Nikon D780 review – preview
Written by Gordon Laing
The Nikon D780 is a DSLR with a 24 Megapixel full-frame sensor, uncropped 4k video with autofocus, 7fps burst shooting through the optical viewfinder and a tilting touchscreen. Announced in January 2020, it’s the long-awaited successor to the D750, launched over five years previously. The previous D750 became one of Nikon’s best-sellers, not to mention one of my personal favourites, balancing great quality, handling and features at a mid-price, slotting comfortably between the entry-point D600 and higher-end D800 series. The new D780 aims to replicate that success, greatly enhancing the live view and video capabilities by inheriting key aspects of the Z6 mirrorless camera, without losing sight of the design and handling that made the D750 so popular.
Nikon’s not saying for certain, but the D780 almost certainly adopts the sensor from the Z6 mirrorless camera, albeit perhaps tweaked for DSLR use. As such it shoots 24 Megapixel images with a full-frame sensor, films uncropped 4k video at 24, 25 or 30p (with a 10-bit option over HDMI), supports 1080 up to 120p for slow motion, and features confident embedded phase-detect autofocus with face and eye detection in Live View. So while the photo resolution may be the same as the D750, the video quality is much improved and the autofocus for both movies and Live View is a huge step-up.
If you shoot through the optical viewfinder, you’ll find the same 51-point AF system as the D750, but now coupled with a more capable metering sensor from the D5 which promises better tracking in addition to more confident evaluation of the exposure. The fastest burst shooting speed through the viewfinder is 7fps, although switch to the electronic shutter in live view and you can boost it to 12fps. Completing the upgrades are Dual UHS-II card slots, USB-charging, a touchscreen that angles vertically, SnapBridge wireless with Wifi and Bluetooth, and a fastest shutter of 1/8000, although D750 owners may lament the loss of the popup flash. Ultimately the D780 is all about refreshing one of Nikon’s most popular full-frame DSLRs with the live view and movie benefits of the mirrorless Z6 while retaining a DSLR optical viewfinder and native F-mount capability. As such it’s a solid offering, although do compare closely with the Nikon Z6 mirrorless which may not have dual slots but is cheaper and has a native Z-mount as well as F-mount support via an adapter.
Check prices on the Nikon D780 at B&H, Adorama, or Wex. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!