My Take on the Nikon DF after 1 month use... :)

Started 7 months ago | User reviews thread
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Radz108
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My Take on the Nikon DF after 1 month use... :)
7 months ago

I purchased my Nikon DF kit with 50mm lens at the end of November. With it, I bought a Nikon 28mm f1.8 and a Nikon 85mm f1.8. I older kit is a Nikon D300 with vertical grip with a Nikon 17-55m f2.8 and Nikon 70-200m f2.8. I sold my Sony NEX 7 kit with a Sony 50mm 1.8 and Sigma 30mm 2.8 for my DF kit.

I used my DF kit exclusively during this busy holiday season and I have racked up nearly 3000 shots with this kit. So in short, I have some experience with it

What I like (in no particular order):

1. It is much lighter than my D300 kit.

2. The grip and size are very comfortable for me. I thought the shallower grip would be an issue. But with my prime lens, it wasn't. I even tried it with my Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRI a few times and I found using the camera with this fairly large lens was a non issue for me. Indeed this lens balances a bit better with my D300 with grip, but on the DF (with my left hand supporting it), I had no issues. I even shot a church choir concert for 2 hours without hand fatigue with this camera and lens.

In regards to the strap lug placement. At first I thought it was in a strange position but after adjusting my grip and placing the lug between my index and middle fingers while gripping the camera, it was a non issue.

3. AF - faster, much better continuous tracking and much better low light autofocus than my Sony NEX7. Compared to my D300 (which had the older but excellent 51 pt focus system), I found the DF at least comparable in speed and accuracy even in low light. Center points were better than the outer points in focusing especially in low light but nothing that I would even consider a problem with the camera.

4. I really like the dials! I had no issues with the locks (at least I don't accidentally move the dials while using the camera). I like the fact I can see what my iso and EC settings are right away. The dials are easy to move even with a pair of thin gloves on. After using the camera for a month now, I feel quite comfortable moving the dials and the holding the camera without issues. It doesn't "fight" me like the Sony Nex 7 did. It feels different compared to my D300 but just as comfortable to hold and operate without the added weight.

5. Image quality especially at high ISOs - excellent!!

What would make it better:

1. I don't mind 39 focus pts but I wish they were more spread out across the frame. I don't really like to focus and recompose. When shooting at shallow DOF, focus and recomposing could potentially result in blurry shots.

2. Faster FPS - I would have liked at least 8fps instead of 5.5

3. AF assist light would be helpful in some low light situations.

Overall, I really like the camera People say it is a "niche" camera to be used for specific situations and photographic styles. For my needs, it is my main camera and I would use it for pretty much everything I do photographically. My D300 has now become my "niche" camera whenever I need faster FPS and reach due to it's DX sensor.

Using AFC/D9 focusing

Flying high!

Token low light shot

Shot with the Nikon 70-200 VR

Available light

Mounted Bounce flash SB800

Available light

Nice dynamic range

Mounted Bounce Flash "Lowly" SB400

Christmas Photo Booth style - Single Unmounted SB800 flash into an umbrella

Cheers and Happy New year!!

 Radz108's gear list:Radz108's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +2 more
Radz108's score
4.5
Average community score
4.1
bad for good for
Kids / pets
excellent
Action / sports
great
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
excellent
Low light (without flash)
excellent
Flash photography (social)
excellent
Studio / still life
excellent
= community average
Nikon D300 Nikon Df Sony Alpha NEX-7
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