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Nikon D780: Minor Upgrade or Mighty DSLR?

- 4 years ago

The Nikon D780 DSLR has arrived and with many users of the excellent Nikon D750 wondering if this is a worthwhile upgrade, we get hands-on with the new camera to find out.

Nikon D780 front

With high hopes that Nikon would deliver with their latest DSLR camera, we go through the spec list, which includes 4K full sensor video, a boost in burst mode [12fps silent mode] and an upgrade to the flip-out screen, which is now fitted with a touchscreen LCD.

In terms of pricing, the Nikon D780 will be going for a cool £2199, [body only]. The Nikon D750 on its day of release was £1799. So why is the D780 around £400 more? In our experience, most successor models come out at around £100-£250 more, and that’s usually including significant upgrades.
So, why might you spend £2199 on the D780 body when the Nikon Z6 body comes in at £1599, and £1699 if you want the FTZ adapter, too?

Here are some of the Nikon D780’s Key Features

  • 51-point Phase-Detection AF system, sensitive to -3 EV. Flagship tracking capabilities and fast switching between advanced AF modes.
  • 273-point Hybrid-AF system, sensitive to -4 EV, or to -6 EV in Low-Light AF. Eye-Detection AF is available when shooting stills.  
  •  Shoot up to 7 fps with AF/AE, or up to 12 fps in Silent Live View Photography mode. Get full resolution images, even when shooting in RAW.
  •  0.70x optical viewfinder gives a wide field of view and 100% coverage. Tilting 2359k-dot LCD monitor allows touch shutter release and AF. 
  • F-mount lenses. 24.5 MP full-frame CMOS sensor. EXPEED 6 image processor. The same 180K-pixel RGB sensor and Advanced Scene Recognition system as the Nikon D850.
  • The new D780 boasts a wider ISO range than the D850. ISO 100–51200, extendable up to 204800 and down to ISO 50. 
  • Ultra-high-res 4K/UHD video at 30p/25p/24p with zero crop factor. Shoot in N-Log or capture rich Hybrid Log-Gamma [HLG] footage.
  • In-camera time-lapse. 2 MP stills at a blazing 120 fps. In-camera digitising menu & more besides.
  • The new camera’s high-speed data transfer abilities and wireless connectivity make it simple to publish images. SnapBridge lets users share JPEGs and RAW files with any mobile device.

Overall, and on paper, it’s a great package and a very solid model. As with the Nikon D750,m the Nikon D780 is a truly great all-round DSLR, but given the available options with both DSLR and Mirrorless cameras right now, does the D780 make a significant enough of a step forwards to warrant your attention for your next camera?

Check out our latest review here, where, as an ex-Nikon shooter himself, Luke gets to grips with the new Nikon D780 DSLR.

About the author

Read Nikon D780: Minor Upgrade or Mighty DSLR?

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.