Summary

Highly Recommended awardThe Nikon D750 is a very capable high-end DSLR that successfully positions itself between the existing D610 and D810 - a slot which may, at first, seem unnecessary, but which has ended up delivering one of the most compelling models in the range. Nikon's been very careful with the feature-set, picking aspects of both models on either side of it, while adding others that make it unique and arguably the company's most forward-thinking full-frame DSLR to date. So the D750 gives you a 24 Megapixel full-frame sensor in a tough body that's weather-sealed to the same extent as the D810, a 51-point AF system that works in lower light than the models on either side of it, 6.5fps continuous shooting, 1080 video at 60p, 9-frame AEB, and becomes the first full-frame Nikon DSLR to feature an articulated screen and built-in Wifi. It lacks the ultimate resolving power of the D810, not to mention its 1/8000 shutter and PC Sync port, but costs around $1000 USD less while also including Wifi and the tilting screen. It's become my favourite DSLR in the current Nikon line-up.

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Nikon D750 review

Quality

To compare real-life performance, I shot this scene with the Nikon D750 and Nikon D810 within a few moments of each other, both fitted in turn with the same Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G lens, set to f8 in Aperture Priority. Both cameras were set to RAW+JPEG with 14 bit lossless for the RAW and ‘Optimised for quality’ for the Large Fine JPEG. I’m presenting the JPEG results here and will add RAW results once the D750 is supported in Adobe Camera RAW.I shot at the base sensitivity of 100 ISO for the D750 and compared 64, 80 and 100 ISO for the D810. I found the 100 ISO image looked best on the D810, so that’s what I’ve used here. Active D-Lighting was disabled.In my first table I’ve compared the Nikon D750 against the D810 when both are shooting JPEGs using the in-camera settings. As always I’ve taken a number of crops from each image, indicated by the red rectangles in the thumbnail above right, and presented them below at 100%.Both are full-frame models fitted with the same lens, so what you’re comparing here are their respective sensors and image processing styles. In terms of sensors, the D750 is equipped with a 24 Megapixel FX sensor with an anti-aliasing filter, while the D810 is equipped with a 36 Megapixel FX sensor without an anti-aliasing filter. As such you’d expect the D810 to deliver finer detail thanks to its higher resolution and crisper details thanks to the absence of an anti-aliasing filter. But in theory the D810 may suffer from greater moire due to the lack of a low pass filter.A quick glance at the crops below confirms the D810’s greater resolving power, most obviously in the TV antennas, railings, window ledges and brickwork. The details are also crisper on the D810 as you’d expect, but what about the possible downside of moire? I’ve pixel-peeped the D810 image and didn’t see anything offensive in this regard, although of course other subjects could trip it up.But the presence of an anti-aliasing filter on the D750 doesn’t necessarily make it immune to moire. Take a close look at the middle railings on the third crop from both cameras and you’ll spot some tell-tale false colour between some of the poles on the D750 that’s not visible on the D810. Now to be fair, what’s happening here is the railing distance is not within the resolving power of the D750, hence the moire even with an AA filter trying to blur it out. But the D810 avoids it in this particular example simply because its sensor can resolve it. So sheer resolving power here avoided moire even in the absence of an AA filter.

Now once again this is just one example. If the railings were further apart there’d be no problem with the D750, and equally if they were just the right – or wrong – distance for the D810, then things could have got ugly for it. But the bottom line is the D810 is visibly resolving greater and crisper details than the D750 as you’d expect. But don’t disregard the D750 as we’re comparing here it against a camera that Nikon describes as delivering its best image quality yet. The D750 still holds its own very comfortably and I look forward to seeing how well the RAW files sharpen when support arrives from Adobe Camera RAW; I will of course update my review when it’s ready.

Now let’s see how the noise levels compare in my Nikon D750 noise results, or if you’ve seen enough, skip to my Nikon D750 sample images or verdict.

 

Nikon D750 JPEG
Using Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G at f8
Nikon D810 JPEG
Using Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G at f8
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO

Nikon D750 vs Nikon D810 Noise JPEG

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Nikon D750 and Nikon D810 within a few moments of each other at each of their ISO settings. Both bodies were fitted in turn with the same Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G lens, set to f4 in Aperture Priority.Both cameras were set to RAW+JPEG with 14 bit lossless for the RAW and ‘Optimised for quality’ for the Large Fine JPEG. Active D-Lighting was disabled and High ISO NR was set to Normal. I’m presenting the JPEG results here and will add RAW results once the D750 is supported in Adobe Camera RAW.In my first table I’ve compared the Nikon D750 against the D810 when both are shooting JPEGs using the in-camera settings. As always I’ve taken a crop from each image, indicated by the red rectangle in the thumbnail above left, and presented them below at 100%.Both are full-frame models fitted with the same lens, so what you’re comparing here are their respective sensors and image processing styles. In terms of sensors, the D750 is equipped with a 24 Megapixel FX sensor with an anti-aliasing filter, while the D810 is equipped with a 36 Megapixel FX sensor without an anti-aliasing filter. As such you’d expect the D810 to deliver finer detail thanks to its higher resolution and crisper details thanks to the absence of an anti-aliasing filter. But in theory the D810 may suffer from greater moire due to the lack of a low pass filter, and the higher resolution should make it noisier at higher sensitivities.I’ve started the comparison at 50 ISO on the D750 (its Lo1 setting) and 64 ISO on the D810 which is its base sensitivity. At these and the lower ends of their sensitivity ranges, you’ll see a repeat of my outdoor results on the previous page: the D810’s higher resolution is resolving finer details and the absence of an AA filter are making those details crisper. It’s particularly obvious in the patterns on the label of the bottle. So far, so predictable, but at what point – if any – does the lower resolution the D750 enjoy an advantage in noise levels?

I’d say at 1600 ISO there’s a small but visible increase in noise on the D810’s image while the D750 remains clean; this becomes more obvious at 3200 ISO, although there’s still more detail on the D810 image. In terms of detail I’d say both cameras become roughly similar between 6400 and 12800 ISO. Meanwhile at 25600 and 51200 ISO (both extended sensitivities), the D750 enjoys cleaner results, although both are looking pretty nasty at this point when viewed at 1:1.

So judging from these JPEG results I’d say both cameras are equally clean up to about 800 ISO and beyond here the D750 gradually begins to extend a lead – small at first, but by the upper range of the sensitivities by almost two stops.

These results are of course with the in-camera JPEG defaults with High ISO Noise Reduction set to Normal. What they don’t show is how much noise there is to start with, so once Adobe supports the D750’s RAW files I’ll be presenting a comparison using exactly the same processing settings. Another factor to consider is the actual magnification at which we’re looking at the images here. By looking at them at 1:1, we’re actually assuming the D810 image is being presented larger. But what if they were reproduced at the same size where the D810’s pixels would be smaller? To simulate this on-screen, I reduced the D810’s images to 24 Megapixels and have made a second comparison lower on this page. Scroll down to check it out, or head over to my Nikon D750 sample images or skip to my verdict.

 

Nikon D750 JPEG
Using Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G at f4
Nikon D810 JPEG
Using Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G at f4
f4, 50 ISO
f4, 64 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 200 ISO
f4, 200 ISO
f4, 400 ISO
f4, 400 ISO
f4, 800 ISO
f4, 800 ISO
f4, 1600 ISO
f4, 1600 ISO
f4, 3200 ISO
f4, 3200 ISO
f4, 6400 ISO
f4, 6400 ISO
f4, 12800 ISO
f4, 12800 ISO
f4, 25600 ISO
f4, 25600 ISO
f4, 51200 ISO
f4, 51200 ISO

Nikon D750 vs Nikon D810 Noise JPEG at 24 Megapixels

To compare noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot this scene with the Nikon D750 and Nikon D810 within a few moments of each other at each of their ISO settings. Both bodies were fitted in turn with the same Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G lens, set to f4 in Aperture Priority.

What’s different in this second comparison is I’ve first resized the D810 images down to 24 Megapixels using Photoshop before taking the crops, so both models are now presenting the same resolution and reproduction. Note this is not the same as shooting in 24 Megapixels in-camera, and of course there’s the impact of the down-sampling technique, but it gives you an idea none-the-less.

In the comparison below I took crops direct from the D750’s out-of-camera JPEGs, but for the D810 resized the 36 Megapixel images down to 24 Megapixels using Adobe Photoshop with its ‘Bicubic Sharper (best for reduction)’ option.

Now both cameras are showing the same area in the crops, but I think it’s obvious the D810’s crops still contain more detail. This shouldn’t be surprising as it started with more detail and used sophisticated algorithms to down-sample it, but it is revealing none-the-less and perhaps also gives a hint at what the D750’s quality could have been like if it didn’t have an anti-aliasing filter. Again I wouldn’t expect it to look as good as the D810 down-sampled, but the crispness could certainly have been greater.

The sharpening process while down-sampling however has made the noise levels more obvious on the D810, and again at the upper range of sensitivities the D750 is certainly cleaner. But below 800 ISO the down-sampled D810 images still enjoy the benefit of greater detail.

Once again I’ll be updating these noise results with RAW comparisons when the D750 is supported by Adobe Camera RAW, but in the meantime check out my Nikon D750 sample images where I have a bunch of examples at high sensitivities, or skip to my verdict.

 

Nikon D750 JPEG
Using Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G at f4
Nikon D810 JPEG (down-sampled to 24 MP)
Using Nikkor AF-S 50mm f1.8G at f4
f4, 50 ISO
f4, 64 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 100 ISO
f4, 200 ISO
f4, 200 ISO
f4, 400 ISO
f4, 400 ISO
f4, 800 ISO
f4, 800 ISO
f4, 1600 ISO
f4, 1600 ISO
f4, 3200 ISO
f4, 3200 ISO
f4, 6400 ISO
f4, 6400 ISO
f4, 12800 ISO
f4, 12800 ISO
f4, 25600 ISO
f4, 25600 ISO
f4, 51200 ISO
f4, 51200 ISO
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