D750 very initial impressions, coming from a D80

Started May 18, 2017 | Discussions thread
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ProfessorJon Contributing Member • Posts: 534
D750 very initial impressions, coming from a D80

OK, it’s long past time to upgrade from my D80. Yes, I mean D80, not D800. That’s a 10 year old camera. I’ve been generally happy with the D80, but the lack of resolution, low light ability, and dynamic range have kind of driven me crazy at times. My favorite type of photography is aiplanes at night. I also shoot some family, travel, off camera flash, plans during the day, and general “Ooooh, that’s pretty” things. Let’s go full frame D750 and get the kit lens, 24-120. My 50 mm f1.8 G and 70-300 VR will be OK with FX. My 8 mm and 18-135 lenses will not. It’s time for an upgrade.

I’ve had all of 2 hours with the D750. That includes unboxing things, trying out a few buttons, messing around with the settings to get at least a few things to what I like and a few minutes to shoot some frames around sunset. No photos that I am willing to post yet. But thought that I’d provide some impressions. Just in case there are still a few people out there with a D80 and lurking on this board in hopes of being convinced not to get an FX camera. Please move along. There is nothing of interest for you here.

It's big and heavy! Below is a photo of my D80 + 18-135 kit lens on the top and the D750 with the 24-120 on the bottom. The latter is a little bit bigger, the lens is a decent amount bigger. But the new setup is much heavier. I looked up numbers and it's 50% extra weight. This has already gotten fatiguing on the hands and fingers. Worth it, but a change. Weight aside, the ergonomics feel pretty good. Overall, the setup has a feel of quality. Not a big jump from the prior camera, but enough to notice.

The AE/AF lock button is great. It works, works well, and is easy to use. It worked on the D80, but always felt a little awkward. Better now. It's one of the many features that I was hoping to get, albeit this is one of the least important.

The high ISO performance is amazing! I was doing this initial trial in late evening light/dark. ISO 6400 is amazing. Coming from a D80, I'm impressed that 6400 even exists, let alone works this incredibly well.

The menu structure is crazy. So many deep menus and options.

The computer in there is amazingly fast. Scrolling through photos, zooming, deleting, etc. No perpetual lag like the D80. Excellent. It's something that I was hoping for.

The ability to set the OK button for one hit and it goes to 100% zoom to check focus. A super feature created by someone with a big brain.

Many more buttons than I am used to. Some in strange places. It's easy to hit Lv when you mean OK. Just a problem for me, I guess. I'm not used to having 2 buttons over there. It's going to take some getting used to. The "i" button is where the D80 ‘zoom in’ button is. The D750 ‘zoom in’ button is where the D80 ‘zoom out’ button is. There will be a lot of wrong button pressing for me for a while.

The 6 frames per second shooting speed is incredible. The first time I turned that on and pressed the shutter button down to let it go, it was so fast that "Oh my goodness!" came out of my mouth. I think that the D80 is 3 fps. When first looking over the D750 I saw that there is a dial to select between single frame, multi frame slow and multi frame fast. I wondered why anyone would ever need that. Until I set it on fast and saw how quickly the frames spill out with only a brief press of the shutter button. Cool.

One annoyance related to the focus system: All available focus points are in the middle of the frame. Why can't there be selectable focus points at all of the rule of thirds locations? That's something that I figured might have been fixed 10 years later, but I guess not. I think that there might be a technical limitation here regarding autofocus coverage of the view frame.

Another related annoyance: The viewfinder grid does not have line intersections at the rule of thirds locations. Why not? Same with my D80. Not a big deal, though.

Autofocus... is going to take some getting used to. The D80 is not so smart. (Just like me!) So I usually just picked the spot auto focus location manually. There are so many possible spots here with the D750 that it takes a while to flip between them. (And they are not always off the frame center the way I would like to be at times.) So I will miss shots doing it the old, manual way. I am going to need to learn how to trust the camera here. Many different autofocus options, so I will have to figure out the best modes for different situations. It looks like the basic autofocus modes each have submodes of some sort? Not sure how the whole thing works. I need more time with the manual and the camera.

I need to read the entire manual. I was happy to see that they still include a printed manual in the box.

Last to mention, but one of the greatest things here: The dynamic range of this sensor is unreal! I took a shot of the sun through some trees. Metered for the sun so that the trees were all black. Brought the raw file into Photoshop, added +5 stops of exposure (something I’ve never done with any photo before) and all the leaves became green. I can't believe all those data are in there. Subtract -5 stops and the sun is perfectly resolved. The minuscule dynamic range of the D80 always drove me crazy. Yeah, I know that the D750 is supposed to be about the best there is. But wow. It's incredible.

There you go. Just some thoughts on a fun, new toy.

Nikon D750 Nikon D80 Nikon D800
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