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I’m John Fÿn – Professional photographer with a passion for automotive, architecture and landscapes. This blog keeps you up to date with my adventures and insights.

NIKON D750 VS D810

WHICH CAMERA SHOULD YOU BUY

I realise that this one seems like a no brainier; Nikon D750 vs D810 a comparison especially for those photographers (yes… me), who are completely caught up in the reviews and excitement about the new Nikon D810. Bear with me, though, because I’m trying to come at this from a practical standpoint.

Yes, the D810 is an incredible camera that is the right choice for many photographers. However, there are some very valid reasons that you should not count out the D750. It’s an awesome and relevant camera, and as of right now, it’s still my main DLSR body. Read my thoughts on this matter and my hopes for what may follow.)

Let’s do a brief comparison of both bodies, check out the real world specs and see which one might be right for you.

Nikon D810 Body in the Nikon D750 vs D810 comparison

Nikon D810 Body in the Nikon D750 vs D810 comparison

NIKON D810

In the Nikon D750 vs D810 battle, first up – The brand new D810 is Nikon’s most ambitious, and perhaps most hyped HD-DSLR camera to date. With it’s 36.3 megapixel CMOS FX sensor, it delivers image resolution that rivals medium format. It also blows every other Nikon completely out of the water when it comes to Full HD video capability.

Essentially, the D810 is a media making machine. It shoots a variety of image sizes in multiple image formats: FX (full frame, 24×36), 1.2x (30×20), DX (1.5x 24×16), 5:4 (30×24), and seven different video resolutions. The largest image that the D810 can produce is a 14-bit RAW file, which is a 74.4 MB and 7,360 x 4,912 pixels.

With dual CF/SD card slots, a built in mic, stereo mic jack, time lapse photography options, a 51-point AF system, EXPEED 4 image processing engine, Advanced Scene Recognition System, a built in pop-up flash and a newly designed, highly ergonomic body that’s even small and lighter than the D800, the D810 is an awesome little camera. In fact, many of the same features that are found on the flagship D4 have been brought to the D810 as well.

However, is it a perfect camera? Not quite. The D810 does have limitations. In packing all that resolution into each shot, the Nikon engineers had to compromise in a couple of areas. The main limitation in most people’s eyes is the reduced frame rate. Max frame rate on the D810 is only 5 fps, which seems a little slow in this day and age. But in DX mode, you can get 6 fps, and even 7 fps with the optional battery grip. That’s fast for 36 megapixels!

The D810 comes with some hidden costs that don’t always get mentioned. First of all, to take advantage of it’s 36 megapixel sensor, you’ll need the best quality lenses. This pretty much means pro quality “gold label” Nikon lenses. You may find that some lower price glass and “kit” lenses just won’t hold up when shooting in maximum resolution. 36 megapixels will show any imperfection in both equipment and technique.

Also, 74 MB RAW files could very well mean that you’ll need to upgrade software, hard drives and possibly even a new computer, not to mention a whole slew of new memory cards. Are you sure you’re ready for that yet? A £2700 D810 camera could easily become a £5-7,000 investment. More if you throw in new lenses.

NIKON D750

Nikon D750 Body in the Nikon D750 vs D810 comparison

Nikon D750 Body in the Nikon D750 vs D810 comparison

Nikon has also announced a highly anticipated replacement for the ever popular D700. It’s lived a good life so far, and even though it’s been dropped from the lineup, there are still a few to be found online. With it’s 12.1 megapixel full frame FX CMOS sensor, EXPEED image processing engine and excellent low light, high ISO shooting capabilities, the Nikon D700 produces very high resolution 4,256 x 2,832 images and has become the favourite DSLR for many professional adventure and outdoor photographers.

The new Nikon D750 has been long awaited by fans that thought the D600 series was a little basic. Sporting a new 24.3 megapixel sensor and able to shoot at 6.5 fps natively (in FX mode and without a battery grip), this camera deserves a lot of attention. Designed with sports in mind, hence the fast frame rate, also can shoot 1080p video with stereo sound. Built with the exact same Expeed 4 processor, 51 point AF focus and 100-12800 ISO, not much sets this camera apart from the D810. It also has a tilting LCD monitor which is useful for shooting above peoples heads (there’s that sports feel again), and also very useful for macro shots low to the ground. Build in Wifi is standard and even the D810 doesn’t have that feature. Will you use this? Jury is out, I certainly wouldn’t. And there is no security on the WiFi either, so if you have it switched on, anybody could potentially connect and get at your photos. I’m sure Nikon will fix this in a firmware update.

The D750 is an awesome camera and if I had a D700 I would be jumping at one especially if I needed the extra megapixels.

THE BOTTOM LINE: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU GET?

Nikon D750 vs D810 – So which one? Despite the incredible hype and total photography nerdiness that many of us are prone to when it comes to gear, the reality is that most people, professionals included, don’t need anything larger than 16-24 megapixels. How many of us make 6-foot wide prints? That’s how big an image that the D810 produces at max file size.

In this day and age, MOST pictures that are EVER taken by MOST people only end up being reproduced on the web at 1/4 page or smaller. We’re taking Facebook and blogs. Even a full screen image on a 30? monitor is still only about 2,500 pixels wide. Not even close to the D810’s 7,360 pixel size.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t consider a camera like the D810. It’s a fantastic DSLR that will allow you to express your creativity with high caliber, professional quality work, as long as you have the technical skills to match. Besides- Gear is cool, and modern technology has a lot of offer the modern photographer/storyteller.

Why you’d want the D810: If you’re a professional photographer who shoots for high end reproduction or who consistently makes large format prints, or if you want to expand your video capabilities in a big way, the yes, definitely consider the D810.

It will give you the best possible image quality of just about any camera out there, and it will put professional quality movie making capabilities in your hands. Just make sure you’re ready to drop some cash for new hard drives and make sure your lens collection is up to the task.

Here’s the thing, you need to have the best quality lens collection for the D810. That 36 megapixel sensor will pick up any imperfections in both your lens, tripod failings and your own technical skill. It reveals all.

If you’ve got money to burn in your pocket, then yes, get the D810, and order it now so that it will arrive at your doorstep sooner.

Why you’d want the D750: If you’re a pro, semi pro or enthusiast photographer who wants a rugged camera that will get the job done in a wide variety of situations, and if you don’t have HD video on your DSLR (like the D700), then definitely consider the D750. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking to upgrade from an older DSLR like the D40, D90 or from an entry level camera like the D3100 or D5100, or if you’ve got a D90 or D7500, but want a full frame FX body.

The D750 is an awesome camera that will be used by pros worldwide and it shoots a faster frame rate than the D810, which makes it great for shooting action and sports.

Also, the D750 is £900 cheaper than the D810, You could order one today and be shooting with it tomorrow.

Finally, the D750 doesn’t come with the hidden costs of computer, hard drive and CF card upgrades. Chances are, your system is already capable of handling it’s RAW files.

So, Nikon D750 vs D810 ? Remember what I said – Photography is not about the gear, it’s about the creative eye and technical skills behind the lens. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get one or the other; just be smart with your money and use careful evaluation before you pull the trigger. Me? I’ll be sticking with my D800 – I can’t really see the upgrade to the D810 is necessary for a D800 shooter unless you feel you really need the video boost and maybe the Expeed 4 upgrade.

More soon … JF