The Nikon D810 or D750?

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February 25, 2016 at 10:30 am  •  Posted in Q&A, Tips & Techniques by  •  0 Comments

Now that I’m ready to upgrade from my full-frame Nikon D700, I need to decide whether to go with the ultra-high resolution D810 or the newer, faster, more affordable D750. I’m less concerned about the price, but I want to know which is the better camera?
Gord C.

Well, Gord, there’s no clear definition of “better” since that really depends on your own specific needs.  Let’s consider the relative pros and cons of each model to allow any reader to decide which would be preferable for their own specific needs. In some brands there is a significant benefit to one full-frame DSLR versus another. However, the current Nikon models share much of the same technology. For example, both are equipped with the EXPEED 4 processor and Nikon’s 51-point AF system, although the D750 offers better AF performance in dark conditions. As well, both offer the same video specifications, the same 91,000 pixel Matrix III RGB sensor and most of the same capabilities. There are a few differences, however, as displayed in the chart below.

z Nikon Cameras.jpg: The D810 and D750 are similar in many respects, including styling and important aspects of technology, but the D810 is larger and heavier. There are other differences too and they're listed in our chart. Photos Courtesy of Nikon Canada

The D810 and D750 are similar in many respects, including styling and important aspects of technology, but the D810 is larger and heavier. There are other differences too, and they’re listed in our chart. Photos Courtesy of Nikon Canada

 

Feature D750 D810
Resolution 24.3-MP (6,016 x 4,016) 36.3-MP (7,360 x 4,912)
Shutter durability Tested to 150,000 actuations Tested to 200,000 actuations
Memory card slots Two SD One SD and one CompactFlash
LCD Screen 3.2″ (1.2 million dot) tilting screen Fixed (non-tilting) 3.2″ (1.2 million dot) screen
Drive speed 6.5 fps 5 fps; 6 fps in (25 megapixel) 1.2x DX crop mode or 7 fps with optional MB-D12 battery grip and 8 AA batteries
Wi-Fi capability Built-in With the optional WT-5A accessory
Low Pass (anti-aliasing filter) Yes No
Top shutter speed 1/4000 s 1/8000 s
RAW S (small) file option No Yes
Weight 755 g 880 g
Street price (approximate) $2350 $3500

 

Although I have not done comparison testing for image quality, Imaging Resource has, and they concluded that they are virtually identical at most ISO levels. Granted, the D810 is preferable at the rarely-used ultra-high ISO levels up to 51,200 because of its larger pixels. As well, the D810 does have a slight edge in the definition of fine detail because of its high-resolution sensor and lack of a low-pass filterbut it’s certainly not dramatic.

z Battery pack.jpg: If you really want 36 megapixel resolution for much of your photography, but sometimes require a very fast continuous drive rate, consider the optional MB-D12 for the D810, used with 8 AA batteries in 25 megapixel DX crop mode for shooting at 7fps. This accessory also provides a vertical shutter release and AF-On button. Photo Courtesy of Nikon Canada

If you really want 36 megapixel resolution for much of your photography, but sometimes require a very fast continuous drive rate, consider the optional MB-D12 for the D810, used with 8 AA batteries in 25 megapixel DX crop mode for shooting at 7fps. This accessory also provides a vertical shutter release and AF-On button. Photo Courtesy of Nikon Canada

Certain differencesWi-Fi, memory card slots, LCD screen tilt, weight and shutter durabilitywill be important to some photographers and irrelevant to others. After reviewing the chart, you should be able to easily decide which of those factors should lead you to buy one camera over the other. In my own estimation, the greatest benefit of the D810 is the higher resolution and that is significant primarily for those who often need prints larger than 24 x 36 inches or who shoot professionally for demanding clients. The bottom line is that you simply cannot make a bad decision, since the D750 and D800 are among the most highly rated full-frame DSLRs on the market.

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