Nikon D780 DSLR Camera Review

A versatile DSLR that excels in both photography and video applications, the Nikon D780 combines a current imaging approach with traditional design and function to provide a unique imaging experience. High-resolution stills and video recordings are available thanks to the camera’s 24.5MP full-frame CMOS sensor, which has been designed with a BSI design for improved clarity and lower noise levels to accommodate working in a variety of lighting circumstances.

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This sensor also provides a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100-51200, which can be further extended to ISO 50-204800, as well as a fast shooting rate of 7 frames per second with the viewfinder or 12 frames per second in live view mode. This sensor also allows for UHD 4K video recording at up to 30 frames per second using either the full-frame or cropped parts of the image.

Full HD recording at up to 120 frames per second is also possible, as is the integration of N-Log Gamma and HLG settings for more precise color management.

When working with the viewfinder, a 51-point phase-detection autofocus system is provided, which includes 15 cross-type points for increased precision in low-light circumstances. This system is designed to complement imaging capabilities.

It is possible to operate in live view or record video with a 273-point Hybrid AF system, which mixes on-sensor phase detectors with a contrast-detection system to provide speedy performance and outstanding subject tracking, which includes support for Eye-Detection AF.

Essentially, the D780 is a DSLR with all the familiarity and history that comes with it. It has a 0.7x magnification pentaprism optical viewfinder, as well as a huge 3.2-inch LCD screen “Tilting touchscreen LCD with 2.36 million dots. Dual UHS-II SD memory card ports provide expandable capacity, while built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allow for wireless file transmission as well as remote camera control from a smartphone or tablet.

Nikon D780 Sensor & Processor

The full-frame 24.5MP CMOS sensor was chosen for its flexibility, and it delivers excellent resolution, rapid readout rates, and outstanding low-light performance. In conjunction with the EXPEED 6 image processor, its BSI (back-illuminated) design helps to produce exceptionally clear images with low noise levels, making it suitable for use over its whole native sensitivity range of ISO 100-51200, which can be expanded to ISO 50-204800.

When dealing with moving subjects, a continuous shooting rate of 7 frames per second is accessible when using the optical viewfinder; however, when working in Silent Live View mode, a rate of up to 12 frames per second in raw or JPEG is feasible.

Although the Multi-CAM 3500 II AF sensor is not used when working with the optical viewfinder, it makes use of 51 phase-detection points to rapidly and reliably acquire focus on targets. A total of 15 cross-type points are included in this system, which provides even higher precision in low-contrast settings.

This system is sensitive down to -3 EV. 11 of the focus points are additionally sensitive down to an aperture setting of f/8, which allows for the usage of telephoto lenses and teleconverters to maximize their effectiveness.

When shooting at high continuous shooting rates, 3D Tracking, which is a component of the clever Scene Recognition System, works to profit from the ability to retain focus on moving subjects while achieving improved accuracy.

Nikon D780 Video Quality

In addition to still photography, the D780 makes use of the sensor and CPU combination to deliver exceptionally good video performance. Using either the full-frame area or a DX crop area, UHD 4K video recording may be accomplished at frame rates of 30p, 25, or 24p; in addition, Full HD 1080p video recording can be accomplished at frame rates of up to 120p for slow-motion playback.

It is possible to store files on the internal memory cards of the camera or to send them as an uncompressed files to an optional external recorder through the HDMI out port.

To complete the video capabilities, the D780 incorporates the N-Log gamma, which allows for the capture of flat-looking footage that enhances dynamic range and color grading flexibility during post-production. HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is another technique that may be utilized to create high dynamic range video.

Among the other enhancements are the ability to export high-quality 10-bit data through HDMI as well as an Electronic VR capability for smooth handheld videography. When used in conjunction with manual focus adjustment, Focus Peaking can be beneficial, and a Zebra Stripes option is also available to aid in the detection of overexposed regions inside the frame.

Using the built-in stereo microphone, you may record audio, or an optional external microphone can be connected via the 3.5mm stereo socket for even more control over the quality of the recording. Live monitoring is also possible through the headphone port.

Moreover, in addition to video recording, in-camera time-lapse recording is also available, with the capacity to shoot consecutive 2MP stills at 120 frames per second.

Nikon D780 Auto Focus

The Hybrid AF system, which has 273 phase-detection points on the sensor and covers about 90 percent of the image area, is employed whether working in live view or when recording video in the camera.

When shooting stills or videos, this helps to achieve quick and precise focusing performance. It also makes complex subject-tracking technologies, such as Eye-Detection Autofocus, available to users. This focusing technology is capable of working in low light conditions as low as -4 EV or as low as -6 EV when utilizing the specific Low-Light AF mode for stills.

Nikon D780 Body & Design

  • With a magnification of 0.7x, a brilliant pentaprism optical viewfinder illuminates the whole frame and covers 100 percent of the frame.
  • 3.2 in. in diameter “The back LCD panel with 2.36 million dots has a tilting design that allows you to operate from both high and low angles. As a touchscreen, it provides easy control over video playing, menu navigation, touch autofocus, and the shutter release button.
  • By using the Nikon SnapBridge app, the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enable wireless file transmission and remote camera operation from linked mobile devices.
  • In addition to supporting the UHS-II standard for faster read/write rates, dual SD memory card slots also provide more flexible file storage options, such as overflow recording and in-camera file duplication, in the camera.
  • Approximately 2260 shots may be obtained with a single charge of the EN-EL15b lithium-ion battery.
  • The use of a scene recognition system and exposure metering is recommended.
  • In order to quickly determine the most accurate exposure and white balance setting for the scene at hand, the intelligent Scene Recognition System with 3D Color Matrix Metering III makes use of a 180,000-pixel RGB sensor to evaluate and analyze all aspects of a scene, including brightness, contrast, the distance between subjects, and scene colors. The result is a scene that is more accurately rendered. During the data collection process, the information obtained is compared against onboard reference photographs to guarantee consistency from image to image in terms of exposure, white balance, i-TTL flash settings, and subject-tracking autofocus performance.

Nikon D780 Specs

MSRP$2299 (body only), $2799 (w/24-120mm lens)
Body typeMid-size SLR
Max resolution6048 x 4024
Other resolutions3936 x 2624 (DX crop)
Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels25 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6
ISOAuto, 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)204800
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points51
Number of cross-type focus points15
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,359,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.7×
Minimum shutter speed900 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesNo
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Continuous drive12.0 fps
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II compatible)
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (mini HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.1
Remote controlYes (via wired, wireless or smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL15b lithium-ion battery & harger
Battery Life (CIPA)2260
Weight (inc. batteries)840 g (1.85 lb / 29.63 oz)
Dimensions144 x 116 x 76 mm (5.67 x 4.57 x 2.99″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes