Nikon D750 Image Quality

Review Date: March 2, 2015

Category: Serious to Advanced

Nikon D750

Photoxels Gold Award - DSLR
Photoxels Gold Award – DSLR


The Nikon D750 is a traditional-mirrored DSLR targeted to serious and advanced photographers. It has 24.3MP resolution on a full-frame FX-format CMOS sensor (35.9mm x 24.0mm) and accepts the full collection of FX NIKKOR lenses. The sensor has an anti-aliasing filter in front.

The Nikon D750 has excellent image quality including excellent low-light performance at ISO 100 with excellent detail preserved. Image quality is excellent up to ISO 800, and ISO 1600-6400 are very good; at higher ISOs, images progressively suffer from noise and loss of detail.

Nikkor 24-70mm
2.9x Optical Zoom
Wide-angle 24mm Tele 70mm
Wide-angle 24mm Telephoto 70mm

One of the many advantages of a DSLR is the ability to use interchangeable lenses suited to specific jobs. For the review, I received the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8 G ED 2.9x optical zoom kit lens with 9 diaphragm blades and minimum aperture of f/22. It accepts 77mm diameter filters. In the above pictures, we show the coverage for 24mm then 70mm.

The Nikon D750 has full exposure flexibility with PASM modes, and Program Shift.

The camera also provides exposure compensation (with Auto Bracketing) and Custom (Manual) White Balance. A Histogram can be displayed in Playback and Live View mode.

TIP: To view a histogram in Live View mode, you need to first enable Exposure Preview: press the Lv button – press the i button – scroll to Exposure Preview – select ON. You can then press the info button repeatedly to cycle thru the different display options until the histogram displays.



The actual macro capability of a DSLR is in reality a function of the lens you attach to the camera. The 24-70mm kit lens (US $1689.95 / CAN $1,999.95) allows you to focus as close as 0.38m (1.2 ft.). For dedicated macro shooting, Nikon has a couple of AF-S lenses: AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED (US $599.95 / CAN $649.95) with minimum focus distance of 0.185m (0.60 ft.) and the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED (US $799.95 / CAN $1,099.95) with minimum focus distance of 0.314m (1.0 ft.). Both lenses capture life-size (1:1) images and don’t forget that the further away you can keep your camera away from your subject is sometimes the better (especially with live and skittish subjects which may not allow you to come too close). You can also purchase other excellent Nikon macro (Nikon terms them “micro”) lenses with manual focus.

In Live View mode, the AF Frame can be manually moved to anywhere on the screen, even to the very edges, by simply using the Multi selector. Press OK and the AF Frame jumps back to the middle of the screen. Phase detection (when using optical viewfinder) and Contrast-detect AF (when using Live View) are both very fast in good light. Contrast-detect takes about 1 sec. in low light and, in extreme low-light, can struggle to lock focus.

There are four metering modes: Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot and Highlight-weighted. The last one deserves some mention and seems to be in response from users who specifically photograph spotlit performers on a stage: the camera assigns greatest weight to highlights and thus reduces the loss of detail in highlights. Good thinking, Nikon!

Auto White Balance Indoors
AWB Custom WB
AWB Custom WB

As the above two pictures show, the Auto White Balance (AWB) is not quite accurate indoors under artificial lighting [I have two energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs on the ceiling]. The Nikon D750 allows WB to be set manually and this brings out the real colors. AWB works very well in natural light.

ISO Comparisons
ISO 100
ISO 100
ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 1600
ISO 800 ISO 1600
ISO 3200 ISO 6400
ISO 3200 ISO 6400
ISO 12800 ISO 25600
ISO 12800 Hi1.0 – ISO 25600
ISO 51200 ISO 50
Hi2.0 – ISO 51200 Lo1.0 – ISO 50

The Nikon D750 has 20 or 29 ISO settings, depending on whether you choose 1/2 EV or 1/3 EV ISO steps in Custom Menu [Menu – Custom Settings Menu – Metering/exposure – ISO sensitivity step value] going from Lo1.0 (ISO 50 equiv.), ISO 100 to ISO 12800, and up to extended Hi2.0 (ISO 51200 equiv.). The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white square) demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds (in 1EV ISO steps). At ISO 100 to 800, noise is under control. Noise starts to be slightly visible at ISO 1600 but is still very acceptable up to ISO 6400. Noise (with progressively higher detail loss) is visible at higher ISOs. If you intend to shoot at very high ISOs and want the minimum noise, we recommend that you shoot RAW and process out the noise. Overall, excellent noise handling.

CA (Purple Fringing)

CA (Purple Fringing)

The corner delimited by the red square at top right, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right, shows slight purple fringing at very high contrast.

Long Exposure

Long Exposure - 70mm, Shutter-priority, Spot, 30 sec., F6.7, ISO 100, Custom WB, Self-timer 5 sec,, Tripod Used

Our Long Shutter Speed test is a torture test for digital cameras. Here, in almost absolute darkness, we test whether (and how well) a camera can lock focus, provide accurate WB and obtain a correct exposure in extreme low light situations. The D750, using Phase detection AF, passed this test extremely well.

The Nikon D750 allows the use of a long shutter speed of up to 30 sec. in all the PASM modes, therefore allowing nice night photography. Generally, with image sensors, noise becomes more prominent at slow shutter speeds. To test this noise reduction algorithm, I take an extreme low-light indoors shot. I switched to Shutter-priority mode, dialled in 30 sec. and let the camera select the appropriate aperture (F6.7). Long Exposure NR was turned ON, and we obtain a smooth black background.

Overall, the Nikon D750 has excellent image quality including excellent low light capability at high ISOs, and superb dynamic range. As our -5EV test shows, there are lots of detail captured in the shadows. The D750 can be used both as a still and a movie camera for professional results, and should delight both enthusiasts and professional photographers desiring a full-frame DSLR.

Next: Nikon D750 Photo Gallery

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