mpgxsvcd: For the people who want a camera like this it is perfect. For the people who don't there are so many other options. That sounds like a success to me.
> without basic functions like battery level indicator
Of course the Df has a battery level indicator, just no percentage of charge left. It also gets an extremely high number of shots per charge (CIPA 1400), something I didn't see mentioned in the review.
Toccata47: I know three pro's that are using a df to at least back up a d4, (in one case replace). All three circumvent the retro dials in favor of manually programmed buttons and menu diving.
I think this is probably an excellent camera despite the handling hiccups, but the "pro" column in the summary here seems rather well padded, not something I expect to see in a dpr review.
Classic stylingGood blend of traditional and contemporary controlsGives sensible choice for using aperture ring or command dialFairly accessible menu system, considering the camera's complexityScrew-in shutter release socketIn-camera Raw reprocessing
6/12 pro's seem either superfluous, subjective, obvious or even dubious. Given the tone of the review I'm quite surprised to see the camera score as highly as it has.
If anything a number of the Cons are padded and completely dubious:
* SD card slot under camera awkward for tripod work * No two-button card format option * No time-lapse option * 1/4000th sec maximum shutter speed
These things are true for tons of cameras. I mean the 6D, D600, X-E1, X-Pro1 have the same 1/4000 max shutter. 1/4000 is typical for this class of camera. Heck the Nikon F2 and FM maxed at 1/1000 so a retro Df with 1/4000 makes complete sense. But they needed to find "Cons" to fit their narrative about this camera.
In the Pro section they absolutely should have added: * Extremely quiet shutter * Class leading battery life of CIPA 1400 images* Smallest, lightest FF DSLR on the market
And THE most surprising omission from the "Pros" list:
* Lowest noise high ISO performance of any camera to date including the previous low-light king the Nikon D3s (See DxOMark sensor ratings)
But they had a set narrative and stuck with it.
From Page 11
"...but the Df costs as much as the D800, *which* does include the more sophisticated 51-point Mulit-Cam 3500FX system."
Nikon D800 $2996Nikon Df $2746
Adding emphasis via italics can help drive a point home, but it won't make a false statement more true. :-) But seriously, why the claim that the Df is the same price as the D800?
whawha: You have to be truly insane to buy a £2700 camera with lousy autofocus and bits that fall off...
The Df doesn't have "lousy AF". Lousy AF would be something like the original Fujifilm X-E1, one of DPR's Gold Award cameras. Sighs. The X-E1 AF even after the firmware update is pretty mediocre in ALL kinds of light. Using a consumer grade camera like the D600 or Df, it's a question of knowing when to use the center AF point (or one of the other 8 cross-type sensors).
But I do agree that the UK price is high. In the US, the Df is absolutely NOT the same price as the D800 as the review incorrectly states, its $250 less.
chooflaki: Bjorn Rorslett has posted quite a scathing retort to the Dpreview review. Basically questions the reviewers competence as photographers. Makes some valid criticisms on their methods and is in complete disagreement with the alleged poor AF performance.
I'd take Bjorn Rorslett's assessment of a DSLR over DPR's any day. Sorry guys.
From Preview day, I knew DPR was going to give this camera a bad review but few could foresee that they would totally pile on ridiculously pedantic Cons like:
* No two-button card format option* No time-lapse option
But if it has the same AF module as the D610 and D7000 I can't imagine AF would be any different. Besides in extremely low-light the center point AF point (or other cross-type sensor points) is your friend.
Anyway, just like I take their Gold Awards for mediocre cameras like the SL1 or the absurdly small GM1 with a grain of salt, I'd be inclined to take this Df review with similarly small grain of salt. After all, when you call a camera "silly" on Preview day, you then need to back it up in your review.
Bjrn SWE: People say that Canon sensors are lagging behind the Nikon (Sony) counterparts and that Canons are no good. Strange thing, I just can't see that in this "Studio Comparison Tool" - the EOS 6D looks just as fine as any of the Nikons, at any ISO. Did I forget to bring my glasses?
First of all, ignore the JPEGs and look at the RAWs. The Df/D4 has considerably less chroma noise than both the D610 and 6D. At pixel level the D610 and 6D are close but the extra resolution of the D610 gives it an advantage for printing.
But noise at pixel level is only one aspect of sensor quality and the D610 has high DR at lower ISO values and apparently the D4/Df sensor has high DR above ISO 800 (higher than the D800/D610).
Color depth (accuracy) is another thing to look at. The D610 is really strong in this area.
Anfy: Yes, it is better than the D610 at ISO 3200 and especially 6400, but not so much to justify the difference in price and lack of video and dual SD slot.
> Dual card slots aren't really about memory capacity
They are if you are shooting video. But for still shooting in 2013 there are tons of ways to make redundant backups without dual card slots, the most common being via a portable drive, digital wallet or sending images via WiFi to a tablet in the field. Since the Canon 6D has WiFi built-in and the Nikon Df is WiFi capable, I don't see the single SD card slot as a deal breaker on either camera. And with Eye-Fi cards pretty much all cameras have this capability out of the box.
But honestly can't think of a reason to write RAW to one card and JPEG to another but everybody has different requirements. But it is nice to have dual card slots for sure, just not an absolute must as there are a variety of ways to make backups in the field.
The Df and D4 RAW files look fantastic at those ISO settings, whether or not it's needed is going to depend on what you shoot. Concert photography, events, really any available light work the extra expense for the Df is going to be well worth it. But of course the D610 is an extremely capable all-around shooter, no doubt.
Dual SDs, especially since the Df is not a video camera, are not such a big deal as fast cards have never been cheaper. I have yet to fill the 32 GB primary card in my D800 shooting RAW stills with some video.
The head is a good concept. Switching between my ballhead and fluid head is a complete drag. The problem as I see it is that Manfrotto plates are not compatible with the more common Arca Swiss plates and L-brackets. And really the best way to use a ballhead is in concert with an L-bracket. That way switching to the vertical orientation, you don't ever have to use the awkward drop slot of the ballhead. The video plate of this head is a bit of a non-starter for this reason.
keeponkeepingon: Canon makes a camera about the same size as an older rebel or nikon.
Gear of the year!
> and in the end you save quite a lot of volume.
The volume savings comes from the shallow grip of the SL1 / 100D, which only benefits portability while hurting ergonomics, especially with larger lenses and telephotos.
The small size difference between a small DSLR like the D5200 or K-30 and the SL1 basically means the Canon user can get away with one size smaller camera bag, nothing more. Since none of these cameras are pocketable, I can't imagine why some are quibbling over differences measured in millimeters.
Many including DPR staff often focus on portability issues which more often than not hurt ergonomics. For larger hands, or working outdoors in winter with gloves on with any of these miniature "walk around" cameras is truly an exercise in frustration.
The real "Gear of the Year" for an APS-C type DSLR is without a doubt the D7100 or K-3. Serious users and people not so focused on grab and go photography would be better served by one of these two cameras.
forpetessake: It stands out among entry level DSLRs, it's lighter, smaller -- some like it, some don't. But nobody really likes the outdated Canon sensor, which is a generation behind the Sony sensors used in many other cameras.
Yes the DR is the biggest difference followed by color depth. I was a bit surprised to see a full 20 points scoring between the two cameras.
> Most importantly, this article is about a very very tiny proportion of the camera buying public
Sorry, I was speaking more generally about the Gear of the Year series of articles in their totality where portability has been a focus.
Iskender: I've always really liked Pentax cameras, but after reading the frothing-at-the-mouth Pentax comments below I'm now considering hating the brand. Just to spite the fanboys, you know? :P
Some of you almost sound worse than the whiners in Olympus SLR Talk back in the day.
I didn't read the comments below but Pentax users have a right to feel slighted. Pentax builds high spec'd entry-level DSLRs that are small, weather sealed with 100% Pentaprism OVF (no cheap pentamirror), in-body stablization, 6 or more fps burst mode, etc. But because DPR is now prioritizing small cameras for walking around grab shots, none of the Pentax cameras (or any other high performance cameras) get picked.
Personally if I never read the line "it's smaller so it doesn't get left at home" again, I'll be happy. Small size is perhaps the most overrated feature of the last 2-3 years. None of these really tiny mirrorless cameras are selling all that well, so perhaps DPR is miscalculating what photographers want most in a camera.
> Anyone shooting in JPEG won't experience that.
Of course buying a decent DSLR or MILC and shooting JPEG is kind of a waste as now all of your archives are 8-bit compressed files.
But at least DPR has one DSLR in what is IMHO, a poorly named the "Gear of the Year" series. The SL1 might not be the most thrilling or performant APS-C DSLR, but it's a very well done camera in spite of the shallow grip and fixed LCD.
> So it's fair to say the sensor in the SL1 isn't the best in class, but unless you're pushing low ISO Raws
It's not only DR where the SL1 is lacking compared to the other non "Gear of the Year" cameras. Color depth, high ISO and resolution are also behind most other APS-C cameras.
This new trend of picking all small size, so-called "walk around cameras" to focus on is strange considering that this type of user is only a small percentage of the camera buying public.
D1N0: low light champ (just)
Nothing is wrong with Sony sensors. Someone above wrote:
"They should have gone for 24mp. The minor gain over the D4 isn't worth keeping it at 16mp. I guess sensor tech has hit a bit of a barrier, they've milked the Sony's for all they can?"
The point is Nikon is not "milking" anything, they use sensors from Renesas, Sony, Toshiba, Aptina, et al. Anyway, it's hard to believe that some people are complaining about the sensor in the Df, which is absolutely great. I have a D800, it's great, but file sizes are pretty huge often making it overkill for everyday casual shooting. The 16 mp sensor in the Df is perfect for high volume, event or travel type shooting.
Calistoga_Guy: This is a perfect camera for me. I work mostly doing event photography, and the light is always bad, or it's outdoors at night. While everyone is complaining about this and that, I'm just looking at what is currently the best image sensor you can find in a dSLR. If resolution isn't an issue, then the D3s is still KING.
As for noise, I work with nothing but high ISO. 800 is my base, and 3200 is where I live most of the time. But noise from a single RAW file that people look at isn't the whole story. When brining up shadows, that's where things can get ugly, and sorry, the D610 or D800 or Sony FF sensor just won't cut it. For roughly half the price of a D4, two of these bodies would work for me. Is the df perfect? Far from it. The images posted here that are from RAWs and not from the camera jpeg engine are very, very good. comparing this to a 5D III? Sorry, not even close. Only the 1D X sensor is worthy enough to compare.
He's right. Above ISO 800, the Df does have better dynamic range than the D800/D610. I don't remember if it's 1 EV or 1/2 EV but it's a fairly significant difference.
FoveonPureView: Pay ONLY (!) DOUBLE (!!) the price of the 16MP Df and buy a 40 MP MEDIUM FORMAT Pentax 645D instead. Nuff said.
The Pentax 645D is $9000 in the States, $7000 body only and $2000 for the 55 f/2.8 normal lens. The other two lenses are $5000 each.
You must be using some of that new math. :-)
Petrogel: Will this kind of consumer DSLRs be dead in 5 years?These DSLRs are already dead, but they don't know it yet
Camera Shipments Worldwide Jan-Sept 2013
Single Lens Reflex404,927,271
Seems like you have it backwards. In spite of all the best efforts of websites like this one to promote mirrorless, it looks like the only interchangeable lens cameras making money are DSLRs.
mholdef: I am just baffled about the wildly negative reactions about this camera
@Blue Swan Media Nikon is not about to put the D4 AF system in other classes of cameras. They remember what happened with the D700/D3.
@Teru Kage It's hard to be "style over substance" with that sensor performance, which amazingly edged out the legendary D3s on DxOMark in Low-Light score. But Nikon users for years were asking for this type of camera (i.e. FM Digital). Its hard to fault Nikon who listened to users and delivered.
Lots of the negativity in these boards comes from mirrorless fans. And some comes from our friends abroad in European countries where Nikon's pricing is unfortunately high.
But the Df negativity started right out of the gate, not only on the forums but from so-called professional reviewers. Language like "silly" and "eye-watering price" started early on in the Df Preview in spite of the fact that the Df offers D3s level high ISO performance for a little over 1/3 of the price of the D3s/D4, a price that sits between the affordable D610 and D800 in most regions. Honestly don't remember such a negative camera Preview in all the years I've been reading this website since early Phil Askey days.
And I'd bet the farm that the negativity will continue straight through the actual review in spite of the fact that the Df is turning out to be an extremely capable camera that is easily in the upper echelon of cameras released in 2013. Is it a Fujifilm X? Thankfully, no.