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Nikon's D750 is a pro-level DSLR with a practical side

The $2,300 D750 adds a tilting screen and integrated Wi-Fi in a lighter body

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What would happen if you pulled some of the best features from Nikon’s D810, and others from the company’s flagship D4S, and put them all inside a smaller, lighter body? You’d get the D750: a new, full-frame DSLR from Nikon that slots in between the D610 and D810. Replacing the finely aged D700, this new camera is actually the lightest among Nikon's traditional pro series. Weighing a very apt 750g, it's significantly lighter than both the D4S and D810, and even bests Nikon's D610 and Canon’s full-frame EOS 6D. That doesn't come at the cost of functionality, either, as the D750 includes a new 3.2-inch tilting LCD, built-in Wi-Fi, and space for two SD cards. Built with a monocoque construction featuring carbon fiber at the front and a magnesium alloy on the rear and top, this new camera is also weather-sealed and gasketed to keep moisture and dust out.

Like the D610, the new D750 features a 24.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, which Nikon says is newly developed and promises "image quality that’s nothing short of astounding." Nikon hangs its hat on lush colors and strong dynamic range, and the company says the D750 delivers both in spades. As a step up from the D610, this camera has been fitted with Nikon’s Expeed 4 image processor, similar to what you’d find in the D810 and D4S. And it uses a 51-point autofocus system that’s near identical to the higher-end cameras, so you get 15 cross-type AF sensors,11 of which work up to f/8. The D750 supports burst shooting at 6.5 frames per second in full resolution, which may come as a slight disappointment for those hoping to use it for sports or fast action.

The D750's greatest strength looks to be in its low-light performance. Its ISO range extends from 100 to 12,800 (plus Nikon's Hi2 mode offers an equivalent of ISO 51,200), and this thing can practically see in the dark and focus at -3EV. That’s a first for any Nikon DSLR. It’s better than what the D810 can manage; even the D4S is only capable of focusing as low as -2EV. Nikon seems to finally have an answer for Canon’s prosumer 6D DSLR, which has been hailed for its low-light excellence since its introduction. If you often find yourself shooting concerts or other stage shows, you’ll also probably appreciate highlight-weighted metering — borrowed from Nikon’s top-tier DSLRs — which helps the D750 avoid blown highlights when capturing images.

This is a camera that can see in the dark and lock on where others hopelessly hunt for focus

For videographers, Nikon says the D750 will get you most of what's on the D810. It shoots 1080p at 60, 30, or 24fps with full control over aperture whenever you’re filming. A Power Aperture feature, borrowed from the D810, promises to smooth out transitions when you’re adjusting aperture on the fly. And the LCD will show zebra stripes if the video you're taking is overexposed.

The D750 is going on sale from September 23rd in a body-only configuration costing $2,299.99, €2,149, or £1,799.99. A kit including Nikon’s 24-120 f/4 lens will follow up in October. At that price, the D750 sets up an internal conflict for anyone considering the D810. If you don’t need that camera’s higher megapixel count for studio work, Nikon’s latest offering might be the better choice since it carries over a lot of desirable features, shrinks down in size and weight, and costs a thousand dollars less. If you're shelling out over $6,000 for the D4S, odds are you need it for a very good reason. But for anyone looking to get very serious about photography (or pros in search of a second body), Nikon has put together a worthy contender in the D750.

Additional reporting by Chris Welch