Nikon D780 review

Is the Nikon D780 a last hurrah for the DSLR, or a sign of more to come?

5 Star Rating
Nikon D780 review
(Image: © Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

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. Nikon has at last brought fast phase detection live view AF to its DSLR design, it’s added pretty advanced 4K video features, a better continuous shooting speed and buffer capacity than we’d expect at this price, and you get Nikon’s typically comfortable, polished and balanced DSLR handling. Bravo, Nikon!


  • +

    Chunky, satisfying handling

  • +

    Fast live view AF

  • +

    Uncropped 4K video

  • +

    Good burst mode

  • +

    Dual UHS-II card slots


  • -

    Dual AF systems

  • -

    Manual live view swapping

  • -

    Expensive while new

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The Nikon D780 will reignite a long-running camera debate about mirrorless versus DSLR cameras. It might even blur the boundaries and draw the two sides closer together, though we’re not going to count on it. For some photographers a camera is just a camera; for others the choice between mirrorless and DSLR is as divisive as opposing political ideologies!

Like last year’s Canon EOS 90D, the Nikon D780 is staging a counter-attack against the advancing hordes of mirrorless cameras. It takes crucial mirrorless technology, from Nikon’s own mirrorless Z 6, to produce a kind of hybrid camera that offers the best of both worlds – an optical through-the-lens viewfinder but the high-performance live view AF and video features of a mirrorless camera.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at