Nikon D780 Review

March 5, 2020 | Amy Davies |

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.

Noise

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.

JPEG RAW

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)

iso204800.jpg iso204800raw.jpg

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.

night.jpg