Hands on: Nikon D750 full-frame DSLR

September 14th, 2014 | by Wilson Wong
Hands on: Nikon D750 full-frame DSLR
Imaging
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My first impression of the new Nikon D750, when it was launched earlier this week in Singapore, is its lighter body and smaller size.

The consumer full-frame DLSR camera is smaller than the Nikon D810, and it’s also lighter. It weighs just 750 grams without the battery. The D750 is thinner too, measuring just 7.8cm at its thickest side compared to the D610’s 8.2cm and D810’s 8.15cm.

This is thanks to the new carbon fibre and magnesium alloy housing that sheds the flab and yet retains the same durability and strength as the other Nikon mid-tier DSLRs.

On paper, it may not seem much different. Once in your hands, the lightness and smaller dimension can be immediately felt. It actually feels a little like a typically smaller mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC).

The similarity doesn’t stop there. The D750 also comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and can be paired with a smartphone through Near Field Communication (NFC). A tilting screen is also included for those over-the-head or low-level shots.

D750_Mgbody_01 (Large)

Carbon fibre and magnesium alloy used in the new monocoque structure provides a light yet strong casing.

The image quality is assured with the the same 24.3-megapixel sensor found on the D610. Nikon has also included a 91K-pixel RGB sensor – first found in the D800 – that helps to analyse the images taken and adjust the controls to derive a much more natural looking image.

The number of focus points has also increased to 51 points, 11 more than the D610. The high speed continuous shooting at 6.5 frames per second for both FX and DX (crop sensor) formats will be useful for some sports shooting.

What really piques my interest, however, is the new highlight-weighted metering function used to come up with exposure settings to prevent white colour objects from being over exposed and missing details in the process. This is particularly useful for wedding photographers shooting brides in their white gowns.

The arrival of the D750 does leave big question marks for the D610. The D750 has semi-professional features and functions, including a dual SD card slot, but it does not have the professional user interface found on the more established D700, D800 or D810. To say the D750 is an upgrade from the D700 is not entirely accurate.

What’s clear is that the D750 will replace the D610, itself a redesign to solve the mirror box design problem faced by the D600. Still, it is tough to fathom why there’s such a replacement so early in D610’s product life when it was only introduced in October 2013.

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The mode dial and multi-functional buttons at the back betray the fact that this is more of a consumer camera, unlike the semi-pro D700 that preceded it.

That means the D750 has become an oddball in the Nikon lineup. It may be a good upgrade from the D610 but that would make a lot of Nikon consumers think twice about buying year-old models if they get obsolete too quickly.

To say that the D750 is a semi-professional tool is not entirely true too either, going by its lack of a professional user interface.

A product that is not clearly focused can confuse the buying public. Let’s see what sales will be like come end-September, when the first units go on sale in Singapore.

No indication of prices here yet, though the D750 is out for pre-order in the United States at US$2,300 (S$2,905).

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