Review: Nikon’s D750 DSLR

Video DSLRs

External recording and media

Nikon D750 and an Atomos Ninja II recorder
Behind the scenes: configuring the Nikon D750 and an Atomos Ninja II recorder
Connecting an external recorder removes this limitation, allowing eight bit, 4:2:2 capture. But many film makers are wary of relying purely on an external recorder, connected via a flimsy HDMI cable.

Allowing internal and external recording also opens up another option: using the D750 for live production. Outputting uncompressed video to a vision mixer or a computer capture card is a great option, but being able to record a compressed copy of that camera’s video on a low-cost internal media adds both reassurance and flexibility.

In the short film produced for this review, we recorded both internally and to an Atomos Ninja 2 recorder – although the sample video is made entirely from the in-camera, compressed footage.

Other video-friendly features include dual SD card slots – allowing relay recording or dedicating one card to stills, the other to video – a mic input, headphone monitoring with adjustable audio, and no optical low-pass filter, which should make for reduced moiré and other artefacts.

The feature the D750 does not have, though, is 4K video recording. This is a resolutely HD camera, but this brings some advantages, including strong low light performance, a wide dynamic range, and of course, the full-frame sensor.

Most hybrid and DSLR cameras need to crop their image to achieve a clean 4K output, or oversample the picture. Unless done well, this can lead to video noise and artefacts. But the D750’s HD picture is clean.

Experts are split on whether the D750 or the D810 have the better dynamic range; practical experience suggests that the D750, with its 24-megapixel sensor, performs better in low light than the 36-megapixel D800.

Of course, the D800 cannot compete, in low light, with Sony’s A7S. But that camera only has a 12 megapixel sensor, seriously limiting its use for stills. The D750 is significantly better in low light than the Panasonic GH4, and has both more resolution and a shallower depth of field.

Finally, the D750 has WiFi control built in: this is an expensive option on the D810. Nikon’s WiFi camera control application is perhaps not the most sophisticated, but built-in WiFi, once you have it in your workflow, is one of those features that you quickly wonder how you did without.

Next: Taking the D750 on the road