In the Scrum with the Nikon D750

A few weeks ago, in Wisconsin, I shot my first live sporting event with the OSU Rugby Club. Since I do not shoot a lot of sports, I was nervous about how the shots would turn out.  I really wanted to take out the Nikon D750 after going to the release event at our Learning Studio and hearing so much about the camera.  I picked the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR lens to pair with it because I could get close to the action with the serious zoom and still shoot handheld using Nikon’s Vibration Reduction if I needed to.  Eager to get shooting, I woke up early before the game to play with the camera and watch some Nikon user videos to prepare me to use the lens.

DSC_1931With the D750 being the lightest and smallest DSLR full frame camera, I wasn’t sure if the lens would make it uncomfortable to hold. It ended up being really easy to carry around. Even with the size of the lens I had no difficulties carrying it and running down the field. The body also has a good amount of magnesium alloy in the frame, making it very durable, even as light as it is. To take the weight off my arms, I used a Benro C49 carbon monopod.  I chose a carbon fiber monopod because it is lightweight and strong, and the C49 has a wide swivel pod base, that prevents sinking into the grass.

Maybe it was the camera, or maybe it was the thrill of the game, but I’ve never had so much fun shooting and watching an event.  Within a few minutes of the game starting, I was yelling and cheering on the team while getting my shots.  I’m used to being a portrait photographer, so this was an entirely different type of photography for me.  I know I still have a lot of practicing to do as far as capturing motion and predicting shots, but I’m incredibly happy with my results.

Even though it’s good to be excited about what you’re shooting, it also presented a problem.  I was getting so excited and into the game that some of my shots didn’t turn out as clear as I’d like them to be.  It was hard not to be nervous too, with the team expecting great photos from me as well as it being my first live game.  Since the Wisconsin game, I’ve been able to shoot some more action photos at the USA Eagles vs. New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Match and the OSU Rugby Club’s match against Michigan.  I’m confident in my shooting abilities for the BTU Championship game this weekend and I’m hoping that my shots will be more thought out and planned.

DSC_0611I have to credit some of my action shots to the impressive continuous mode of the camera that can capture up to 6.5 fps. This is a benefit of the new EXPEED 4 Image Processor.  The autofocus got an upgrade also, with a 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors. This definitely helped my ability to capture the action.

I fell in love right away with the Nikon D750’s Wi-Fi capability. It was extremely easy to use and made posting online, via my iPhone, simple and fast. I was able to upload score updates along with photos throughout the game, which was not possible with my Nikon D7000. Also, the D750 is the only full-frame camera from Nikon systems that offers this internal Wi-Fi feature!  Since the game, I have been carrying around a few different cameras that don’t have this Wi-Fi capability, and I often find myself in situations where I wish I had the capability.  Some people overlook this feature, but nowadays, people want results posted fast and instantaneously which is impossible to do without this feature.



Another key feature I found to be helpful was the tilt-screen. Because of this, I was able to take pictures and record video of the players from high and low angles. Even when they were talking with the coach during timeouts in the huddle!

Because I was shooting continuously and shooting more photos than usual, I appreciated the long battery life. The battery is rated to last up to 1230 shots. This is a little longer than the D810 that has the battery life of 1200 shots.  The 80-400mm Nikon lens performed amazingly well for sports photography.  The fast and quiet autofocus made shooting exciting and fun.  With how fast the guys were moving, it was important that this lens was able to keep up.

The D750 also has incredible video quality, with the ability to shoot 1080p videos at 60 fps! That gives videographers slow motion in full HD and more crisp sports footage. Previous full frame models could only reach 30 fps at 1080p. With microphone and headphone ports, and a tilting screen this camera is aimed at anyone looking to shoot both high quality stills and great HD video.

Check out some rugby action below!

Here is a behind the scenes from Nikon from the making of their short film “Unchained’. There are all kinds of movement and motion captured in this video. The photographer is shooting both video and stills with the same camera and the same set ups. The new generation of DSLR’s are set up to do just that. Shoot everything, all the time. Magnesium alloy in the body, a tilting screen, and all the image quality of a full frame sensor! Check the video below.

Here is a walk through of all the new features of the D750!



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