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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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Already have it in Canon mount. Damned annoying.   Situation would be a lot more simple if Canon would just give us a body that was actually better than the last one for video. After 3 years you'd k

No filtration, it was slow-mo so needed the higher shutter speed anyway and wanted to shoot it pure to gauge what the camera was doing.

Sure. Hopefully by Wednesday I can put them.

I couldn't seem to fine what picture profile was used in those tests. I shot a similar scene in a bar at 6400 ISO using the Flat profile and it is quite noisy. The Standard picture profile not so much though. And the clips look brighter and noisier in Premiere than say in MediaPlayer

 

I have push the shadows in post a lot and I find virtually no noise at 1600 and 3200 and it is quite low at 6400. You have to push the contrast a lot to see the noise at 1600 or 3200.

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I just got my Atomos Ninja 2 today and did some test with the D750. 

1080p 23.976 with the internal codec vs Ninja 2 Prores HQ  

 

I also did a test with 1080p 60fps internal codec vs Ninja 2 720p 60fps Prores HQ with up-scaling and some light un-sharp mask in CS6 Premiere. 

 

both at ISO 800 and with the Flat profile. 

 

For 1080p 23.976 the Atomos is not a huge leap in video sharpness,( since the codec is doing a very impressive job) and its hard to tell the difference, especially compressed for web. But I am noticing some better color reproduction and saturation since its 422 compared to the 420. It slightly sharper with the ProRess, less blocky, and noise looks more organic and natural. For the 60fps I was surprised that the Prores HQ at 720p could be up-scaled some sharpness added and almost match the internal 1080p 60fps codec (and look far better than the stock 1080p on the 5D mark iii.).

 

I used to have the 5D mark iii and shot with the magic lantern RAW. Though I love RAW, it was so much of a pain to use the hack that I don't regret switching to the D750.  Photography and video is by far sharper, cleaner, much more dynamic range, and very accurate color science ( which is a huge advantage going back to 8bit video from RAW, I barely need to color correct as long as I get the exposure and white balance correct in camera). And before Andrew's review about this camera I would of laughed at anyone who said you should shoot video on a Nikon.  

 

Now if this camera could just get some love like the Canon DSLR have had from magic lantern, or Nikon really make some serious firmware updates for better video features, this thing could out beat the current competition, except for the low light capabilities of the Sony A7S (the D750as good or little less than the 5D Mark iii). Also not to mention for photography it has 12bit compressed RAW option, just imagine if Nikon used that for RAW video. 

 

 

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Quick question - I just received this camera and I was wondering how to check my exposure while in Video mode. I prefer to do everything in manual, and it's easy to manage with the metering indicator while in camera mode, but it disappears while in movie mode.

 

Anyone?

I am wondering same thing too. Let me know if you have figure it out as I am seriously considering this camera. I don't have the camera but I went and played with it at my local camera store. I asked the people at the store, they couldn't figure it out but said they are still learning it. 

 

Maybe @ Andrew Reid can help if us if you haven't figure it out. 

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Quick question - I just received this camera and I was wondering how to check my exposure while in Video mode. I prefer to do everything in manual, and it's easy to manage with the metering indicator while in camera mode, but it disappears while in movie mode.

 

Anyone?

If you push the info button the histogram will eventually pop up, but i'm failing to find a way to enable the basic meter available in live view in photo mode. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

So a mini-review for the D810 after a few weeks of shooting:

I've been shooting with it for quite some time now, and I am officially in love with the image. Hand down this is the prettiest images I have seen come out of any small camera.

I am a bit romantic when it comes to image quality, meaning that I take into account factors other than absolute IQ parameters, because I've seen many camera with high IQ specs but just don't look good. So the D810 doesn't really have much better actual resolution than the 5D mk III, resolution as in being able to read and see objects that are otherwise not there on the 5D, it's not exactly better in noise performance actually quite a bit worse in the shadows, and they are both full frame and 8bit 4:2:0 h.264, with famously good colours. So on specs and when pixel peeping to scientific parameters it's pretty normal.

Yet, it produces a significantly better image than the 5D. The image look, the feel, something I can't explain well. There must be a scientifix explanation for it but I don't know it, I'll try anyway!

In sharpness, it's just a "stronger" edged image, sharper, and I think it comes down to the sharpening algorithm inside which happens before compression, giving a sharp-yet pleasing organic image, no matter how high you crank up sharpness in the picture profile it looks great and organic. If you crank up the sharpness on the 5D, it seems to have as much resolving/detail but with horrible halos and unsharp mask artefacts on the edges, just cheap, and therefore forces you to turn all the sharpening and end up with a pretty soft-looking image, especially if you forget to add it in post. This gives sharp images straight off the cards that have no sharpening artefacts. Very pleasing. It's not GH4 level when scaled down, but I think it hits my personal sweet spot of sharpness level between brutally sharp and flattering to people's faces, this is just the perfect sharpness, I even like it more than a C100/300 in the sharpness level for shooting people. Sharp, yet hides flaws.

The other main factor is colour, this one is the hardest to explain, it's just something you see in every single image you shoot with the Nikons, the colours are stunning, there's something about it. The "lightness" of each colour, and the hue differences and coldness in the shadows/ warmness the mid tones, the colour compared to the 5D, look almost "happy". I am not a native English speaker so excuse my choice of words here! But the colours just look happy and bright and pleasing, I actually think the image is more suitable for a comedy/bright piece rather than a horror/drama which the "sad" 5D coloirs would work better at. A silly observation I know but it's just what I see comparing both. The Nikon colour science is officially better than Canon, for me that is.

Third factor is exposure, and I think the Nikons have a different gamma curve than the Canons in video mode, especially with the new Flat profile, I am not quite sure but I think the Nikon lifs the midtones up, where the skin is, and makes people look bright, again contributing to the "happy" look I described earlier. It's the best image I've shot people's faces with, not Reds, not C100, not 1Dc, not GH4, nothing. There is where it's at for shooting people.

The dynamic range is pleasing somehow also, it's not technically much superior to the 5D in where they both clip but it's how they clip, the D810 while has more noise in the shadows, it's a much better noise structure, therefore the transition to black on the 5D is clean but ugly, you can't bring them up, with this it's pretty noise and you can push it and enjoy the grain too. The highlights also clip more gracefully.

Because of the noise pattern, highlight look, and lack of any moire/aliasing, lack of any image artefacts, the Nikon images are stronger in pushing and pulling in post, mor robust and gradeable. Again don't be fooled by numbers, where the Nikon has a 24mpbs bit rate and the 5D 90mpbs All-I. Of all the companies out there it's ironic how Nikon got H.264 right.

So don't look at pixel-peeping and numbers too much, the D810 produces an effectively sharper image, with less edge artefacts, much prettier noise pattern, better looking roll-off, and better colour science and even exposure curve. These things are not visible in spec sheets or in pixel-level tests. They are visible when shooting a face with both cameras side by side, and vieweing them on a TV, sitting back and watching kike normal people.

So enough with positive ness, lets see what I don't like:

the user interface and how the camera reacts and talks to me. This includes the button placement, the actuall software and GUI, and the icons/placement of them. It's just worse and more clunky than a 5D to use, liveview zooming, exposure monitoring, framing, audio meters, just overall feel, the 5D is way ahead especially with ML waveform and peaking. If you want to imagine what the difference is like, it's like the difference between using an Iphone and an Android device, that has more crap and elements and icons and text and words, but is not nearly as intuitive as and Iphone, which performs the same functions cleaner and neater and faster.

Other thing I don't like is the lens mount. The distance between the sensor and the mount is so damn long, that nothing works it other than Nikon glass. I own mostly Canon glass with a shorter flange distance, all out, while if I had Nikon glass they would have been working on the 5D. I sadly have no Nikon glass to mention, and I do prefer the Canon lenses optical quality and performance, so that's the second downside. If you want to buy this camera remember your only option is Nikor lenses, so it's a bigger investment than you might think at first. I currently only using the 85mm prime and that's it, so will be solving this by getting a wide angle zoom like Andy's 28-70mm 2.8 manual lens of the 17-35mm 2.8. That how I shoot anyway, w normal/fast prime for people and a wide angle for wide detailed shots, most of my other lenses stay in the bag anyway. So it's not that bad of a situation.

Shooting with it for weeks these were the only two things that came into my way, everything else worked perfectly.

So I have a question to Andrew or anyone who used both the D750 and D810, have you tried seeing how both images compare at all? I would like to find out soon as I am borrowing it and it's getting pretty embarrassing to keep it longer, so I need to either return it and wait for the D750 (which is quite a long time here to come) or buy it. If it has the same image but with a tilt screen and better ISO noise, then the D810 is not for me. I don't need 36mp stills (although they are stupidly nice to have!) Please share your findings on how they compare in terms of the image as soon as possible.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I'll share many frame grabs when I get home tomorrow or the day after. There's nearly no internet connection here in a small village on the country side, but it's worth it as the poverty and kids showering in virus-filled rivers and mud houses coupled with vast greenery do make beautifully strong images!

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Thought I'd share a little hint that seems to be unkown: after comparing to stills mode the D810 doesn't shoot fullframe video, it's more like an APS-H crop. This decision must have to do with the lack of aliasing and moire and the sharp image.

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Thought I'd share a little hint that seems to be unkown: after comparing to stills mode the D810 doesn't shoot fullframe video, it's more like an APS-H crop. This decision must have to do with the lack of aliasing and moire and the sharp image.

 

D800 shoots video at 1.095x crop, 6720x3780 out of the full frame of 7360x4912:

http://blog.falklumo.com/2012/04/lumolabs-nikon-d800-video-function.html

 

Hence I'd expect D810 to sample around the same size (not APS-H which is 1.3x crop). I think the updated & faster expeed processing chip is the reason they can get rid of moire and aliasing due to better processing, not due to the sensor readout size.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

So a 1.1x crop? Seems a bit too little for how much it crops I would say it's at least 1.2x but yes not as far as 1.3x. How could I know accurately the crop factor?

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