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Nikon brings high-end full-frame camera features to new midrange D750 DSLR

Nikon is expanding its lineup of full-frame (FX format) DSLRs with the new D750. Slotted between the D610 and D810, the D750 has some of the attributes and features trickled down from the higher-end D810 and even D4S, but with a price ($2,300) that makes it affordable to enthusiasts or pros looking for a secondary camera. But just because it has a lower price, doesn’t mean it’s a slouch.

One of the things the D750 inherited from its high-end siblings is the magnesium alloy with carbon fiber construction, so expect the D750 to feel more like a professional camera than an entry-level model. Yet, it has a thinner, more compact body. Nikon says the unibody “monocoque” skin design that’s similar to racecar construction. Magnesium alloy also makes the camera body lighter, and the D750 is weather-sealed to protect it against dust and moisture. The shutter has also been tested to handle 150,000 cycles. New to Nikon’s FX DSLRs is a 3.2-inch tilting LCD (RGBW, rated 1.2-million-dot) on a three-axis mount (90 degrees up or down), making it ideal for overhead shots or filmmaking. Another FX first is built-in Wi-Fi, allowing for image transfers and remote operation via a mobile device. The camera also lets you transfer images using FTP (via optional components), a feature many studio photographers use.

Another trickled-down feature is the light metering system and 51-point autofocus system, which Nikons says it’s great for tracking wildlife and fast-moving sports. Using the same Expeed 4 image processor as the D4S and D810, the D750, along with the sensor, can handle burst shooting of 6.5 frames per second at full resolution, as well as provide enhanced noise reduction and ISO range of 100-12,800 (expandable from 50 to 51,200). A lower price means fewer megapixels than the D810, but a 24.3-megapixel CMOS sensor is nothing to sneeze at. Nikon says the D750 delivers rich colors and gradation, and based on our tests of other high-end Nikon DSLRs, we don’t doubt that.

Related: Nikon D5300 review

Nikon has been evolving its DSLRs to become more video capable, and that’s the case with the D750 – borrowing many of the video features found in the D810. The D750 handles Full HD 1920 x 1080 video recording at 60, 30, and 24p, and allows users to make manual adjustments; a feature called Power Aperture, also taken from the D810, lets you make smooth transitions while adjusting aperture, and control shutter and ISO in manual. The camera can record to both SD memory card slots simultaneously, or record to one card and an external HDMI recorder at the same time. Other videographer-friendly features include Zebra stripes that indicate overexposure, headphone and mic jacks, and Exposure Smoothing for time-lapse.

The camera will be available in late September 2014. A kit that includes an AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR lens will come in October, price TBD. Also optional is a battery pack/grip for $485. If you’ve been looking to move up to a full-frame DSLR, but want a bit more high-end features than the budget D610, the D750 and its $2,300 might appeal.

Besides the camera, Nikon also unveiled the AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED prime lens. This ultra wide-angle lens fifth in the FX-format f/1.8 lens series, and will cost $800 when it’s released in late September. The fast aperture allows for shooting beautiful bokeh, with a wide 94-degree angle of view. It offers quiet operation and fast autofocusing, making it ideal for shooting videos. Nano Crystal Coat on the lens reduces ghosting and flaring.

AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED lens

AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED lens

Finally, Nikon has a new Speedlight LED-based flash, the SB-500. It covers 16mm (FX) and 24mm (DX), the SB-500 will sell for $250 in late September. This compact flash has three levels of light adjustment, and can be controlled remotely. It tilts 90 degrees for a full bounce off the ceiling, and swivels 180 degrees when you want softer lighting. The LED light is also suitable for videography.

SB-500 Speedlight flash

SB-500 Speedlight flash

The D750, plus the new lens and Speedlight, is ideal for anybody wanting to enhance their photography with a lower-cost full-frame DSLR without sacrificing many of the high-end features.