Nikon D750 vs D600 / D610 Low ISO Comparison
Let’s take a look at how the Nikon D750 compares to the D600 and D610 cameras that have sensors of the same resolution (24.3 MP):
Although there is practically no difference in performance between the two cameras at low ISOs, take a look at how the two compare at ISO 800 – the Nikon D750 appears cleaner, especially in the shadows. You will also notice that the shadow areas of the D750 look a bit darker and cleaner. Looks like Nikon is applying a different noise reduction algorithm that actually darkens the shadow areas and then runs noise reduction on top of it, which creates cleaner images.
Nikon D750 vs D600 / D610 High ISO Comparison
Here is the difference between the cameras with ISO pushed to 1600 and above:
Although ISO 1600 looks comparable, there is definitely a visible change between the two at ISO 3200. Again, the image from the D750 appears a little darker in the shadows and there seems to be less chroma noise visible as a result. Although the sensors appear to be almost identical, there is a definite “tweaking” process taking place as part of the image processing pipeline.
The advantage of the new noise reduction algorithm is pretty evident at ISO 6400 – the D750 appears less noisy, especially in the shadows. At this point, there appears to be between 1/2 of a stop to a full stop of advantage on behalf of the D750, depending on where you look.
And it is pretty clear that the D750 is also visibly cleaner at ISO 12800.
ISO 25600 shows a similar picture, with the D750 looking visibly better in comparison.
As I have previously noted, it is interesting to see that noise performance between the two cameras looks quite different when using Adobe’s RAW conversion. Just like with the D810, Capture NX-D seems to be a much better tool for RAW image conversion and analysis at this point, especially at ISO 3200 and above. I am not sure why Adobe’s RAW conversion is so poor for the new Nikon DSLRs, but judging from the latest release of ACR and Lightroom that did not fix the D810 RAW output, this poor rendering is here to stay. I really hope that folks at Adobe can get their stuff together and get this issue fixed as soon as possible.
Nikon D750 vs D600 / D610 Summary
Just like I said earlier, it seems like we have reached the innovation wall for current CMOS sensors. Although there is a pretty noticeable change in performance on the D750 when compared to the D600 and D610 cameras, it seems like this change is a result of smarter noise reduction, rather than sensor improvements. Nikon is basically tweaking images by applying a different tone curve, then running a more effective noise reduction algorithm, which results in less chroma noise throughout the image. While some might call this cheating, it certainly does effectively reduce noise and create cleaner images.
Nikon D750 vs D810 Low ISO Comparison
Let’s now take a look at how the D750 compares to the 36 MP D810 at low ISOs. Since the D810 has a lot more resolution, I down-sampled the image from the D810 to 24 MP for a proper comparison:
As expected from the process of down-sampling, the D810 images appear to have more detail. Noise-wise, both cameras are very clean from ISO 100 to 800.
Nikon D750 vs D810 High ISO Comparison
Let’s see what happens at high ISO levels above ISO 1600:
ISO 1600 appears similar on both.
Pushed to ISO 3200, the Nikon D810 seems to have a little more noise in the shadows.
At ISO 6400 the Nikon D750 is cleaner – take a look at the shadow areas, where the D810 has a few visible artifacts and more chroma noise.
The difference is even more evident at ISO 12800, where the D750 looks cleaner, with very little artifacts in the shadows.
At ISO 25600 there seems to be between 1/2 to 2/3 of a stop of difference between the two.
Although ISO 51200 is unusable on both cameras, the D750 produces a cleaner image – details and colors seem to be preserved better.
Nikon D750 vs D810 Summary
It is pretty clear that Nikon has pushed the 24 MP sensor output further than before, thanks to its superior output. Although both cameras seem to be similar at lower ISOs, the Nikon D750 seems to have less chroma noise and seems to be able to retain both details and colors a bit better than the D810 at high ISOs. This is especially noticeable at ISO 6400 and above.
Nikon D750 vs Nikon Df Low ISO Comparison
The Nikon Df has a similar sensor as the Nikon D4, so this particular comparison might be interesting for those that own either the Df or the D4. For this test, I down-sampled the Nikon D750 images to 16 MP to match Df’s resolution:
Aside from differences in color, both look very clean from ISO 100 to 800.
Nikon D750 vs Nikon Df High ISO Comparison
Let’s take a look at what happens when the two cameras are pushed to ISO 1600 and above:
I cannot see any differences at ISO 1600 either.
At ISO 3200 we see a slight difference in performance – surprisingly, the Df actually appears to have more chroma noise in the shadows!
Things look rather interesting at ISO 6400 as well, with the Nikon D750 looking cleaner and having practically no artifacts, while the Df produces some in the shadows.
Once again, the Nikon D750 actually appears cleaner when compared to the Df even at ISO 12800!
ISO 25600 is very noisy on both – the cameras suffer badly. The Nikon D750 appears to have more chroma noise, but the Df loses plenty of details.
Hard to say which one is uglier here.
Nikon D750 vs Nikon Df Summary
Seems like the Nikon D750 matches, if not surpasses the Nikon Df at practically every ISO. Only at ISO 12800 and above, the Df has less chroma noise, but the luminance noise levels are practically the same and the Df loses sharpness at pixel-level.
Nikon D750 vs Nikon D4s Low ISO Comparison
Again, I do not see any differences in performance between the D750 and the D4s at lower ISOs.
Nikon D750 vs Nikon D4s High ISO Comparison
Let’s push ISO to 1600 and higher and see what happens:
ISO 1600 looks identical on both cameras.
The same goes for ISO 3200.
Aside from a few artifacts here and there, the D4S appears just a tad better in the shadow areas, but the difference is too small to matter.
Hard to say which one looks better, but I personally prefer the output from the D750.
And at ISO 25600, I also prefer the image from the D750 – fewer artifacts to see, although the amount of chroma noise on the D750 is a bit higher in the shadows.
Where the Nikon D4s clearly does better is ISO 51200, but that’s way beyond my comfort level anyway…
Nikon D750 vs Nikon D4s Summary
Based on the above comparison, I can say that Nikon’s 16 MP sensor no longer offers any practical advantage over higher resolution sensors, aside from smaller files. As I have said before, it looks like we have reached the innovation wall with the current CMOS sensor technology and Nikon is simply using smarter noise reduction methods on its newer generation 16 MP, 24 MP and 36 MP cameras. For me personally, the usable ISO range with any modern camera is around 100-6400 (with occasional max ISO 12800) and that’s where the D750 delivers, even when compared to the $6500 D4s. But keep in mind that there is a lot more to the D4s than just image quality!
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