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.
Haim Hadar: In the 'retro' spirit, Nikon should add a feature that blackens the photos in the camera if you open the back cover by mistake while shooting. I'm sure that the firmware can handle this.
They need an art filter that simulates a light leak in the body.
Louis_Dobson: Scary price. Otherwise, want!
Excellent modern digital camera with proper controls (and no video rubbish clagged on the top) - so far, so Fuji, but much better lens support.
Why has it taken so long?
"Excellent modern digital camera with proper controls (and no video rubbish clagged on the top)"
Instead it has a bunch of faux retro, locked-up dials and knobs "clagged on the top." Enjoy pushing lock pins to turn some dials, while 'lift and rotate' to turn other dials. At least the "video rubbish" isn't functionally and ergonomically intrusive, like all this retro rubbish. You can at least ignore the video feature if you don't want it. Harder to do that with these knobs, push pins, and dials.They could have used a few more knobs on top, though. Six or seven more would have been nice.
vFunct: And no, you DON'T need video in your dSLR.
dSLRs are the absolute WORST bodies for videography purposes.
The reason is that dSLRs are designed for still photography, and their grips are close to the center of gravity. This allows them to be turned and rotated quickly. Basically it's an unstable system that works because still images generally don't need stability.
Any cinematographer that's tried video with dSLRs quickly learns of this hidden problem with dSLR video, when they go to edit and they see useless, shaky footage. This is a MAJOR complaint editors have with dSLR video (another complaint they have is that everything is out of focus because of the shallow DoF..)
Meanwhile, videography requires constant stabilization. That's why ALL professional video cameras include shoulder mounts, or are used with Steadicams.
People that think they need dSLR video have no idea how bad dSLRs actually are for video.
You really need a different camera for quality videography.
vFunct, the market has spoken. No one is pointing a gun to videographers heads and forcing them to buy DSLRs to shoot video. They are doing it by choice. And I've seen so many excellent videos, shot on DSLRs, that the evidence of its effectiveness is completely totally proven, many times over. And one lone video-hating DSLR guy ain't going to change that.
If you hate video in DSLR so much, go buy a DF. But I doubt there will be many DSLRs that will follow the DF's path. Nikon just felt they needed to do it to follow their "pure photography" retro marketing angle.
tongki: Where is Canon with AE-1 Program style !!!
where is it Canon,ARE YOU AFRAID WITH NIKON ???
Maybe they'll turn their next EOS M (with a viewfinder) into a faux AE-1. At least it would be more compact like an AE-1, not like this DF.
dannyboy5400: I hope Nikon comes out with some faux retro lenses that are overpriced as well.
It would have been funny if they had designed the battery to look like a 35mm film cartridge. That would have been epic.
Needs more knobs.
vFunct, the market has spoken. If DSLR in video didn't work, it would have been abandoned a while ago. But the reality is that video has been a really big boon for the DSLR segment. In fact, if it weren't for video in DSLR, the decline in DSLR sales would be much worse than it currently is! Heck, video in DSLR might be saving the DSLR market!
Sure, go ahead and take video out of all DSLRs. All that does is cause videographers to stop buying DSLRs. And DSLR sales decline even more than they already are. But if you keep video in DSLRs, photographers will still buy DSLRs. And you get videographers buying them in droves as they have been. And we photographers get a convenient bonus feature that more and more of us are adapting into our shoots, our excursions, and our business.
vFunct: Actually, it seems like the kind of camera that would last a generation.
The body seems solid. The SD format seems stable. (CompactFlash seems like it's going away) Nikon F-Mount lenses are going to be around forever. And 16 Megapixels is more than enough for most people and pretty much reaches the diffraction limit of most lenses anyways.
Seriously, I don't see how one would improve on the functionality of this as a still photographer's camera?
Have we officially reached "Peak Camera"?
vFunct, this camera is definitely not designed for speed of operation. In fact, Nikon even makes that point clear in those viral videos, where the guy takes his sweet, methodical, meditative time dialing in his settings...click, click, click, click...as he turns those knobs. As the videos point out, this is not a camera for people in a hurry to get the shot. Modern cameras, on the other hand, are designed with speed and ease and ergonomics of operation in mind, as they are not beholden to a retro aesthetic.
Is that the Guggenheim Museum I see sitting on the DF's top plate?
Hugo808: Ugh, looks really overdone to me. If you want to make a pure photography camera, get rid of all the switches and stuff. Check out the Leica M9 for purity!
I think the DF probably wins the "Most Knobs, Dials, and Switches On a Photo Camera" Award.
@vFunct - well, have fun with your fingers and hands jumping all over this camera. Because with all those knobs and dials scattered all over, they definitely will be jumping. For example, changing ISO and exposure comp is now a left-handed operation on the DF (unless you want to swing your right hand over to the left side of the camera). Not only that, you have to depress locking pins to turn those dials. As dpreview noted, "We're not entirely convinced this will offer a fast and fluid shooting experience with the camera to your eye"...or even with the camera away from your eye.
Clearly, Nikon wasn't going for ergonomic and functional refinement with this camera. They were having fun with going retro on this camera. After all, do you think the choice to use a screw-thread cable release was a "refinement" choice? I hate those things! Slow top use (you *do* have to screw them in), stiff and cumbersome. A "peak refinement" choice? No. Retro for the sake of retro? Yes.
Modern cameras are the result of generations of ergonomic and functional refinement, to the point that they fit your hand like a glove, and your fingers fall easily onto control points of the camera. Everything from the placement of the shutter button, to the sculpt of the grip, to the layout of the buttons and wheels, these are the results of ergonomic science and refinement over many years. This DF basically re-sets the clock on all those years of refinement.
As for the camera lasting a generation...I see a lot of protruding knobs and dials. And they protrude quite prominently. You could probably knock one of those knobs right off, or knock it out of alignment if it hit something. Unlike a pop-up flash, which spends most of its life in the down position, these knobs will always be sticking out of the body.
Buy this camera because you like its looks and knobs. Not because it's the "peak" of camera design. Because it isn't. It's taking you back to a more primitive time in design.
Gesture: These cameras are more attractive and, I feel, functional than the modern homogenous plastic blobs that digital SLRs have become.
Attractive, maybe. But in terms of functionality, it most likely won't be more ergonomically functional. You're going to have to move your hands and fingers around a lot more to operate this camera, what with all those knobs and dials scattered all over the place. Plus, there's the "retro" placement of the shutter button, and the more primitive shape of the grip...modern designs are far more ergonomic because they benefit from generations of ergonomic refinement. The DF basically re-sets the clock on all that refinement.
tommy leong: this camera would be the greatest threatto the likes of Leica camera, which emphasize on MANUAL feel of the gears and buttors.
I don't think it will be much threat to Leica. People also like Leicas because they aren't big, fat DSLRs with a clacking mirror. This is still a big, fat DSLR with a clacking mirror.
Paul Farace: Not at $3K dear Nikon. Go back and work on a little brother/sister for $1.5K maybe... ?
I was certain that this was going to be geared towards the premium market. It's a "lifestyle" camera. For people who don't mind spending a few hundred dollars extra for a camera that looks good enough to fit into their lifestyle. Martha Stewart will probably buy one. But I don't think there would be enough of a market for this style of camera to have two in Nikon's line. So it's $3K, take it or leave it.
I think after the novelty wears off, the DF's "retro"-ness is just going to feel clunky, cluttered, and not so ergonomic. But at least it will get you some attention. Maybe.