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Nikon Df Review

December 2013 | By Richard Butler, Barney Britton
Buy on Amazon.com From $2,346.95


Review based on a production Nikon Df

The Nikon Df is, at first appearance, the camera that many people have been asking for, for years - a classically styled DSLR with traditional external controls. But, for all Nikon's talk of a return to 'Pure Photography,' an awful lot of what's under the Df's confidently retro skin is pretty familiar. The Df is built around the 16MP full frame sensor from the company's flagship D4 with the processor and AF system borrowed from the comparatively affordable D610.

The camera's appearance is inspired by a much earlier generation of film cameras. In fact, from the front the Df looks like an oversized Nikon FM (and not dissimilar to Canon's F1N). And, as well as the styling and dedicated external controls, the Df's other nod to the company's history is the inclusion of a retractable meter coupling tab, allowing the use of pre-1977 non-AI lenses.

For those of us raised on film SLRs the effect is rather intriguing. We understand that the Df has been at least four years in the making, and the glee of its creators is almost palpable in the many specific design cues obviously taken from earlier SLRs including the FM/2 and the long-lived professional-targeted Nikon F3.

Nikon Df key features

  • 16 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor (same as D4)
  • ISO 100-25,600 (expandable to ISO 50 - 204,800 equiv)
  • Maximum 5.5 fps continuous shooting
  • 39-point AF system with 9 cross-type AF points (same as D610)
  • 3.2-inch, 921k-dot LCD screen
  • Physical shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation dials
  • Compatible with virtually all Nikon F-mount lenses (including pre-Ai standard)
  • Single SD card slot
  • EN-EL14a battery (quoted endurance of ~1400 exposures)

According to Nikon, the 'F' in Df stands for 'fusion' - specifically, fusion of the old and the new. We know all about the old - the 'retro' styling - which leaves us with the 'D'. This of course stands for 'Digital'. The Nikon Df boasts a full-frame sensor, 39-point AF system and a maximum shooting rate of 5.5 fps. The LCD on the rear of the camera is a 3.2", 921k-dot display and, despite its 'fully manual' pretensions, the Df boasts front and rear electronic control dials alongside the dedicated physical dials on the top-plate. It's a thoroughly modern DSLR for the most part, but with one major difference.

What, no video?

That major difference is video - the Df cannot shoot it (making it one of only two current DSLRs which don't - the other being the Sigma SD1 Merrill). In conversation with Nikon engineers, we were told that video was never on the table as an option for the Df, apparently as much a philosophical point as anything else. This is a serious camera for serious people which is to be used for 'pure photography', not videos (oddly though, the Df still boasts a full complement of retouch options including the decidedly lightweight fisheye and miniature effects).

While it's true that many potential Df owners might not care about video, if you can add a function, why not do so? Since it's based around a video-capable sensor and shares its image processor with a camera that can shoot video, it's reasonable to assume it could be added via firmware, but the question is probably academic, since the Df has no built-in microphone nor a jack for adding one. Equally, the Df's relatively low-capacity EN-EL14a battery wouldn't last terribly long, even if such a feature were enabled.

Df - a D4 in F3 clothing?

If you look beyond the Df's outward appearance, another aspect of its appeal is the relatively inexpensive access it gives to the image sensor used in the company's flagship DSLR, the D4. And while that's true, the omission of video and high-speed frame rates mean you don't get to take full advantage of its capabilities. Even without those aspects, the well-respected low-light capabilities of the D4's sensor should lend some appeal to the Df.

Viewfinder

The Df's optical viewfinder is very large - the same size as the D800. The magnification is 0.70x and, naturally, coverage is 100%. We've also shown the viewfinder of the film-era F3 here for reference. As you can see, the F3 offered an impressively large finder, and even the high eye-point viewfinder that glasses wearers tended to prefer was still larger than the Df's. When a DX lens is attached to the Df, the viewfinder shows frame-lines indicating the DX image area.

One real shame (although perhaps not a surprise) is the fact that the Df's focusing screen is fixed. We had hoped for an accessory split-prism focusing screen for manual focus, but it's likely that the additional cost and incompatibility with modern pattern metering modes ruled that out at the design stage. Instead the Df has Nikon's standard 'rangefinder' display in the viewfinder, which uses the autofocus sensor to indicate when it thinks the lens is correctly focused.

Kit options and pricing

The Nikon Df comes in two color options - silver and all-black, and in the USA, both will be available for $2749 body only. Nikon has created a special edition of its AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G to match the 'retro' look and feel of the Df (optically it's identical to the standard version) and this is available separately for $279, or bundled with the Df for $2999.95.

The Df is being sold with a cosmetically reworked version of the AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G, with some 'classic' (but entirely cosmetic) design accents to match the look of the new camera.

In the UK, the Df is available only as a kit with the 50mm lens, at a suggested price of £2749.99 - only £50 less than the recommended price of the 36MP D800 and revamped 50mm F1.8. Unlike the US figure, this includes 20% VAT, but that still works out as around the equivalent of $3660, even if you take this into account. That said, prices change at different rates in different markets so, once the initial rush of customers has subsided, the prices might begin to look less unreasonable.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 1619
12345
Mag200

The Nikon Df is a mix between old and new. It is for people who like to use cameras like 35mm slr film cameras. Cameras where you have to think about what the aperature, f/stop,and shutter speed must be set at. Now this wasnt that long ago (really it wasnt) but my senior year of high school I took a few photography classes. These classes were needed to fill my schedule and at first I didnt really know if i would like them. they were classes where we were using 35mm slr cameras and then we got to make a pinhole camera. I loved it. there were only 3 of us for photo 2 so technically the class shouldnt have gone but it did because 2 of us were seniors and everyone else dropped the last day before break first semester. We got to pick what we wanted to do and even check the school cameras out over break. So when my parents told me that I was getting a camera for graduation. I really wanted the Df but it was too expensive. I have the D5300. I hope to own a camera similar to the df.

0 upvotes
Lassoni

I'm confused what you're supposed to do with this camera. To use older lenses? But there are sites online (not just dxomark) that show the older lenses are MUCH softer than any of the newer generation of lenses. Less chroma, less distortion, less fringe..

If someone with collection of older lenses buys this camera so he doesn't have to "upgrade" his/her lenses, why not just buy a different camera and newer lenses? I'm curious.

0 upvotes
Thermidor

Most of the Nikon lenses that comes in after 1977 aren't terribly soft, though definitely not tack sharp wide open. The Nikon Series E lenses were snubbed back in the 80s for being 'plastic', but their construction is far superior to any modern professional grade lens, and those were the cheap lenses. The mainstream Nikkors of the 70s and 80s were built like a tank and handles like a Porsche. Even in the age of digital autofocus, once you've tried for yourself the focusing experience on a legacy Nikon lens and compare it to today's lenses, you'll see why it's such a big deal. Plus everything you learn about manual focusing helps when you run into a situation where auto focusing is unreliable.

1 upvote
Dimitris Servis

Using a number of Nikkor Ais lenses, I can tell you they are not soft at all on modern Dslrs, on the contrary. If there is one thing that you need to control is flare.

That said, I use these lenses not because I am looking for the quantified image quality you refer to (resolving power, aberrations and so on) but for qualities that lie exactly in their flaws and their special signatures when used properly. I am sure that if you used a 50mm 1.2 Ais for close subjects at 1.2 you would appreciate it beyond its apparent halos and flaws.

0 upvotes
mickeybphoto

Overall I think owners of the Df, myself included, have an appreication for the camera the younger shooters wont appreciate. The Df has the ergonomics of older 35mm cameras such as the F3, FM, FE and even the F4s. But with the added convienience and quality of digital. Younger shooters were raised on LCD sceens, not that the Df is lacking, but with the added "traditional" dials it adds to the fun. The thing I really took a liking to right away was you can tell exactly what the settings are just by looking down at the top and not have to thumb through menu after menu. Exposure compensation is way easy to adjust and is overall a joy to work with. Not to mention alot of the older lenses can be used. Nikon has really out done themselves on the design, with exception of the strap lugs. I wish they were a little further back, and a but more grip. Perhaps on the Df2, the can add a second SD card slot and make the grip a little beffier. Overall though the Df is a joy to own and shoot.

1 upvote
reanim888

I think we are getting fed up with these hugely overpriced retro styled cameras.
I would never buy one.
Personally, I think Nikon need to bring a new D300s to the market. I would buy one of them.

3 upvotes
Roy LaFaver

To keep this thing going, I'm another Df owner that hopes it lasts forever. It is absolutely my favorite Nikon ever, digital or film, even the beloved FM2n. I have built up a pretty nice set of AI and AI-S lenses. And for seasoning I have a Voigtlander 40mm Ultron II which is fantastic. I still have a few AF lenses, and I use them sometimes. But if I want to do "enjoyment", it has to be one of my MF lenses. I got rid of my longest held lens, a 70-200mm f2.8G, and I replaced it with MF lenses. I have a 200mm f4 that came from an estate sale. It had never been used. The lubricant was so dry I had to send it to Nikon to be cleaned and re-lubed. I now have what is essentially a new 200mm f4 that was built in 1979, and it is probably one of the highest quality lenses on the planet right now. It fits the Df so well and works so well, it is pure pleasure to use.

The Df made this kind of thing possible and even desirable. You take your time, and you just enjoy every moment with it.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Jasko014

My old 50/1.2 AIS lens has got new life with that camera. Perfect combination. I did love Nikon F3 and Df for me is a great camera and perfect companion for my Nikon D3.

1 upvote
David Click Click

Nikon user for 30plus years digital since D100. Very pleased with my Df. I have been using a D700 and love the image quality... but bought a D800 and can say it is the first Nikon I have failed to love it was the first that I could not get good images straight out of the box!.
Logic said that the Df should be good as it uses the D4 sensor etc. and it is. I also like the solid feel, the compact size and lighter weight...... even well balanced with a medium zoom fitted. But it is image quality that really matters and as to be expected from the D4 sensor this is first rate. Most of us tend to develop a set up for controls and settings which we basically stick to so a change to the physical control dials/wheels is not a problem and I can, and do, switch between my D700 and Df easily. So here is one very pleased Df user and one D800 for sale! I have subscribed to the view for awhile that chasing pixels is not important as getting pixels that perform, the Df provides the optimum

5 upvotes
Robert A F

A Most Excellent Camera. THE perfect FX camera for my landscapes. Ergonomically complete. No plastic mold feel, wishing it felt just a little bit better. The best of all worlds---small and tough and great sensor. Nikon, please don't stop developing this class of camera.

3 upvotes
dhtima

exelent camera and good review guys, but why you always changing studio scene - maiking impossible to compare with older cameras?
your scene is only capable to compare with modern cameras only! *cry*

2 upvotes
Mike Laughlin

It's not about a 'retro look" for me ... it's what it can do for me. It is simply amazing. -- The low-light capability, the full-manual controls, and so
compact compared to the bloated, plastic hulks that are bigger than the 6x6 and 6x7 cameras of yore.

If something were to happen to mine, I would immediately buy another Df black body for fear Nikon might decide to make it a short-run product.

3 upvotes
Ajaykdelhi

Got a Df today and shot few pictures, results are amazing particularly in low light...

3 upvotes
chatnoir

I have the Df since December 24 and I'm happy with it, has its magic

https://www.flickr.com/photos/migatonegro/11529585884/

3 upvotes
powerglide

Thank you, David. I played with a Df in a store but they knew squat about it, and got edgy, so I walked. Had my AISs to try, but he didn't understand what I wanted to do. I like to use primes wide open in lots of situations, so aperture priority is nice. Can I use the Df like this with old AIS primes? BTW, I did notice how nice the VF was for focusing (I tried it in a dark corner of the store).

Gone off the OMD-E M10. Sony A7 looks like the sole alternative as I can buy an adapter for my Nikkors, and its full-frame also. Don't know of any other non-Nikon that will do that. Kind of sorry I sold my 85, but it always was a bit short and a bit soft. When I get the body nailed, I might look for a 105 - how does yours shoot on the Df? I looked at a D610, but didn't like it much.

2 upvotes
OldOlympusfan

Hi powerglide,

OMD EM10 is tempting to me, a good camera I am sure - an aesthetic triumph. So why have you gone off the EM10? (They should should call it OMD10 and be done with it!)

It's a lot more cost than the old 35mm OM10 that I had in 1981 and mentioned in my other post. Similarly, this Nikon Df is hugely more expensive than the old FM that you have - this Df looks so much like the FM, FE and FG I think from circa 1980. I have just been looking on this site:
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/htmls/models/htmls/slrmain5979.htm
and saw the little entry level EM - how cute was that? The equivalent of the OM10. What amazing value those were really at the time.

I have great nostalgia for those old 35mm cameras, though using film is getting more and more tricky, unless you have your own established darkroom set up.

I must say though, that even the entry level DSLRs have so many options that there is plenty for a geek like me to enjoy so one can't complain.

0 upvotes
davidbarbour

2nd post>…have used the Df's for 5 months>variety of assignments…great camera, sold all my zooms and the 28/50/105mm AIS lens work beautifully on the camera…the camera is far quieter, manual focus with 2.8 lenses, one can focus on ground glass….stunning in low light at 1250….changing ISO and shutter speed without going into the menu is so quick and efficient…by far the best digital camera I have owned…the only ugly thing about this camera is Nikon's picture of it….looks big>it isn't….I own 2…thrilled with these cameras….solid, exceptional body

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
tabloid

I think the design and looks of the DF makes it a mans camera…not like the poofy/bling/girly looking stuff around today.

Again…great looking camera.

3 upvotes
Matiss from Latvia

A real man is not worried about the camera design, but simply does what has to do - using camera for photography :) ;)

3 upvotes
Teila Day

What in the heck is a "man's" camera? All cameras are simply cameras that either work for your professional or personal needs or it doesn't. Whether it has rainbows and pink giraffes stamped all over it is of no consequence to usability and image quality.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
powerglide

Advice, please. I will replace my FM (28, 35, 50, and 200. What's making me go digital is the demise of Kodachrome.

Do I toss the lot and get an Olympus OM-D E M10 with the pancake zoom and self-closing lens cap (and no bigger than an old OM-1, which is my second favourite camera after my FM). (I've owned and used a few over the years, starting with a box Brownie, then a Kodak folder, a Leica IIIG, other rangefinders, SRT-101, X7, then came a Nikon F with photomic head, then a Nikkormat FTb, and lastly the wonderful FM, to which I have been faithful for 30 years!).

Best is Nikkor f2/35 that delivers every time on the edge, e.g., in a European cathedral in winter when light is low and Kelvin-shifted. The FM body is good because you can shoot for depth of field and focus, change the speed for available light, then frame, all without looking at the camera controls. Seems both the Df and OM-D can do this. It's the compact size of the OM-D with lens retraced that gives it an edge.

1 upvote
OldOlympusfan

Dear powerglide,

I really liked your post.

If you have spare money, don't get rid of that wonderful Nikon FM. Once lost, never regained.

On another article here, I saw a picture of the Olympus OM-10 and I thought, "Ahhh, that is so gorgeous." I had one in 1981 when I was 15 and wish I had never sold it. I wanted an OM-2N but it was too much to buy with an 80-210 zoom lens, so I went for the OM-10. (Also, I went to buy a new OM-2N one day in Leicester UK and Jessops' huge shop didn't have it in stock - I came home so disappointed. I bought the OM-10 the following week.)

11 years later, I spent about £450 on an OM-4Ti with its fab multi-spot metering and annoying battery drain - but I sill miss the OM-10, because at £89.95 it was fabulous value and with another £15 you could add Manual mode.

I ended up with a couple of nice used OM-2Ns and some lovely Zuiko lenses. I would hate to get rid of them esp my 35 f/2, 85 f/2 and the tiny and gorgeous 16/3.5 fisheye and 21/3.5 superwide.

0 upvotes
Paul P K

Since I have the DF ( April this year) I've hardly touched the D and D800 despite their superior AF, fps (D3) and pixels (D800).

Love the size, weight, image quality and high ISO. Great for discreet shooting, and ideally balanced with my old 1.4/50mm Ais, 2/28mm Ais and pre AI 1.8/85mm

Dials not a problem (just like shooting with my old F2AS and FE), nor is the according to the naysayers 'inferior' AF (works without a problem with all my AF D and AFS lenses), still can shoot catwalk under low light conditions with it

Not a camera for the general public nor for the techies, but if judged on its own merits IMO quite a little gem

3 upvotes
Ajaykdelhi

I wonder why Nikon has overpriced Df. It should have ideally been in the pricing range of D610

1 upvote
Onyxtiger

The Df is definitely NOT ugly. I started shooting Nikon back in 1967 with a Nikon F....I still have it, along with a Nikkormat EL, an F2S and a myriad of classic Nikon lenses. The Df is perfect for me. I can use all my lenses, plus the newer digital lenses that I have also purchased for my first digital Nikon.

Who the heck needs video on a DSLR?

3 upvotes
Marty CL

The Df reminds me of a large Nikon FM.

1 upvote
johnbatten

isn't it odd that trolls don't give their real names...

2 upvotes
johnbatten

I find I'm using my Df for 90% of my professional work - the 800 gathers dust. I can't wait for the Df2, which should have a second SDC slot for backup...

Well done Nikon!

3 upvotes
Ian Mace

Me too....Love it...

3 upvotes
NonChillFiltered

A camera for .... photography??
that looks like .... a camera??

Absolutely beautiful concept and camera in the world of products designed for manufacturability and main stream thoughtlessness, coming from the company known for catering to people who know. Ordering with 85mm 1.4D.

5 upvotes
40daystogo

Saw it in the store. Has to be one of ugliest, most ungainly cameras I've seen in several decades of being into photography. I owned the original Nikon FE, FE2, FM and FM2's, which were really attractive cameras in their day, and I still keep my old FE2 as a keepsake, but I have to say this new digital Df looks like a Frankenstein. It's just ugly. The thing is, I really like the design of Nikon's other DSLR's, and I've owned a few Nikon DSLRs over the last few years - but this Df looks like it's made of Lego bricks. I'm curious how many of these Nikon have sold, and whether the people who buy them value the appearance of their cameras?

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
1 upvote
NikonF3T

As of last month, Df is still in short supply in Japan. While I still have not had a chance to try it on my hand, the bulkier appearance (taller, thicker, and shorter) than FM/FE series probably will fit me just fine as I'm used to use F3+MD4 and F4S.

0 upvotes
rpichlerphoto

I have a Df arriving for test tomorrow since I'm looking for a smaller camera than the D3 I currently use but don't want to jump ship nor need the D800 huge RAW files. I loved how the camera felt in my hands at the reveal here in Croatia back in November and now I look forward shooting a wedding with it to see how it performs in the real situations.

Personally, I love the retro appearance (will opt for a full black one, dough) and the possibility of having the D4 sensor for half the price is just great.

Will post about it next week after I finish testing it.

2 upvotes
wvargas95

Retro look, what retro look? I have been using Nikon cameras for 45 years and I have never seen a Nikon like this, it looks weird and boxy. You want to make a retro Nikon then stick to the Nikon F or F3 body style, these cameras fit in your hand like a globe. The Df failed in that category.

1 upvote
Stanchung

I think I've mastered the dails already. Don't like that the whole batt cover plate can come out.

so much less to worry about. just decide on 3 things and compose.

I don't it's for everyone, only those who think they're special. hahahahahahaha

1 upvote
dinoSnake

I still find it laughably ironic on how many reviewers complain about the locked exposure compensation dial...when it was Nikon's standard for over 40 years. And just one of the reasons why I DIDN'T buy a Nikon film SLR.

When the locked exposure dial was Nikon's standard, everyone thought it was "normal"; now that Nikon no longer uses the lock, everything thinks that is "normal" - in other words, everyone accepts what is most commonly handed to them [by Nikon] and learn to frown on the alternative.

Strange world.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

I believe the dial is only locked in “A”. I’ll check to confirm. But this point was raised and explained months ago.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

I checked, and it's only the 1/3 setting that locks on the exposure dial.

So basically: Not a locking exposure dial.

1 upvote
NikonF3T

I noticed the exposure compensation dial can be cumbersome to use, as it's integrated into ISO dial as well. Don't know how FM / FE series were set up, but the F3 was set up exactly that way. And I wasn't a big fan of this (alleged) efficient design.

0 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli

I saw this camera in real life a few days ago. The touch and fell and its look reminded me of a Chinese knock off of a Rolex watch you can buy in Canal Street.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

Did you shoot with the Df? Does the image quality lack? Does it not function well?

Then magnesium by volume is lighter than brass.

I think there's a certain irony that some have complained that the Df looks clunky, an aesthetic problem real, and fake, Rolex watches oft times have.

2 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli

I have no doubt the image quality is outstanding, yet the main reason someone should buy this camera over a D4 is the look, touch and feel. Nikon failed to provide exactly on those 3 points.
The camera is a far cry from the original FM2 which it is inspired from. Also it is too big for no reason.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Gionni:

The Df is slightly better at high ISO lowlight shooting than the D4, and the Df can be set to shoot more quietly than the D4, so those are reasons to use the Df instead of the D4.

The Df is of course also lighter and less expensive than the D4, so those are two other reasons to buy it instead of the D4.

Making things smaller and just as functional costs monies. Note that the Leica M240 is thicker than the Leica M6.

1 upvote
MChaov

I love this camera! It is the best I've had by far. The dials are a bit tricky at first but give a lot more satisfaction when shooting.

It is a camera for people who like to tinker and adjust and play while shooting the perfect shot - not guys who take 5000 shots and then choose 2 out of them.

This is not a professional studio camera, it can be used as such but you can't adjust it as fast real-time as 5D, D3x or D4.

I'd recommend it to anyone who loves to take photos. Just add to it a nice 24-70, f/2 and you are good to go!

2 upvotes
Fons Claessens

The only thing that's "bad" on this faboulous camera is: autofocus in low light.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
RichRMA

Nikon gave people who clamoured for it a retro camera. It's likely they won't do this again thanks to the reception it's gotten.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Why? Is the Df not selling?

Could it be a better version of many dial control, like the Fuji XT1 or Olympus EM1? Yes?

0 upvotes
Sad Joe

PLUS: D4 sensor inside a compact D600 / retro body. CONS: EVERYTHING else !

0 upvotes
Wim Robberechts

For my kind of work (aerial photography) I need 3 camera bodies. I have a D3, D3x and a D4. Since I have the Df I never leave home without. It's by far the best camera I ever had. The 50mm 1.8 lens is a perfect match as well.

2 upvotes
davidbarbour

whenever I read these comments, it seems 99% of the people have never used the Df….I now own two, they are lighter, far quieter, smaller than the D700. I sold my zooms and the best feature is that with fast AIS lenses, I can easily focus on the ground glass…I never use Auto Focus, far faster to focus on the ground glass. I hardly look at my menu and the overall body construction is superb…I have shot for 42 years and this is an exceptional camera for travel, coverage of events, weddings…the high ISO quality is exceptional…use the camera and you will love it...

10 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Thank you for making the point about the easy of manual focusing.

2 upvotes
MChaov

EXACTLY!!! I almost didn't buy it after all the negativity around the web.

The first shot is when I decided I don't want to use another one :)

1 upvote
i9imbig

Please advice, which one is better DF or D800e??? I am just occasionally using camera to shoot

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

i9imbig:

It matters what you're trying to shoot and the lenses you plan on using.

It also matters if the best dynamic range (also dependent on the lens) is really important to you.

0 upvotes
Lawrence33

Will be looking hard at the Df
Oh! lord, did you really love the amateur, more than the photo-artist, you made so many of them ? And lord the 'Egos' please lighten them up.
It was much more fun, when you could pick from the two models that everyone made 'back in the days'. Who needs 64 models vs. 47 models?
Does it make the shutter pusher any better. Are we just paying for R&D ?
Yes I use some really old lenses from Nikon, I've built a mount for a Leica Long Focus, to work with a cheaper Nikon motor drives. It still works, even today.
Digital is nice for those who have to see if the camera really worked and the capture is there. While the world moves on.
My cameras' have taken me to many countries. And I've seen many different peoples through Nikon lenses and will some more.

0 upvotes
armandino

I do not want to be a troller or such. Maybe I do not understand Nikon philosophy because I do not own one. However, as much as I admire Nikon effort in producing exceptional cameras, I do not find myself a single all rounded camera to fully satisfy me for all conditions. Nikon made a tonne of bodies lately but i do not see a single do it all camera, that I would be ready to grab for all occasions. I.e, the performance body is the D4, but I would not take it with me traveling or to a party, just too heavy and intrusive for some situations. Also the resolution is at its minimum these days (landscape?). D800 is too much resolution and a tad too slow for all condition gear. The D610 sounds promising, but the AF is not quite up there. Really the D700 was THE camera of choice (although a bit low in resolution). Really I would not know what to pick right now for an all condition camera from Nikon. If somebody is happy with a crop sensor I guess the D7100 is excellent, but a no go for me.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
armandino

to me this is just another wonderful tool that Nikon made in its scattered minded roadmap

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

amandino--

There's no such thing as the perfect all round camera, and Nikon wouldn't sell it anyhow even if they knew to make one. This was also true back in the film era.

Drop the idea that 16 MP is limited resolution--it's basically a delusion, and more mega pixels can easily degrade image quality.

The D7100 is fine camera body, and APSC sensors are excellent, this one included, but there's the buffering problem with that particular body.

2 upvotes
armandino

I think 18-25 mp is a nice range for full frame MP count. 16 is just a tad low. I guess it still depends on the person's use, but for sport photography or where cropping is frequent it does make a difference for sure. Honestly the best all rounded camera on the market right now is the 5DMKIII. It would be nice if it had more dynamic range, but it does get away with what it has most of the times. I find that each Canon camera has a well defined marketing and purpose domain with the 5D being the happy medium. Nikon distribution is more chaotic to my taste, at times some cameras even cannibalize products within Nikon lineup (i.e. D800 vs D3x). Or jumping from the low MP count of D700 philosophy to the extreme opposite of the D800. Not to mention the Df, a no land camera. Do not get me wrong, I think they are all very fine cameras, potentially better then the Canon counterparts, yet the whole picture is not very organic. Some choices seem impulsive and not so well though out.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
armandino

Ah, one more thing. Sure there cannot be a camera that is best at everything, however you can have a camera that excels at everything, I am not sure why Nikon would not want do make it, as it has shown will to cannibalize its own products for the sake of gaining market share. That would have been the D800 with a D600 sensor and a buffer and speed of the 5D MKIII.
Which is basically a 5DMKIII with improved sensor performance.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

The 5D III is a nice camera. But not great at high ISOs and as you say DR lacks a bit. So those are reasons for fewer megapixels in say the 6D or the Nikon D4.

If you know what you're doing, much cropping isn't really necessary. And most people simply don't print at 20 by 30 inches.

2 upvotes
armandino

Again for all rounded cropping is important. When you are shooting sports it is an very important feature. Have you actually used the 5D? ISO is really good, I am not sure why you insist that is not so much. Let me give you and example of how flexible this body is. I was in Brazil for 2 months I shot from fashion swimsuit to up to my neck deep in a lagoon shooting kite surfers, raw 1080 video, street photography. I cannot think of another camera that could have handled all of that to the same extent. Nikon D4 would have not been an option for some of these situations, like street photography, or no cropping power for kite surfing. I also shot surfing, but I only had a 300+1.4x cropping was important too, and weight was at time too.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

armandino,

I think you're missing my point:

The 5D III is good at higher ISOs, but not great like the Df. (Here the Canon 6D is also better at high ISOs than the 5D III.)

Right, that kite surfing example would be a good place to use cropping, or an APSC sensored DSLR body. Then of course the D800 allows for more cropping than the 5D III, but for either the D800 or 5D III dynamic range limits come into play.

If you're shooting fashion, yes big prints come into play, but that's just not real common.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
WalterLee

I have the camera for the past 2 weeks and it is exactly what I am looking for in a camera. I have a D800 and traded in my D3 for the Df.
I will give top marks for to the Df for its image quality, ease of use, and simply gorgeous design.
When fitted with the Nikon 50mm 1.4D, the combi works and looks great. Being able to use the aperture ring again is both nostalgic and exciting.
Top marks also for the retro and yet fully functional design. I agree that Df feels even better with primes.

4 upvotes
Royalpig180

You know that you can use the aperture ring of AF and manual focus lenses on other Nikon's right? I'm not entirely which, but at least on the D7100, it's an option in the menu under the command dial settings, so the Df is not unique in this respect. The major advantage of the Df as far as lens compatability is the retractable AI tab.

0 upvotes
jedy

Very disappointed when this was released. Thanks to the rumours, there was me thinking it was going to be a full frame mirrorless camera and instead we end up with another bulky dslr. I would love a smaller camera with a retro (read simpler) layout that doesn't require trawling through menus to setup for a shot. Whilst the layout is 'retro', this camera is just a dslr without video and wifi yet stupidly priced. If only Fujifilm made a full frame camera!

0 upvotes
ArchAndoz

its smaller than other ff dslrs but isnt that small especially since i had the omd em 5 and such mirrorless cameras the sizes are not comparable and that is a definite minus for the df however as for the layout i think i can say you are sort of wrong i have been using the df for about 2-3 months now and i never and i mean NEVER use the liveview menus or layout especially because there is a button or dial for everything i just wished it had focus peaking though the viewfinder is nice big and bright ive been spoiled with my partners red line focus peaking thing on the fuji .........

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

jedy--

The menus simply aren't a problem with this camera.

Full frame and then a smaller mirrorless body would mean entirely new lenses. (Like the Sony A7/R).

Wifi is not exactly universal, I believe there are different standards around the world, so it's best to leave it out. Anyhow would add space.

Video takes more power so the bigger battery would add space and weight.

Thru ISO 6400 both the Sony A7 and the Leica M240 are excellent full framed mirrorless systems. (The A7 is a bit too loud, and there still aren't enough lenses, but that will change in years to come.)

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

That’s what the used departments of B+H or Adorama, etc are for.

Or Ebay.

And I think more manufacturers should copy the idea of big sensors with fewer pixels in smaller, lighter, less expensive bodies the way that Nikon did with the Df and to a lesser extent Canon did with the 6D. (And no I’ve not forgotten the Sony A7.)

1 upvote
armandino

I think 6D is as good if not better. Smaller, better AF, video, ergonomics and $1,000 less. Df only better if you need better iso above 12,000. Nothing else really.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

6D is nice, but not quite the high ISO performance of the Df.

Also of course, the neither the Df or 6D sell for less than $1000, and that's not going to happen for a while.

Then video in the Df would mean a bigger battery. And there are all sorts of problems with video on DSLRs, some will get fixed, but not this year.

0 upvotes
armandino

6D is better or equal in pretty much all aspects. No many can justify to spend $1,000 more for a lesser camera just for the look and superior ISO performance for 25,600 and upward. HowaboutRaw, you seem obsessed by extremely high ISO performance, most of us are not.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

arm:

I admit that high ISOs are important to me. And the 6D sure is good.

But there are Canon sensor DR problems, here Zeiss can help, but then Zeiss helps Nikon too.

I kind of agree that the Df should have been something like a D800 but with fewer mega pixels. (But the knobs don't bother me.)

Also what was the price of the 6D when if first released? It's been out for more than a year, so predictably its price has gone down. Same will happen with the Df in 18 months.

0 upvotes
Smokymtnhiker

Howabout...you seem to be obsessed with ultra-high ISO performance. What are you shooting? Bunnies by moonlight? :)

0 upvotes
Traingineer

I think Nikon should of just made this a film camera than turn one of their DSLRs into a "retro" film camera.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

That’s what the used departments of B+H or Adorama, etc are for.

Or Ebay.

And I think more manufacturers should copy the idea of big sensors with fewer pixels in smaller, lighter, less expensive bodies the way that Nikon did with the Df and to a lesser extent Canon did with the 6D. (And no I’ve not forgotten the Sony A7.)

1 upvote
joe Campo d2x

Full Frame sensor in a small body, for half the price of a D4, same low noise at hi ISO as D4, love the camera, even the battery is great ….. there are some not so spectacular reviews but Thom has it right, read what he has to say ……. Berger Brothers beat all prices, and I got a black one with retro lens. ….. love it , can't wait for spring.

4 upvotes
saradindubose

Will all my Nikon manual FM2 lens - 23mm 35 70 and 70 210mm work with DF?

2 upvotes
Victor Arroyo Mexico

Yes, of course. Even older Nikkors or equivalents from other brands (Sigma, Tokina, Vivitar, Tamron, etc.). This is great!, I have a lot of old optics that I was next to bid, but with this camera, I am happy to be able to use them again.

1 upvote
Ian Mace

I'm using a bag full of both AFS and AIS glass- love it!

5 upvotes
G1Houston

HowaboutRAW, you are still here? Have you bought the SONY A7 yet? It won the Silveraward!

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

The Sony A7 is really audible, and doesn't have many native lenses.

Also that Sony isn't a great high ISO camera, in year 2014 terms.

Then there's the compressed raw format issue--could be fixed with firmware I'd posit.

0 upvotes
Zoron

no IBIS ?....about time Nikon..

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

Body based stabilization: Like which other Nikon DSLR?

I assume you made the same point about the Sony A7.

0 upvotes
WGVanDyck

There are a lot of us older photographers that have been both disappointed and thrilled by the trends of the digital camera age. The technology and operational options that have developed with the advent of digital are simply marvelous. However, the film camera industry evolved into cameras like the F3 and F4 that where truly the panicle of basic photographic control. Frankly, it is much faster and easier to set a dial with the graduations labeled on it than it is to push a button, spin a wheel and read a screen. Or worse; dig into a menu. The digital camera age brought about a sort of schizophrenia in the camera industry. The film camera had evolved to an extremely usable state and yet it was as if the manufacturers had forgotten all that advancement and started over by hiring engineering staffs from Fischer-Price for their new digital lines. So, many of us don’t see this as a “retro” sales gimmick, but as an apparent return to sanity by Olympus, Fuji, and now Nikon.

17 upvotes
JF69

Splitting your sentences into paragraphs makes an easier read; you're making interesting arguments that are lost in that single solid mass of words.

1 upvote
Revup

WG I think that's the best description i've heard, of how I feel about digital cameras. I'm blown away by the creative potential of digital, but frustrated by menus and screens that don't allow me to take control intuitively. I don't need a retro style camera, but a camera that improves and develops upon where film was. Unfortunately I think the manufactures have gone over board cramming their digitals with functions few people use, because these functions are a marketing tool, and show off their tech. I wish digital cameras were to follow the simple idiom of creative photography 'Less is more'. DSLRs are now so bulky and obtriusive. With a little less digital gubbins and a more manual control the scale could be reduced (along with the price) and a truly usable camera produced. For me the Df isn't it, too expensive for what it is, and no smaller than my D700. The new Fuji XT1 is interesting though, apart from being APSC, and having an EVF it seems to be going in the right direction.

1 upvote
cplunk

What are you digging through menus for?

I can set my DSLR to M mode and turn off autofocus without digging much, if any.

And with the two wheels by the thumb and index finger, and the focus ring on the lens, I have all the controls I would have on my old Nikon film version of this camera.

What I do have when I go into menus and start looking for extra controls is more power and convenience. After all, I can change ISO on the fly, no need to replace the roll of film. Sure, it's an extra button, but really, does taking this away make it the new "sanity"?

0 upvotes
NikonEMtoDf

ABSOLUTELY!!!
Layered menus tedious at best.
Mechanical dials are totally intuitive.
Now I have a camera that I can use right out of the box!
Our kids instantly took to the Df and quickly understood what the various settings do. They are well versed in typical menu-driven DSLR's but when they saw the Df, my college age daughter said "this is the coolest thing I have ever seen". She took it into our studio and started shooting. Her nine year old sister took right to it as well.
SEE - SHOOT - MANIPULATE - SHOOT - UNDERSTAND
Wow!! What a great tool to teach photography!

This camera rocks and you can throw the stupid manual away.
In my way of viewing technology, if I need the manual, I'm a slave to the technology rather than the technology working for me.

I want total control. I want technology to be as simple as a light switch or the rotary knobs on a cook stove.

Thank you Nikon!!!

3 upvotes
armandino

I agree as an intuitive tool for learning photography. It is probably good also for who is taking a picture for the pleasure of it. Not so good for quick action. There is a reason why pro bodies do not look like this and evolved in a different direction.

1 upvote
TakenUserName

Interesting, did Nikon abandon their standard setting CLS flash system? I don't see it anywhere in the specs for inbody master control - and haven't researched if will function with an SU-800 (or master flash) in the hotshoe. CLS is my backup to PW's since I don't use on body flash which is required a master if not using and SU-800 controller. When used as backup, I use the in camera master and pop-up flash (missing on DF) as trigger, but set to -3 for minimal on camera flash impact since can't turn off and just use pre-flash.

0 upvotes
RDMPhotos

Hello, ever find an answer to this question?

0 upvotes
MikeFairbanks

I don't know if I'd buy it (mostly because it's a bit pricier than other full frame cameras), but I am very much in admiration of the camera-styling. To clarify, I don't prefer to call it retro styling because I never fully accepted the puffed up, black plastic cameras of the last 25 years. Yes, yes, of course I purchase these big, black cameras and I love them. But the artist, technician, and manly-man in me says that a camera should look like a camera, and the Nikon DF screams real camera in styling.

I also know my point of view is mostly superficial and that if a camera can do the same or more in a puffy, plastic body, then I should be smart and not throw away a few extra hundred dollars for something that appeals to my eyes.

Function is a priority, but anyone who says style doesn't matter is not being honest with himself. Style is why one guy is able to score more women than an unstylish man of equal wealth and beauty (or lack of the former or latter). Style matters.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

There are plenty of stylish cars that don't function well, or drive at all for more than 200 miles without serious trouble. Think 1970s era, some very famous names too.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
PaulDavis

The style of a camera can make you excited to go out and shoot, for sure.

0 upvotes
Zoron

Nikon Df is still a lot cheaper and better than Leica....so good for us....y the hate?

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Sort of true but to get anything close to the optical quality of good Leica M lenses you'll have to use the Zeiss manual focus lenses on this body.

1 upvote
armandino

this camera is nothing like Leica, unfortunately.

0 upvotes
yearofrolling

Why can't canon make a camera that looks like this?

0 upvotes
RDMPhotos

Well, they can... they just do not want to.

0 upvotes
armandino

thank God at least one company keeps it serious and does not jump in the bandwagon. Showing some marketing strategies that are not attracted by the temporary hypes. Now Canon I love your cameras but just give us a nice dynamic range.... we have been waiting long enough I think....

0 upvotes
NikonF3T

Canon doesn't have as long tradition of keeping analog ergonomics than Nikon has. Canon sort of abandoned it toward the end of FD mount system production (T-90) and neither on any of EOS series. So, it's probably hard to generate enough demand among Canon users. I also own EOS 5D, BTW.

0 upvotes
Babka08
4 upvotes
liveaudio

I was fascinated by this camera ... and even more so after reading the emotional postings by others here.

For one, I appreciate what Nikon is doing. There can certainly not be a single perfect camera, but for my needs, this seems like a good choice. A blend of high tech modern imaging technology in a familiar architecture.

The sort of machine I would enjoy grabbing on my way out the door. My guess is that I could snap the occasional good shot.

5 upvotes
Total comments: 1619
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