I guess it is the most debatable topic for photographers these days who want to upgrade their cameras in 2021. I chose D780 because I'm so used to shooting through the optical viewfinder. I want to be able to see things as they happen in real-time because sometimes you only get one frame to take the shot. Although I can also use the flip-out screen and use the autofocus features those mirrorless cameras provide and be able to get action at a peak moment, really important when shooting fast-paced objects. The AF on the video is sweet.
I would feel really comfortable taking just this camera out for both photos and videos.
Why I chose the D780?
1. Because it has an optical viewfinder.
2. The OVF AF system has been brought from the legendary Nikon D5.
3. Amazing battery performance. 2250+ shots per charge.
4. Hybrid features of both a DSLR and Mirrorless.
5. 2 UHS-II SD card slots.
6. Internal focusing motor so that I can use the vast F-mount lenses as well as the old ‘D’ lenses (AF) too for photography and cinematography as well.
Okay, I know it’s debatable because some people are okay with the electronic viewfinder (EVF) but the purists will always prefer an OVF over EVF.
Why D780 is better than Z6?
Because it gives the same video capabilities as Z6 + a lot more.
Like a much longer battery backup, better Optical viewfinder (OVF) photography, better handgrip feels more lens options.
Why Z6 is better than D780?
Of course, one can use the FTZ mount to use any F mount lenses in Z6 too. And the built-in 5 axis stabilization is still exclusive to Mirrorless cameras. XQD card slot is much faster and more reliable than SD cards.
Why choose D780 and not D850 in 2020?
Because D780 has some great video AF capabilities which are still missing in the Photography dominated Nikon D850. It has a better ISO range for low light with native ISO up to 51,200 which can be expanded up to 2,04,800 in HI mode.
What similarities the D780 share with the Z6?
· 273-point AF system (D780 in live view)
· Face and eye-detection AF system
· 4k UHD up to 30 fps and 1080p up to 120fps
· Uncropped 4K footage.
For whom the D780 is for?
For the photographers who want to upgrade from D750 but don't want to switch to mirrorless for any reason.
Long Term Review
It’s been 10 months since I’ve been using The Nikon D780 and it excels in every aspect as per my requirement. The 4k video, the ISO range, The AF system is working completely fine and it keeps on getting better after every firmware update. I’ve used it in extensive weather conditions too, like in heavy rain and it still performed well.
The D780 can do everything that the Z6 does if not more with the ability of everything that D750 can. Of course the DSLR features and algorithms. While shooting with the OVF, it provides 51-point contrast-detection AF points in which 15 are cross-type. The algorithm has been brought from the high-end D5. This is until using the viewfinder.
But the fun begins when you switch it to live view. The mirror locks up and this hybrid camera starts behaving like a mirrorless camera. With 273-point contrast & phase detection hybrid AF capable of face and eye detection in photos and full-time AF, subject tracking and face detection in videos.
It shoots 6k video and downgrades it to provide 4k footage up to 30fps which is uncropped unlike every other camera in the market (except Z6). It also let us shoot 120 fps in 1080p apart from dedicated slow motion. It can also record N-LOG videos at 10 bits per second if connected to an external HDMI display.
This camera has a battery backup of more than 2250 shots per charge which is several times more than any mirrorless camera of this price range. It also has expeed 6 processor same as Z6 to give more ISO range same as Z6.
Also, the shutter speed of this camera is also been upgraded from the previous ones ranging between 1/8000th of a second to a whopping 900 seconds and then bulb mode.
So, I chose D780 because of these reasons. The Z6 is an equally capable camera with some other unique features too.
The D780 or Z6 still lacks some features which are available in rival brands such as Sony and Canon at this price range but the ease of usability and UI features of Nikon is very good and it also had a lot of features that the others don't have and our very own Nikon is providing many firmware upgrades to keep up with the pace.
What would you buy if you were in my situation?
Let me know in the comments below