Last night, Nikon announced their latest FX-format (36x24mm) DSLR body, the Nikon D750. They also announced a new 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor lens. Here are my initial thoughts on these announced products. Note that I haven’t tried or tested these items; these are my opinions based on the specs I’ve seen so far.
Nikon D750 DSLR body
Reading over the specs, there is a lot to like about this new 24-megapixel body. Solid construction, improved ergonomics, and the AF system used in the Nikon D810 (51-points and the new group focus mode). The D750 also shoots at 6.5 frames per-second, which is a decent speed for all but the most demanding action shooters. The D750 also adds an articulating LCD screen with the same resolution as the D4s/D810.
With a $2296 USD price tag, the D750 is only $400 more than the Nikon D610, with vastly superior autofocus and continuous shooting. The articulating LCD is actually quite useful in many situations, like getting low-angle shots or holding the camera overhead. The D750 also offers built-in WiFi. Depending on how it works, that could be a great feature. I love being able to send images to my iPad while traveling to quickly share with friends and family. My only disappointment is that even with the optional MB-D16 battery grip, the D750 maxes out at 6.5 fps. It remains to be seen what the frame buffer capacity is, too. I personally was hoping for 7-8fps using a battery grip in 1.2 or 1.5x crop modes, but no luck.
My take: Overall, I think 90% of photographers looking to move to the larger FX format Nikons will be extremely happy with the D750. It has a very competitive price tag, and I’d expect the market on used D610 cameras to plummet as a result. There’s way more than $400 worth of differences between these cameras, IMO. Once again, sports/action shooters will have to wonder as to just when a mid-range camera in either DX or FX format will offer anything close to the 8fps shooting available with the D300/D700 combination. The only current Nikon that shoots faster than 7fps is the Nikon D4s, and that’s a significant price jump ($6500 USD). I’d love to have something fast and small to back up my D4 when I go birding in Texas.
The Nikon D750 is available for pre-order with an estimated arrival date of September 23, 2014.
Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor lens
Now here’s something that’s quite compelling: The new Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor lens, with a price tag that won’t (completely) kill your budget ($796 USD). Fast wide primes are relatively rare in most lens line-ups, but they can be extremely useful for certain types of photography. To me, 24mm is just the beginning of what I’d call “wide” focal lengths. The fast wide-angle lens is very handy in low-light and street photography, and I see this new lens as being perfect for astrophotography. You know those killer shots of the Milky Way? The best way to get them is with a fast, wide lens. I may just have to put one of these into my bag for the next time I go out shooting star trails.
The Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor lens is available for pre-order with an estimated arrival date of September 25, 2014.