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Camera Reviews

Nikon D750 Initial Impressions - User Review

Mike Hagen (Mike_Hagen)

Keywords: d750

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Nikon’s new D750 is marketed as a sports camera and a filmmaker’s tool, but I’ve found it to be a great all-around camera that will serve most shooters very well. I purchased the D750 last week and so far I’ve found it to be a superb camera system. 

nikon d750

There is so much to like, that I am officially giving it one of my highest camera recommendations ever. I like the articulating monitor screen. I like the autofocus system. I like the new menu design. I like the ergonomics. I even like the built-in Wi-Fi features. No camera is perfect however (I don’t want to always sound like a Nikon fan boy), so I’ll detail a few failures at the end of the article.

The D750 does a great job of producing sharp images in a variety of situations.
Here, I used it at a football game with the Nikon 200-400mm f/4.
Click the image for full view.

Over the last few days, I’ve been shooting with the camera in a variety of locations such as along the waterfront, a cross-country meet, macros, nature, wildlife, a soccer game and a football game. In all situations, the camera performed exceedingly well and produced beautiful images. I’ve been basing my assessment of the image quality primarily on JPEG files because Adobe and Phase One Capture One Pro 8 have not yet updated their software to allow for conversion of the Nikon RAW files. Right now, the only software out there that will convert the D750 RAW files is Nikon Capture NX-D.

I have looked at a few of the RAW images in Nikon Capture NX-D and found them to be very sharp with beautiful color just like you’d expect. However, I don’t like using NX-D because the program is very buggy and crashes regularly. As I’ve mentioned previously elsewhere, Nikon stopped supporting their flagship software Nikon Capture NX 2 last summer. It won’t be too long until Adobe and Phase One update their software packages for the Nikon D750; in fact, Adobe Labs has already posted their release candidate for Camera RAW 8.7 here: RC Camera RAW 8.7.


Metering and Bracketing Improvements

The metering system incorporates a brand-new light meter for Nikon called highlight priority metering. The D750 has four light meters now: Matrix Metering, Center Weighted Metering, Spot Metering and Highlight Priority Metering. This latest light meter works by analyzing all areas of the scene for the brightest pixels, then exposes so that the final image doesn’t blowout any highlights.

I took quite a few photos to compare the highlight priority meter versus the traditional matrix meter and found that highlight priority really does work. You do however need to keep in mind that by protecting the highlights, you will most likely block up the shadows as well. This means that you’ll probably have to spend some time in post processing pulling out shadow detail. This new metering mode is best if you are trying to preserve highlights in subjects like bridal dresses or white flowers.

Here, I used the highlight priority metering to hold detail in the white areas of this fishing boat.
Nikon D750, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8.
Click the image for full view.

The bracketing system on the D750 is improved from the other Nikon prosumer camera systems like D7000 and D600. The new bracketing system allows up to nine frames of bracketing just like Nikon’s professional DSLR cameras (D810, D4s). Also, the bracketing system allows one, two or three stops between bracketed frames.

Practically, what this means for me is that I can set up the camera for 5 frames of bracketing and 2 stops between each frame (5F 2.0) and capture the same dynamic range as a typical 9 frame sequence at 1 stop between each frame lie I’d have to shoot on some of the other Nikon models. This means I’m capturing fewer frames in the field, which means longer battery life and less memory storage requirements.

For this surreal picture, I used a five frame bracketed sequence from the D750.
I put it together using Lightroom 5 and Nik HDR Efex Pro 2.
Click the image for full view.


(28 Votes )
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Originally written on December 8, 2014

Last updated on February 23, 2016

Mike Hagen Mike Hagen (Mike_Hagen)

Expert photography teacher

Gig Harbor, USA
Basic, 149 posts


James Smigie (JimDE) on March 7, 2015

Mike, thanks for the review. I thought my D7000 was similar enough to the D750 that I could skip your D750 book but with all the new features you pointed out I will get a copy of your D750 manual. Jim

Harry Frank (hfrank) on January 21, 2015

Still waiting for an APC-sensor camera that doesn't feel like a Cracker Jacks premium and has continuous shooting speed and buffering that exceeds my D300. My way of saying, "Where's the D9300?"

Jonathan Levy (ultinikon) on January 3, 2015

Overall, an excellent review. I question the recommendation for D610 owners relative to frame rate: The two bodies have essentially the same size buffer, so the meager bump in frame rate (less than 10%) is of questionable value.

Ken Pride (Lions) on December 24, 2014

Okay Mike, I realized I had not scrolled to the appropriate page with your buffer/frame rate assessment. Seems like it would not be great for BIFs. Thanks.

Ken Pride (Lions) on December 23, 2014

Hi Mike, would the D750 be suitable for BIF, what is the buffer refresh rate? I currently use the D300 and so far, nothing in Nikons line up of crop bodies is suitable for BIF. cheers, Ken

John Jennrich (jolytoka) on December 19, 2014

Thanks, Mike. Very helpful. I've been frustrated by the lack of RAW processing on my D750. Sometimes, I carry two cameras -- D800 and D750 -- and I have to remember that only the D800 can, as a practical matter, use RAW/NEF right now. Thanks especially for the information on the highlight priority setting.

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on December 17, 2014

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

Peter, Winsor, The 200-400mm is an f/4. The "f/2.8" is a typo we missed. We'll correct it. Thank you.

Richard Luse (DaddySS) on December 15, 2014

Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for  his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Ribbon awarded for his generous contribution to the 2019 Fundraising campaign

Thanks Mike, very informative and much appreciated. Did you try the WiFi feature - is it easy to use/intuitive?

Peter Geran (gearsau) on December 14, 2014

Regarding the football shot . Isn't that lens a Nikon 200-400mm f4 ?

Winsor Crosby (wincros) on December 13, 2014

The D750 does a great job of producing sharp images in a variety of situations. Here, I used it at a football game with the Nikon 200-400mm f/2.8. Not familiar with that lens. Something new?

George Sass (georgesass) on December 10, 2014

I received my D750 last month as an upgrade from my well-used D300S, and I am extremely happy with it. Mike's review is spot on, especially about the excellent ergonomics of the camera. It fits perfectly and securely in my hand...better than the D810. FYI, Lightroom 5.7, which has been available for a couple of weeks, will process the D750's NEF files. And, Douglas Klostermann's excellent D750 e-book is available on Amazon. Thanks again Mike for a such a well written review and helpful sample images.

Stephen Blakesley (lajolla) on December 9, 2014

Thanks for taking the time to write this helpful review. A minor detail regarding d750 NEF import software: if you find the time, take your new d750 to a Seattle area Apple store and upload some of your NEF files to an in-store demo iMac with Retina display. Both the Yosemite OSX and the current Aperture 3.6 will import d750 RAW files.

Tom Schellin (guitarbts) on December 9, 2014

Mike What an awesome review! I can not get this system to let me edit! I tried to give you 5 stars but it did not pick that way. It is a 5 star review and would change if it would let me edit! Thanks, Tom

Ronald J. Sacco (Priest) on December 9, 2014

An informative article that included all the necessary information on the camera's abilities as it pertained to a where it sat in the Nikon line and the reasons or not to purchase the D750. I also like the fact that no words were wasted and the article kept my attention. A very nice job by Mr. Hagen and Nikon.

Chapman Solomon (CorVette98) on December 8, 2014

Thanks Mike for your thoughts and observations regarding the D750. This coming Wednesdday, I am expecting delivery of my D750 w/24-120mm. I was wondering when the preorder will happen for "Mastering the Nikon D750". In the meantime I plan to use "Mastering the D610" until the former is available for sale. One of these days I would like to attend one of your workshops when one is presented in my neck of the woods.

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