Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

Started Oct 1, 2014 | Discussions
Hans vdC
Hans vdC Veteran Member • Posts: 3,349
Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

Looking for some unbiased opinions (yeah I know, difficult). Anyway, I'm thinking very much to get a FF camera to complement my A6000 and RX100M which I'll keep for those moments when weight or compactness matter.

But for all those other moments, and I do a wedding now and then and a lot of indoor work (kids, moving!!), I would get a FF camera. So compactness isn't exactly the most important thing. Things that DO matter in those situations though are AF speed, AF accuracy and lens selection. I'm currently debating between this:

Nikon D750 + 24-120/F4 (kit) + Nikkor 50mm/1.4 (total cost = € 2.799 + € 345 = € 3.144)

or

Sony A7(s) + 24-70/F4 + FE55mm/1.8 (total cost = € 2.299 + € 1.100 + € 899 = € 4.298)

So the Sony would cost me quite a bit more. Which one would you recommend, considering you know I also have an a6000 for weight/compactness (with some very good glass). Still a bit unsure about going to Nikon since I've been shooting Canon for all my life, but the deal I got for the D750 is really very good and the specs/reviews seem to point out that the Nikon could very well be the camera I'm looking for.

I could also go for the Sony A7 which would save me about € 1.000, so then total price would be about the same as the Nikon, but I'm not sure the A7 is either fast enough or if the low light sensitivy is as good.

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Nikon D750
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M Lammerse
M Lammerse Forum Pro • Posts: 11,467
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide
4

Hi Hans,

***Looking for some unbiased opinions (yeah I know, difficult). Anyway, I'm thinking very much to get a FF camera to complement my A6000 and RX100M which I'll keep for those moments when weight or compactness matter.***

Welcome to the most unbiased forum on DPreview!

***But for all those other moments, and I do a wedding now and then and a lot of indoor work (kids, moving!!), I would get a FF camera. So compactness isn't exactly the most important thing. Things that DO matter in those situations though are AF speed, AF accuracy and lens selection. I'm currently debating between this:***

Hans, why do you think that professional photographers, if it is wedding or photojournalism use almost all DSLR's?
Nikon will give you a system, which whatever will happen can be used decades to come. A system which you can expand or (seeing that money is a reason to choose and not really a need) sell if it is not your thing after all.

***since I've been shooting Canon for all my life, but the deal I got for the D750 is really very good and the specs/reviews seem to point out that the Nikon could very well be the camera I'm looking for.***

If you still have Canon lenses/equipment I would be looking into Canon if I was you.

***I could also go for the Sony A7 which would save me about € 1.000, so then total price would be about the same as the Nikon, but I'm not sure the A7 is either fast enough or if the low light sensitivy is as good.***

I think the best for you is to ask yourself what you really need. If you need the best of the best than make money not the reason to choose. All systems will give you excellent imagery, Sony, Nikon Canon, they all do. Question is what will you do in 5 years with it? So if you're planning to make photography a long lasting hobby/semi-professional thing, I would advice you to invest into a system which will give you guarantee that it can be extended in the future, so choose Nikon or Canon.

Michel

Hans vdC
OP Hans vdC Veteran Member • Posts: 3,349
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

Thanks for your reply. Forgot to add some crucial information: I have been shooting Canon for the past 10 years (even longer I think) but recently sold my Canon 5D3 + L lenses because I didn't use the Canon that much anymore and paid work was not enough to justify keeping it. As these things often go, I recently got some job offers and could use a more professional system. Not that I can make a living of off it, but still a mirrorless aps-c won't suffice for what I need to do. I have done quite a few weddings the last few years and about 5 paid events (mosly in churches or indoors)/year.

Money isn't exactly an issue (got quite a nice budget after selling my 5D3), but I wonder if the Sony-route is a sensible one to take, especially in regards to AF speed and low light performance. Let alone lens selection...

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StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,387
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide
1

Hans von der Crone wrote:

Thanks for your reply. Forgot to add some crucial information: I have been shooting Canon for the past 10 years (even longer I think) but recently sold my Canon 5D3 + L lenses because I didn't use the Canon that much anymore and paid work was not enough to justify keeping it. As these things often go, I recently got some job offers and could use a more professional system. Not that I can make a living of off it, but still a mirrorless aps-c won't suffice for what I need to do. I have done quite a few weddings the last few years and about 5 paid events (mosly in churches or indoors)/year.

Money isn't exactly an issue (got quite a nice budget after selling my 5D3), but I wonder if the Sony-route is a sensible one to take, especially in regards to AF speed and low light performance. Let alone lens selection...

You may have answered your own question. I don't know if D750 would equal the D7s for high ISO but you need to ask the question how long is 12mp going to be enough. Even though the Nikons flagship is 16.2mp, 24mp seems to becoming the new standard. We expect Nikon's D5 will probably be 24mp or something in between. The D750 has exceeded my expectations. I'm still testing it out but have been pleased with the results so far. This could possible be the 2014 camera of the year. Anyway that's just one man's opinion.

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Hans vdC
OP Hans vdC Veteran Member • Posts: 3,349
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

And your opinion is very much appreciated! Very much leaning towards the d750, mainly because of all those first hand positive reviews. I love my a6000 but it's just too noisy from iso1600 and up indoors. Great travel kit though.

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StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,387
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

Hans von der Crone wrote:

And your opinion is very much appreciated! Very much leaning towards the d750, mainly because of all those first hand positive reviews. I love my a6000 but it's just too noisy from iso1600 and up indoors. Great travel kit though.

Interesting about the a6000. Just picked one up for AstroPhotography.  Seen some very good results from telescopes and the a6000.  Hoping to try it out soon as the evenings start to cool here in Arizona.

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jep10 Regular Member • Posts: 222
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

If you are happy with the ergonomics and overall system of Sony (e.g. a6000) and you can swing the extra money then I think you may be happier with the A7s. You could also forgo the FE55 lens even though it is a very fine lens to save money. You could also go the Metabones adapter with Canon lens route if you have any nice Canon lens remaining.

It sounds like ultimate ISO range is what you are after and the A7s is thus your ticket. Plus if you are happy with the a6000 you can use your FE lens on the a6000.

Now the D750 is a very, very nice camera and the better overall system. However, I don't know if it makes sense for you to invest in yet another system. You will get a better native lens selection, better flash, less quirks, more responsive camera, etc...

Given what we know, if you go with Sony, expect to keep the system relatively small. I don't think Sony will ever build out the system like Canon or Nikon. If you want to have more options available then go with the standard Canon/Nikon.

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miamied Junior Member • Posts: 31
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

let's see

a7s about 10 to 15% smaller and maybe 30% lighter. no built in flash. best lens are $900 or more and those lens r not as good as the best in nikon's lineup that cost half that amount. Live view is much much better. Nikon's is not to good actually pretty bad in live view. Other then that Nikon has it beat by a lot.

cm71td Regular Member • Posts: 464
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide
6

I don't think that the 12MP is an issue, but I do think that the a7s autofocus will be a major problem. I haven't personally tried the a7s, but I have tried Fuji mirrorless cameras. Trying to focus on moving people can be incredibly frustrating.

I would certainly rent an a7s before investing in the system.

ImageAmateur Veteran Member • Posts: 4,907
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : Lens prices

One thing that surprises me on the 'other' non Canon and Nikon brands is lens prices.

Canon and Nikon get a lot of heat for being who they are, but when one looks at the lens prices, new, they are actually VERY reasonable for top grade quality.

M 4/3 lenses are ridiculously expensive.

While Fuji and Sony (made by Zeiss, which is likely the Cosina factory (my guess)) are reputed to make wonderful lenses, they are expensive.

So, I would consider Canon and Nikon to be a better system choice from that viewpoint.

One could acquire three 1.8 lenses say, 28 1.8, 50 1.8 and 85 1.8 for a grand total of about USD 1,400 and throw in the 70-200 f4 and you have a lens selection of high optical quality and fast lenses, all for about USD 2,800.

Try that with any of the alternatives. I don't think you are going to be able to get such optical quality, sensor and lenses, for that elsewhere.

And, there are more choices for the 'special' lenses at your favourte focal length, say 35mm 1.4 or 24mm 1.4.

Then, the third party lenses are all made first for Canon and Nikon.

Whether Sigma or Zeiss.

And, there are all the wonderful older AF-D and AI lenses out there, such as the 85mm 1.4 AF-D, which sellers at about USD 750 in excellent condition.

Try getting something in that focal length for such price with M 4/3.

In short, I don't think you can beat the Nikon, if you are looking at long term system use.

Just something I think some don't always state outright when looking to choose systems.

Regards

PS - and how about if you sell a lens, which do you think you will be able to sell at a fair price? I suspect the Nikon.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,348
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

miamied wrote:

let's see

a7s about 10 to 15% smaller and maybe 30% lighter. no built in flash. best lens are $900 or more and those lens r not as good as the best in nikon's lineup that cost half that amount. Live view is much much better. Nikon's is not to good actually pretty bad in live view. Other then that Nikon has it beat by a lot.

Yeah. Sure. Or maybe not - this is from DPR's review of the 55mm f1.8 E mount:

"The scale of Sony's achievement here becomes clear when comparing the FE 55mm F1.8 directly to the Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4, which lays a strong claim to being the best lens for which we have test data. The Otus still just about comes out on top - it measures as slightly sharper wide open - but it's unlikely any difference will be particularly visible in real-world photography. The Otus also just about wins out on chromatic aberration and distortion, but overall the Sony can certainly wear its Zeiss badge with pride.

Compared to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II or Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G, the Sony is quite simply in a different class in terms of wide-open sharpness. This is only to be expected, given its much higher price and far more modern design, but it does give some idea of why Sony feels it can charge a premium for the lens. The Zeiss also beats Nikon's latest, and even-more-pricey AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G for sharpness in these tests - it really is very good indeed."

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Another Godless Atheist for Peace and World Harmony

Grevture Veteran Member • Posts: 4,188
In a way pretty obvious ...
5

Hans von der Crone wrote:

Looking for some unbiased opinions (yeah I know, difficult).

Well, an opinion is by its very definition biased, so that will indeed be difficult

Anyway, I'm thinking very much to get a FF camera to complement my A6000 and RX100M which I'll keep for those moments when weight or compactness matter.

But for all those other moments, and I do a wedding now and then and a lot of indoor work (kids, moving!!), I would get a FF camera. So compactness isn't exactly the most important thing. Things that DO matter in those situations though are AF speed, AF accuracy and lens selection. I'm currently debating between this:

For AF speed, and AF control (like controlling which focus points actually being used), and AF predictability, a good DSLR is still very hard to beat. AF accuracy is a bit more iffy, but if you are referring to consistency in achieving focus in a wide variety of situations, yes, then DSLR AF is accurate. (When it comes to focus precision, mirrorless tend to be better though.)

And among mirrorless, the AF performance is basically reverse proportional to the sensor area. The smaller the sensor, the faster and more useful sensor-based AF. And the A7s has a very large sensor ... A colleague of mine tried one for street photography, but the AF drove him mad. It is slow and hesitant, and your ability to control its behaviour is severely limited.

As for lens selection mirrorless cameras are in theory great, you can use almost anything with a adapter. But, then the AF bit get a bit difficult Overall, Canon and Nikon are miles ahead everybody else in terms of lens selection. Very clearly so in terms of new lenses, and even more so when looking at availability of used lenses.

Nikon D750 + 24-120/F4 (kit) + Nikkor 50mm/1.4 (total cost = € 2.799 + € 345 = € 3.144)

or

Sony A7(s) + 24-70/F4 + FE55mm/1.8 (total cost = € 2.299 + € 1.100 + € 899 = € 4.298)

(since I read some of your previous answers )

or

Eos 5D Mk3 + 24-105/4 + 50/1.4 (total cost € 3550 + € 310 = € 3870)

So the Sony would cost me quite a bit more. Which one would you recommend, considering you know I also have an a6000 for weight/compactness (with some very good glass). Still a bit unsure about going to Nikon since I've been shooting Canon for all my life, but the deal I got for the D750 is really very good and the specs/reviews seem to point out that the Nikon could very well be the camera I'm looking for.

I read you used the Eos 5D Mark III before. It has Canons top AF system, the D750 has Nikons top AF system, no big difference there. They are about equally fast in terms of framerate. The D750 has a tad more resolution, slightly better DR (easier to lift shadows without ill effects) and built in wifi. On the other hand you are used to Canon handling and overall behaviour, and how to work with their files - a lot less to re-learn.

As for the A7s, I think you will love its low light capablities, its size, weight and overall feel. But I suspect you would be frustrated over its slowness (2.5 fps with AF) and slow and hesitant AF. And the lack of control of how the AF operates.

I could also go for the Sony A7 which would save me about € 1.000, so then total price would be about the same as the Nikon, but I'm not sure the A7 is either fast enough or if the low light sensitivy is as good.

The low light capabilities are actually not far off, its is after all a very similar sensor to the D750, but the AF is not nearly as good as in your A6000 (with is smaller sensor) and not nearly as fast and useful as in a D750/Eos 5D.

I am not at all unbiased - I love a big bright OVF, I like fast cameras, I absolutely love both Nikons top level AF system (the 51 point system) and Canons top level AF system (the one in 5D Mark III, 1D X).

But ... I actually really do like the A6000 (I have tried it quite a bit), it is in my eyes one of the very best mirrorless cameras yet - it rivals the more pricey Oly E-M1 and Fuji X-T1. These three cameras are among the first mirrorless which, in my eyes, really stand up to DSLR's in terms of overall system performance. They are fast, have fast responsive EVF's, they have nice handling and can actually focus on moving subjects.

I sort of like the A7 cameras (i have used both A7 and A7r) ... But their overall speed and AF performance ... No, they are not there for me yet. They are a bit to slow, a bit to cumbersome in terms of handling.

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Mtlsx Regular Member • Posts: 160
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

Best answer so far imo.

I don't know if you'll cover the cost of renting, but it certainly beats spending 3 to 4k for a couple of paid weddings and be dissatisfied with it. If you really get a lot more paid work that would well cover your time spent, expenses and the cost of buying into a system, then do it.

Now that you're mostly free from an expensive system (FF Canon/Nikon/Sony) I would take the opportunity to see what's coming before jumping into another system you may want out in a couple of years. See what Sony, Canon, Nikon are going to come out with: dual pixel FF, electronic global shutter, higher Mpx, or whatever you think would contribute to your shooting style.

After a handful of wedding work you'll have a better idea of what you need and what either camera can achieve for you. Coming from a 5D3 with L glass (too bad you sold it!), you should know fairly quickly what work for you.

My impression without real world use is that the D750 does seem like a great wedding camera. Where the A7s shine is very-high iso performance and video.
In an ideal world you would use a d750 for most stills and the A7s where the d750 lacks. That's where my only gripe with the Nikon lens system is, they are fewer adapters for mirrorless and less compatibility: Aperture control, AF or even AF confirm, metering

Ideally you would have kept your 5dIII and bought an A7s...

cm71td wrote:

I don't think that the 12MP is an issue, but I do think that the a7s autofocus will be a major problem. I haven't personally tried the a7s, but I have tried Fuji mirrorless cameras. Trying to focus on moving people can be incredibly frustrating.

I would certainly rent an a7s before investing in the system.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,348
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide

cm71td wrote:

I don't think that the 12MP is an issue, but I do think that the a7s autofocus will be a major problem. I haven't personally tried the a7s, but I have tried Fuji mirrorless cameras. Trying to focus on moving people can be incredibly frustrating.

I would certainly rent an a7s before investing in the system.

Although to be fair, every review I have read has stated that the AF is very good. One in fact described it as 'at least as good as the best M43 out there'.

It is important to note that all 3 A7 variants have different AF systems/abilities. And to note that one of the adaptors for the A mount lenses includes SLT with PDAF.

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Another Godless Atheist for Peace and World Harmony

cm71td Regular Member • Posts: 464
Re: Nikon D750 vs Sony A7s : help me decide
1

I think the only real advantages of the A7s are size, and high-iso. The D750 has just about everything else (AF, frame rate, battery life, resolution, low ISO DR, lens selection, etc..)

Based on hearsay, the D750 has a little better high ISO that the D610, so it should be at least as good as the A7s up to ISO 3200.

My question would be how much do you shoot at iso 6400 and above?

If you don't shoot shoot much above ISO 3200 and don't mind the larger size, the D750 seems hard to beat.

Hans vdC
OP Hans vdC Veteran Member • Posts: 3,349
Re: In a way pretty obvious ...

Went to the shop and handled both the Nikon and A7 (both without batteries though). The a7 really felt nice, the Nikon is a lot heavier as expected but got a nice grip to it. Liked both. I might wait a bit and hope Sony releases an A7 with the a6000 af.

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StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,387
Re: In a way pretty obvious ...

Hans von der Crone wrote:

Went to the shop and handled both the Nikon and A7 (both without batteries though). The a7 really felt nice, the Nikon is a lot heavier as expected but got a nice grip to it. Liked both. I might wait a bit and hope Sony releases an A7 with the a6000 af.

Take your time and make sure what you want. Sometimes the difference is how it fits in the hand. Now I come from the otherside with heavier cameras the D750 feels light but the a6000 feels small and lighter. But I got the a6000 for it's lightness and no mirror for hanging off a telescope.

Now are you referring to the A7(24mp) or the A7s(12mp)?

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Hans vdC
OP Hans vdC Veteran Member • Posts: 3,349
Re: In a way pretty obvious ...

I held the A7 but the A7s is the same (body wise). If Sony announced the A7 with decent low light performance and AF, silent shutter I'd be sold.

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StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 4,387
Re: In a way pretty obvious ...

Hans von der Crone wrote:

I held the A7 but the A7s is the same (body wise). If Sony announced the A7 with decent low light performance and AF, silent shutter I'd be sold.

I could see that. 12mp might be nice now but in a few years?  I been hanging onto my D700 because it has been a reliable camera but I've been doing more with the D7100 and D800 lately.  Now the D750 will even take more of the action.

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Grevture Veteran Member • Posts: 4,188
Probably a few years away still ...

Hans von der Crone wrote:

Went to the shop and handled both the Nikon and A7 (both without batteries though).

That is btw another factor - with a A7 you might need several batteries for a single assignment. CIPA numbers are pretty telling: 340 vs 1230 images on one charge ...

The a7 really felt nice, the Nikon is a lot heavier as expected but got a nice grip to it. Liked both. I might wait a bit and hope Sony releases an A7 with the a6000 af.

Sony probably would love to give the A7 the same AF performance as the A6000, but that will probably be a few years off still. It is only quite recently they have been able to get the kind of readout speed necessary for decent AF performance from APS-C sensors (the A6000 and the XT-1 was the first cameras to achieve decent sensor based AF with APS-C). Getting similar readout speeds from FF sensors are probably a few years away still.

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