Nowelly: I find these comments incredible. As a current Nikon user, an ex-Canon user (back to the days when it all started with the EOS 650), I have to say that the Df is a refreshing addition. I will also say, as a Nikon user, in photography, ergonomics mean "ease of access to the majority of critical exposure and mode controls at a heartbeat" (because often in photography, you need to make a split second decision, not browse through endless menus and two-handed command dial + button options). Photography is all about getting that vital shot, not about faffing with over-complicated gear and impressing your mates with what hangs around the neck. The Df offers a return of that elusive one-turn dial adjustment or flick of a switch, made possible without removing an eye from the viewfinder ... many photographers will view that possibility alone, with D4 sensor, as worth it's weight in gold.
"The Df offers a return of that elusive one-turn dial adjustment or flick of a switch, made possible without removing an eye from the viewfinder ...
No, the Df is the opposite of what you're saying. These control dials aren't easily reached from normal hand holding positions, so good luck trying to turn them while your eye is to the viewfinder. Plus, most of these controls are locked, requiring you to depress locking pins before turning them. All the controls are designed to be slower to use than modern interfaces. That's "retro". Take the process of simply changing exposure comp, for example. It's a very easy, ergonomic process on a modern DSLR, easy to do even with your eye to the viewfinder. On the Df, it's on a dial located on the left side of the camera, and you have to depress a locking in to do so. Not exactly "ease of access to the majority of critical exposure and mode controls at a heartbeat". Just watch the video ads! This camera is all about slower operation.
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.
Cdatar: I think this camera would be great for street photography (like the X100/100s non black versions). People see them as an old film camera & don't feel threatened as they do with obviously digital cameras. Put on an old wide angle 24mm hyperfocus it, set it to 125/s f8 & ISO 200 or use the auto ISO & get some great natural spontaneous street shots without people looking at you strange or turning away as much. BTW I am a Canon shooter, but still see the value in this but not as a camera to take on a Pro shoot.
Street photography benefits from having a compactly sized camera, like the X100 or Leica M. The Df is definitely not compactly sized. Heck, just look at the image of it next to a Nikon F3. It makes the chunky, tank-like F3 look svelte!
Yes, an old film camera would generally be considered "less intimidating"...but not because it looks old or because it shoots filme. It would mainly be because of its smaller size. Old film cameras are pretty small and slender compared to a most of today's big, thick, fat DSLRs (retro styled or not).
Ozwork: Canon? An opportunity to do it properly.
@marike6 - why do you need FD lenses when you can put Olympus OM, Nikon F, Leica R, Pentax K, Pentax M42, and Contax/Yashica lenses on EOS bodies? As for your claim that interchangeable focusing screens would have made the Df "significantly more expensive", that sounds pretty baseless to me. After all, the $1899 FF Canon 6D has interchangeable focusing screens!
And if you're suggesting to drop the camera "into LiveView and use the magnifier just like any DSLR" to get precision manual focus on the Df, well that's not very retro is it? In other words, manually focusing a manual lens on the Df really isn't going to be much better than on any other DSLR. Retro window dressing. And the fact that the "Special Edition" kit lens for the Df is just a standard AF-S 50/1.8-- not a manual lens-- but with a bit of window dressing, such as a silver aluminum ring around it, says a lot.
@marike6 - the advantage with Canon's EOS mount is that it has one of the shortest lens registration distances of any SLR/DSLR system. That means that, with an adapter, it is compatible with a *huge* selection of lenses from various lens systems. Canon EOS bodies will accept Olympus OM, Nikon F, Leica R, Pentax K, Pentax M42, and Contax/Yashica lenses because Canon EOS's lens registration distance is shorter than all these other lens systems.
But the point is moot since the Df really isn't a manual focus camera anyway. It's just a standard AF DSLR but with retro window dressing (knobs and dials on top). So I think Ozwork's point is that Canon could also produce a retro-styled EOS body-- still AF-- but with some knobs and dials on top like the Df. And they could easily one-up the Df by offering interchangeble focus screens-- a big omission on the Df! But hopefully they won't go overboard with the faux retro theme like Nikon did.
JimWongyyz: Seems those born after 1980's don't appreciate workmanship and good design.
Sometimes I wonder if they prefer Casio over Rolex. If they argue that a Casio has more functionality and more accurate than my Rolex, how should I answer.
You honestly think today's DSLRs don't have good design? Today's cameras fit your hand so nicely, like a glove, and their layouts are designed for efficiency and ease reach. A camera like the Df, with a bunch of dials all over the place, none of which are reachable with your hands in their normal holding position, isn't "good design", at least not from the ergonomic perspective. It's just "old design". Like the boxy, square mouse that was introduced with the first Apple Macintosh, compared to today's modern, sculpted, smooth, ergonomic mice.
As for "workmanship", you're delusional if you think there are craftsmen building these cameras by hand. The only company that still does that is Leica, and they have the prices to prove it!
NCB: 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.
Cluttered screen with big legible font, or cluttered top-plate with tiny characters ringed around dials. Your choice. Frankly, I think the Df's top plate looks at least as cluttered as any LCD screen, if not more soe. And the size of the characters on those dials are *much* smaller than the characters on any LCD screen. Heck, even on the Df's *tiny* top-plate LCD screen, the characters on that tiny LCD screen are taller and thicker than the characters on the dials! And the characters on a rear screen are downright ginormous compared to the characters on those dials!
robmanueb: "All things being equal, if you can add a function, why not do so?"
Then they mention the battery might not be up to it and the lack of microphone jack. Well that would seem like two good reasons right there. Whatever format video comes out at on modern SLR cameras someone will always complain that it's needs to be higher resolution with another frame rate with more manual control over all the video functions and no jello roll regardless of how prone CMOS is to that effect.
So I'll give a third reason, price, video as a function is not a free lunch and it's not a firmware hack away. So a bunch of photographers who don't take video get to rationali$e buying a high quality camera they wouldn't have been able to afford if it had video. The high ISO will make people covet this over a D610. So it has niche.
Well done NIkon.
"Then they mention the battery might not be up to it"
But why'd they give it such a small battery? Because they decided to give it a small "retro" style grip that could not accommodate a regular DSLR battery. So in the pursuit of retro design, they ended up having to use a weaker battery...form at the expense of function?
jackspra: Makes no sense to omit video.
"Who really buys a DSLR to shoot video?"
A *lot* of people. I think a large chunk of DSLR sales are now going to people specifically buying a DSLR for video, and who have little or no interest in photography. Every wedding videographer I've worked with in the last few years at weddings is shooting video with DSLRs.
The crazy thing is that Nikon is actually charging you *more* for the privilege of owning a DSLR that doesn't have video! In other words, "no video" is actually a feature that you're paying extra for. Even though it's probably just disabled in the firmware. It's a crazy gimmick. But people who don't like video will just lap it up, and say that it's worth every extra dollar!
Uuno Turhapuro: I am surprised that the fact that iso and exposure compensation dials are on the left side of the camera has not been discussed here before?
I am using my left hand to support the camera and setting focal length, focus and maybe aperture ring. So if I am using manual mode and want to use fixed aperture and shutter speed and setting the correct exposure via ISO I have to move my left hand from its correct position. Same if I am using aperture or shutter priority I have to move my left hand again to change exposure compensation. So how is this exactly better than using command dials with and without simultaneous button press with my right hand to set all these important setting without moving my left hand?
Modern cameras are optimized for ergonomics and efficiency; minimal hand or finger movements. But these designs only happened after years of refinement and evolution. Retro designs pre-date all these ergonomic evolutionary changes that we take for granted today. Retro doesn't embrace all these ergonomic refinements. In fact, it basically rejects them. Why? Because the point of retro is to shed all the design refinements that characterize modern cameras! That's why the Df has knobs that are inconveniently placed and impossible to reach from your normal camera holding position. That's why the grip looks primitive. That's why the shutter button has been placed in a fairly un-ergonomic position on the top plate, rather than on the grip like on modern cameras. And some people actually like this! I know, crazy, right?
It's the ol' "everything was better in the past" mentality.
JimWongyyz: Wish Canon could make dAE1 equivalent.
No, a classic Nikon FM2 film SLR is for grown ups with taste. This Df Frankencamera wanna-be retro, faux manual, is for trendy people who have more money than taste, or who think their money can buy taste.
Sam Carriere: "If you can add a function, why not do so"?Come on. Video on a still camera is strictly a ploy to extract a couple more hundred bucks. If I want to toast bread, I'll use a toaster rather than a microwave and if I want to shoot video I will use a camera designed for that purpose.I applaud Nikon for resisting a ludicrous trend.
The irony is that Nikon removed video from the Df, and jacked up the price. Why? Because there are nuts out there who hate video so much, they are willing to pay *more* for a camera that doesn't have video (even though it's probably just disabled in firmware and the external video REC button taken off). Talk about "extracting a couple more hundred bucks"! Ha!
As for video in DSLRs being a "ludicrous trend", video is helping out DSLR sales more than you realize. There are a *lot* of videographers shooting video on DSLRs. At every wedding I have shot in the last few years, all the wedding videographers are using DSLRs. As DSLR sales are currently in decline, camera manufacturers (and even photographers) *need* as many people to buy DSLRs as possible. And the inclusion of video in DSLRs has *hugely* broadened the appeal of DSLRs far beyond just photographers. If it weren't for video in DSLRs, you can expect the decline in DSLR sales to be a lot worse than it already is.
yudi4vfx: I love the dials for shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation. :-)
I hate the fact that they are all locked, forcing you to depressing locking pins in order to use them. That will get annoying very quick. And with the PSAM mode dial, you have to "lift and rotate" it in order to use it. It's rather ironic because people are thinking that these dials will simplify changing your settings, when in actuality, the way Nikon has implemented it, it makes it more complicated and will slow you down.
Donnie G: Has Nikon finally come up with a way to silence the wails of those Nikkor legacy glass owners who have cried in protest for years because they felt as though they had been abandoned by the company? Are there enough of those old farts still alive who will be willing to pluck down $2,800 for the chance to be able to use their closet full of 50 year old Nikkor lenses one last time? Will they even be able to remember where that closet (or even the bathroom) is? Ok, who hid my teeth? :)
" silence the wails of those Nikkor legacy glass owners"
More like faint and distant whimpers. Or was that just the wind blowing? Yep, it was just the wind.
Edmond Leung: The sample photos are absolutely fantastic. Now, FF for less than $3,000.... Why stay on the low quality 4/3 and APSC? No Way!Some people said this camera is overpriced. If you even cannot afford $3,000, go to the 4/3 web. Poor guys, don't stay here.
Did you just crawl out of a cave or something? FF has been less than $3000 for a few years now. A lot less than $3000.
Jogger: I dont understand the need for dedicated dials and such.. i use my D700 just fine.. its ergonomics are perfect, imo. I can change any setting without leaving the OVF.
In the old days, before LCDs.. you needed them to display your setting.. but, the Df has a top level LCD that displays the same shooting information. And, what the heck is that Mode dial for.. its not necessary on a pro camera.
It's the old "everything was better in the past" mentality.
RRJackson: There's good and bad here.
The weight is a big deal. My old Olympus OM-2n weighed 18 oz. My D700 weighs 35 oz. This new Nikon weighs 25 oz. So actually closer to the OM-2n than the D700.
The grip doesn't look all that comfortable. I made do without for decades shooting with an OM-2n, but when I go back to those cameras now I miss having a comfortable grip.
The lack of interchangeable focusing screens is puzzling in a camera like this.
The locking controls are nice. Reminds me of my F5.
The price is higher than expected, but still lower than my D700 was when it was released.
Overall it seems like an excellent effort, but hopefully just the start of a move towards smaller, lighter, more practical cameras with the functionality of the film cameras Nikon was so good at building. Maybe bring back the match-needle metering of the FM3A. There's nothing better than the swing of a needle to visually tell you where your exposure is going.
@samhain - it's not about whether you can lift a camera. It's about carrying it around for long periods of time, and the level of comfort/discomfort it entails over time. Especially if you travel a lot. It's nice to be able to lug around less weight. That's why hikers and outdoorsmen are always working to shave grams off their gear. Lighter utensils, lighter pots, lighter packs. And these guys are not weenies!
In so many other professions, hobbies, sports, etc, they are all comfortable with talking about how lighter weight gear can be a benefit to performance. Heck, even the military takes gear weight into consideration. And yet, when it comes to camera gear, it's as if some people want their gear to be as heavy as possible. Maybe it's because a lot of photographers are just weekend warriors, and heavy gear allows them to feel macho.
gabriel foto: LOOKSLovely camera - in black! The chrome version, I believe, is targeted at hipsters
SIZEWhat most of you don't seem to have realized is that this is the smallest full-frame DSLR ever (at least from Nikon and Canon, what other brands are there?)
HANDLINGTurning a knob is easier than trying to locate a button, pushing it, then looking at bleak LCD while turning a wheel. Maybe not for pro work, not with your eye to the viewfinder perhaps, but in many cases, and in daylight.
VIDEOMaybe something wrong with me but I don't do video. One button less is a relief.
AUTOFOCUSNot sure whether anyone has realised that the 51-point AF module of the D800 or D4 takes up a lot more space at the bottom of the camera body than the 39-point module of the D600 / D610. Dx cameras like the D7100 can accommodate the bigger module because they have a smaller mirror housing -> more space. For the very compact Df, the 39-point module is the perfect (and only) option.
"Maybe something wrong with me but I don't do video. One button less is a relief."
The DF probably has more dials, knobs, switches, and buttons than any photo camera ever made, and yet you are relieved that it doesn't have video because it means "one button less"? LOL!
"Turning a knob is easier than trying to locate a button, pushing it, then looking at bleak LCD while turning a wheel."
Not these knobs. ISO, Exposure Comp, and Shutter Speed knobs each have their own locking pins you have to depress in order to turn them. PSAM mode dial, you have to "lift and rotate" to turn it. And none of these knobs, pins, or dials fall within easy reach of your fingers when you are gripping the camera as normal. And yes, the DF still has a "bleak LCD" on top, but it's a tiny one, so it's bleak *and* tiny. Awesome! But at least you can illuminate an LCD screen to see your settings in low light. Can't say the same about all these knobs and dials. I don't suppose they used bioluminescent paint to mark up the dials and knobs, did they? I don't think so.
Camediadude: Wow Nikon!! Taking it back to the basics, DROOL DROOL DROOL DROOL ...
I think he's probably drooling for other reason. As in, he's always drooling.