Nikon D780 Review

The Nikon D780 is possibly the most compelling illustration of how a DSLR can successfully transition into the mirrorless era. It appears like an old-fashioned full-frame camera with an optical viewfinder, but concealed behind that retro exterior is some of the same cutting-edge technology found in its more modern Nikon Z6 relative. Put another way; you might say it’s a cross between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera.

Fans of optical viewfinders and extended battery life were naturally concerned that the days of new DSLRs were ending when Nikon and Canon ultimately capitulated and committed to their mirrorless Z Series and EOS R systems.

However, the Nikon D780 proves the firm is not giving up on the DSLR. If you already own a collection of lenses with an F mount or find handling a DSLR more comfortable, the D780 could be one of the most excellent full-frame cameras the company has produced to this point.

See: Best Lenses for Nikon D780 | Best Video Lenses for Nikon D780 | Best Gimbal for Nikon D780 | Best Memory Cards for Nikon D780 | Best Flash for Nikon D780 | Nikon D780 Black Friday Deals | Nikon D780 Bundles Deals

Nikon D780 Price

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Nikon D780 Body

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Last update was on: April 23, 2024 1:42 am

This is Nikon’s “entry-level” full-frame model, sitting below the D850 and offering something for those who don’t need mega-high resolution but still want a good all-rounder. It was designed to sit alongside rather than entirely replace the older Nikon D750. It was designed to sit alongside rather than entirely replace the older Nikon D750.

Nikon D780 Features & Autofocus

  • sensor with 24.5 megapixels and the EXPEED 6 image processor
  • Two different autofocus methods
  • There are two slots for UHS-II memory cards.

The Nikon D780 was developed as a capable all-rounder appealing to various photographers. However, professionals who don’t need the enormous resolution (and bulky file sizes) of the D850 may also find the D780 an intriguing alternative since it is more than capable of meeting their needs. Keen amateurs are arguably the primary target demographic for this product.

A back-illuminated 24.5-megapixel full-frame sensor is at the camera’s core and paired with the most recent iteration of Nikon’s EXPEED 6 image engine. This combination is at the heart of its mirrorless sibling, the Nikon Z6. Other intriguing features include capturing 4K video, charging the camera internally via a USB cable, and shooting at up to 12 frames per second (when using Live View, an additional feature inherited from the Z6).

Regarding the autofocus feature, there are two different technologies at work. The D780 employs the duplicate on-chip phase detection for the 273-point autofocus system as the Nikon Z6. Still, the most crucial distinction is that this function is only activated while shooting in Live View instead of the optical viewfinder. Despite this, it operates in a manner comparable to that of the Z6, incorporating Eye-Detection AF, which allows the user to select which eye should be the camera’s focus.

You’ll also see that autofocus points cover around 90 percent of the frame in total. If, on the other hand, you decide to shoot conventionally, you will obtain a very respectable 51 points; nevertheless, you will note that they are all grouped in the middle of the picture.

Nikon D780 Performance

  • Shooting in burst mode at 7 or 12 frames per second
  • Outstanding buffer with support for up to 68 raw files.
  • An identical metering system as that of the more expensive D850

The Nikon D780 utilizes two distinct focusing methods; one while shooting via the viewfinder and the other via the LCD screen. One of the most significant distinctions between this camera and a mirrorless model such as the Nikon Z6 is that this camera does not have a mirror.

This camera can handle the situation reasonably well if you shoot anything with a predictable movement pattern. However, if you photograph something unpredictable, you may be disappointed with the results.

The camera’s autofocus mechanisms are reliable, quick, and accurate. Still, if you are trying to capture a moving subject, you will find that shooting via the screen is more responsive. In particular, you may shoot 12 frames per second while utilizing the screen instead of only seven frames per second when using the viewfinder.

It is excellent news for emptying the buffer because the D780 includes two slots compatible with UHS-II memory cards. As a result, you can take up to 68 Raw files or 100 JPEGs before the camera requires a break for refreshment. That isn’t very impressive for those who believe in the “spray and pray” strategy, but the buffer does clear relatively fast, which enables you to get back to firing rapid bursts that are precisely timed.

Because it is already a few years old, it should not be surprising to see some of the technology on the more modern D850 make its way onto the D780. This location uses the same 180k RGB metering and scene recognition technology, which can produce beautifully balanced exposures when put to good use.

If you only want to shoot in JPEG format, you may discover that you need to dial in some exposure compensation in certain scenes with exceptionally high contrast; however, if you are accustomed to shooting in Raw format and making adjustments after the fact, you will find that this presents less of a challenge for you.

Battery life is one area where DSLRs continue to have a significant advantage over mirrorless cameras. The D780 is said to have a maximum capacity of 2,260 shots, which is significantly more than the Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras’ capacities.

However, for those that shoot via the viewfinder, it is a beautiful feeling not to worry about carrying additional batteries or finding a power outlet to boost it in the middle of a critical shot. That number reduces dramatically if you’re frequently utilizing Live View.

Nikon D780 Image Quality

  • Full-frame sensor with 24.5 megapixels
  • no in-body image stabilization
  • ISO that can be expanded up to 204,800

Given that the sensor in the D780 appears to be the same as, or very close to, found in the Z6, we had every reason to believe that the image quality produced by the D780 would be satisfactory. It also has some of the same specs as that camera, including the same CPU, metering system, and phase-detection AF system with 273 points on the sensor.

Most of the time, the visual quality is rather satisfactory. The colors are rich, and the general sense of detail in the image is outstanding. In addition, the camera has an extreme dynamic range, and the automated white balance maintains color accuracy.

However, unlike the Z6, no image stabilization is built into the camera’s body. You’ll have to rely on lens image stabilization instead. This implies that if you don’t carefully watch shutter speeds, particularly in darker situations, you could occasionally see a tiny bit of blur in your photographs. This is especially true while shooting in low light.

If crucial sharpness is a problem for you, we suggest you establish a minimum shutter speed, and of course, you should be on the lookout for lenses with VR as standard equipment.

Because this is considered an “entry-level” full-frame option, it may be purchased in a bundle with a discounted price for a 24-120mm f/4 lens. Of course, this is not the same high quality as a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, but it is a fantastic value offer that functions exceptionally well as an everyday performer.

If you have other Nikkor lenses, you’ll see the most outstanding image quality from the D780 at that point — we’ve been spending a lot of time with two incredibly exceptional performers, the 35mm f/1.4G AF-S, and the 85mm f/1.4G lens. Both of these lenses are incredibly fast and have a large aperture. So if you use lenses from this class, you will almost always end up with crisper photographs that can withstand closer inspection more successfully.

Nikon D780 Specs

Body typeMid-size SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Max resolution6048 x 4024
Other resolutions3936 x 2624 (DX crop)
Image ratio w h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels25 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
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
File formatJPEGRaw (NRW, 12 or 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View.
Autofocus assist lampNo
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×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed900 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingleContinuous low continuous highMirror-upQuiet shutterQuiet continuous self-timer
Continuous drive12.0 fps
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weighted spot
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
Videography features
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 & larger
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″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes

Nikon D780 Final Verdict

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Nikon D780 Body

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Last update was on: April 23, 2024 1:42 am

If you find that shooting with a DSLR is more satisfying than using a mirrorless camera, then the Nikon D780 is an excellent full-frame all-rounder that will appeal to you greatly.

Like the Nikon D750, which will continue to be sold, the D780 is likely a well-liked option for those considering transitioning to full-frame for the first time. This is especially true if you want to use some of the most up-to-date mirrorless capabilities.

The D780 may be seen as a combination of the D750 and the Z6 in many respects. For example, it features the same autofocus (AF) mechanism as the latter, which helps capture action sequences. It also includes the most recent EXPEED CPU, enabling quick shooting.

The Nikon D780 does not come with a single feature that is particularly impressive, and, unfortunately, it does not include an in-body image stabilization system or a built-in flash. However, it does contain many good, sturdy, and adaptable features, ensuring that it is suited for a wide variety of photographers.

If you do not already have a set of lenses for your DSLR camera, purchasing this model instead of a mirrorless alternative such as the Z6 will suit your desire. You want a full-frame camera that’s bigger, chunkier, and has an optical viewfinder, but it must also have excellent battery life. As a result, this is one of the top choices available in the area.

The fact that the D780 is now somewhat pricey is the single significant drawback; this is especially true when contrasted with other cameras, such as the Z6. In the following months, we will keep our fingers crossed that the price will go down, which will go a long way toward evening out the discrepancy. However, purchasing this camera and keeping your previous glass will still be more cost-effective than getting rid of it all to transition to a mirrorless model.

Nikon D780 FAQs

Is Nikon D780 a professional camera?

Classifying the Nikon D780 as a professional camera is possible due to its sophisticated capabilities and features, making it a versatile option for general photography-related requirements.

Why is the Nikon D780 so expensive?

The Nikon D780 is a top-of-the-line camera for photographers who take their craft seriously. Its price reflects the advanced features, picture quality, and performance characteristics that make it a standout model.

Is Nikon D780 discontinued?

The Nikon D780 is not going out of production and has not been discontinued since 2023.

Is Nikon D780 good in low light?

Because of the superior sensor technology and high ISO capabilities of the Nikon D780, the camera can achieve good results even in low-light settings.

Is Nikon D780 waterproof?

The Nikon D780 does not have a completely waterproof design, but it does have some weather protection that protects it from dust and dampness.

Does Nikon D780 have autofocus?

The Nikon D780 does have an autofocus mechanism that is both quick and precise.

Is D780 a full frame?

The Nikon D780 is, in fact, a full-frame camera that features a sensor capable of 24.5 million pixels.

Is Nikon D780 suitable for landscape?

Because it has a high resolution, a wide dynamic range, and the ability to capture minute details, the Nikon D780 can be an excellent option for landscape photography.

Is the D780 good for wildlife?

Even though the Nikon D780 might not be the best option for photographing animals in motion, it is still a good choice for some types of wildlife photography thanks to its quick autofocus system and the ability to take multiple shots in rapid succession.

Does the D780 have eye detection?

Eye detection autofocus is available on the Nikon D780, and using it is one way to help guarantee that the subject’s eyes are in crisp focus.

Does the D780 have eye tracking?

The Nikon D780 has an eye-tracking autofocus system that allows the camera to follow and keep its focus on the subject’s eyes even as they move about the picture.

Does D780 have an electronic shutter?

The Nikon D780 does not come equipped with a mechanical shutter, unfortunately.

How much is Nikon D780?

The frame-only cost of the Nikon D780 camera is approximately $2,299 as of 2023.

Does Nikon D780 have a silent shutter?

Yes, the Nikon D780 has a silent shutter setting allowing users to take pictures without causing audible shutter clicks or other sounds.

Does Nikon D780 have a flash?

The Nikon D780 does not have a light integrated into the camera, but it is compatible with strobes and flashes that are external to the camera.


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