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.
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.
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.
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.
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