sgoldswo: I responded to one of Richard Butler's messages back to me below, but I thought I would post this as a new message so it gets seen:
One of the D600 bodies I owned had a duff AF module. It did work, but focus was a hair slower with AF-S lenses (almost imperceptibly), but more importantly the camera was prone to hunt in low light. I was only sure it wasn't working properly when I tried I with some AF-D lenses, where at least 50% of the time it wouldn't focus at all. I'm left wondering if that's what was wrong with the Df body DPR tested.
I think it would be worthwhile retesting AF with another body.
I'll ask Nikon for one when I'm back in the office. If our review does turn out to be based on a mis-functioning unit, we'll amend it.
marike6: 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.
We'll ignore the fact that the preview and review were helmed by different people.
km25: I the AF really that bad in low light? If it is why have camera that is good in low light? I think the camera is over priced by a lot. A split image on the focusing screen is really needed with the older lens, as a matter of fact interchangeable would be best. The camera has too may problems to be corrected by firmware.
I like the idea, maybe Df ll. 20MP, better AF, interchg. focusing screens and a grip.And all the stuff in the review to bad.
Is this camera silver, gold or what?
Further to that point - lots of people will buy the Df because of its traditional controls and will love it because of them. Equally, you shouldn't be surprised to find that people who have spent a lot of their money on a product like it more than people who haven't - it's human nature (and a well studied psychological effect).
I agree entirely with Thom Hogan when he says people respond to this camera emotionally, so the practicalities of it won't really matter to them. But, as a reviewer, I have to at least try to see it as a rational alternative to a D610 or D800 and, for the reasons stated in the review, I just don't think it fairs well against either.
@sgoldswo - I've shot the D600 and D800 a fair bit, while Barney owns Nikons and used to shoot professionally with them. Both of us found the AF doesn't work as well as we'd expect in low light.
It's fast, but as soon as you move away from the centre point, it's not unusual to find the camera simply won't lock focus (and in focus priority this leaves you sitting there, finger on the shutter with nothing happening).
This seems to be the main point you disagree with about the review. We're happy to ask Nikon for another unit to check this against, but nothing about the Df's AF felt *broken*, just not quite good enough.
Greg VdB: I think this is a very fair review, well done DPR! I just wished that all "interesting" cameras were reviewed as quickly... (the K-3 definitely deserved the same level of priority, if not more so because it is potentially a very important camera for a much wider audience!)
@Greg VdB - looking at the number of people reading our content and searching for the camera on our site, I'm afraid it simply isn't true that the K-3 has a much wider audience (even if it ends up selling more).
The K-3 is also a much more complex camera in many regards, which meant it would have been impossible to review before CES.
At which point the choice is: concentrate on the most discussed, searched and read-about camera of the year in time for Christmas, or write half a Pentax review and publish nothing until late January.
It's not a difficult decision, nor one based on brand preference.
The image quality is very good, which is what keeps the score high. The lower marks it gets for ergonomics and AF performance (which are most of the things wrong with the camera), don't make a big dent in that.
However, the overall reviewer's summary (the award), can more readily factor that in.
aarif: After using it for 20 days I disagree with few point
1)AF coverage might be a bit small but its accurate fast even in low light I also use the D600/D3s2)does not show battery life true but the battery is very impressive 2000 shots easily3)light weight making it easy to carry around
It has a simple 4-bar battery indicator on the shoulder LCD, it just doesn't let you check the % charge or number of times that battery has been charged (as the D610 does, for instance).
@aarif - focusing is highly lens dependent but I've not had much luck getting the camera to focus in even moderately low light (especially with the 50mm F1.8). If shot in all-points, 3D mode it's better but when trying to focus somewhere specific, it sounds like we've had a very different experience from you.
ravduc: The battery door on mine has never fallen off and the silver has the same tone all over without any variations under all kinds of lighting. DPR you must have used a pre-production model and not the final production model.
Possibly because the door is so large on the Df (more leverage?) we've found ours falls off much more often than, say, D800, D600, D610. D7100...
If we hadn't seen people experiencing the same thing on the forums (suggesting it's not *just* the one we've tested), we probably wouldn't have mentioned it. However, since there's no battery grip available, it's odd to have a door that on *some* examples, at least, falls off.
With regards materials and finish - the BKT button on the side of this one is a very different silver tone (it looks like plastic) from the body panels. The front plate of the camera around the lens mount feels more like plastic than the mag-alloy top and bottom of the camera. The transition between a rubber grip on the back and faux-leather on the front just doesn't give off the sense of quality that I'd expect from a camera costing that much money.
It's about more than just the tone of silver.
harold1968: the conclusion and summary of this camera isn't particularly good.its not bad, its a good camera, but many people will form their own judgement based on cost and functionality.Nevertheless it gets 81%. I really don't understand that, simply that dpreview are completely inconsistent with their summaries and their scores.
@harold1968 - that's not a bad idea.
@completelyrandomstuff - that's exactly right. The scoring is as objective as possible and is weighted towards image quality. The award (or lack of it, in this case), is the overall summary from the reviewer's perspective.
Davidfstop: That was quick!!!
How long have most of the non canonikon users been waiting for reviews.
The Df has generated more interest than any other camera this year.
Also, we didn't prioritise it ahead of the Panasonic GM1, nor the Sony A7 and A7R, which are proving to be more complex, so their reviews are taking longer.
But other than trying to respond to reader interest and not putting it ahead of other 'non Canikon' cameras, your point stands.
The scoring is based heavily on image quality - something the Df is really good at.
inorogNL: camera of the year
@Plastek - the EM-1 was *one* of the DPReview writers' products of the year. The GM1 was another.
mpgxsvcd: Why can't I compare it to other cameras in the conclusion part anymore?
Sorry about that slight glitch - it should now be working.
Ayoh: Cool, now why don't you now also add some scientific rigour to your test scene and ensure all camera sensors are exposed to the same amount of incident light, as currently they are not. Otherwise you should clearly state that your current test shots cannot be used to compare noise performance, as, by looking at the comments, that is what most readers are doing and making incorrect conclusions.
These aren't meant to be scientific sensor tests, they're representative of the results you get if you shoot to get a consistent JPEG brightness under consistent test conditions.
Basalite: Very disappointing. No performance improvements and no additional features or improvements to existing tools that I that I can see.
@brecklundin - absolutely correct - sorry, I was just talking about Photoshop and ACR, not LR.
Adobe has made pretty clear that new features will only be added for CC users - they've just extended camera support for an extra generation (though there are notes suggesting users running CS6 on older operating systems won't be supported beyond this release).
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.
@marike6 - the DxOmark score gives quite a lot of weight to DR at base ISO, so I'm not surprised at all by the big difference.
For example - [which is the better high-ISO sensor](http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-D610-versus-Canon-EOS-6D___915_836)?
@marike6 - I didn't claim that the *only* difference was DR - I said the *biggest* difference was DR.
I also said: 'Most of the other difference come down to resolution (and the noise benefit gained from scaling down to a common size), but these aren't huge.'
And comparing the Print and Screen tabs on the link you provided very much supports that.
Most importantly, this article is about a very *very* tiny proportion of the camera buying public - specifically and explicitly Shawn. It's not a recommendation or an award - it's Shawn writing about the product he most enjoyed this year and why.
@forpetessake - the biggest difference in performance between the Canon sensor its rivals' is low-ISO DR (essentially latitude for Raw processing). Anyone shooting in JPEG won't experience that.
Most of the other difference come down to resolution (and the noise benefit gained from scaling down to a common size), but these aren't huge.
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, you may find (and it appears Shawn did) that the size and usability aspects of the camera make a bigger difference.