Nikon D780 vs D750 – Which One Is the Best & Why?

The Nikon D780 vs D750 comparison reveals significant upgrades in the newer model. While both are full-frame DSLRs, the D780 offers improved autofocus, video capabilities, and overall performance. This comprehensive analysis explores their differences, helping photographers decide which camera best suits their needs and shooting style.

Nikon D780 vs D750

 Nikon D780 vs D750  Side by Side Comparison

FeatureNikon D780Nikon D750
Sensor24.5 MP Full-Frame CMOS24.3 MP Full-Frame CMOS
Image ProcessorDual EXPEED 6EXPEED 4
ISO Range (Native)100-51,200100-12,800
ISO Range (Extended)50-204,80050-51,200
Autofocus Points51 (15 cross-type)51 (15 cross-type)
Continuous Shooting7 fps (12 fps in live view)6.5 fps
Video Resolution4K UHD at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps1080p at 60fps
LCD Screen3.2″ tilting touchscreen3.2″ tilting (non-touch)
Battery Life (CIPA)2,260 shots1,230 shots
Weight840g (body only)750g (body only)
Dimensions143.5 x 115.5 x 76mm140.5 x 113 x 78mm
StorageDual UHS-II SD card slotsDual SD card slots (UHS-I)
Wi-Fi / BluetoothYes / YesYes / No
Weather SealingEnhancedStandard
PriceCheck Nikon D780 PriceCheck Nikon D750 Price

Why Do I Recommend Nikon D780 in list style

While both the D780 and D750 are excellent cameras, the D780 offers several compelling reasons for recommendation:

  • Improved Autofocus System: The D780 features an advanced 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors, providing faster and more accurate focusing, especially in low-light conditions.
  • Enhanced Video Capabilities: With 4K UHD video recording at 30fps and Full HD at up to 120fps, the D780 is a versatile tool for both photographers and videographers.
  • Dual EXPEED 6 Processors: These powerful image processors enable faster performance, improved noise reduction, and better overall image quality.
  • Higher ISO Range: The D780 boasts a native ISO range of 100-51,200, expandable to 50-204,800, allowing for better low-light performance.
  • Longer Battery Life: With up to 2,260 shots per charge (CIPA rating), the D780 outlasts the D750’s 1,230 shots, making it ideal for extended shooting sessions.
  • Touchscreen LCD: The 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen on the D780 offers intuitive control and easier navigation through menus and image playback.
  • Faster Continuous Shooting: The D780 can shoot up to 7 fps in viewfinder mode and 12 fps in live view mode, surpassing the D750’s 6.5 fps.
  • Improved Weather Sealing: Enhanced weather sealing on the D780 provides better protection against dust and moisture, ideal for outdoor photography.
  • Advanced Metering System: The 180,000-pixel RGB sensor in the D780 offers more accurate exposure metering compared to the D750’s 91,000-pixel sensor.
  • Dual UHS-II SD Card Slots: Faster write speeds and improved data transfer make the D780 more efficient for high-volume shooting.

Common Strengths

While the Nikon D780 offers several improvements over its predecessor, both cameras share a number of strengths that have made them popular choices among photographers. Here’s a table highlighting their common strengths:

FeatureNikon D780Nikon D750
Full-Frame Sensor
51-point AF System
Dual SD Card Slots
Tilting LCD Screen
Built-in Wi-Fi
Weather-Sealed Body
1080p Video Recording
Time-Lapse Feature
In-Camera HDR
Nikon F-Mount Compatibility
PriceCheck Nikon D780 PriceCheck Nikon D750 Price

Choosing Between the D780 and D750

When deciding between the Nikon D780 and D750, several factors come into play:

  • Budget: The D750, being an older model, is generally more affordable. If budget is a primary concern and you don’t need the latest features, the D750 offers excellent value for money.
  • Video Requirements: If you frequently shoot video or require 4K resolution, the D780 is the clear choice. Its advanced video features make it a true hybrid camera for both stills and video work.
  • Low-Light Performance: While both cameras perform well in low light, the D780’s higher native ISO range and newer image processors give it an edge in challenging lighting conditions.
  • Autofocus Needs: For photographers who frequently use live view or require more advanced autofocus capabilities, especially for video, the D780’s hybrid AF system is superior.
  • Battery Life: If you often shoot for extended periods without access to charging, the D780’s significantly longer battery life could be a decisive factor.
  • Future-Proofing: The D780 incorporates more modern technology and is likely to remain current for a longer period. If you plan to keep your camera for many years, it might be worth investing in the newer model.
  • Lens Compatibility: Both cameras use Nikon’s F-mount, ensuring compatibility with a vast array of lenses. However, the D780’s more advanced features may allow you to get more out of newer, high-performance lenses.

What can both do?

Both the Nikon D780 and D750 are versatile full-frame DSLRs capable of delivering exceptional image quality. Here’s a list of capabilities shared by both cameras:

  • Capture high-resolution images with their 24MP full-frame sensors
  • Utilize a 51-point autofocus system for precise focusing
  • Shoot in RAW format for maximum post-processing flexibility
  • Employ a wide range of Nikon F-mount lenses
  • Create time-lapse sequences in-camera
  • Use built-in Wi-Fi for wireless image transfer and remote control
  • Capture Full HD 1080p video
  • Utilize dual SD card slots for backup or extended storage
  • Shoot in various exposure modes (Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program)
  • Implement in-camera HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging
  • Apply various Picture Control modes for in-camera image styling
  • Use the tilting LCD screen for shooting at challenging angles
  • Employ spot metering for precise exposure in tricky lighting conditions
  • Utilize exposure bracketing for challenging lighting situations
  • Implement silent shooting mode for discreet photography
  • Use interval timer shooting for time-lapse photography
  • Apply various white balance settings, including custom and Kelvin temperature options
  • Utilize in-camera lens corrections for vignetting, distortion, and chromatic aberration
  • Implement focus peaking in live view for manual focus assistance
  • Use the built-in flash as a commander for off-camera Nikon Speedlights

Now that we’ve covered the key comparisons and common strengths, let’s dive deeper into what makes each camera unique and how they cater to different types of photographers.

Nikon D780: The Modern All-Rounder

The Nikon D780 represents a significant leap forward in Nikon’s DSLR lineup, blending the best of DSLR and mirrorless technologies. Its improved autofocus system, enhanced video capabilities, and superior low-light performance make it an excellent choice for photographers who demand versatility and cutting-edge features.

One of the standout features of the D780 is its hybrid autofocus system. In live view mode, it utilizes on-sensor phase-detection autofocus, borrowed from Nikon’s mirrorless cameras. This results in faster and more accurate focusing, especially when tracking moving subjects or shooting video. The 273-point phase-detection system covers approximately 90% of the frame, offering greater flexibility in composition.

Video enthusiasts will appreciate the D780’s 4K UHD video capabilities, which allow for high-quality footage at up to 30fps. The addition of 10-bit N-Log output via HDMI provides greater dynamic range and color information for professional-grade video production. The ability to shoot Full HD at up to 120fps also opens up creative possibilities for slow-motion footage.

The dual EXPEED 6 processors in the D780 contribute to its overall improved performance. These powerful chips enable faster image processing, resulting in reduced noise at high ISOs and improved color reproduction. The native ISO range of 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800) allows for exceptional low-light performance, making the D780 a versatile tool for various shooting conditions.

Battery life is another area where the D780 shines. With a CIPA rating of 2,260 shots per charge, it significantly outperforms its predecessor and many mirrorless competitors. This extended battery life is particularly valuable for event photographers, photojournalists, or anyone engaged in long shooting sessions.

The addition of a touchscreen LCD on the D780 enhances the user experience, allowing for intuitive navigation through menus and easy selection of focus points in live view mode. The tilting mechanism remains, providing flexibility for shooting at high or low angles.

Nikon D750: The Tried and True Workhorse

While the D780 boasts numerous improvements, the D750 remains a capable and popular camera, especially for those who may not need the latest features or are looking for a more budget-friendly option.

The D750’s 24.3MP full-frame sensor continues to deliver excellent image quality, with a good balance of resolution and low-light performance. Its native ISO range of 100-12,800 (expandable to 50-51,200) may not match the D780’s, but it’s still more than adequate for most shooting situations.

One of the D750’s strengths is its ergonomics and handling. Many photographers praise its comfortable grip and intuitive button layout, which contribute to a smooth shooting experience. At 750g (body only), it’s also slightly lighter than the D780, which may be a consideration for photographers who prioritize portability.

The D750’s 51-point autofocus system, while not as advanced as the D780’s, is still highly capable. It performs well in various lighting conditions and offers reliable tracking for moving subjects. The 3D tracking mode, in particular, has been praised for its accuracy in following subjects across the frame.

Video capabilities on the D750 are more limited compared to the D780, with a maximum resolution of 1080p at 60fps. However, for photographers who only occasionally dabble in video or don’t require 4K resolution, this may be sufficient.

The tilting LCD screen on the D750, while not touch-sensitive, still provides flexibility for shooting at different angles. The implementation of built-in Wi-Fi was ahead of its time when the D750 was released, allowing for easy image transfer and remote control via a smartphone app.

How does the D780’s hybrid autofocus system impact wildlife photography compared to the D750? 

The D780’s hybrid AF system, with 273 phase-detection points in live view, offers superior tracking for moving wildlife. It covers more of the frame and performs better in low light, giving wildlife photographers an edge when capturing fast-moving or elusive subjects.

Can the Nikon D780’s silent shooting mode be used effectively for wedding ceremonies, unlike the D750?

Yes, the D780’s silent shooting mode in live view is truly silent, making it ideal for capturing moments during quiet wedding ceremonies without disruption. The D750 lacks this feature, potentially causing distraction during sensitive moments.

How does the D780’s dual EXPEED 6 processors enhance landscape photography compared to the D750’s single EXPEED 4?

The D780’s dual EXPEED 6 processors provide faster image processing and improved noise reduction, resulting in cleaner, more detailed landscape images, especially in challenging light conditions or when shooting at higher ISOs for starscapes.

Is the Nikon D780’s weather sealing significantly better for outdoor sports photography than the D750’s? A: Yes, the D780 features enhanced weather sealing, providing better protection against dust and moisture. This makes it more reliable for outdoor sports photography in challenging weather conditions, reducing the risk of damage or malfunction.

How does the D780’s 4K time-lapse feature compare to the D750’s Full HD capabilities for architectural photography?

The D780’s 4K time-lapse feature offers significantly higher resolution and detail for architectural time-lapses. This allows for more impressive, large-scale presentations of building projects or urban development over time compared to the D750’s Full HD output.

Can the Nikon D780’s touchscreen LCD improve workflow efficiency in studio portrait sessions compared to the D750?

Yes, the D780’s touchscreen LCD allows for quicker menu navigation, easier focus point selection, and more intuitive image review. This can significantly streamline workflow during studio portrait sessions, allowing photographers to work more efficiently and focus on client interaction.

How does the D780’s extended low-light autofocus sensitivity benefit astrophotography compared to the D750?

The D780’s autofocus system can function down to -4EV (or -6EV in low-light AF mode), compared to the D750’s -3EV. This improved sensitivity allows for more accurate focusing on stars and celestial objects, enhancing astrophotography capabilities.

Does the Nikon D780’s built-in focus stacking feature offer advantages for macro photography over the D750?

Yes, the D780’s built-in focus stacking feature automatically captures a series of images at different focus distances and can combine them in-camera. This is a significant advantage for macro photography, allowing for greater depth of field without the need for post-processing software.

How does the D780’s improved buffer capacity impact sports photography compared to the D750?

The D780’s larger buffer allows for longer continuous shooting bursts before slowing down. This is particularly beneficial in sports photography, where capturing extended sequences of action can make the difference in getting the perfect shot.

Can the Nikon D780’s Eye-Detection AF in live view mode significantly improve portrait photography outcomes compared to the D750?

Yes, the D780’s Eye-Detection AF in live view mode can automatically detect and focus on a subject’s eyes, ensuring sharp focus on the most crucial part of a portrait. This feature, absent in the D750, can greatly improve the consistency and quality of portrait shots, especially when working with shallow depth of field.

Key Points of the Nikon D780 vs D750

The Nikon D780 vs D750 comparison reveals two excellent full-frame DSLRs, each with its own strengths. The D780 represents a significant step forward in terms of technology and performance, offering improved autofocus, superior video capabilities, and better overall image quality. Its hybrid nature, blending DSLR and mirrorless technologies, makes it a versatile tool for a wide range of photographic and videographic applications.

On the other hand, the D750, despite being an older model, remains a capable and well-rounded camera. Its tried-and-true performance, excellent image quality, and more affordable price point make it an attractive option for photographers who may not need the latest features or are working within a tighter budget.

Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras will depend on your specific needs, shooting style, and budget. Both cameras are capable of producing stunning images in the hands of a skilled photographer. The D780 offers more advanced features and future-proofing, while the D750 provides excellent value and proven performance.

Whichever camera you choose, remember that it’s just a tool. The most important factors in creating compelling images are your vision, creativity, and skill as a photographer. Both the Nikon D780 and D750 are more than capable of helping you bring your photographic vision to life.