2014 was a big year for Nikon with the introduction of the popular D750. The D750 was popular due to its value for money. It boasted fantastic dynamic range, a lightweight body, in built WiFi and had a tilting screen. Some of these features were unique to full frame at the time, which in todays time, we see as the norm.
After years of countless rumours of a D760, it seemed like the Nikon 700 series update was reaching a dead end. However to start the new decade, Nikon announced the D780. The Nikon D780 looks to be the answer to keep DSLR truly alive, in a world filled with mirrorless cameras.
Body and Ergonomics
The Nikon D780 boasts a strong mag alloy body, whilst still keeping it lightweight. The Nikon D780 is slightly bigger than the D750. The bigger body grants better ergonomics, more buttons such as a dedicated AF-ON button, and a larger 3.2 inch screen. The 3.2 inch touch screen still tilts, however sports a fully functional touch screen. The touch screen can be used to assist with AF tracking, shooting and navigate menus.
For videographers the D780 sports the standard microphone, headphone and HDMI ports. For a USB port, the Nikon 780 sports a USB-C port. This allows for in body charging (when used with a EN-El15b battery), and faster tethering speeds on the USB 3.1 standard. On the opposite side, the camera houses dual SDXC UHS-II card slots.
Hardware and Features
Internally the Nikon D780 sports a full frame 24.5MP BSI sensor, paired with an EXPEED 6 image processor. This unlocks a vast array for performance upgrades from the D750, and features such as:
- 7 fps continuous shooting (mechanical)
- 4K video up to 30 fps, and Full HD video up to 120 fps
- N-Log and 10 bit video recording when outputted via HDMI
- 51 point AF system through OVF or Hybrid 273 point AF in live view
- 2000+ shot battery life
Performance & Image Samples
The Nikon D780 is a high performing camera. When shooting through the live view, the experience is very similar to the D750. Where the Nikon D780 shines, is in video and it’s live view performance. When the camera gets knocked into live view, the Nikon D780 borrows the AF system from the Nikon Z6.
Features that you normally see in a mirrorless AF system such as eye autofocus, and larger frame coverage are granted to the Nikon D780. The Nikon D780 in live view feels like a completely different camera, granting a huge performance upgrade in AF. Below are some image samples from the camera combined with a 24-70mm F2.8.
Nikon have somehow managed to fuse the performance of mirrorless technology, within a DSLR body. The Nikon D780 marries both of these elements quite well, which gives us a preview of the future of DSLR. The last five years have shown a decline in DSLR cameras, and this may be the solution to keep the system going.
Watch our full thoughts, samples and review in the video above.