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Review

Nikon D780 First Impressions: Best of both worlds

We recently spent some time with the Nikon D780. Here are our first impressions of the latest DSLR.

Nikon D780 First Impressions (1)

Nikon, the Japanese camera maker, launched its latest DSLR camera, the Nikon D780 in India. The company revealed details of the D780 at the recently concluded CES 2020. Just hours after the initial announcement, Nikon shared the pricing and availability details for India as well. Additionally, the company also managed to bring the new camera to Consumer Electronics Imaging Fair (CEIF) 2020. CEIF 2020 is also known as Mumbai Photofair 2020, an annual convention of everything related to photography and video.


The company showcased its latest DSLR offering to photography enthusiasts, retail partners, and more at Photofair 2020. The new DSLR is essentially a spiritual successor to the Nikon D750. The company has also added some interesting features to the D780 making one of the most unique new launches. Just days after the launch, Nikon invited us to the Photofair where we spent some time with the Nikon D780. Here are our first impressions of the latest DSLR offering from the camera maker.

Nikon D780 specifications and price in India

It is a full-frame camera with a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. Similar to the D750, the D780 also offers 24.5-megapixel resolution photos. However, the new camera offers improved dynamic range, color reproduction, and quality. Talking about the internals, Nikon has added its Expeed 6 image processor in the camera. As seen in Z7 and Z6, the Expeed 6 offers improved low-light performance along with 4K UHD video recording at 30fps. Talking about other features, D780 comes with an ISO range of up to 51,200 that can maxes out at 204,800.

The camera also offers shutter speeds of up to 1/8000 of a second or up to 900 seconds. One can also get up to 7 frames per second while shooting. Now, let’s cover the auto-focus system of the Nikon D780. First up, the new DSLR sports an optical viewfinder from the classic system. In addition, Nikon has also introduced an in-live view focusing on a DSLR with the D780. In-live view mode is similar to what we get on the newer Z-lineup with up to 90 percent frame coverage. It is also the first Nikon DSLR to feature eye detection autofocus along with face detection and real-time tracking.

The D780 also offers silent shooting along with 4K video recording at 30fps and FHD at 120fps. It will also offer a 10-bit video output for more flexibility during post-production. Nikon has also added in-camera filters, focus stacking as present in the Nikon D850, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity. Instead of a single XQD card in the Nikon Z-lineup, the D780 features two UHS-II SD card slots.

Users can also charge their camera with the on-the-go charging facility Type-C port. The body for Nikon D780 is available at Rs 198,995, while the full kit is available at Rs 242,495. The kit lens includes the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 lens for versatile shooting. Nikon India confirmed that the device will go on sale by the end of January 2020.

Design and key features

As for the camera design, the outer shell is bulky and considerably heavy as we saw in the Nikon D750. However, the internals have seen a massive upgrade both in terms of the processor as well as capabilities. As mentioned, these include Expeed 6 imaging processor, 4K at 30fps video, eye auto-focus, live-tracking, and touch screen input. Despite the bulky and dated design on the outside, the internals are as capable as any other camera released in 2019. I have already mentioned a number of “firsts” that work as the highlights of the Nikon D780. Nikon is confident that the D780 will be able to match the demands of its customers.

First Impressions of Nikon D780

During my limited time, I was quite impressed with the offering. Being both a Nikon D750 and Z6 owner, I find the D780 the ideal mix of both the cameras. It sure is heavy, but all the new features are great. The inclusion of a number of impressive features from the Nikon Z-line makes it one of its kind for Nikon. In fact, other companies such as Canon are moving towards a similar future. A future where more mirror-less features will find their way to the traditional DSLR form-factor. This will ensure that the classic DSLR evolves to meet the changing landscape. In the meantime, interested buyers should be ready to get the best of both worlds.

  • Published Date: January 13, 2020 7:33 PM IST