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Nikon D750 review - initial thoughts and real-world footage - ladies and gentleman we have a contender!


Andrew Reid
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The channel clipping issue on the A7S has been around as long as SLOG 2 has been around (if not longer) and is dreadfully evident on the F5 and F55 and even a lot of high end content shot on it, though it's rarely this bad because you're dealing with a stronger codec on the F5. It's the very reason I still prefer the C300 (which has this issue a bit in Canon Log, but not at all in Wide DR) and Alexa (which has the best color rendering overall of any camera) to the F5 and Red (which has weird magenta highlights, too... Dragon appears better).

 

The Alexa clamps saturation around 30 IRE and slowly brings it down to nothing, which emulates the behavior of color negative film. dSLRs behave more like reversal (positive) film in that saturation increases until you clip, though slide film still clips a bit "softer." Sony keeps saturation high in video, giving a digital "look" even in flat profiles. Sony has apparently fixed this in certain variants of SLOG 3:

 

http://www.dvinfo.net/article/acquisition/sonyxdcam/sony_sgamut_vs_sgamut3.html

 

So the FS7 should still have the mediocre color rendering of a Sony camera, but with enough love in post and the right SLOG 3 setting it will at least look decent. Plus 4k and slow motion, wow... looks legit. But the saturation is clamped so hard in SLOG 2 that it is often unfixable and this may persist as an issue on the A7S; certainly the skew will...

 

So as for the color issues on the A7S, well... no surprise. :)

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So custom white balance and turning saturation all the way down in camera might be a solution for the A7S then?

 

It remains to be seen how the D750 handles it but the codec is just so clean... colour is lovely from the new flat profile once you apply your own curve in post. I also like to lift the blacks and when I do that there's no noise or banding. It's very nice.

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I thought the leicas had smooth bokeh, it really reminded me of the 55 1.2 in some shots.

 

Did you use an ND filter, I wonder if that yerky motionblur is because of the codec or if it comes from the shutterspeed. (my nikon d800 even does it with 180º shutter).

 

Thanks for the review, would be nice to download some flat samples.

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Yah, this camera is quite good. I was planning to buy it mostly for still photo, but I think I will be using it a lot for video too. Andrew, how are you able to gauge the exposure in live-view while shooting video? I wasn't able to see the exposure marking like on the GH line or where to turn it on when shooting video. Coming from a GH line, it helps though it's not most accurate. 

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I've been waiting for some real world feedback on the D750 and didn't expect it to show up that quickly - thanks Andrew!

 

I feel like this may be the best hybrid stills/video camera right now. 

 

As a stills camera, it's fantastic in almost every regard. I don't think MFT will be able to compete with full frame any time soon and the more I shoot with my GH3 (which is lovely), the more I wish for a bigger sensor. The reason for that is that it's very difficult to get shallow DOF with wide lenses. I know having shallow DOF is just one of many stylistic elements and should be used carefully, but considering how quickly compact cameras are getting better, I feel like this is the main thing that'll keep seperating professionall full frame cameras from smaller cams. 

 

The video mode looks great as well. While I'd love to pick up an A7s, I don't think it's very user friendly unless you're working in a controlled environment. And the GH4 is fantastic but I don't want to limit myself to MFT, so as a person who shoots both video and stills, I'd like to stick with a lens system that I can potentially adopt to many different lens mounts. 

 

Andrew, a couple of questions about the D750... 

- How's the LCD screen on the back? I actually prefer shooting with an LCD screen and a loupe as opposed to using an EVF as it gives you more stability and it's easier to focus. 

- What's the battery life like? 

- Any issues with rolling shutter? What's it comparable to? 

- It only has 60p, right? Or is there the option to choose an even higher frame rate? 

- The D810 has a feature that allows you to set the minimum and maximum ISO and the camera will smoothly adjust the ISO when the light changes. Does the D750 have the same feature? 

 

Thanks a ton for your effort, I'm looking forward to reading part 2 of the review!

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"

Unfortunately Nikon have chosen to store exposure settings separately for movie mode and stills mode, which is a bit bonkers to be honest. If you’re mainly shooting video, have the correct exposure set for the scene and want to reel off a shot with the shutter button, it will take the shutter speed, aperture and ISO you last used through the optical viewfinder."

 

 

You can access still settings right from the movie mode live view (even while recording) by assigning the "view camera shooting info" command to a custom button in the move controls menub(AE-L/AF-L is what I use). You can easily change the settings or even match them, But I have found that I almost never use the exact settings for stills while I am shooting video, which is great because they are independent but can be changed on the same screen. I usually increase the shutter speed and increase iso on stills , and in high speed burst mode i can jump right from the middle of recording to continuous high. Pretty awesome, I too am baffled why nikon did not advertise this camera as the video beast that it is?? maybe just to push more 810s out the door before we caught on :) 

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Hi Andrew

 

I have a fair collection of Nikon glass, but have been without a Nikon body for the last 8 months.

 

The dilemma nowI am ready to buy one, is, D750 or D810.

 

Are the improvements in video that you see here also on the D810?

 

The new Codec, The way the sensor reads out, and the flat colour profile?

 

Putting price aside, what would you say are the advantages one way or another, between the 2 cameras from a videographers

viewpoint?

 

Any feedback would be appreciated.

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Very good detail for 60p slow motion.  Not 4k downsampled to 1080 detail, but then what camera gives 4k at 60p?  It looks like youve gone for a punchy grade here to show off the colour which is good. It would be cool to see some ungraded samples.  Just corrected for superwhites if the d750 has them?  So far on youtube the suposedly flat profile samples didn't really seem that flat.  Aparently one way to combat the A7s blue highlight blow outs is too shoot with a warmer colour temperature, and correct in post.   Setting Colour temp for yellow lights probably pushes the blues up to make it less yellow, but then when a bright blue led comes on it is too much.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I don't care about hype and I don't care about specs, this footage looks significantly better than anything I've seen from the A7s or GH4 or even Canon's 5D mk III. Perhaps one of the best images I've seen in a very long time. 

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Very good detail for 60p slow motion.  Not 4k downsampled to 1080 detail, but then what camera gives 4k at 60p?  It looks like youve gone for a punchy grade here to show off the colour which is good. It would be cool to see some ungraded samples.  Just corrected for superwhites if the d750 has them?  So far on youtube the suposedly flat profile samples didn't really seem that flat.  Aparently one way to combat the A7s blue highlight blow outs is too shoot with a warmer colour temperature, and correct in post.   Setting Colour temp for yellow lights probably pushes the blues up to make it less yellow, but then when a bright blue led comes on it is too much.

 

It's flat but strongly saturated. On this shoot I didn't have contrast dialled down all the way. You can go even flatter if you want to. I've yet to see if that's an advantage or not but with the lows being so cleanly rendered by the new Nikon codec and the sensor output being so smooth, it really does have a chance to break the 12-13 stop mark for dynamic range in video mode.

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So custom white balance and turning saturation all the way down in camera might be a solution for the A7S then?

 

Not entirely; the proper white balance certainly helps, but the gamma and matrix need to be changed to really solve the problem as with the custom SLOG 3 profile above.

 

That said, if you're careful it's fine and in Resolve, you can do a luma vs sat curve so long as channels don't clip to get a more "film like response," but there are situations (traffic lights, flares, mixed lighting) that become difficult to handle. A flare will clip to white on an Alexa and to over sharpened ugly red on the F5 or A7S.

 

On the F5, it seems the new SLOG 3 profile can solve this. It took Canon until the Wide DR look (the most recently developed and best gamma setting on the C300) to get it right on the C300. Maybe if Sony ports their new SLOG 3 settings to the A7S it will solve it there, too. 

 

For now the best you can do is avoid mixed lighting and blowing out channels. You can see in shows shot on the F5 (Blacklist, I'm guessing Gotham based on the trailer) how well they are able to deal with this issue in post... it is generally no problem until you look at a traffic light, exit sign, etc. But it's one more reason Alexa is king. :)

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"Unfortunately Nikon have chosen to store exposure settings separately for movie mode and stills mode, which is a bit bonkers to be honest."

This. I've shot with my D800 for over 2 years. It still happens that I forget this behaviour when switching between the two modes: "ah yes, that's right, the settings I just punched in were for the other mode only..."

OK, I can see there are scenarios that makes it a feature for certain users - but for my kind of use, I'd like to have only one set of stored manual settings.

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Power Aperture - Auto Iris

This is one video oriented feature I havent read any comments about, either from this site and forum or other video centric ones.

Nikon USA site states: "use Power Aperture control for smooth iris transitions and Auto ISO for smooth exposure transitions".

This is in addition and separate from:"Manually control ISO, shutter speed and aperture while recording".
http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/dslr-cameras/D750.html?cid=web-0914-dslr-hp

When posted a question about the actual functionality of "auto iris"

What exactly does auto iris do?
Does it allow smooth change of aperture while recording video, like when using cine or declicked lenses?

this is the answer I received:

Yes, aperture will change automatically as the light changes.
 

Have you discovered anything new concerning this functionality?
Is this allowing auto ISO in Manual mode, where one sets aperture and shutter speed, so exposure remains constant by automatically changing ISO lik DPreview mentions or is aperture changed smoothly internally and if so how?

 

 

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They talked about it on the D810 video canadian video, when the fishermen comes out of his store. The auto ISO or smooth Iris automatically do the transition to keep the exposure the same and it does it smoothly. Some where saying how cool it would be to follow a bride from inside to outside or the contrary and exposure adapts automatically.

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