DF is for ME not YOU

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
Escaping
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Nikon Df – for who is this camera about?
In reply to Hulamike, 5 months ago

mmm is the Df for me?

For years many Nikonians were screaming for a digital FM, then we salivated for MF support like peak-focus that Sony and Fuji offer, then we scream again for a D750 (and for a D400 as well), and we question what is Nikon thinking for launching a tiny 1” sensor mirrorless instead of a larger format while watching Fuji bringing out the retro X and Sony beating everybody to the punch with the FF mirrorless A7’s. Now that the Df is launched, we scream about the doom and the end of Nikon. OK, I exaggerate a little here but the noise I get from most of the posts sure sounds like this is the last camera Nikon will ever create.

What do I think of the Df?

It is not the ideal camera that I had wished for. Some MF support would be wonderful for sure. A more petite body in line with the FM is also preferred. No battery grip? Even the FM or even the budget FG had that option! And that price tag? That hurts! However, I must give Nikon some credit. There is no denial that the D4 16Mp sensor is a sweet choice. The weather sealing and solid build appears to be a great effort for a camera of this class. A CAM3500FX would be better for sure but the CAM4800FX is not bad. No built-in flash? I am ok with that. 5.5 fps only? I am ok with that too. And what about this retro look? The Df prism sure looks the one from the FM.

But is this Df a glass half empty? Or is it half full? For many who scream bloody murder, it must be an empty bottle instead of a half glass.

To me, it is not a camera for everybody. The day for such a universal camera is over. The cell phone is the one playing that role now. In the eyes of the Nikon planners, they probably define success as cameras that meet specific criteria for a defined segment and that can sell in good enough quantity. The D4 meet that criteria for the demanding sports photographers so it does not need more than 16Mp. The D800 is for the high resolution fashion or studio professionals who do not need that 10fps. The D7100 is good enough at that price point, so is the D610. Now the Df is for those who appreciate that look of the old film camera’s, just like how Fuji X cameras have that look of the old RF’s. Not everybody will like the Df. Some will even hate it. But the Df is different enough. It differentiates itself. And there will be many who will know how to appreciate it. Will there be enough for Nikon to call it a success? That, we wont know for a while if ever. For now, I give credit to Nikon to try something different, to launch something instead of keeping the design only in its R&D labs.

Will somebody buy one? Will I buy one? That is the bottom line, regardless of what we scream about.

The last FX Nikon I got was the D700. I was the first customer for it at my local camera store. I did not get the D3 or D4 because of the prices. I like the D800 but don’t care about handling those huge 36Mp – that is too much for me. I don’t like the D600/D610 because I have the D7000 and D7100 and prefer the ergonomics of the D300/D700/D800 line. I have hoped for a D750 with the D4 16Mp sensor in a D800 body as well as a D400 to replace my D300. Nikon is introducing this Df instead. Difficult decision here ! If the Df price had come in between the D610 and the D800, I would be again the first customer for it at my local camera store. But $2750 for the Df body is a bit rich for me to grab it right away. But will I buy it? Eventually yes, may be in a few months after I save a few more bucks for it. Why? Because I am one of those persons who drive a stick shift manual transmission modern car, who appreciate a well made precision swiss watch, who still use a fountain pen. Yes, the modern automatic transmission is way better than me shifting, the analog watch requires me to adjust time instead of my cell phone clock which is synch’d to the network. And my fountain pens often make a mess of ink when I fill them up from the ink bottle. But there is a joy in the process of getting to some final destination, or to look at time, or to write a letter, or to capture a photograph. I think that Nikon is correct in aiming to bring that kind of joy to that segment of photographers that include me.

Yes, the Df is for me.

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Escaping (CT, USA) www.pbase.com/cvanlang
D700 / D300 / D7100 / K-5 / K-m / G2 / GF1 / V1 / LX7

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