It's hilarious that pretty much every camera with a shutter button gets an award on DPR. Some cameras like the X-E1 with its RAW conversion issues, subpar AF even get Gold Awards. The Nikon Df, perhaps because of a crowbarred comparison with the Fuji X cameras on day one ("retro done right") and the reviewer's fondness for the X cameras, gets zero, zip, nada. Lol. DPR was under no obligation to give the camera a good review, but giving it such a high score, but no award AT ALL was frankly a passive aggressive swipe at Nikon and Nikon users, not to mention kind of petty gesture.
I checked the Df out the other day at B&H and it's quite nice. It felt great in my hands, nice a bright VF, and it focused quickly and accurately. One thing is for sure, I'd trade my Fujifilm X-E1 and all my X lenses for the Df, in a second. Retro right or wrong, for me there is just no comparison between these two camera.
Frankly, this review as a hachette job. I've always defended them against the claims of bias, but after this absurdly negative, nick-picky review, I feel zero compunction to defend anyone anymore.
Erroneous claims that the Df is the same price as the D800 and a high number of nit-pick Cons that were never mentioned for other reviewed cameras, i.e., 1/4000 max shutter speed, SD card on bottom, etc.
It could be that there are few if any DSLR shooters on staff but there are several extremely positive reviews of the Df on-line by top pros, see Sam Hurd, Nasim Mansurov, et al. But DPR couldn't be bothered talking about the the extremely quiet shutter, great battery life, or the fact that the Df beat the score of the legendary D3s the previous low-light champ on DxOMark. Instead they lamented the lack of time lapse mode. :-) The phrase "jumped the shark" comes to mind. Sorry guys.
steveh0607: I noticed this camera was only given a numeric score. No "gold" or "silver" designation. Why?
That's an easy one: passive aggression.
They decided from day one in the Preview that somehow the Fujifilm X cameras were great, and the Nikon Df was somehow lacking. Considering that I paid $2300 for my X-Pro1 kit, which by the way has the same 1/4000 max shutter speed, the same SD card slot on the base, RAW processing issues, and about the worst AF of any mirrorless cameras, it's the height of hypocrisy to hold the Nikon Df to a completely different standard regarding price/performance.
DPR had no obligation to give the Df a good review, but I'd at least expect them to be fair.
marike6: 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?
The D800 released at $2996 and the D800E at $3296.
The D800 price of $2,796 on B&H you are quoting is a special "Instant Savings" for the holidays, something you didn't mention.
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.
Yes the Df has no flash which contributes to the extremely high 1400 shot rating. That said, DPR complains about the lack of a battery percentage meter (causing confusion like above), but unlike Thom Hogan in his Nikon Df review, they don't mention the excellent battery life it gets from such a small battery. Kind of an odd omission wouldn't you say?
RichRMA: Americans won't like this one. They tend to buy cameras on a weight to dollar ratio..
Maybe Americans don't like small and fiddly.
Or perhaps they don't have a problem exerting a little effort for a hobby. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, so if a good shooting experience means carrying a DSLR or larger mirrorless so be it.
mpgxsvcd: Is this the first camera that Dpreview didn’t even give a Silver or Gold award to?
No. The Pentax K-01 and the Nikon V1, the first mirrorless camera that with a quality PDAF system and blazing fast processing/fps got zero love from reviewers.
But in general, almost every half way decent camera gets at least a Silver Award. But with Amadou seemingly gone, and few DSLR shooters on staff I expect we'll see more negative reviews like this one to come.
Yes in Europe. In the US, where DPR is mostly based these days and has a Gear Shop, the Df does not cost as much as the D800. Not sure why the reviewers are making this confusing claim in the region where they are based.
> 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
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.