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Nikon video hints at long-desired 'digital FM'

By dpreview staff on Oct 25, 2013 at 19:20 GMT

The rumors of Nikon creating a stripped-down, film-era-style camera are exciting - not least because it's something people have been calling for, for years. Until recently, the very idea of one of the big camera makers going down that route would have seemed unlikely - after all, you don't get to push technology forward by looking back.

Nikon Rumors has been reporting possible specifications all week. Some interesting bits of information that were first reported include:

- The name will be: "Nikon DF"
- No video 
- Announcement in early November 
- Expected price tag: $3,000 for body only, $3,300 with 50mm lens 

A couple of factors now make it seem real. Firstly, the rapid collapse of the compact camera market has left camera manufacturers looking for new niches to exploit. Secondly, Fujifilm has shown (with its hugely successful X100) that there's a market for a camera with pre-digital-era controls and looks.

Looking at Nikon specifically, the Coolpix A shows the company is now paying attention to photo-enthusiast niches that it has ignored for a long time. Whether it thinks there are significant profits to be made in these niches or because it would help burnish the company's credentials as a maker of products for photographers, it would make sense for Nikon to produce a product that plays on its heritage (especially since it's Sony's RX1 and Fujifilm's X100 that are tugging at the purse strings of photographers).

If the rumors do prove to be true, we can only hope Nikon will balance the desire to look back while including some updated camera ergonomics, which have come a long way since the Nikon F3 and FM. We hope such a camera ends up classically-inspired, rather than a slavish throw-back.

This week Nikon released a short teaser video and ad campaign for a "pure photography" camera adding fuel to the flame. 

'It's in my hands again' - Nikon teaser video

Is this the camera you've been waiting for? Or are there cheaper, better options already on market? 

Update: Nikon Rumors now believes some of its previously-reported specifications to be 'fake'.

Source: Nikon Rumors

Comments

Total comments: 554
12345
Rex Li NZ
By Rex Li NZ (5 months ago)

http://finophotography.co.nz/2013/11/07/nikon-df-vs-d610-which-one-is-right-for-you/

Before the price of the Df was announced, I was really excited. However, the D610 just seem to be a better value of money.

0 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (5 months ago)

I'll be interested in this. I love my E-M5, I loved my D3, and I love digital photography, which allows me to produce far better work than I ever could in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

On the other hand, I hate modern controls. And I have no use at all for video.

Aperture ring and shutter speed dial please.

I'd buy the Fuji X-Pro, but they don't have the lenses I need, so on we struggle with this pesky control layout, for which I blame Canon's early AF cameras.

I've still got a big bag of lenses from my D3 days...

0 upvotes
lokthefish
By lokthefish (5 months ago)

i can't believe the negativity and cynicism of so many DPReview users. My passion for photography was born in the 1980's when great cameras like the FM2 and F3 were being produced, and photography was a very uncomplicated joy. It still is...for me anyway. this camera looks like fun! manual controls are actually a good thing...if we were to just ask Cartier Bresson or any of the great masters. chill out people and enjoy the ride! :) oh, and overpriced?? not for a pro camera...which it appears to be. if you want a point and shoot there's plenty to choose from.

0 upvotes
nvonstaden
By nvonstaden (5 months ago)

nikon didn't go back far enough...should of copied the controls and style of the Nikon S..they must come out with there own x100s.....I know they could do it better
...this DF is just to big, especially with the size of the lens they make now.

0 upvotes
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (5 months ago)

So Nikon releases a dslr without video...good. I remember when the D90 was released and the amount of flak it copped for that was astonishing. "Video on a dslr? WHAT were they thinking?" and the crowd favourite "Video is just a MARKETING exercise"...fast forward a few years and suddenly every other guy can't contemplate life without it. So I suppose that today NO video is "just a marketing exercise". I assist at a photography workshop and I've often asked the (adult) students if they ever used the video function. The answer is almost always "NO". So maybe you'll just have to stick with what you've got ( outrageous I know ) or consider every other Nikon dslr which does have video. Or switch to Sony - did you want a PS3 with that?

0 upvotes
JoeR
By JoeR (5 months ago)

Makes me glad I kept my D700.

0 upvotes
Ian M.B.
By Ian M.B. (5 months ago)

I'm a professional photographer and Nikon User and have been for years, and have lately been playing with some of the Sony high end DSLRs. . but this new Nikon DF without HD Video won't be in the race when the new Sony A7s appear on the scene. . . I'll be moving over to the Sony A7/R if that's the case. . . why even bring this onto the market under specs ?

0 upvotes
Babka08
By Babka08 (5 months ago)

Except for the notable exception of its being full-frame vs apsc, they seem poised to catch up with Pentax.

Is there a reason I want to have to use my thumb and index finger instead of just my index finger or my thumb to adjust shutter speed?

0 upvotes
KZMike
By KZMike (5 months ago)

Dont't give me video . . . forget about the Articulated LCD I use/need. . . a Great Business Model IMO.

I'm in process in shifting to Canon [this from a longtime Nikon owner since the FTN days] as Nikon seems to have abandon their base of owners.
Price it HIGH. . . great idea. . . slow down potential sales and increase incremental costs.

With the right camera Nikon could lure my return. . . Love the Fuji like controls but the DF as we are seeing is not going to do the trick. . .

1 upvote
domina
By domina (5 months ago)

Apparently Nikon aims to sell this to sentimental collectors rather than value-conscious photographers... $3,000!

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (5 months ago)

3000$ without video!

but hey it has an outdated look.. that´s worth missing video.

0 upvotes
bohemyo13
By bohemyo13 (6 months ago)

Is it a digital verison of the FM2
HOW?

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (6 months ago)

Anyone reckon it might be mirrorless?
I find the need for a new 50mm 1.8 lens interesting given taht Nikon have a number in the range already.
I guess it might just be retro styling and materials.

But maybe it's necessitated by something more practical - like flange distance.

I'm also interested to know what hybrid is.
On the XPro1 it was a mixed OVF/EVF.
Might it be the same here?
And what it that on the top right of the images that people have been pulling from videos.
MIght it be an RF window?
Nikon used to make RFs.
Maybe DF is digital finder rather than digital fusion.
Or maybe it is a fusion of EVF/OVF.
Or DSLR and rangefinder.
E.g. pellicle that gives you phase detect and OVF. Bit it moves aside and allows for straight EVF.
I've no idea, but I suspect it's not just a straight retro DSLR with a simple function set.

0 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (6 months ago)

Your post is very excitable, but really scans like conjecture based on how you'd like Nikon to produce a digital Rangefinder.

So, in the spirit of getting overexcited, but being realistic, here's my imagined camera from Nikon (cos that's all any of this is, right?):

It's not Mirrorless - (That's a good thing)
Large Pentaprism based OVF.
No Hybrid.
Not Digital 'Finder' (lol) - Digital 'F' as in "FM, FE etc.
Likely AF with instant Manual override.
New Lens line up, mostly Simple high quality primes.
Aperture, Shutter Speed, White Balance, ISO. Maybe even video.
16MP sensor.

You're right about one thing - you have no idea, but then nobody here knows what this camera is going to be, so you're in good company.

1 upvote
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (6 months ago)

So many different ways it can go . . .

I'm following the teaser videos . . . and anxious to see what arrives next week . . .

I kinda hope that this camera . . . all the technical stuff takes a back seat and doesn't get in the way of having some fun shooting . . .

Who knows . . . I kinda think . . . if they nail it . . . it could become an instant classic! <grin>

Happy Shooting!
:)

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (5 months ago)

Jadot - conjecture yes.
Excitable - not really.
In any case we have more info now.
It does indeed look like yet another DSLR.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (5 months ago)

it is not mirrorless

0 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (6 months ago)

That was the most beautifully shot but worthless teaser I've ever seen. Showing us the front element of a lense barrel teases absolutely nothing.

Saying "it's in my hands again" also is really meaningless. That's like saying "we have a new camera coming out ooooh". Meaningless.

I hope the camera isn't as worthless as the teaser.

2 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (6 months ago)

um, it's a Teaser. What did you want, a spec sheet?

1 upvote
G1Houston
By G1Houston (6 months ago)

$3,000 for a still only camera? How can this camera be possibly almost x2 more expensive than the D610? They must be out of their minds! I would hope that Nikon can begin to build a mirrorless FF camera in the style of the FM that is simple/lighter to use, a niche not quite served by their DSPR offerings. I hope that this camera is as small as the FM2 but has decent videos. It does not need the same AF-tracking ability of their dSLRs but fast enough for most single AF shots. It will arrive with a 24-85 slow zoom, plus a three-prime kit, consists of 28/2.8 ($400), 50/1.8 ($200), and 85/1.8 ($400). It would be even better if they can build a 45/1.8 pancake for ($300). This will be the camera kit for those who do not need the AF-tracking ability of their pro dSLR cameras, but a need a relatively light package for the best IQ. I love the concept of the SONY a7, but $900 for a 50 mm lens?

1 upvote
babalu
By babalu (6 months ago)

I know the ultimate truth !
It's hybrid, so it will have an EVF AND a mechanical sensor !

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
luigibozi
By luigibozi (6 months ago)

I found this (thanks to luminous landscape)
http://www.eoshd.com/content/11409/consumer-dslrs-dead-5-years

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

the latest video shows the camera does look like FM2 with a "50mm f/1.8G" lens that has a white aluminum ring like on old MF AI-S lenses, which is now the only thing that interests me.

0 upvotes
Konst13
By Konst13 (6 months ago)

I reallly want true big clear pentaprizm finder in an FM size body

1 upvote
caffeineplease
By caffeineplease (6 months ago)

Ah, I thought I heard the shutter to my Nikon SP in there. I hope Nikon is serious about something film-like and retro and modern too. I'm so tired of DSLR weight and obsceneness.

1 upvote
allanjfotos
By allanjfotos (6 months ago)

Are you talking about the new 4k señor Nikon DSLR?

0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (6 months ago)

A hipster in the countryside is something weir

0 upvotes
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (6 months ago)

To become a real FM2 the body should have only Manual Focus and No hand grip.......

0 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (6 months ago)

To the "what was Nikon Thinking?" crowd:

Nikon may well have been thinking about producing a Camera that users like myself have been asking for for perhaps ten years or so.

The DSLR market is saturated and quite possibly reached a technological peak, features-wise. Mirrorless cameras have been relatively successful, and retro cameras have alluded to a simpler and more user-centric ethos.

Defining new market segments has become essential for a company like Nikon. Especially Nikon.

This could be (if we're lucky) the start of a new product definition in digital photography.

Personally I was very fond of the FM. I love my D800 too, but a DF would likely be a great landing place for me, if the rumoured specs are close to the truth.

Probably not a Camera for you if you're into techy mirrorless, MFT things for around £$1K, so perhaps don't buy it?

But don't dismiss this as Nikon's Big Mistake because you don't want it. You're outside of this niche is all & extremely blindly negative.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
8 upvotes
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (6 months ago)

Yep...the same thing happened with the X100. "What were they thinking?" "It won't sell" and my personal favourite "It's just a marketing exercise". Every time a company tries something different they get slated. Every time they DONT try something different they get slated. I can imagine Nikon/Fuji etc reading these forums and wondering how the hell they're gonna keep people satisfied. I wonder when/if this camera gets a gold award will people still tear it down? I really want to hear what the pros say when they get their hands on it.

6 upvotes
designdef
By designdef (6 months ago)

Is there another episode where the boyfriend arrives, clutching a decent camera made by Sony?

2 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (6 months ago)

?? - Are you seriously suggesting that this would be a funny exposé while pertaining that the Nikon user might be *I can Barely say it*....Gay?! Is that humour?

0 upvotes
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (6 months ago)

Where are your thoughts based? You must be into fantasy, Sony hasn't made a decent camera. No off you go back to your boyfriend.

0 upvotes
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (6 months ago)

#dccdp...firstly a beautiful and peaceful world? Sure, why not. As far as the other stuff goes no, you've misinterpreted me and the logic is all yours. I'm all for discussion and debate on new releases but to completely negate this new Nikon without having seen, heard or used it (anybody) is ridiculous. Likewise those who insist it will blow everything else away. To those two groups I ask "based on what exactly?" I am extremely curious as to how this will turn out but I'll just have to wait to form an opinion, as will everyone else. I also submit that Nikon know more about imaging than I do. Not to mention the combined intellectual might of this forum! It's just that the amount of negativity is disappointing, doesn't that bother anyone? "No video!" well no, it's a stripped back, classic design and didn't people bag Nikon for putting it on the D90? The naysaying is almost as bad as the guy who slated the Leica Monochrom for not having colour! I kid you not ;-/

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Nismo350Z
By Nismo350Z (6 months ago)

"It's in my hands again."

So I guess film is making a comeback. ;)

2 upvotes
alexdpx
By alexdpx (6 months ago)

When the Fuji X-series cameras came out, I was not interested at all. But now, they are (X100S and X-E1) what I shoot with 90% of the time.

I'm skeptical about this new Nikon DF but who knows, maybe when they come out and I have the chance to try one out, it might seduce me too.

1 upvote
allanjfotos
By allanjfotos (6 months ago)

Are you talking about the new 4k señor Nikon DSLR?

0 upvotes
luigibozi
By luigibozi (6 months ago)

A7(R) didn't hit the shelves.
But some guys are just hilarious with their posts and attitude:
"Don’t buy that Sony a7 camera yet – Nikon is rumored to release a new full frame hybrid camera soon *UPDATED*"

A7(R) didn't appear even in dpreview "Cameras receiving the most clicks in reviews and specs in the last five days. "

eh?

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (6 months ago)

"What are we going to do with all these useless D600 shutters laying around in our factory floor?"

"Don't worry... we'll just make a retro looking camera, plop the defective D600 shutters into it... and voila! Retro! Complete with dust bunnies ala pre-dust vibration sensor days!"

"Brilliant, Mr. Beancounter... absolutely brilliant!"

"Retro..baby." (Austin Powers smile and accent)

.

6 upvotes
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (6 months ago)

This post has been done to death, Humor is only good if it's clever.

2 upvotes
fucile
By fucile (6 months ago)

Maybe that guy should get a gently used FM2 for $250.

2 upvotes
fucile
By fucile (6 months ago)

Maybe that guy should get a gently used FM2 for $250.

1 upvote
Konst13
By Konst13 (6 months ago)

The only thing I miss in FM2 is a digital sensor, not bells and whistles of d800

1 upvote
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

Just to reiterate from another post:

Retro look is not the same as retro function. I love my OM-D but it is certainly NOT in the category of simple to operate like old school cameras. Manual control of a camera is not as simple as putting an M on the dial and letting the "poor old fools" muck about with whatever they want. A camera that is designed for manual operation is one that puts manual control at the very forefront of its design philosophy... With true manual focus that is actually a smooth mechanical helical coupled with a precision focus screen... Dedicated manual controls for key operations that never change no matter what mode the camera is in. When a wood carver picks up a chisel, he doesn't have to turn it on and make sure its in the right mode and set several settings before begining his work... A simple tool alows one to think about what he wants to do with it... and then simply do it...without interface barriers.

4 upvotes
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

"When a wood carver picks up a chisel, he doesn't have to turn it on and make sure its in the right mode and set several settings before begining his work."

So you're saying that you're currently using a camera that scrambles and resets all your modes and settings every time you turn it off and on again? That's certainly not the case for the rest of us. With most of today's cameras, when you turn it on again, it's as you had set it before you turned it off.

Plus, with manual cameras, you *do* have to "set several settings before beginning" your work: manually meter the scene, manually set aperture, manually set shutter, manually set focus. That's the whole point of this camera: to slow you down by making you set these settings before you work!

As for "interface barriers", you have it with any camera. It's just that with a retro manual camera, the "interface barrier" comes in the form of knobs and dials, rather than finger wheels and screens. Same barriers, different look.

1 upvote
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (6 months ago)

The wood carver does have to make sure it's sharp, and chisels don't stay sharp for long, and sharpening ain't carving...

0 upvotes
King Penguin
By King Penguin (6 months ago)

He can also make a nice wooden grip for the camera..... :)

1 upvote
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

T3, At this point, I really don't know what you're trying to achieve with your comments. Are you under the impression that I am, along with others, trying to say your camera is inadequate for you? Are you attempting to convince me that my preferences for manual, physical controls is somehow invalid and that I should just come over to the light and accept the modern interface? Why? Finding ways to negate my rationale does nothing but show your skill for debate. There are plenty of cameras in the world and plenty of different designs. You are happy with yours and I will be happy with mine.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
sean000
By sean000 (6 months ago)

@T3 wrote: "So you're saying that you're currently using a camera that scrambles and resets all your modes and settings every time you turn it off and on again?"

I don't think he is saying that at all, and that is certainly not the case with the OM-D E-M5. It retains your settings just fine from power cycle to power cycle, and you can configure custom setting banks just like on my Nikon D200. My D200 certainly has more switches and dials dedicated to important functions than my E-M5 does, but once I got used to the E-M5 I found it to be an excellent creative tool that is very efficient to use. But I get what Redred Photo is saying. Even my D200 requires you to dive into the menus a bit, and the dials may change functionality depending on the mode. It is not designed to be a fully manual camera, and there is something wonderfully simple about dedicated dials for ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, a focusing split prism, and all that. Sometimes such simplicity would be welcome. Sometimes

3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

No, I'm just saying that you're overly romanticize the retro camera interface-- while also weakly attempting to denigrating the modern interface-- with that silly "wood carver" analogy. And I'm not the only saying it.

Yes, people can certainly have a preference in the style of interface they wish to use, but to say that one is a "barrier interface" while the other is not...well, that's certainly a debatable assertion. And that questionable comment about having to "set several settings before beginning" every time you use a modern camera...uh, as I pointed out, that description more aptly pertains to the use of an all-manual camera. In fact, that's the very appeal of using an all manual camera: the inherent "barrier" of having to manually set every setting before you can take a shot!

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

I never meant to suggest that modern cameras are inferior to older cameras or vise versa. I work with both fully manual mechanical cameras (Hasselblad 501cm w/digital back) as well as modern digital cameras (Canon 5D series, Olympus OM-D E-M5 for stills, Panasonic GH2 for video) on a daily basis. I work as a photographer for a living, every single day. I also teach thousands of students a year in basic photography and studio lighting. These students come in with dozens of different cameras (from Canon, Nikon, Petax, Panasonic, Olympus, etc.) that I need to help them learn to use.

My comments are not pulled from the ether of speculation... they are based on my day to day experience of working with two entirely different user interface paradigms (digital vs analog) side by side in my commercial work, and reconciling the differences between all the major manufacturer interfaces in my teaching.

1 upvote
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

As I said before, I love my E-M5. It's a beautiful tool. It does keep the settings last used, of course. AND, nearly every time I pick it up to do something, I have to think about what I want to do with this photograph and translate that into menus, dials, switches, etc. For me, that process is simpler and faster with my Hasselblad. Obviously, the E-M5 does more things including AF and AE. For me, sometimes less is more and sometimes not.

90% of my students are confused as hell about all the myriad digital widgety settings on their DSLRs and I can say with absolute assertion that the modern digital interfaces are a serious barrier to the photographic learning process for many, many people.

Can the digital interfaces be learned? Of course.
Do they work? Yes.
Are the modern DSLR features useful in some situations? Absolutely.
Are the very same features distracting and bothersome in other situations? Absolutely.

Does one interface paradigm work for everyone? Absolutely not.

1 upvote
Karroly
By Karroly (5 months ago)

There is one thing a lot of modern cameras do not remember when off : the focusing distance. If you are the kind of photographer who likes, in some circumstances, to set the focusing distance to the hyperfocal value so that you do not have to wait for the AF to settle, this is something that is no longer possible on many modern cameras.

0 upvotes
instamatic
By instamatic (6 months ago)

It would have been a hit if such camera has been introduced possibly 3 years ago. Of course market reaction will show if and how much demand there really is for it today. I might be interested, but if the price will really be $3000, it would simply be imprudent for me to buy it. I'm actually slowly starting to look at Panasonic m4/3 offerings, as they are getting to the point where they work like smart phone cameras but offer a much larger m4/3 sensor. For one I find WYSIWYG composition and exposure setting on a live view touchscreen an impressive feature, and I believe this is where the digital cameras are headed in the near future. Until that happens, or Nikon does something really impressive, and "uncrippled", I'm content with my D700. At the same time, I'm still a bit hopeful for Nikon, but that sentiment has much diminished. Did Nikon shoot themselves in the foot with the D700 - now that 6 years later people are expecting an equally impressive camera and not getting one?

1 upvote
km25
By km25 (6 months ago)

No video, not a deal breaker for for me, but it would be nice. If it is a an digital "FM", not AF? It think this camera is over priced. $2k, souns better... why not just by a D800/E. Or wait for the new D810, if that is want it is to be. I think smart people will wait about 6mo. before investing.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

I don't think you want to be doing any comparison shopping or specs comparing with this camera. What it lacks will be considered its virtues-- or at least that's what its fans will claim. This is definitely not a camera for everyone. For example, I doubt wedding photographers, action photographers or pj's will be flocking to this camera. Which is fine, because it's good to have a diverse variety of cameras in the market to suit the diverse variety of photographers. This camera is for the guy who hikes out to a the countryside, carefully takes five shots, then goes home-- or at least that's what the video ads seem to convey.

0 upvotes
fucile
By fucile (6 months ago)

Maybe that guy should get a gently used FM2 for $250.

0 upvotes
NeilSDPR
By NeilSDPR (6 months ago)

If Nikon is looking for a sizeable niche product, then perhaps it should produce a D400

5 upvotes
fucile
By fucile (6 months ago)

Does this mean that in 2030 Nikon will release an XD200 for $50,000?

1 upvote
Babka08
By Babka08 (6 months ago)

So, a Pentax then.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

And that's bad?

1 upvote
Ranford Stealth
By Ranford Stealth (6 months ago)

It seems to me that at this end of the market most folks will buy it body only. And IF for example the price is 3K then that also puts it in the same pricepoint as the RX1...which doesn't have a viewfinder. Oddly I haven't heard too many people complain about that "value". But geez, just about every other release gets bagged for being too expensive, even the X100/X100S at $1200. I love the idea of a stripped down dslr, but I can't praise it nor complain about it until it actually gets released. And really, if you don't like it you wont buy it so why complain at all? Oh yeah, right, it's a forum...

9 upvotes
dccdp
By dccdp (6 months ago)

So, in your opinion it would be better that everybody stops talking, because most of the talking, (and the reading and information exchanging) is about items we don't buy. We shouldn't talk and shouldn't even read reviews unless we're sure we'll buy that thing! Then, let's follow the same logic: should we in fact talk about those things we'll buy? We'll buy them anyway, so why bother? I have a better idea: let's not talk about anything at all, the world would be such a beautiful and quiet place!

1 upvote
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (6 months ago)

Most posts when a new camera is announced are from people who haven't even touched it and they either say that if only it had these features, they'd buy it, or it's worse than the camera by brand X (which they own). Most will also say that it's too expensive. These are the comments we could do without. Anyway, it's boring.

1 upvote
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

I'm not sure you could say with honesty that Nikon ever "owned" the market. There was a time when fully manual focus, manual exposure cameras were considered the highest quality tools for photographic artists. The Nikon FM2 is a legend because it was small, simple, and extremely high quality. And they are not the only ones who made such a camera... The Contax S2 is my all time favorite camera with all genuine manual focus Zeiss lenses. I love a camera that is so elegantly simple and mindless that it just disappears from my conscious thought and let's me focus on what I want to do with my image rather than figuring out what buttons to to push in the right sequence to change one of the thousand odd settings. Sadly, as exciting as this new release might be, I've never quite warmed up to Nikon lenses and probably won't go for it on that account... Unless I can attach my collection of contax Zeiss lenses.:-)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
dccdp
By dccdp (6 months ago)

@Calvin Chann :
Forums are about the free exchange of opinions, this is their purpose, this is what makes the internet interesting. You don't have to like all the posts, you don't have to expect them to be accurate assessments either. You don't have to pass a test or buy an item to express an opinion, and we should realize the world is made of a vast variety of people, some less knowledgeable, and some smarter than ourselves. We have different views and experiences, and while we don't agree with all, it doesn't automatically make opinions less relevant.

The beauty of these internet articles you can comment on is that they are open to all opinions. Authors WANT our feedback instead of just throwing their unchallenged wisdom upon us. I hate those news sites that started to restrict commenting on their articles. Those authors are either cowards, afraid to be challenged by foreign opinions, or they simply want to manipulate the readers, hence comments would be bad for their purpose.

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (6 months ago)

Hasselbad wishes that they thought of this, which isn't a good thing.

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (6 months ago)

This is just Nikon’s way of saying we can’t compete at today’s game so we will just try to change the game back to what it was when we owned the market.

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (6 months ago)

I wish they would just put a button on their current cameras that disabled everything to do with live view. They could even put a picture of an old man with a cane as the icon.

There is no sense in trying to remove features completely from the camera that software can easily disable. They need to spend their time making those “newfangled digital features” easier to use for the more “experienced” users.

2 upvotes
Karroly
By Karroly (5 months ago)

@ mpgxsvcd,
"There is no sense in trying to remove features completely from the camera that software can easily disable"
Following your logic, camera manufacturers should sell only one very expensive camera model including all possible features. Then, if you do not need some, just disable them.
Personally, I do not want to pay for the features I do not need... But I do not want to pay more for less features too...

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (6 months ago)

Let’s take something out that doesn’t hurt the other capabilities of the camera but some people don’t use it and charge more. That sounds like pure marketing to me.

3 upvotes
Anzere08
By Anzere08 (6 months ago)

One of the big "retro" fun with mirrorless is being able to use all the legacy lenses you want on a modern body. Focus peaking makes manual focus easy with those lenses too. It sounds like this new Nikon will be limited to Nikon only glass given the Non-mirrorless design. I am a Nikon user but it will have to have a lot more to offer for me to pay twice the price of a Sony A7.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

This camera also will use all of the legacy lenses of the F-mount. While also retaining really good AF capacity and uncompromised by adapters image quality and reliability - something Sony cannot achieve.
As for price - we know nothing about it yet. That 3000$ is pure speculation.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
R Thornton
By R Thornton (6 months ago)

Where is spectacular in this? Nikon are in such a debt with their market that nothing short of spectacular will cut it. It is hard to believe that they would rather nose dive to oblivion than deliver on the goodies at a fair price that they must be capable of. Come to think of nose diving...

1 upvote
Tom_A
By Tom_A (6 months ago)

Well, I had a look at their financial results ending March of this year and it was not a bad situation at all. Unless their results spectacularly dived in the last few months they will not need your expert economic advice...

5 upvotes
R Thornton
By R Thornton (6 months ago)

It was not economic advice, but a glimmer of hope mixed with some bitter taste in an old Nikonian who in the past forty years has seen they can do much better than what they have been presenting lately.

0 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (6 months ago)

So waxing poetic grouchiness?

1 upvote
PenPix
By PenPix (6 months ago)

I own a modern D-SLR and a "retro" mirrorless camera.

My D700 is the workhorse. Responsive, customizable, and with a plethora of accessories. It's also large, heavy, and complicated.

In contrast my X-E1 is small and light… and simple. If I want aperture priority, I turn the aperture ring.

This simplicity is why I enjoy using the X-E1. I don't worry about the settings as much, like when I honed my skills with my father's Canon FP.

Anyone that learned photography on a old-school film camera will appreciate this simplicity... but with the conveniences that come with modern digital camera (I hope!) I think that is what the DF will bring to Nikon users.

Size and weight are another consideration. FX mean big glass, something I do not enjoy hiking up a mountain with. This is why most of my photography is with the X-E1 now.

Photography, after all, is about getting the image. How you achieve it is your choice, but enjoy the process.

5 upvotes
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (6 months ago)

"FX mean big glass"

Recent bulky FX zooms, sure.

My FM2n is almost always paired up with a svelte little 50/1.8 AI-s that is more the size of many m43 lenses. If Nikon wants to make this one work for them, they should do something similar to their Series E glass: a light, compact, inexpensive range of primes in the most popular lengths: 24, 28, 35, 50, 85, 105, and 200.

Physical aperture rings and a nice long, well-damped focus throw for each.

Granted, most rumors indicate that this will be an expensive, simple camera, not a reasonably priced one, so that lens lineup could be made more like a high end 'retro' line than Series E by adding metal construction, and other fine details.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

"In contrast my X-E1 is small and light… and simple. If I want aperture priority, I turn the aperture ring." - And... how come you can't do the same with DSLR?
It's equally simple to use.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

"Size and weight are another consideration. FX mean big glass, something I do not enjoy hiking up a mountain with."

I suspect a lot of users of this camera will probably stick to smaller prime lenses.

0 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (6 months ago)

Some people prefer to use sailing boats, others power boats.

If some people want to use a full frame camera where they have to set everything manually for each shot, maybe even manually focus, no harm in Nikon providing such a camera.

10 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (6 months ago)

Granted your point ! ... however, most available models out there have the "M" setting and manual focus too ... (except maybe manual aperture setting for lenses, so it should accept F-mount, and of course, having to manually cock the shutter is maybe also difficult with available cameras) :-))

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (6 months ago)

Babalu: true, modern cameras have manual controls. However, using them is a bit like rigging a jib on a powerboat, to extend CFynn’s example (possibly too far…).

I don’t think for a moment this Nikon will have manual-only exposure and focus. That would be too radical. I just hope it makes those controls (especially focus) easy to use.

I also hope the features and menu options are pared back to the basics, and important controls given their rightful prominence. It’s frustrating to have to dive deep into the Custom Settings Menu to prepare a camera for tripod use, as is the case with current Nikon SLRs.

2 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (6 months ago)

@ Sam yes, that's true, digging into menu settings would be very anti-climax for such a camera. And yet, having some help from the new age electronic wizzardry such as focus peaking and, who knows, maybe an electronic shutter for fast burst sequences besides the retro mechanical shutter, could make it even more desirable. I think, as you do, that the right mix of old and new is what would make this an attractive offer. ... and coming down from that 3K figure will surely help.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

Since when mechanical shutter is "retro" ? lol.
People getting crazy these days.

0 upvotes
babalu
By babalu (6 months ago)

I meant of course "retro" only IF they supply a cocking mechanism to their shutter.

0 upvotes
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (6 months ago)

I think it'd be a bit too absurd/anachronistic to include a shutter cocking mechanism. Perhaps a power switch that resembles a film advance lever, that folds flush with the body in the "off" position, then flips out to a comfortable, familiar angle to turn the camera on?

That said, this could be the beginning of a new era for Nikon, keeping its DX & FX lines of bodies going strong, but also offering, in the future, a 3 tier DF line, focusing on stripping away all the "tech nerd" aspects of camera specs.

Give me a dedicated on/off switch, shutter speed and EV comp dials, aperture ring and DoF scale on small metal primes with long focus throws, and an all-metal FM2 styled body with leatherette, in black and silver only, and I'll be a happy camper. Focus peaking, and a hybrid viewfinder would be all I really want. Though it wouldn't be likely, I'd even welcome manual-focus-only operation.

1 upvote
Karroly
By Karroly (5 months ago)

@hydrospanner,
"I think it'd be a bit too absurd/anachronistic to include a shutter cocking mechanism"
If you never shoot pictures in burst, like me, you do not need a motor-driven cocking mechanism. With the advantage of using your body energy rather than draining the battery. Camera manufacturers should think about making some green cameras too. Rather than making ones capable of only 240 CIPA shots for example.

1 upvote
jagge
By jagge (6 months ago)

lol Nikon just dont get it, i have left the Mikon wagon a while ago and man such a attempt is a bit pathetic. It sure can inly be for hard core nikonians with a large glass collection...

Retro and high Iq at 3000 usd. lol to little MUCH to late, it has been done. Look at the two new sony ff, ehhh ff and retro looking AND with optional stellar video. Ohh then the retro omd, ohh the fujis..

Come on Nikon this one seems more than desperate

1 upvote
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (6 months ago)

Then I guess from your comment you won't be purchasing one...
GREAT!!!!
I just moved ahead in the line to purchase one!

9 upvotes
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

Retro look is not the same as retro function. I love my OM-D but it is certainly NOT in the category of simple to operate like old school cameras. Manual control of a camera is not as simple as putting an M on the dial and letting the "poor old fools" muck about with whatever they want. A camera that is designed for manual operation is one that puts manual control at the very forefront of its design philosophy... With true manual focus that is actually a smooth mechanical helical coupled with a precision focus screen... Dedicated manual controls for key operations that never change no matter what mode the camera is in. When a wood carver picks up a chisel, he doesn't have to turn it on and make sure its in the right mode and set several settings before begining his work... A simple tool alows one to think about what he wants to do with it... and then simply do it...without interface barriers.

3 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (6 months ago)

well i think you are mixing up "simple tool" and experience. While I do get your idea, and the tool should be intuitive for sure, it seems to me that you are talking about experience.

Now you are right that a wood chisel is a functional and simple tool. The point is that is absolutely useless in the hand of anybody but an experienced craftsman. Its precisely the same with the cam.

0 upvotes
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

Excellent observation... why not create modern digital cameras that are tools specially designed for the experienced craftsman? Isn't that exactly what we're talking about?

1 upvote
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

What I don't understand about these forums is why it seems that so many are diametrically opposed to other viewpoints... as if the existence of manually controlled, modern old-school cameras somehow challenges the existence of advanced DSLR sports-centric cameras... Why does it always seem like one group is trying to convince the other something?

3 upvotes
EcoPix
By EcoPix (6 months ago)

Maybe the retro trend isn't about nostalgia or prestige. Maybe it's about us giving up on technologies that haven't fully delivered. I'm thinking of AF & AE.

If it was nostalgia, you'd see it in other fields, but no one wants their new Chrysler with a hand crank, and few grieve for steps when there's an escalator. Camera-wise, we aren't very nostalgic about film, even. Otherwise Nikon would be announcing an FM30 (?).

What we crave is manual focus and exposure control. Most of the convoluted AF controls on a modern SLR are because the AF really doesn't work very well in many situations for high-resolution images. The instruction books devote a page to listing them. This is after 20 years of intensive development.

The most prominant control on recent cameras (including the new Sonys) is the exposure compensation dial. This is after over 30 years of AE, but it still doesn't fully work. Maybe we're just accepting that these are partially failed technologies, and giving up on them.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

"Maybe it's about us giving up on technologies that haven't fully delivered. I'm thinking of AF & AE."

AF and AE haven't "fully delivered"? While AF and AE are not 100% perfect, they are still very effective technologies that many of us use and rely on daily. Whatever the failings of AF and AE might be, they deliver a level of consistent performance, speed of operation, and reliability that far exceed what the human mind can do if we were left to do it all manually.

When put to the test, most humans will find that they fall short of the performance of what today's modern technological camera marvels can do. Maybe in a very limited and short test, doing everything manually might match, or even exceed, AF and AE if the user was *very* careful and meticulous with every shot. But if I shot an entire wedding only with m.focus and m.exposure, that would just be a tedious, mentally and visually fatiguing headache. And it only gets worse the older you get as your eyesight weakens!

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

" Most of the convoluted AF controls on a modern SLR are because the AF really doesn't work very well in many situations for high-resolution images."

No, those AF controls are there not because it "doesn't work". They are there so that the user can customize the AF system to their liking: focus tracking, single shot, dynamic, single point, multi-point, etc. Telling the focus system *how* to perform is quite different from saying that the focus system doesn't work!

"The most prominant control on recent cameras...is the exposure compensation dial. This is after over 30 years of AE, but it still doesn't fully work."

No, just because a camera has exposure comp does not mean the metering system doesn't work. What it means is that the user can still be in control. You can still use the metering system as a baseline "recommendation" of exposure, then use exposure comp to fine tune or tailor the exposure to taste. Allowing the user control even with AE doesn't mean AE doesn't work.

0 upvotes
EcoPix
By EcoPix (6 months ago)

T3, thanks for your considered response to my suggestion. I enjoy reading your posts and respect your knowledge. But you concede that these technologies aren't 100% effective, so by definition they can't be 'fully delivering'.

As you describe, we all use them every day and know how valuable they are. But there's a significant minority of situations in which they don't help (eg. AF on an animal passing through vegetation; AE on a subject constantly lit but passing in front of differently lit backgrounds).

My hypothesis is simply that perhaps we, as a body of consumers, are recognising that we still need to do these things for ourselves sometimes, and it can be enjoyable to use a camera that allows us to do them well and conveniently.

If you have any old 1980's AF Nikkors, you'll know that the manual focus facility was very much an afterthought in the designs, as if the engineers, in their enthusiasm for the new technology, believed that no one would ever use manual focus again.

1 upvote
EcoPix
By EcoPix (6 months ago)

25 years later, a significant new development in AF-s Nikkors is instant manual override! It reminds me of the 1970's space race, in which a future of colonies on the moon, mines on Mars, & interplanetary travel was optimistically foreseen. Now we know that didn't happen, and current science fiction movies are set on a disfunctional Earth.

We also now know that we have to manually focus lenses sometimes!

Maybe some of us are still optimistic that the next techno breakthrough will solve the problems, and we can buy a high tech camera soon that will autofocus and meter reliably in all situations.

My suggestion is that maybe another group of us have come to a different conclusion, and doubt that. Those people would like their next camera to smoothly focus by hand and provide a viewfinder capable of seeing the exact focus clearly.

1 upvote
EcoPix
By EcoPix (6 months ago)

Likewise, those people may have decided that instead of using AE as a base from which to deviate the desired exposure by a compensation dial, they would prefer to simply set a constant exposure themselves with easily accessible shutter speed and aperture controls, noting that using an erroneous and fluctuating measure as a base for correction is likely to introduce more error.

These are just hunches on my part. Just speculation. I'm just casting around for an alternative hypothesis to explain why there seems to be an increasing interest in 'retro' camera designs, because the assumption that it's all just pretentiousness seems a bit trivial to me.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

Its true, modern features can be useful to speed up the picture taking process... But at what point is the process so fully delegated to computers that we have given up real control? Sure, exposure compensation allows me to stay at the helm... But I'm really only making suggestions to an engine room with a mind of its own.

Another point... I drive a manual transmission car simply because I enjoy the process of operating the vehicle... It keeps me awake and engaged. I feel as though I have a more direct connection to the road. Some modern cars have pseudo manual tiptronic auto transmissions... Anyone who has driven one of these knows this could never feel the same as driving manual. But sure, its faster. I wonder what other things we might all think would be better if it could be faster... Dinner... Sex? Faster isn't always better.

In a world where everything is becoming increasingly pseudo tactile or entirely non tactile, its a true luxury to savor genuine mechanical controls.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

"But you concede that these technologies aren't 100% effective, so by definition they can't be 'fully delivering'."

If you expect any technology to work perfectly 100% of the time, then you will go through life sorely disappointed. Furthermore, if you think any technology should be withdrawn because it doesn't work perfectly 100% of the time, then we would be living much more primitive lives. Cars fail. Airplanes fail. Smart phones fail. Computers fail. The critical factor to consider is the *rate* of failure, and whether that rate is acceptable. You should consider if, even with a certain rate of failure, the technology still provides you with a net gain and net advantage compared to being without the technology. In the case of AF and AE, these technologies *absolutely* provide us with a considerable net advantage over not having it. That's why pros and amateurs alike all chose the technology, ultimately *killing off* the manual-only SLR market.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (6 months ago)

Plus, you seem to be ignoring the fact that today's AF and AE cameras are capable of full-manual control!

I have a 3rd party split-image prism finder (the Hoada screens) installed in a couple of my DSLRs, but I still use AF 99.8% of the time. I mainly use the split-image to occasionally confirm the accuracy of the AF, but AF is consistently accurate enough that I rarely ever have to manually focus.

Plus, all DSLRs have manual exposure mode. Nevertheless, like most people, I mainly use aperture priority AE. But even when I do use manual, I still use aperture priority AE to take my meter reading, then manually set it to manual! In other words, for me the main point of setting manual exposure isn't because it's more accurate, but rather because I don't want the exposure to deviate for a particular set of shots!

You also ignore the fact that m.focus and m.exposure also has its own inherent failure rate. It's called human error. Humans don't always "fully deliver" either.

0 upvotes
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

Today's AF and AE cameras are capable of full manual control but those manual controls are often the after thought rather than the first thought. Manual control isn't just about accuracy or human superiority... it's about direct connection to the process. Digital controls of any kind (smart phone touch screens, electronic manual focus-by-wire, etc.) are all facsimiles of things we used to do with a physical control. If each function had its own dedicated control that never ever deviated from that function, then that would be much better. The problem is that all the controls are shared with other functions and that you can never be totally sure about what mode they are in without looking.

Anyway... the beautiful thing about a product like this is that it gives everyone a choice about what they want to use. If you like digital controls and auto delegation, you have a plethora of choices. If you like dedicated manual, MECHANICAL control, there are hardly any choices at all.

1 upvote
REDred Photo
By REDred Photo (6 months ago)

Just to reiterate from another post:

Retro look is not the same as retro function. I love my OM-D but it is certainly NOT in the category of simple to operate like old school cameras. Manual control of a camera is not as simple as putting an M on the dial and letting the "poor old fools" muck about with whatever they want. A camera that is designed for manual operation is one that puts manual control at the very forefront of its design philosophy... With true manual focus that is actually a smooth mechanical helical coupled with a precision focus screen... Dedicated manual controls for key operations that never change no matter what mode the camera is in. When a wood carver picks up a chisel, he doesn't have to turn it on and make sure its in the right mode and set several settings before begining his work... A simple tool alows one to think about what he wants to do with it... and then simply do it...without interface barriers.

1 upvote
Ernest M Aquilio
By Ernest M Aquilio (6 months ago)

Let me put on my hubris today and state that Nikon should make a price point to be 2.5K or so and I will buy one right away. So they should do this just for me because I am special on the internets. Only my opinion matters.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (6 months ago)

LOL.

But what if the price point was suppose to be lower? You just told them you're willing to spend more. :)

Happy Shooting!
:)

0 upvotes
Ernest M Aquilio
By Ernest M Aquilio (6 months ago)

Then I am a fool haha

0 upvotes
Clean
By Clean (6 months ago)

I think it will be interesting. Time will tell.

2 upvotes
Total comments: 554
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