Event Coverage

First looks: Nikon D750 full-frame DSLR & Coolpix S6900 selfie camera

By Marcus Wong - 15 Sep 2014

First looks: Nikon D750 full-frame DSLR & Coolpix S6900 selfie camera

The new full-frame Nikon D750.


Nikon D750: 24MP and full-frame

The new Nikon D750 features a 24.3 megapixel full-frame FX CMOS sensor, Expeed 4 imaging processor, and a 51-point autofocus system that employs a new AF sensor module for low-light performance down to -3EV. It gets Group-area AF mode, and has a burst rate of approximately 6.5 fps in both DX and FX formats. Perhaps more importantly for wildlife photographers, the D750 uses 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, with 11 of those points functional up to f/8.

While the native ISO range of the D750 goes from 100 to 12,800, this is expandable to 50 and 5,1200. Judging from the sample images shown to us, we think the camera probably could be pushed a stop or so further, as the noise levels at ISO 51,200 were very acceptable. Nikon says this is a result of combination of their new enhanced sensor, and the advanced noise processing of the Expeed 4 engine, and we must say it’s something we’re looking forward to testing out further for ourselves.

The D750 51 AF focus points for fast, accurate autofocusing.

100% crops show clean images even up to ISO 51,200.

In line with the D810, the D750 now has stereo microphones and the ability to record Full HD movies in 1,920 x 1,080 at 60/30/24p. The Power Aperture feature allows you to make smooth aperture adjustment while recording, and the inclusion of HDMI and headphone jacks allows for external monitoring.

Like the D810, the D750 features stereo mics, with one on each side of the pop-up flash.

The D750 is Nikon's lightest full-frame body ever.

The first impression you get when handling the D750 is how light it is for a full-frame camera. The body has been created using a new monocoque structure that eliminates the rear body panel. A carbon fiber composite has been used for the front body and cover, while the rear and top covers are made of magnesium alloy for a best compromise between weight and durability.

Another nice touch is the inclusion of a tilting LCD screen - the first on a full-frame Nikon DSLR - that simply adds to the usability of the camera, especially when you’re shooting video at awkward angles. We’re told it tilts up to approximately 90 degrees and down to 75 degrees, while still being weather resistant like the rest of the body.

The inclusion of tilt in the LCD is a welcome feature.

Dual SD slots are the order of the day for the D750.

Wi-Fi is also built in to the D750, opening up the option of remote control or wireless transfer of images to a smart device using Nikon’s Wireless Mobile Utility application (a free download for iOS and Android). Another change, is that the D750 features double SD card slots as opposed to having one SD and one CF slot. This allows for overflow recording, backup recording, or separate RAW/JPEG recording and shooting.

In our brief time with the camera, we felt that it autofocused fairly quickly and accurately, and the shutter sound was about as quiet as the D810, though it felt like it’s slightly more of a mechanical slap. Not necessarily louder, just lower pitched. We wish it has the 4-button control pad on top of the drive mode dial like the D810, but that's one of the compromises Nikon has to make to put the D750 at a lower bracket compared to the D810. Also, the focus points are closer together so the coverage is focused mostly around the center of the frame, which will probably lead you to having to focus and recompose more.


AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED lens

The AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED lens should be a welcome lens for photographers - if it's priced right.

Next up is the AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED lens, which is meant to be a compact, lightweight, full-frame, ultra-wide angle lens to allow photographers a unique perspective. Nikon says that 20mm is the sweet spot where by the lens goes extremely wide, and yet maintains distortion well enough for use with interior shots or architecture applications. The lens seems light enough, and with the inclusion of Nikon’s Nano coat technology, should be able to produce some excellent shots. With a minimum focus distance of 20cm and a maximum aperture of f/1.8, this is one lens that should get you some interesting bokeh effects.

Nikon's new 20mm f/1.8G ED is suitable for both FX and DX format DSLRs.


Nikon Coolpix S6900

The new Coolpix S6900.

Also announced is the Coolpix S6900, which is essentially a selfie camera with NFC and Wi-Fi support. The Coolpix S6900 features a 16-megapixel backside illuminated CMOS sensor, and covers a wide zoom range from 25-300mm (35mm format equivalent) thanks to its 12x optical zoom Nikkor lens, which also goes to 24x using Nikon’s Dynamic Fine Zoom technology. The in-built lens-shift vibration reduction technology ensures that camera shake doesn’t find its way into your shot, and ED (extra-low dispersion) glass is used in the lens for optimal image quality.

Meant to be more of a stylish lifestyle option, the Coolpix S6900 should appeal to the younger crowd.

Built-in Wi-Fi makes for easy sharing of images on your favorite social networks, while the flip-up, vari-angle touch LCD screen makes for easy self-portraits. There’s also a stand for hands-free operation in vertical or horizontal mode. Background softening is a new feature built into the camera. It uses the touch LCD to allow you to draw on a portion of your image to mask it out, and then as you adjust the slider, softens the background without affecting your selection. Gesture control allows you to control the camera with your hand movements, though we weren’t able to test this out because the demo set on display didn’t have the final firmware.

The LCD detects your finger fairly well, making it easy to trace out objects for the background softening mode.


Speedlight SB-500

The upcoming SB-500 should be well received by those who do a lot of video work.

Finally, the Speedlight SB-500 was announced, and this looks to be a compact flash unit that supports both stills and video work. The SB-500 Speedlight has a GN of 24 and is compatible with both Nikon's DX and FX cameras. Impressively, it covers the angle of view of a 24mm lens on only two AA batteries. The SB-500 includes a 100 lux LED light, adjustable in three levels (Low, Mid, High). With a color temperature of 5,400K, the SB-500 looks to be an ideal portable fill light.

Pricing and availability for all the products above have yet to be announced, so we will update these as we get that information. For a rough guide though, the B&H photo store in U.S. has the D750 going for US$2,296.95, the AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED US$796.95, and the SB-500 is US$249.95.

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