I get gear questions all the time so I figured why not just talk about what Im working with and what my impressions are.
Over the last year I've moved more heavily into video so I've had a pressing need to get a more video-centric camera. My D4 has great video, but it is my go-to photo camera. My D600 is my old faithful back up, but its photo/video quality is starting to show its age.
Enter the Nikon D750. It's been hailed to have the high-iso capability of the D4, mixed with an impressive suite of video options.
Selling points for me:
- Full HD video at 60FPS -- slow motion video is clutch when shooting any sort of sizzle/highlight reel. Most full frame DSLRs can only do 1080 at 30, or 720 at 60fps. You can't upsize your video so if you hope to mix between regular speed and slowmo clips, the entire project has to be shot @ 720. With the D750, full HD video is here.
- High-ISO performance without a $6000 price tag. Because of the nature of where and how I have to shoot, high-iso is my starting point. My D4 is a champ, but it comes with a steep price tag. My D600, while adequate as a second body, definitely has it's limitations in the ISO4000+ range.
- Batteries -- instead of being a royal PIA, Nikon stuck with the battery the D800/D700/D600 use, and I have a whole bunch. Not a big deal on its own, but when traveling/packing and doing the hotel room thing, every charger you don't have to bring because everything works with the same system is huge. It's one less wire you don't have to worry about forgetting.
So how did it handle on day 1? I'll run through some impressions and samples.
All shots above: Nikon D750, Tamron 24-70 2.8, 1/500th, F2.8, ISO 8000 -- edited in Lightroom 5.
Shot in RAW, auto WB, continuous focus, D9.
Some quick shots during a group WOD at CrossFit Island Park (homebase). We've got fairly even fluorescent lights (a huge improvement from our old lights), but no natural light. The only camera I'll use in here is my D4, and usually I'll only shoot with a prime lens to get that extra light while limiting my ISO. I wanted to go right up to 8000 to see how it went.
I'm not a pixel-peeper. As long as the eyes are sharp, I don't really care about noise or grain. No noise reduction has been applied to these shots, and I can certainly see the noise in the corners but don't have any problem with it. I would say these shots are on par with my D4 with the same lens setup, if not slightly better. This will require a whole lot more shooting to really get into.
One surprise though, the buffer is awesome. With my D600, if I'm shooting a sequence with a few clicks over 3-5 seconds, I can feel the buffer starting to slow down. This was extremely responsive though and I never hit a slowdown.
My only disappointment with the camera at this point is the shutter. And I mean the sound. The D4 has an extremely satisfying metallic click. It almost has recoil to it like a bolt action rifle. This guy, not so much. It's quiet and soft with a plastic feel. This has no barring on the performance of the camera, but is just something you notice.
I didn't bring out the whole setup or spend too much time presetting things in the camera.
1080/60, shot @ 125th F4, Auto ISO (ranged between 1600-5000) Tamron 24-70 2.8
No stabilizers, rig, or tripod (sorry for the blair witch quality)
Audio though Rode Pro Mic, Set to Manual level 2
Edited in Premiere
After a quick edit I think the video looks noticeably better to the D600. The 1080 is great and crisp. I played around with auto iso (not something I've used before) and wasn't thrilled with the results because some of the clips came out underexposed. In the future I'll just go back to good old manual. The camera itself has the most robust suite of video settings and menus I've seen on a Nikon DSLR and it was nice to see these weren't an afterthought (how DSLR video is normally handled by them). I also wasn't paying too much attention and left auto WB on, hence the lackluster color. With that setting dialed in, I'm sure the video will be much more clean.
I'm looking forward to hooking this guy into the full rig with a monitor and stabilizer to really see crisp I can get the video.
After shooting with this guy with just one lens for about 30 minutes, I'm happy. It looks to be doing what it claims to be able to do. I'll put it to the real test this weekend shooting Open WOD 15.5 and get a better impression of how well this performs. If you actually want a full review, let me know and I'll put it on the list!
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