Was it just me who was singularly unimpressed with the sample gallery? Was the overall quality better than your average compact? It didn't strike me that it was. OK, most compacts don't do speed. But otherwise ...
retro76: If there is one thing I have noticed for last few months is that every camera whether it's a FF or APC Canon / Nikon, Sony NEX, Micro 4/3rds, the Nikon 1 series, or Fuji all produce very similar IQ (under the right conditions, there are some exceptions). There just isn't anything special about the IQ from a given camera anymore, everything has reached the point of maturity. A few years back I would have given my left arm for the Nikon DF, but I really feel that Nikon waited too long (and their price point is too high). I have moved on and entered into the mirrorless camera realm where everything I could possibly need is available. I am sure this camera will be a success either way, it's beautiful and Nikon is definitely the king of sensors at this point and continue to push out new lenses faster than any other manufacturer.
Similar IQ doesn't mean similar images, and the differences matter. I like the Fuji X-series cameras, good IQ, except there's the issue of mushy greens, which would seriously affect the sort of shots I take (grass figures a fair amount). NEX cameras produce attractive output, until I start looking at examples similar to the sort of landscape stuff I shoot a lot, and the colours don't do it for me.So, cameras are still different, and it's up to you work out what sort of output you want and which camera is most likely to give it to. Me, I've gone with Nikon output for some time, and I think this Df gallery is just great; there's life in the output, and the colours are just what I'm looking for. Add in superb high ISO performance and the possibilities are enormous.
ryanshoots: Still offering two basic colors of skin-tone, peach or grayish yellow. This is a wonderful camera in may ways. Nikon colors not being one of them. Do they offer one with a b&w sensor?
Depends what you shoot. Fuji probably offers better people-cameras. Go out and shoot landscapes and Nikon have it nailed.
Pixnat2: The D600/610 deliver better images at low ISOs. So if you're not a high ISO shooter, they are better value.
If by better you mean higher resolution, then how often do you need that higher resolution? 16mp is enough to deliver a top quality end product for almost all purposes. I think Nikon has got it right here going for pixel quality not quantity. If you aren't actually utilising the extra pixels then those extra pixels are a pain; larger files, extra processing.
Great gallery by the way. Those pics have a zing to them.
NCB: The SLT-A58 isn't a DSLR and shouldn't be on the list. My choice would be the Nikon D3100, not on your list but still available at a truly bargain price. Great image quality and handles like a dream. The kit lens is quite good, better than you imply, and alternatives like the cracking 16-85 are reasonably priced.
Video isn't why people buy DSLRs; there are better ways of doing it. The SLTs are no good for people who want optical viewfinders, the vast majority of those who do buy DSLRs.
The SLT-A58 isn't a DSLR and shouldn't be on the list. My choice would be the Nikon D3100, not on your list but still available at a truly bargain price. Great image quality and handles like a dream. The kit lens is quite good, better than you imply, and alternatives like the cracking 16-85 are reasonably priced.
Overall a pretty fair review. Think maybe there should have been a few caveats about personal preferences and needs. You're not going to choose the E-M1 if you want an optical viewfinder. And colour is a personal thing and depends to some extent on what you shoot; I mainly use Nikon, think the colour is great, but I like what Pentax output I've seen as well.
Wonder if the "mushy greens" in the Fuji output should have been mentioned. I'm attracted by the X-E1, but in example output I've seen the greens (as in grass) don't look right, and there's something odd about other aspects of the output.
Zallon - I think you need to look deeper than the retro look which people are assuming is the main appeal of the camera. It looks to me a superbly made (can't tell until I've got my hands on it but it looks that way) camera, with the guts of the D4, traditional controls (I won't say retro) which many photographers prefer, in a relatively light, compact (for a FF camera) form. Add all those up and you have a camera which is going to cost, particularly the superbly made bit.
So, some people are going to say "like it but can't afford it". Some of those will wait a bit, mull things over, find they still like it, and find that the price has come down and they'll go and buy it. Others will look at it and be sufficiently convinced by it they'll fork up the cash and go and buy it now.
Me? The more I look at it the more I can see it's attractions. I think it will become a classic. Not because of nostalgia retro appeal. But because it is a terrific camera. It will sell.
NCB: Price: all things are relative...
For around the same price you could get a Leica X Vario. Fixed lens (28-70 equiv zoom) APS-C compact. No grip. No viewfinder. Limited external controls.
Nice camera in its way but I think the Df is vastly better value for money.
The Leica lens does seem to be top notch. But then, the cheapo Nikon 50mm f/1.8 has a very good reputation, and then there's the quality Nikon glass that the purchaser may already have.
Price: all things are relative...
Coliban: The Df is NOT a "retro" camera, only people who´ve always stuck to the status quo and who never have enough fantasia to incorporate new developments think in this way. The Df is a step in the future, preserving techniques which have proved reasonable for one century and combining with state of the art quality High-Tech components. People who think the quality of a camera is the result of outwardness style may think as well they could give milk like a cow when they tie themselves a cowbell around their necks.
The reality is different.
You produce good photos when, first, you can make good photos and second, when you have they taste and abilities to do so. They outside look of a camera is not important. The Df is not "Retro" the Df is a camera with dials and wheels, proven to be good for most of the artist in the past.
Only ignorants can combine the outwardness style of a camera with a supposed quality of the results: the images, taken by the cam.
So "modern" means a chunky grip? Chunky grips are overrated. They're OK if you do a lot of waving the camera around one-handed. But for shooting two handed it's no great advantage. I've just been running through my SLRs/DSLRs; I'm fine with the Df style of grip. For actually taking a pic it's as good as any other grip.
T3: If "retro" never existed, and this was simply a brand new design of camera, I think people would be looking at it a bit more objectively (i.e., without the cloud of nostalgia love). Instead, we would be comparing it to other DSLR designs, and be saying...
...the grip is too small and shallow, the shutter button is poorly placed, the lug straps are poorly placed especially once the straps get installed, the top plate is cluttered, the dial and control markings are tiny, the top LCD is tiny, dial markings should be illuminated to make them easier to see in lower light, few of these controls are easily reachable from normal hand holding positions, the use of a mechanical plunge cable release negates the option of electronic intervalometer and radio remotes, other body designs with larger grips accommodate larger batteries, it's pricey, etc.
But instead, the love of "retro" allows all these normal considerations to be ignored. "Retro" certainly has a powerful and odd effect.
T3 - the funny thing is a lot of CSCs have shallow grips or no grip at all, have the shutter button placed on top, etc, etc, but nobody's saying a whisper about it. It's OK producing a retro CSC apparently, but not a retro DSLR.
I still shoot a basic metered manual film camera, the Yashica FX3, shallow grip and shutter on top. It's fine. It's just different. Whether one approach works on a camera depends on the camera, not the approach. I've got modern cameras which are a dream to hold and ones which aren't. A lot it's far too easy to hit the wrong button just by picking it up. Looking at the back of the Df I like the way the controls to the right of the rear screen are shifted away from the right thumb; a lot of cameras don't do that at all.
Trying to visualise how it would feel in the hand, based on other similar cameras I've used, my guess, and it is a guess, is that it would be fine. Different, but works OK.
Bottom line is:a) this is Nikon's smallest and lightest FF DLSRb) functionally it's a totally modern DSLR, whatever the looksc) it has an outstanding, proven sensord) it offers the traditional controls which will appeal to a number of photographers
It will sell.
Many CSC users will hate it because it strikes at everything they've bought into. The brighter CSC user will realise that it's simply a different sort of product, but an equally valid one.
Craig from Nevada: Retro is soooo 2012
There are 2000 comments because people think it's worth commenting on, either because it presses all or most of the right buttons, or because it tramples over someone's concepts of what a camera ought to be.
The worst thing for Nikon would be no one commenting on it. I think they'll be happy. Suspect Canon is feeling a bit green at the moment.
Physical dials versus rear screen. I think DPReview has missed the point here, for two reasons:1) some of us find rear screens cluttered. When we want to take a pic we don't want to have to scan through the info squeezed onto the screen to find out what were looking for, and check when we've altered it. Screens are a pain. The dials separate out the information, and are much easier to see at a glance what a particular thing has been set to. And indeed to alter that thing.2) some of us wear glasses for reading, but not when taking pics. Rear screens are not easy to read for us people, one reason why I never buy a camera without a viewfinder. Dials don't present the same problem.
NCB: I think people are missing the point with this camera. Forget about the retro looks. It's the retro controls which are important; direct access to the things which photographers have been using since way back. It's a camera for photographers who are at home with those sort of controls. The looks follow from having those controls. Yeh OK they've made sure it looks like the Nikons of old, but all camera makers pay full attention to the marketing side of things, why not?
And people who complain about the rear looking like a digital camera rear are also missing the point; it IS a digital camera, a fully fledged one. Nikon aren't fool enough to cripple the digital side of things in pursuit of some retro ethos.
This camera is what Nikon says it is; a fusion of traditional controls with a totally up-to-date digital engine. Stop looking at the looks; its a serious camera for a particular type of photographer.
Yep, but there's a lot of Nikon glass out there which does have aperture rings. I have an excellent 50mm f/1.7 with one. What's a tad annoying is that on current plans Nikon won't be releasing body-only in the UK. I don't want or need the G lens.
CraigArnold: I quite like the Df. I mean it's ugly, and it's not really a MF camera, more 1985 retro than 1960 retro. But still it's kinda nice and probably takes good pics.
And yet, look at the street prices of FF cameras in the UK:Nikon D3x £5249Canon 1DX £4845Nikon D4 £4239Nikon Df £2749Nikon D800E £2349Canon 5D3 £2329Sony A99 £2149Nikon D800 £1802Nikon D610 £1799Sony A7R £1699Canon 6D £1475Sony A7 £1299
Is there any conceivable reason to prefer it to the list of less expensive cameras below it?
Craig - useful list, but you've made one mistake. The Df doesn't have a street price. It's not out yet. Like nearly all cameras, when it does emerge the street price will quickly drop. Unless demand is overwhelming, in which case Nikon have got the price right!
I think people are missing the point with this camera. Forget about the retro looks. It's the retro controls which are important; direct access to the things which photographers have been using since way back. It's a camera for photographers who are at home with those sort of controls. The looks follow from having those controls. Yeh OK they've made sure it looks like the Nikons of old, but all camera makers pay full attention to the marketing side of things, why not?
Ken Rockwell said "The Nikon Df is small, light, tough and intuitive" . That sums it up nicely. It won't appeal to people who think their plastic CSCs are the bees knees, or that their iPhone is the only way to take pics now. It will appeal to real photographers who go out to get real top quality pics.
Dimit: I believe that this camera is a DISASTER,aesthetically,egornomically,financially and predict-as all of Nikon stuff-inferior to similar models of other-not naming-brands.Specifically:-Like it or not,the majority prefers 24,or 36 mp,wrong?-39 focus points?-Speed up to 1/4000,really?-No focus peaking,the epitome of manual focus aid?-Wrongly positionned controls,I've counted 6,no need to name them one by one,people familiar with analog controls already realize that-No video?..for God's shake!-Just one card in the compartment-Still biggy-Under specified in general-Ugly.Looking old doesn't necessarily means handsome-Expensive..kit should be exactly..1800 $ !
Dimit - OK, you hate Nikon. So you're not going to attempt to like this, rather the reverse. But just a few points:-a) like 24/36mp? No. 12 is enough for me. I want quality, not quantity.b) 39 focus points. Too many, selecting focus point by screen/controller too tedious. I point, focus, recompose.c) speed 1/4000. Overkill, unless you're into action photographyd) control positions look fine to mee) underspecified? More than enough to make full use of my stock of Nikkor lensesf) biggy? Well, I would have liked something smaller, but it's small for a proper FF DSLR. Maybe Nikon could produce a smaller entry-level version.g) ugly. The black looks fine to me. Don't like silver/black on any camera.h) expensive. In the UK, definitely. I'll give you that. Should be at least £500 cheaper.
I like it, on balance. It's the only thing I've seen which would get me going FF. But it has to be cheaper