Gear Reviews

Nikon D780 v Nikon D750: 9 key differences

Thinking of trading up to Nikon’s newest DSLR? We highlight the key areas of improvement between the D780 and the camera it replaces…

While some people may think DSLRs are dead, Nikon obviously disagree and launched its latest DSLR in January. The D780 is a full-frame DSLR and replaces the ageing D750 that was launched back in late 2014. Given the time between the two models, it’s highly likely many D750 shooters will be tempted to trade up to the newer model, but is this essential? We’ve drilled down into the specifications sheets to highlight 9 key differences that could sway your decision…

1 – Resolution:

Despite the age gap between the two cameras, there isn’t a huge difference in resolution, with both cameras offering an effective pixel count of 24-megapixels. That may be surprising and may not tell the full story as the D780 features an all-new Back illuminated sensor that uses newer technology than the D750. Both cameras use full-frame sensors so can make use of the FX Nikon lenses and don’t add any crop factor to the focal length. Both cameras can also shoot 14-bit RAW files and the D780 produces a slightly bigger maximum file size of 6048 x 4024pixels (compared to 6016 x 4016pixels from the D750).

2 – Speed

When it comes to the burst mode offered by both cameras there is much clearer water and this will be of great interest to photographers who love to shoot wildlife or sports imagery. While the older D750 could crank out 6.5 frames per second (decent enough for everyday action), the newer D780 increases this figure to a maximum of 12 frames per second – making it suitable for professional wildlife and sports photography.

The D780 and D750 both feature dual SD card slots and weather sealed bodies.

3 – Video

Video is a big deal for photographers these days as more and more people choose to shoot movies as well as stills. While the D750 shoots Full HD at 60p, the D780 greatly expands the video capabilities and can shoot ultra high-quality 4K footage up to 30p. What’s more, the D780 supports both the .MOV and .MP4 file formats, features Nikon’s N-Log profile and offers a fast frame mode, allowing users to film Full HH at 120p to capture epic slow motion sequences.  Both cameras feature ports for an external microphone and headphones so enhanced audio can be captured and monitored.

4 – Battery life

Many photographers favour DSLRs because of the extended battery life they offer in comparison to mirrorless cameras. This is particularly of interest to landscape photographers who are often in remote locations without access to charging points. So, while the D750 offers an excellent battery capacity of 1230 shots on a single charge, the more efficient D780 blows this out of the water, serving up a whopping 2260 shots on a single charge.

The D780’s burst rate is much faster than the older D750’s.

5 – ISO Range

A wide ISO range is important if you intend to shoot images in low light conditions – a common practice for street photographer especially. Again, the D780 bring an upgrade in this area as the new DSLR offers a massive increase in both native ISO (100-51200 compared to the D750’s 100-12800) and also the expanded ISO range, as the D780 tops out at 204800 compared to the D750’s 51200. This ISO range should enable photographers to shoot in near darkness.

6 – Focus points

Along with an increase in speed, the D780 also represents a step up in focusing systems too as the newer DSLR features a hybrid AF system. Along with offering 51 AF points (which can also be found on the D750), the D780 also includes 273 on-sensor AF points that cover 90% of the frame and can be used when the camera is operating in Live View mode. What’s more, the 51-point Phase Detection is sensitive down to -3EV, enabling accurate focusing in low light conditions. The D780’s AF system also includes Eye-Detection AF, making it easy for portrait photographers to achieve accurate focus.

Both cameras feature a 3.2-inch LCD, but the D780’s version is touch-sensitive.

7 – Bluetooth

Once you’ve captured your imagery, you may want to share it with friends or online. The D780 sees the addition of Bluetooth, enabling photographers to take advantage of Nikon’s popular Snapbridge app that enables the fast transfer of content from the camera to a smart device, along with the ability to control the camera remotely too, making adjustments to exposure, white balance and ISO.

8 – Max shutter speed

As we’ve already mentioned, the D780 is likely to be on the shortlist of photographers who shoot a lot of wildlife or sports imagery. These photographers will be pleased to hear that the D780 has a faster maximum shutter speed than its predecessor. In fact, while the D750 tops out at 1/4000sec, the newer D780 raises this figure to 1/8000sec, putting on par with Nikon’s speed king cameras like the D5.

9 – Touch-sensitive LCD

While both cameras offer a large 3.2-inch (8cm) LCD, there’s a big difference as the D780 adds touch-sensitivity to the equation – enabling photographers to establish a focus point by simply tapping on the screen. What’s more, the D780’s LCD is much higher resolution (2359k-dot compared to 1229k-dot from the D750).

The Nikon D780 sees a number of key improvements over the older D750 that could you improve your photography.