Shooting the Nikon D750 in Tanzania on safari was a great decision. The camera performed almost flawlessly.
As I mentioned in the preliminary review, the Nikon D750 is a killer camera. I’ve been using a D750 almost daily now since October 2014 and have found it to be a very capable camera that can be used in a number of professional environments.
I recently took the body to Tanzania for a two-week Nikonians Academy Safari to see how it would perform in the wilds of Africa. During the trip, I subjected it to the typical safari environment including dust, heat, cold, bumps, bean bags, tripods, long lenses, wildlife, landscapes and people. Read on to see how it performed in the categories that I think are most important.
As you would expect, image quality was superb. The 24MP sensor worked very well for my photography and I found sharpness, resolution and clarity to be very good. I also shot a Nikon D800 on the trip with 36MP and used that camera when I needed ultimate resolution. But for almost everything else, the 24MP D750 was perfect. I’ll be able to blow up the images nice and large while using them for just about any purpose, including the largest wall murals. The camera provides lots of pixels in case you need to crop.
Autofocus was excellent. The new Group AF option works very well for bird-in-flight photography. Tracking was excellent. Acquisition was excellent. Accuracy was excellent. I was very pleased with the D750 AF system for everything from portraits to landscapes to fast moving animals. Nice work Nikon.
The camera shares the same autofocus and metering technology as the D4s and D810. The newest addition to the Nikon AF system is group area autofocus. I found myself switching between group area and dynamic 21 area autofocus depending on the subject. If I was photographing a single animal such as a rhinoceros or a flying bird, then I would use group area autofocus. On the other hand, if I was photographing something where I needed critical focus such as a close up of a lion or potentially trying to focus on a single zebra in a herd of zebra, then I would use dynamic 21 point autofocus.
Low Light Performance
I took a number of shots in Tanzania at night and was very pleased with the camera’s long-exposure performance at low ISOs. This isn’t really a significant achievement for the D750 because DSLR cameras have all done a pretty good job at long exposures at low ISOs. The true test is what the photographs look like at ISOs above 6400 and 12,800.
During my trip, I took a few shots in low light during the morning and evening and found the high-ISO performance to be excellent as well. Shooting at 3200 and 6400 shows a small amount of noise, but it is easily removed in post processing. ISO 12,800 is usable, but you definitely see the noise in the images. I’m never afraid to use the high ISOs when I need to get the shot. One of my common refrains is that you can use a noisy shot that isn’t blurry, but you can’t use a blurry shot without noise.
I didn’t shoot any photographs at the extended ISO values of 25,600 or 51,200, but I know from experience that they probably wouldn’t have been that usable anyways.
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