Nikon D780 Review

Nikon D780
Overall Rating
Based on 17 expert reviews

If want to buy a new DSLR these days, the one to choose is the Nikon D780. That's consensus from reviewers who uniformly agreed that the D780 is one of the best new DSLRs on the market. The catch is, of course, that there aren't many new DSLRs lately as sleeker mirrorless cameras take over. So while there's a lot to like about the Nikon D780 including the excellent image image quality and crisp 4K video from its 24.5MP full frame sensor, its reliable autofocus and solid, ergonomic build with dependable weather sealing, DSLRs and their older flippy mirror design are starting to feel a bit dated. Several reviewers pointed out that the D780 is actually more expensive than comparable mirrorless cameras which, in some ways, offer more modern features. The Nikon D780 is also a big and bulky camera that's less portable than its mirrorless counterparts. But if you prefer the optical viewfinders in DSLRs vs EVFs on mirrorless models, and have a lot of F-mount lenses that you'd like to use natively on a Nikon DSLR, you really can't go wrong with the D780. It's the best of what could be a dying breed of camera.
+ If you like DSLRs, this is the DSLR to get
+ Solid, ergonomic camera design
+ Dependable weather sealing
+ Excellent image quality
+ Speedy 7 fps continuous shooting with tracking
+ Crisp 4K video
+ Fast Live View autofocus
+ Reliable eye AF
+ Handy tilting rear touchscreen
+ Great battery life
+ Dual SD UHS-II card slots
- More expensive than comparable mirrorless camera options
- DSLRs feel dated
- No built-in flash
- Big and heavy
- No image sensor stabilization
- No rear joystick
Full Model Name
Nikon D780
Camera Type
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Kit Lens
AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens (optional)
Frame Rate
7 frames per second
Autofocus System
51-point AF system including 15 cross-type AF sensors
ISO Range
100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)
Optical viewfinder
Weather/Water Proofing
Weather sealing
Rear Screen
3.2-inch tilting LCD with 2,359,000 dots of resolution
Card Slots
Dual UHS-II SD card slots
2260-shot battery life
Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
5.6 x 4.5 x 3.0 inches
29.6 ounces
Top Reviews

"The Nikon D780 is a fabulous all-around stills and video camera for folks who prefer the DSLR-format. It's well-built, comfortable to shoot with and highly customizable. Autofocus performance is, for the most part, excellent." - DPReview, read the full review here.


"There are no fireworks with the Nikon D780. It doesn’t bring radical new technologies, bar-raising specifications or wacky design features. It’s simply an excellent evolution of a great camera design that has something for enthusiasts and experts everywhere." - Digital Camera World, read the full review here.


"If you want a DSLR, the full-frame Nikon D780 is the one to buy. The follow-up to 2014’s popular D750, the $2,300 D780 is a new Goldilocks camera and Nikon’s first DSLR to include on-chip phase-detection autofocus. But do you want a DSLR?" - Digital Trends, read the full review here.


"This D780 is clearly designed for those Nikon shooters who have lots of F-mount lenses and are not yet convinced that mirrorless bodies are the way forward…for them. And if that description sounds familiar, you won’t find another full-frame Nikon that better delivers a combination of high-quality images and video along with a complete set of contemporary features for the 2020’s." - Shutterbug, read the full review here.


"We hear a lot of talk about the death of the DSLR, and the unstoppable rise of mirrorless. But DSLRs remain the best choice for many photographers, particularly those who have existing lenses or honed their craft with optical viewfinders – and the D780 is one of the best full-frame options around. It combines great image quality, a weather-proof build, superb battery life and modern autofocus skills." - Tech Radar, read the full review here.


"The Nikon D780 is as good an SLR as you'll find, but it doesn't offer some of the advantages you get with mirrorless cameras." - PC Mag, read the full review here.


"I love my Nikon D780 over everything mirrorless because, like the real camera it is, everything just works and GOES! instantly. There's never any waiting as with mirrorless; my D780 responds instantly to every button or shutter press, its autofocus is much faster than any Nikon Z camera and all its memory and saving functions work as they should, letting me recall all my settings in the flick of a dial to reset my camera completely between my favorite combinations of shooting settings." - Ken Rockwell, read the full review here.


"The Nikon D780 a great DSLR and is an excellent choice of camera for anyone wedded to an optical viewfinder. It has a solid, dependable body and impressive battery life. It also has Nikon's best Live View system to date, which makes the camera that bit more versatile." - Camera Jabber, read the full review here.


"Overall, the Nikon D780 is a fantastic work-horse camera that is a good all-rounder for both professionals and advanced enthusiasts. Those who are working professionals already equipped with higher-specced cameras, such as the D850 or the Z7 might consider the D780 as a good second camera, while it could also be a main camera such is its versatility." - Photography Blog, read the full review here.


"As we found out, the Nikon D780 copes with almost everything you throw at it, including freezing cold climates and continues to produce excellent results. If you're in the market for a full-frame Digital SLR, then the Nikon D780, with a 24mp BSI CMOS sensor, should be very high on your list, particularly if you shoot in low-light conditions, as you'll benefit from the low noise levels on offer." - ePHOTOzine, read the full review here.


"The Nikon D780 may not look especially new on the surface, but it still manages to improve upon one of the most impressive DSLRs ever, the D750, in a number of important ways. This is a deeply refined camera, unlike many others on the market today; Nikon now has so much institutional knowledge with this type of DSLR that the result has vanishingly few flaws." - Photography Life, read the full review here.


"Nikon’s D700-series has been a staple part of the full-frame DSLR market for more than a decade and close rival to Canon’s EOS 5D series since 2008. The D780 arrives a bit late for those who’ve already jumped ship to Nikon’s excellent Z-series, or other full-frame mirrorless system, but this doesn’t take anything away from what is a sensational camera that’s built to a professional standard and is a sheer delight to use." - Amateur Photographer, read the full review here.

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