I really believe that cameras are tools and it’s important to get the right tool for the job. You wouldn’t try to break up a concrete slab with a rubber mallet, you would use a sledge-hammer. My current camera setup is the Nikon D4 as my main camera body with the Nikon D700 as a second body. This has served me well over the last few years but I have started to use the D700 less and less. The files from the D700 just didn’t look as good as the files from the D4. Not really surprising as the D4 was a couple of generations newer. There wasn’t anything really specific that looked worse, it was just the overall look and feel of the images. So I figured I needed to start looking for a new camera to use as a second body.

Now this is really important, I was not looking for a camera to replace the D4 or even match the D4. I needed a camera that could work with the D4 and not cost me $6000 Plus. If I wanted to spend that kind of money I would be getting a second D4 or a D4s. What I needed was a replacement to the D700 and I had two choices, the Nikon D810 and the D750.

D7500Blogheader

Back in September, I got to try out the Nikon D810 at Photoshop World and loved the images it produced, but the file sizes were huge and the frames per second was a little too low. But man, the files were great. So as a comparison, the RAW files from the Nikon D810 are about 50 MB each and with the way I shoot and the number of events a year, that’s a lot of space. The D4 files come in at about 35 MB, the D700 files are about 25 MB and the D750 files come in at about 30 MB. So how does the D750 files at 24 megapixels create a smaller RAW file than the D4 which is 16.2 Megapixels. The key is that the RAW file from the D750 is a lossless compressed file. So I get more megapixels and it takes up less space, that’s a win/win.

The D810 was not the right tool for the job I do. It might be the right tool for you as it is a really good camera.

That brings me to the D750, the newest offering from Nikon. It is a 24.3 Megapixel full frame (FX) sensor camera that can shoot at a 6.5 FPS with an ISO range from 100-12,800. More importantly the files produced at the high ISO settings have less noise than ever before. The camera takes SD memory cards and there is an optional battery grip but unlike the D700, using the battery grip does not improve the fps rate. I have had the camera for a few days and these are my initial thoughts.

  • The camera feels really good in my hand. This is really important to me as the camera needs to be comfortable to use. One of the main reasons I went with Nikon so many years ago is that the Nikon just felt better in my hands than other cameras. The D750 is smaller and lighter than the D700 and yet it feels just as substantial and solid. The grip is comfortable and the controls are all where I expect them to be.
  • It’s quiet. The shutter sounded odd to me when I first used it, but after a while it seemed normal and the D4 sounded really loud in comparison. I can see myself using this camera in situations where I need to be quiet.
  • The LCD is bright and sharp. Comparing the back of the D700 and the D750 is like comparing a TV from the 1950s to a Hi-Def screen of today. It’s bright, clear and really sharp.
  • Picture quality is superb at high ISO. I shot a performance at the Museum of Making Music and the Professional Bull Riders tour over the last two nights which means the lowest ISO I used was 1600. These files are really clean and sharp. I shot the D750 at ISO 6400 all night at the PBR and the files look amazing.
  • Battery life. I have three batteries for the D750 but I used the same battery without recharging for both events and there is still more than 10% power left. That is pretty cool, and with the second battery in the extra grip, I expect this camera to last all day with two batteries.

I have only had the camera for a few days but I am really impressed. Here are some of the images taken at the PBR and Cody Lovass show. All editing done in Adobe Camera Raw.

PBR Velocity Tour / 2014

Nikon D750 – 1/1000 sec, ISO 6400, f/2.8 – Auto White Balance

PBR Velocity Tour / 2014

Nikon D750 – 1/1000 sec, ISO 6400, f/2.8 – Auto White Balance

PBR Velocity Tour / 2014

Nikon D750 – 1/1000 sec, ISO 6400, f/2.8 – Auto White Balance

Cody Lovaas

Nikon D750 – 1/250 sec, ISO 3200, f/2.8 – Auto White Balance

Cody Lovaas

Nikon D750 – 1/250 sec, ISO 3200, f/2.8 – Auto White Balance

Much more to come….

 

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