouette, High Key and Low Key, which can be applied to stills and movies.
The changes to the Picture Control system introduced with the D810 are also present. This means there’s the new Flat Picture Control mode that produces video footage (and still images) with less contrast, giving greater scope for post-capture grading. There’s also the Clarity control, which enables the micro contrast of images to be adjusted to give the appearance of greater or reduced sharpness, with less risk of halos and over-sharpening problems.