Nikon D780 Review

March 5, 2020 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


Nikon’s newest DSLR, the D780, can easily be classed as an “entry-level” full-frame model, replacing the five-year-old Nikon D750.

A new DSLR announcement in 2020 might come as a surprise to those who are expecting mirrorless options to quickly take over. Nikon however says that it understands the importance of keeping its existing customer base happy - a huge percentage of which will be loyal DSLR owners.

As such, if you’re a DSLR owner with a stack of Nikon F mount lenses, you’ll probably be pleased to learn that you can use them with the new Nikon D780 model.

It seems that Nikon is running its DSLR line-up very closely along side its mirrorless Z cameras, with technology swapping between them. In this respect, the D780 can be quite closely compared to the Z6, which was announced in 2018 alongside the Z7.

The D780 features a 24.5 megapixel full-frame sensor, along with an EXPEED 6 processor. The same combination is found inside the Z6. Other shared specifications include up to 12fps shooting, and the same autofocusing module (when shooting Live View anyway, more on that later).

Other interesting specifications include 4K video recording, in-camera USB charging, dual SD card memory slots and ISO speeds expandable up to 204,800.

At the time of writing, the Nikon D780 retail price is £2,199 / $2,299 (body only). It’s also commonly available as a “kit” package, with a 24-120mm f/4 lens, for £2,619 / $2,799. This makes it more expensive than the mirrorless Z6 camera, which you can buy for under £1,600 (body only), or for just over £2000 with a 24-70mm f/4 kit lens.

Ease of Use

Nikon D780
Front of the Nikon D780

If you’re the kind of photographer that prefers the chunky feel and handling of a DSLR and perhaps has been put off switching to this mirrorless, then you’ll likely love a camera like the Nikon D780.

There’s not a whole lot of difference when compared to the camera’s predecessor, the D750, which will be great news for those who liked the handling of that camera. What it means is that you get a satisfyingly chunky grip and a good spread of dials and buttons across the body.

Many of the shooting controls are found on the right hand side of the D780’s body. That includes the on/off switch and the shutter release, but also the video record button, the ISO button and the exposure compensation button.

There’s also a dual dial control set up, one which sits under your forefinger, which can be used in conjunction with a dial under your thumb to control settings such as aperture and shutter speed (depending on the shooting mode you’re working in).

Nikon D780
Rear of the Nikon D780

On the top of the Nikon D780 is a secondary LCD which displays a number of key settings, such as aperture, space remaining on your card, battery level, ISO and so on. This is very handy for quickly glancing how you have set up your camera, and it can also be illuminated by moving the on/off switch one further notch to the right.

Flipping to the back of the camera, and the button layout will be familiar to you if you’ve ever used a Nikon DSLR before. There’s a multi-directional navigational pad which you can use to select an autofocus point (when shooting through the viewfinder), as well as an “i” button which acts like a shortcut to a quick menu for oft-used settings.

An important button to discuss is the “Lv” button, which you can press to switch to Live View shooting. This is a notable difference from previous Nikon DSLRs, including the Nikon D750 as by activating Live View you get a different way of working which matches up to how the Nikon Z6 works.

You get the option to shoot at up to 12fps when activating the screen, while the same autofocusing system from the Z6 will also come into play. This is a 273-point system which covers a much wider spread of the scene in front of you - compared to the 51-points which are clustered at the centre of the frame when you shoot through the viewfinder.

Nikon D780
Top of the Nikon D780

The Nikon D780's screen itself tilts up and down, making it handy for a number of different shooting angles, particularly from overhead or from very low down. As it’s not fully articulating, it’s less useful for video, self-portraits and portrait-format images, but it’s still fairly versatile when you need it. For those that prefer to shoot through the viewfinder, here we have an optical device which offers a 100% view of the scene.

There are still plenty of consumers who prefer the look and feel of an optical viewfinder. There are plenty of arguments to be made for the benefits of their electronic counterparts, but if you are very much firmly in the optical camp, you should be pleased with the device on offer here. It offers a bright and clear view of the scene, with some useful information displayed underneath the view.

On the left hand side of the camera is where you’ll find the rest of the Nikon D780’s dials and buttons. On the top left is a mode dial where you can select the appropriate shooting mode. Here you’ll find a fully automatic mode, as well as the standard PASM (Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual) options for more advanced photographers.

There’s also space for two groups of custom settings, which is helpful if you’re the type of photographer who frequently shoots in certain conditions - such as low light.

Nikon D780
Tilting LCD Screen

Lastly there is also an “Effects” mode, which you can use to add digital filter effects to your shot, if that kind of thing appeals. In the middle of the mode dial is a button which you must hold down to move between the different modes, which is great for preventing accidental changes while carrying the camera in a bag.

Just underneath the mode dial is a second dial, for changing the drive mode. Again, there’s a small button which you need to hold down in order to rotate the dial and prevent any changes you didn’t intend to make. There’s a number of different options here, including single, continuous low, continuous high, quiet, quiet continuous, timer and mirror up.

Down the left hand side of the Nikon D780's screen, there’s a set of extra buttons, including the playback and delete the buttons, the main menu button, and an info button which you can use to adjust the shooting display.

There’s also a few buttons which have more than one purpose - for example one can be used to directly access the white balance setting, but can also be used to lock an image to prevent it being deleted, while another button can be used to access metering mode, but also can be used to zoom out of an image in playback.

Nikon D780
Front of the Nikon D780

All of the buttons on this side of the Nikon D780 are unlikely to be buttons you’ll need to use quickly, and as such, it makes sense that they’ve been placed on this side, rather than on the right.

A small LED light sits next to the letters “CHG”. You can charge the D780 via the USB-C port on the side of the camera - when you plug it in, this light will be illuminated to let you know it’s charging.

You can also charge the camera’s battery via an external charger, but it’s useful for travelling photographers and those who want to pack light to not necessarily have to carry that additional accessory with them. On the left hand side of the camera, you’ll also find ports for a microphone, headphones, a remote release and an HDMI cable.

On the other side of the Nikon D780 you’ll see a door which covers the two memory card slots. Here - in another big difference from the Z6 - we have dual SD card slots, rather than a single XQD card slot. This will likely be good news to anybody who has a stash of SD cards ready to go, especially as the format is currently much cheaper than XQD. Having double slots will also be good news to those intending to use the D780 as a professional camera and who might crave the reassurance of on-the-go backups.

Nikon D780
The Nikon D780 In-hand

As already mentioned, when it comes to autofocusing, you’ve got the choice of two different AF systems. This depends on whether you choose to shoot through the viewfinder, or via the screen. The latter is recommended if you like to shoot moving subjects, as you’ll get the more advanced Z6 AF system, as well as the ability to shoot at 12fps, compared to just 7fps through the viewfinder.

In testing, both AF systems cope fairly well when the subject is moving in a relatively predictable pattern, so while it’s not a camera we’d recommend if you do a lot of action shooting, it’s a good option for those who want an all-rounder. Otherwise, focusing is swift and accurate in the majority of cases, with very little hunting in most situations.

Battery life is also worth mentioning here too - it remains one area where DSLRs reign supreme over their mirrorless rivals. The Nikon D780 has a quoted battery life figure of 2,260 - in real-world usage, we’d expect that number to be higher if you’re consistently using the viewfinder, but perhaps lower if you’re often using the screen to shoot. This far exceeds the battery life capabilities of the Z6/Z7 and may make it more appealing pros looking for a second body for that reason.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24.5 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 15Mb.

Right from its announcement, there was little doubt that the Nikon D780 would produce excellent images. Considering we’ve already seen a very similar sensor/processor combination in the Z6, we expected image quality to roughly match up.

For the most part, that seems to be very much the case. One difference to note is that the D780 does not have inbuilt image stabilisation in the body, whereas the Z6 does. This means you’ll have to rely on either lens-based stabilisation, or compensate for any potential camera shake by using faster shutter speeds/higher ISOs.

That aside, image quality is excellent. Colours are vibrant and bold, with a good degree of detail in most shooting conditions. Automatic white balance keeps colours on the right side of accurate, while exposures are generally well-balanced. You might find that the D780 slightly underexposes in some conditions, in which case, dialling in some exposure compensation can be useful.

Having a relatively modest resolution is good news for those who shoot in low light. Just like the Z6, it’s a good option compared to those cameras with much higher resolution sensors. You’ll find that images taken display a good level of detail with minimal noise introduced all the way up to ISO 3200.

After this point, you might see some noise start to creep in when examining at large sizes, but at normal printing or web sizes, the effect is minimal. There’s decent results all the way up to ISO 25600, with speeds above that best reserved for times of desperation.


The base sensitivity of the Nikon D780 is ISO 100 but you can go down to ISO 50 (L1.0) if you wish.

At the other end of the scale, the highest native sensitivity of the Nikon D780 is ISO 51,200, but two boosted settings, ISO 102,400 (HI 1EV) and ISO 204,800 (HI 2EV), are also available.


ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

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ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

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ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

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ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

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ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

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ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

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ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

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ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

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ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

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ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

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ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

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ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

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ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

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HI 1EV (ISO 102400) (100% Crop)

HI 1EV (ISO 102400) (100% Crop)

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HI 2EV (ISO 204800) (100% Crop)

HI 2EV (ISO 204800) (100% Crop)

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Long Exposures

The Nikon D780 lets you dial in shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds and has a Bulb mode as well for exposure times of practically any length, which is very good news if you are seriously interested in night photography.

There is an optional long-exposure noise reduction function that can be activated to filter out any hot pixels that may appear when extremely slow shutter speeds are used, though we found no need for this when taking the photograph below at a shutter speed of 30 seconds, aperture of f/11 at ISO 100.


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon D780 camera, which were all taken using the 24.5 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Nikon D780 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Nikon RAW (NEF) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movies & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840 x 2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 24 second movie is 368Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 3840 x 2160 pixels at 24 frames per second. Please note that this 29 second movie is 434Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 120 frames per second. Please note that this 21 second movie is 333Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 60 frames per second. Please note that this 19 second movie is 124Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 17 second movie is 55.1Mb in size.

This is a sample slow-motion movie at the quality setting of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 41 second movie is 154Mb in size.

This is a sample slow-motion movie at the quality setting of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 24 frames per second. Please note that this 77 second movie is 237Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780

Nikon D780


It’s fantastic to see Nikon dedicated some time and resources to keep existing customers happy. It can be very tempting for manufacturers to get carried away with the latest and newest technology, forgetting that there are many existing customers out there who don’t want to have to completely switch systems, ditch their existing lenses and shell out for entirely new ones.

As such, if you’re in the market for a new full-frame DSLR, the Nikon D780 could very well be the camera for you. It has a more modest sensor compared to the D850, but that is good news for keeping file sizes manageable, for low light shooting and for enabling decent frame rates.

While there are many arguments for making a switch to mirrorless, there are probably equally as many for sticking with DSLR. Many people simply prefer the larger and more comfortable handling, while an optical viewfinder will probably always be preferable to lots of photographers. Having space for dual SD card slots is also good news for those who feel a little nervous about a single XQD slot in Nikon’s mirrorless models.

If you’re thinking of making the jump to full-frame from an APS-C camera and don’t already have a full set of Nikon full-frame compatible DSLR lenses, whether you go for the D780 over the Z6 will likely come down to handling preferences. We’d recommend you take the time to hold both of the cameras in a shop if possible, to give you an indication of which you prefer to work with.

At the time of writing, the Nikon D780 retails for quite a bit more than the Z6. The Z6 is around 18 months old, so we do expect the price difference to even out a little in the coming months. That said, while the D780 might be more expensive as an initial outlay, if you already own a set of lenses, it’s a cheaper alternative than replacing all of your DSLR lenses (though you can use your DSLR lenses with a Z mount adapter).

Overall, the Nikon D780 is a fantastic work-horse camera that is a good all-rounder for both professionals and advanced enthusiasts. Those who are working professionals already equipped with higher-specced cameras, such as the D850 or the Z7 might consider the D780 as a good second camera, while it could also be a main camera such is its versatility.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon D780.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

The new EOS 6D Mark II is Canon's latest 35mm full-frame DSLR camera. Positioned as a more affordable alternative to the EOS 5D Mark IV, the EOS 6D Mark II features 26.2 megapixels, latest DIGIC 7 processor, 45 point AF system and Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. Read our expert Canon EOS 6D Mark II review now...

Canon EOS R

The EOS R is Canon's first ever full-frame mirrorless camera, joining the likes of Sony, Nikon and Panasonic. Can it beat its main rivals, and is it a real alternative to a more traditional DSLR? Find out now by reading our in-depth Canon EOS R review, complete with full-size sample images, videos and more...

Fujifilm X-H1

The Fujifilm X-H1 is the newest flagship camera on the block, topping the mirrorless X-series range with built-in optical image stabilisation and the most advanced video capabilities of any Fujifilm camera to date. Check our our in-depth Fujifilm XH1 review, complete with full-size sample images, movies and more...

Fujifilm X-T3

The Fujifilm X-T3 is the successor to our Compact System Camera of the Year 2016 award winner, the popular X-T2. Can this new model really improve on what was already an outstanding camera? Find out now by diving into our in-depth Fujifilm X-T3 review...

Nikon D610

The Nikon D610 is a new full-frame DSLR camera that updates last year's D600 with a new shutter mechanism, faster 6fps burst shooting and a new Quiet Release Burst mode, and an improved auto white balance system. The D610 retains the same 24.3 megapixel full-frame sensor, 1080p HD video, ISO range of 50-25600, a 39-point AF system, 3.2-inch LCD screen and a viewfinder with 100% coverage as its predecessor. Read our in-depth Nikon D610 review now...

Nikon D750

The Nikon D750 is a brand new full-frame DSLR camera aiming to occupy the middle ground between the D610 and D810 models. The D750 features a 24.3 megapixel FX sensor, 1080p/60fps HD video, ISO range of 50-51200, 51-point AF system, 3.2-inch tilting LCD screen, and built-in wi-fi. Read our in-depth Nikon D750 review now...

Nikon Z6

The Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera is the sensible little brother of the flagship Z7 model, offering less megapixels, fewer AF points and faster continuous shooting at a much lower price point. Is this the best balanced mirrorless camera on the market? Find out now by reading our in-depth Nikon Z6 review, complete with full size JPEGs, Raw files and movies...

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

The new OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a serious camera for serious photographers, designed to showcase the very best that Olympus has to offer. In the increasingly competitive high-end camera market, does it have what it takes to stand out from the crowd and attract new users as well as satisfy existing ones? Read our Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III review to find out...

Panasonic S1

The Panasonic S1 is the more sensibly specced and sensibly priced sibling of the flagship S1R full-frame mirrorless camera. It lowers the number of megapixels whilst upping the video capabilities, promising a more well-rounded camera at a more affordable price-point. Does the new Lumix S1 have what it takes to compete with the likes of the Sony A7 III, Nikon Z6 and Canon EOS R? Read our detailed Panasonic S1 review to find out...

Pentax K-1 Mark II

The Pentax K-1 Mark II is a modest upgrade of the 18-month-old K-1 35mm full-frame DSLR camera, principally adding just three new features. Are they enough to warrant upgrading and do they keep the Mark II competitive? Find out by reading our Pentax K-1 Mark II review...

Sony A7 III

The new A7 III is the most affordable Sony full-frame camera in the Alpha range, but as our in-depth review reveals, it's far from being the most basic. Find out why we think this is the best camera of 2018 (so far at least) by reading our in-depth Sony A7 III review...

Sony A7R III

The Sony A7R III is a 42 megapixel camera that can shoot at 10fps with continuous auto-focusing. Yes, you read that right - 42 megapixels at 10fps. Find out why we think this is one of the best cameras available today by reading our full Sony A7R III review, complete with full-size sample images and videos...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon D780 from around the web. »

The Nikon D780 is a replacement for the D750, one of the most well-rounded DSLRs ever made. It's still built around a 24MP sensor and 51-point AF system but the more you dig in, the more you discover it's a much more capable machine: a DSLR that's learned a lot from mirrorless.
Read the full review » »

There are no fireworks with the Nikon D780. It doesn’t bring radical new technologies, bar-raising specifications or wacky design features. It’s simply an excellent evolution of a great camera design that has something for enthusiasts and experts everywhere. Nikon has at last brought fast phase detection live view AF to its DSLR design, it’s added pretty advanced 4K video features, a better continuous shooting speed and buffer capacity than we’d expect at this price, and you get Nikon’s typically comfortable, polished and balanced DSLR handling. Bravo, Nikon!
Read the full review » »

The D780 arrives as the long-awaited successor to the D750 – one of Nikon’s most popular and best-selling DSLRs. Said to be the company’s most versatile DSLR ever, it profits from some of the things Nikon has learnt from mirrorless to make it an even better all-rounder. The question is; can the D780 still lure passionate enthusiasts and professional photographers to it in a world where many smaller and lighter full-frame mirrorless cameras can be picked up for less?
Read the full review »



Single-lens reflex digital camera

Lens mount

Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)

Effective angle of view

Nikon FX format

Image sensor

FX, CMOS, 35.9 mm x 23.9 mm

Total pixels

25.28 million

Dust-reduction system

Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (Capture NX-D software required)

Effective pixels

24.5 million

Image size (pixels)

FX (36x24) image area: (L)6048, x4024 (24.3million), (M)4528, x3016 (13.7million), (S)3024, x2016 (6.1million). DX (24x16) image area: (L)3936, x2624 (10.3million), (M)2944, x1968 (5.8million), (S)1968, x1312 (2.6million). 1:1 (24x24) image area: (L)4016, x4016 (16.1million), (M)3008, x3008 (9.0million), (S)2000, x2000 (4.0million). 16:9 (36x20) image area: (L)6048, x3400 (20.6million), (M)4528, x2544 (11.5million), (S)3024, x1696 (5.1million). Photographs taken while filming movies at a frame size of 3840 x 2160: 3840 x 2160 Photographs taken while filming movies at other frame sizes: 1920 x 1080

Storage file formats

NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit (lossless compressed or compressed), JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8), or basic (approx. 1:16) compression; size-priority and optimal-quality compression available, NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

Picture Control System

Auto, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat, Creative Picture Controls (Dream, Morning, Pop, Sunday, Somber, Dramatic, Silence, Bleached, Melancholic, Pure, Denim, Toy, Sepia, Blue, Red, Pink, Charcoal, Graphite, Binary, Carbon); selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls

Storage media

SD, SDHC (UHS-II compliant), SDXC (UHS-II compliant)

Dual card slot

2 Secure Digital (SD) cards; the card in Slot 2 can be used for overflow or backup storage or for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; pictures can be copied between cards.

File system

DCF 2.0, Exif 2.31


Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder

Frame coverage

FX: Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical, DX: Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical, 1:1: Approx. 97% horizontal and 100% vertical, 16:9: Approx. 100% horizontal and 97% vertical


Approx. 0.7x (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-¹)


21 mm (-1.0 m-¹; from center surface of viewfinder eyepiece lens)

Diopter adjustment

-3 to +1 m-¹

Focusing screen

Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII screen (with AF-area brackets; framing grid can be displayed)

Reflex mirror

Quick return

Depth-of-field preview

Yes, pressing Pv button stops lens aperture down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (P and S modes)

Lens aperture

Instant return, electronically controlled

Compatible lenses

Types G, E, and D (some restrictions apply to PC lenses), other AF NIKKOR lenses (excluding IX NIKKOR lenses and lenses for the F3AF), AI-P NIKKOR lenses DX lenses (using [DX (24 × 16)] image area), non-CPU AI lenses (modes A and M only), during viewfinder photography, the electronic rangefinder can be used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster. With lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/8 or faster, the electronic rangefinder supports 11 focus points.

Shutter type

Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane mechanical shutter; electronic front-curtain shutter; electronic shutter

Shutter speed

1/8000 to 30 s (choose from step sizes of 1/3 and 1/2 EV, extendable to 900 s in mode M); Bulb; Time; X200

Flash sync speed

X=1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200 s or slower Auto FP high-speed sync supported

Release mode

S (single frame), CL (continuous low speed), CH (continuous high speed), Q (quiet shutter-release), QC (quiet continuous shutter-release), Self-timer, MUP (mirror up)

Frame advance rate

Up to 7 fps. CL: 1 to 6 fps (viewfinder photography); 1 to 3 fps (live view photography). CH: 7 fps; when shooting NEF/RAW pictures during silent photography, either 8 fps (bit depth 14 bits) or 12 fps (bit depth 12 bits) QC: 3 fps


2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 s

Exposure metering

Viewfinder photography: TTL exposure metering using RGB sensor with approximately 180K (180,000) pixels; Live view: TTL exposure metering performed by image sensor

Metering method

Matrix: 3D color matrix metering III (type G, E, and D lenses); color matrix metering III (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 12 mm circle in center of frame; diameter of circle can be changed to 8, 15, or 20 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (non-CPU and AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED lenses use 12-mm circle); Spot: Meters circle approximately 4 mm in diameter (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU or AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED lens is used); Highlight-weighted: Available with type G, E, and D lenses

Metering range (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20 °C/68 °F)

Matrix and center-weighted metering: -3 to +20 EV; Spot metering: 2 to 20 EV; Highlight-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EV

Exposure meter coupling



Auto, P: programmed auto with flexible program, S: shutter-priority auto, A: aperture-priority auto, M: manual EFCT, Special effects modes: night vision; super vivid; pop; photo illustration; toy camera effect; miniature effect; selective color; silhouette; high key; low key U1 and U2: user settings

Exposure compensation

–5 to +5EV; -3 to +3 EV when filming movies (choose from step sizes of 1/3 and 1/2 EV) available in P, S, A, M, and EFCT modes

Exposure lock

Luminosity locked at detected value

ISO sensitivity

ISO 100 to 51200 (choose from step sizes of 1/3 and 1/2 EV); can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 50 equivalent) below ISO 100, or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 204800 equivalent) above ISO 51200; auto ISO sensitivity control available (Recommended Exposure Index)

Active D-Lighting

Can be selected from Auto, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, or Off


Viewfinder photography: TTL phase detection performed using Advanced Multi-CAM 3500 II autofocus sensor module with support for 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors; f/8 supported by 11 sensors); autofocus fine-tuning supported Live view: Hybrid phase-detection/contrast-detect AF performed by image sensor; autofocus fine-tuning supported

Detection range

Viewfinder photography¹: -3 to +19 EV; Live view²: -5 to +19 EV; -7 to +19 EV with low-light AF

Lens servo

Single-servo AF (AF-S), Continuous-servo AF (AF-C), AF mode auto-switch (AF-A, still photography only), full-time AF (AF-F, movie recording only); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status, Manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used

Focus points

Viewfinder photography: 51 points with [All points] selected for Custom Setting a6 [Focus points used], 11 points with [Every other point] selected, Live view³: 273 points with [All points] selected for Custom Setting a6 [Focus points used], 77 points with [Every other point] selected

AF-area mode

Viewfinder photography: Single-point AF, 9-, 21-, or 51- point dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, group-area AF, auto-area AF Live view: Pinpoint AF (still photography only, single-servo AF/AF-S), single-point AF, dynamic-area AF (still photography only, continuous-servo AF/AF-C), wide-area AF (S), wide-area AF (L), auto-area AF

Focus lock

Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF/AF-S) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

Flash control

Viewfinder photography: TTL flash control performed by RGB sensor with approximately 180K (180,000) pixels; Live view photography: TTL flash control performed by image sensor i-TTL balanced fill flash for digital SLR available with matrix, center-weighted, and highlight-weighted metering; standard i-TTL fill-flash for digital SLR available with spot metering

Flash modes

Front-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, slow sync, red-eye reduction with slow sync, rear-curtain sync, off

Flash compensation

–3 to +1 EV (choose from step sizes of 1/3 and 1/2 EV) available in P, S, A, and M modes

Flash-ready indicator

Lights when optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes after flash is fired at full output

Accessory shoe

ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock

Nikon Creative Lighting System

i-TTL flash control, radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, optical Advanced Wireless Lighting, modeling illumination, FV lock, Color Information Communication, auto FP high-speed sync, AF-assist for multi-area AF (viewfinder photography), unified flash control

Sync terminal

AS-15 sync terminal adapter (available separately)

White balance

Auto (3 types), natural light auto, direct sunlight, cloudy, shade, incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), flash, choose color temperature (2500 K to 10,000 K), preset manual (up to 6 values can be stored, spot white balance measurement available during live view photography), all except choose color temperature with fine-tuning

White balance bracketing

Exposure and/or flash, white balance, and ADL

Live View - Modes

Photo live view, Movie live view

Movie - metering

TTL metering using camera image sensor

Movie - metering method

Matrix, center-weighted, or highlight-weighted

Movie - frame size (pixels) and frame rate

3840 x 2160 (4K UHD); 30p (progressive), 25p, 24p 1920 x 1080; 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p 1920 x 1080 (slow-motion); 30p x4, 25p x4, 24p x5⁴. Actual frame rates for 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 119.88, 100, 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively

Movie - file format


Movie - video compression

H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding

Movie - audio recording format

Linear PCM, AAC

Movie - audio recording device

Built-in stereo or external microphone with attenuator option; sensitivity adjustable

Movie - ISO sensitivity

Manual selection (ISO 100 to 51200); choose from step sizes of 1/3 and 1/2 EV) with additional options available equivalent to approximately 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 204800 equivalent) above ISO 51200; auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 100 to Hi 2) available with selectable upper limit

Movie - Other options

Time-lapse movie recording, electronic vibration reduction, time codes, logarithmic (N-Log) and HDR (HLG) movie output


8-cm (3.2–in.), approx. 2359k-dot (XGA) tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD with 170° viewing angle, approximately 100% frame coverage, 11-level manual brightness adjustment, and color balance control


Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, playback zoom cropping, movie playback, photo and/or movie slide shows, histogram display, highlights, photo information, location data display, picture rating, auto image rotation, and index marking


Type C connector (SuperSpeed USB); connection to built-in USB port is recommended

HDMI output

Type C HDMI connector

Audio input

Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter; plug-in power supported)

Audio output

Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter)

Accessory terminal(s)

Built-in (can be used with accessories such as the MC-DC2 remote cord)

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) standards

IEEE 802.11b/g/n/a/ac, 2412 to 2462 MHz (channel 11) and 5180 to 5320 MHz, 2.4 GHz band: 2.9 dBm, 5 GHz band: 8.7 dBm, Open system, WPA2-PSK

Bluetooth standards

Bluetooth Specification Version 4.2, Bluetooth: 2402 to 2480 MHz, Bluetooth Low Energy: 2402 to 2480 MHz, Bluetooth: –2.6 dBm, Bluetooth Low Energy: –4.1 dBm; Range: approximately 10 m (32 ft)⁵


One EN-EL15b rechargeable Li-ion battery⁶

AC adapter

EH-5d/EH-5c/EH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5B power connector (available separately)

Tripod socket

1/4–in. (ISO 1222)

Dimensions (W x H x D)

Approx. 143.5 x 115.5 x 76 mm (5.7 x 4.6 x 3 in.)


Approx. 840 g (1 lb. 13.7 oz.), with battery and SD memory card but without body cap; approx. 755 g/1 lb. 10.7 oz. (camera body only)

Operating environment - temperature

0 °C to 40 °C (+32 °F to 104 °F)

Operating environment - humidity

85% or less (no condensation)

Supplied accessories

BF-1B Body Cap, DK-31 Rubber Eyecup (comes attached to camera), EN-EL15b Rechargeable Li-ion Battery with Terminal Cover, MH-25a Battery Charger (comes with either an AC wall adapter or power cable of a type and shape that varies with the country or region of sale), DK-5 Eyepiece Cap, UC-E24 USB Cable, AN-DC21 Strap


The new Nikon D780 is a new kind of DSLR for creators that retains the rugged reliability of the highly-revered D750, while inheriting features from the Nikon Z series, making it powerful and versatile to capture anything from fast-action sports to beautiful night skies.

Packed with Nikon’s latest EXPEED 6 processor, advanced autofocus capabilities, extensive video features and in-camera creative options, the D780 allows enthusiasts to explore their creative potential through photos and videos.

The new Nikon D780 DSLR is priced at £2,199 / $2,299.95 and will be available in late January 2020.

Nikon UK Press Release


London, United Kingdom, 7th January 2020: Today Nikon introduces a high-performance DSLR that gives creative photographers everything they want from a full-frame camera—and more. A reliable partner for bold creators everywhere, the D780 nails stills or movies with equal brilliance.  

The tough D780 boasts a fast, dedicated Hybrid-AF system for Live View shooting, and a fast, powerful 51-point Phase-Detection AF system for viewfinder shooting. When shooting in Live View, photographers and moviemakers benefit from the same AF system as found in the acclaimed Nikon Z 6 mirrorless camera. Users can lock onto expressions with Eye-Detection AF and take advantage of low-light AF, which powers reliable subject acquisition all the way down to -6 EV. Photographers shooting through the viewfinder benefit from flagship tracking performance, and quick switching between advanced AF modes.

Fast burst rates add to the versatility of this camera: up to 7 fps in viewfinder shooting, and 12 fps in Silent Photography mode during Live View shooting. Other notable features include the blazing maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 s, which gives photographers the flexibility to sync with Nikon Speedlights. Or they can stretch time all the way to 900 s, perfect for capturing dramatic light trails and nightscapes.

Movie shooters will love the quality of the footage they can achieve with the D780. The camera uses its 6K image sensor resolution to produce ultra-high-resolution 4K/UHD footage at 30p/25p/24p with zero crop factor. Videographers can also use an external movie recorder to capture rich HLG HDR footage, which can be shown directly on a compatible TV or monitor.

Robert Harmon, Senior Commercial Planning Manager, Nikon UK, says: “Many photographers love DSLR, and they’ve been waiting for a model like the D780. If you’re a DSLR lover, and you want to shoot movies as well as stills, this is the perfect solution. If you want to explore mirrorless, we have the Z system for that too! Whichever system excites image makers, we’re thrilled to offer the versatility that lets them create without limits.”

Key Features

VIEWFINDER AF. The 51-point Phase-Detection AF system is sensitive down to -3 EV. You get flagship tracking capabilities and quick switching between advanced AF modes.

AF IN LIVE VIEW. The 273-point Hybrid-AF system is sensitive down to -4 EV, or down to -6 EV in Low-Light AF.1 Eye-Detection AF is available when shooting stills.  

BURST RATES UP TO 12 FPS. Shoot at up to 7 fps with AF/AE, or up to 12 fps in Silent Live View Photography mode. Users get full resolution images, even when shooting in RAW.

OPTICAL VIEWFINDER AND TILTING TOUCHSCREEN. The 0.70x optical viewfinder gives a wide field of view and 100% coverage. The tilting 2359k-dot LCD monitor offers touch shutter release and AF.

SUPERB IMAGE QUALITY. F-mount lenses. 24.5 MP full-frame CMOS sensor. EXPEED 6 image processor. The same 180K-pixel RGB sensor and Advanced Scene Recognition system as the D850.

ULTRA-WIDE ISO RANGE. The D780 boasts a wider ISO range than the acclaimed D850. Work with ISO 100–51200, extendable up to 204800 and down to ISO 50. 

FULL-FRAME DSLR MOVIES. Shoot ultra-high-resolution 4K/UHD footage at 30p/25p/24p with zero crop factor. Record in N-Log or capture rich Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) footage.

CREATIVE FREEDOM. In-camera time-lapse. 2 MP stills at a blazing 120 fps. In-camera digitising menu. And more.

FAST IMAGE TRANSFER. The camera’s high-speed data-transfer capabilities and wireless connectivity make it easy to get images out there. And SnapBridge lets users share JPEGs and RAW files with any smart device.


1 When shooting with a lens that has a maximum aperture of f/2 or wider.

Pricing and Availability

The Nikon D780 will be available nationwide from early spring 2020

Full price list:

D780 body only - £2,199

D780 and AF-S 24-120 f/4G ED VR - £2,619

Nikon USA Press Release


The New Nikon D780 Will Exceed Expectations with the Ultimate Combination of Speed, Powerful Performance and Premium Features at an Uncompromising Value

LAS VEGAS– CES 2020, BOOTH #14018 (January 6, 2020) – Today, Nikon Inc. unveiled the D780, an exciting new FX-format DSLR that makes vast improvements to the highly-revered D750, Nikon’s most popular full-frame DSLR ever, while inheriting pro-level features from the powerful D850 and flagship D5. The much-anticipated D780 delivers the most sought-after features to give enthusiasts and professionals an agile camera for capturing high-resolution photos and 4K UHD video with the added benefit of fast, accurate phase detect autofocusing. While the D780 retains the rugged reliability of its predecessor, the camera has been turbocharged with Nikon’s latest EXPEED 6 processor, touch operability, advanced autofocus capabilities, extensive video features, a valuable assortment of in-camera creative options and much more. The new D780 is more than a worthy successor to the beloved D750, it’s a proven performer that transcends any creative endeavor. 

Nikon cameras and lenses are world-renowned for their usability, reliability, performance and impressive image quality. With the addition of the innovative new Z mirrorless system, together with a robust and proven lineup of DSLR’s and decades of the finest NIKKOR lenses, Nikon is uniquely positioned to fulfill customer’s needs no matter how they want to capture still images or video. 

“The Nikon D780 is not only a huge leap in technology over the D750, but it also integrates Nikon’s latest cutting-edge technologies to offer the best video feature-set and imaging capabilities in a full-frame DSLR,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President of Nikon Inc. “A demand exists for a successor to the D750, which offers the unbeatable combination of versatility, image quality and value.”

Perform Beyond Expectations 

The Nikon D780 sets a new benchmark in DSLR performance, vastly improving upon the capabilities of the D750 by incorporating the newest technology and some of the popular features seen in the Z series, making it powerful and versatile enough to capture anything from fast-action sports to beautifully detailed night skies. The D780 is a seriously capable camera and offers the distinct advantage of being comfortable in the hands of a photo enthusiast, as well as being a popular pro-grade tool for weddings, wildlife, and production environments.  

• High Resolution Image Quality: Offering the optimal balance between resolution and file size, the D780 is equipped with a 24.5-megapixel backside-illuminated (BSI) FX-Format CMOS sensor to deliver superb image quality, fantastic dynamic range, beautiful color reproduction, stellar low-light ability and sharp clarity to excel in a wide array of shooting scenarios. 

• EXPEED 6 Processing Power: Designed with Nikon’s most advanced EXPEED 6 image processor, the D780 is packed with the same powerful processing engine as the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7, allowing for noticeable increases in speed. In addition to greater energy efficiency, EXPEED 6 delivers improved low-light performance, 4K UHD full-frame video with full pixel readout, and enhanced image clarity.

• Wide ISO Range: The D780 retains the low-light ability that made it a photographer’s favorite for wedding receptions and nighttime photography, producing clean files with minimal noise effortlessly. Whether capturing a dimly lit dance floor, a stage performance or an astounding astro-landscape, users can rely on the D780 to retain ultimate clarity in even the most challenging lighting scenarios. The camera offers improved ISO performance across the entire range, which now goes up to 51,200 and is expandable to 204,800. 

• Blazing-fast speeds: The D780 keeps pace with the fastest action, offering shooting speeds of up to 7 fps1 at full resolution and shutter speeds as fast as 1/8000 or as long as 900 seconds2. Whether shooting the split-second action of motocross, or a bride’s walk down the aisle, the D780 lets you capture content with confidence when you only get one chance. 

• Two Powerful AF Systems Optimized for Any Shooting Style: 

o When shooting through the optical viewfinder (OVF): Nikon’s proven 51-point AF system is paired with an enhanced AF algorithm inherited from the flagship Nikon D5. 15 cross-type AF sensors maximize accuracy, and the camera uses an upgraded 180K-pixel Advanced Scene Recognition System, which analyzes the scene to ensure balanced exposures and accurate color reproduction. The AF system can reliably track rapidly moving subjects such as wildlife, yet also improves on its surreal ability to nail focus in challenging light, to -4EV in this mode.

o In Live View: For the first time in a Nikon DSLR, the D780 is infused with mirrorless technology, featuring the same 2733 point focal plane Hybrid AF system employed in the Nikon Z 6, enabling broad coverage of approximately 90% of the frame.  The system offers extremely fast, smooth and accurate AF in Live View and when recording video, a huge benefit for multimedia production. This is also Nikon’s first DSLR to feature Eye-Detection AF4, enabling a real-time tracking of multiple eyes in a scene to help ensure tack-sharp focus for portraits and candid shots. 

• Silent Shooting: When operating the electronic shutter in Live View, the D780 can shoot continuously without shutter noise at up to 12 fps. Silent shooting is ideal for documenting sensitive moments like a live performance, a wedding ceremony or discrete street photography.  

• NIKKOR Lenses: When combined with an extensive catalog of world renowned NIKKOR lenses, the versatile D780 knows no boundaries in taking on any artistic challenge. 

Video Features for Creators

The D780 delivers the best video capabilities of any Nikon DSLR, incorporating technology found in the Nikon Z 6 mirrorless camera.

• Full-Frame 4K video at 30 fps: Incorporating an FX-format BSI sensor and on-sensor phase detect AF, the D780 is capable of similar video capture functions of the Nikon Z 6, capturing full-frame 4K UHD video at 30 fps with full-pixel readout for absolute quality. A variety of other frame rates and resolutions is also selectable, including Full HD/120p for ultra-smooth motion in videos and epic slow-motion capture. 

• Flexible workflow: The D780 offers 10-bit output with N-Log5 or HDR (Hybrid Log-Gamma) support, raising the bar for video functionality and flexibility in post-production.

• Advanced Cinematic Functions: Users can enjoy more creative freedom when capturing video with the D780 thanks to its host of advanced shooting modes, including focus peaking, highlight display (zebra stripes), interval timer and in-camera time-lapse movie file recording.

Advanced Creative Features

The D780 sports an innovative and useful feature-set that empowers professionals to explore their creative potential by affording a more efficient workflow coupled with unique effects. 

• In-Camera Creative Filters: With a wide-array of in-camera Creative Picture Controls and a Special Effects Mode, the D780 enables users to effortlessly add elements of personal flare to their photos and videos. Additionally, many of these popular special effects can be captured as a JPEG while simultaneously shooting an unaffected RAW image for more editing freedom.

• Focus Stacking: Like the D850, the D780’s Focus Shift feature will appeal to macro, product and landscape photographers seeking extreme depth-of-field, by enabling the user to capture a series of shots at different focus distances and use third party software to generate a highly-defined image consisting of only the areas in focus.   

• More Flexibility with Multiple Exposures: New to the D780 is the ability to create a multiple exposure with non-consecutively shot images, giving photographers the capacity to superimpose images in-camera, even when captured from two entirely different locations and times.

• Easy Wi-Fi6 and Bluetooth7 Connectivity: The D780 offers seamless image-sharing to a smartphone or tablet when connected to the Nikon SnapBridge8 app using the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. With the latest SnapBridge app, it’s easy to download videos, RAW files or remotely control a camera from your phone or tablet. 

Built Like a Nikon

• New Touch Operability: Like the Nikon D850, the new D780 features a bright, tilting 3.2-inch LCD enhanced with touch operability to provide a more optimal user-experience.

• Robust Design: Sporting a durable build with extensive weather-sealing, the D780 retains its role as a reliable tool to handle unpredictable conditions when working in the field.

• Energy-Saving Performance: The D780 can capture 2,260 shots on single charge** which is a significant increase in battery life compared to the D750, making it the ideal companion for photographers embarking on a day-long outing.  

• On-The-Go Charging: With versatile USB Type C compatibility users can charge in-camera and transfer files more conveniently than ever.

• Dual Card Slots: Featuring two UHS-II SD card slots, the D780 provides professionals with a safety net and the ability to record multiple file formats simultaneously. 

Price and Availability

The Nikon D780 will be available in late January for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $2,299.95* for the body-only configuration, and $2,799.95* for single-lens kit configuration with the AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens. For more information on the latest Nikon products, please visit  

1. With continuous-servo AF (AF-C), manual (M) or shutter-priority auto exposure (S), a shutter speed of 1/250 s or faster, and other settings at default values.

2. When Custom Setting d6 Extended shutter speeds (M) is set to On.

3. With recording of still images using the FX (36×24) image area and single-point AF. 231 focus points with movie recording.

4. With live view photography in auto-area AF mode.

5. Footage is recorded only to the external device; it cannot be recorded to the memory card inserted in the camera.

6. This camera’s built-in Wi-Fi® capability can only be used with a compatible iPhone®, iPad®, and/or iPod touch® or smart devices running on the Android™ operating system. The Nikon SnapBridge application must be installed on the device before it can be used with this camera.

7. The camera’s built-in Bluetooth® capability can only be used to connect the camera to a compatible smart device running the SnapBridge app, and to take advantage of SnapBridge features.

8. Using the SnapBridge App System Requirements: 

a. Android 5.0 or later or 6.0.1 or later 

b. A device with Bluetooth 4.0 or later (i.e., a device that supports Bluetooth Smart Ready/Low Energy) is required.

c. The SnapBridge app is available for compatible iPhone®, iPad® and/or iPod touch®, and for smart devices running the AndroidTM operating system. The app can be downloaded free of charge from Apple’s App Store® and GooglePlayTM. SnapBridge can be used only with compatible cameras.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

** Measured in accordance with CIPA standard. 

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