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Nikon Df Review

December 2013 | By Richard Butler, Barney Britton
Buy on GearShopFrom $2,746.95


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: 1613
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David Click Click
By David Click Click (3 weeks ago)

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

1 upvote
Robert A F
By Robert A F (1 month ago)

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.

2 upvotes
dhtima
By dhtima (2 months ago)

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*

1 upvote
Mike Laughlin
By Mike Laughlin (2 months ago)

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.

1 upvote
Ajaykdelhi
By Ajaykdelhi (2 months ago)

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

2 upvotes
chatnoir
By chatnoir (2 months ago)

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
By powerglide (2 months ago)

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
By OldOlympusfan (2 days ago)

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
By davidbarbour (2 months ago)

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
By tabloid (3 months ago)

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.

2 upvotes
Matiss from Latvia
By Matiss from Latvia (2 months ago)

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

1 upvote
Teila Day
By Teila Day (2 months ago)

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
2 upvotes
powerglide
By powerglide (3 months ago)

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
By OldOlympusfan (2 days ago)

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
By Paul P K (3 months ago)

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
By Ajaykdelhi (3 months ago)

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

1 upvote
Onyxtiger
By Onyxtiger (3 months ago)

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?

2 upvotes
Marty CL
By Marty CL (3 months ago)

The Df reminds me of a large Nikon FM.

1 upvote
johnbatten
By johnbatten (4 months ago)

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

2 upvotes
johnbatten
By johnbatten (4 months ago)

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
By Ian Mace (4 months ago)

Me too....Love it...

3 upvotes
NonChillFiltered
By NonChillFiltered (4 months ago)

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.

4 upvotes
40daystogo
By 40daystogo (4 months ago)

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
By NikonF3T (3 months ago)

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
By rpichlerphoto (5 months ago)

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
By wvargas95 (4 months ago)

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
By Stanchung (5 months ago)

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
By dinoSnake (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By NikonF3T (3 months ago)

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
By Gionni Dorelli (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By Gionni Dorelli (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By MChaov (6 months ago)

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
By Fons Claessens (6 months ago)

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

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
RichRMA
By RichRMA (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By Sad Joe (6 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
Wim Robberechts
By Wim Robberechts (6 months ago)

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
By davidbarbour (6 months ago)

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...

9 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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

2 upvotes
MChaov
By MChaov (6 months ago)

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
By i9imbig (6 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By Lawrence33 (6 months ago)

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
By armandino (6 months ago)

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
By armandino (6 months ago)

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

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By armandino (6 months ago)

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
By armandino (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By armandino (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By WalterLee (6 months ago)

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
By Royalpig180 (6 months ago)

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
By jedy (6 months ago)

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
By ArchAndoz (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By armandino (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By armandino (6 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By Smokymtnhiker (5 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
Traingineer
By Traingineer (7 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

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
By joe Campo d2x (7 months ago)

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
By saradindubose (7 months ago)

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

2 upvotes
Victor Arroyo Mexico
By Victor Arroyo Mexico (7 months ago)

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
By Ian Mace (6 months ago)

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

5 upvotes
G1Houston
By G1Houston (7 months ago)

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

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

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
By Zoron (8 months ago)

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

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

Body based stabilization: Like which other Nikon DSLR?

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

0 upvotes
WGVanDyck
By WGVanDyck (8 months ago)

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.

16 upvotes
JF69
By JF69 (7 months ago)

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
By Revup (7 months ago)

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
By cplunk (7 months ago)

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
By NikonEMtoDf (6 months ago)

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
By armandino (6 months ago)

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
By TakenUserName (8 months ago)

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
By RDMPhotos (7 months ago)

Hello, ever find an answer to this question?

0 upvotes
MikeFairbanks
By MikeFairbanks (8 months ago)

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
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

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
By PaulDavis (7 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (8 months ago)

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

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

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
By armandino (6 months ago)

this camera is nothing like Leica, unfortunately.

0 upvotes
yearofrolling
By yearofrolling (8 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
RDMPhotos
By RDMPhotos (7 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
armandino
By armandino (6 months ago)

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
By NikonF3T (3 months ago)

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
By Babka08 (8 months ago)

Yawn.

4 upvotes
liveaudio
By liveaudio (8 months ago)

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
waxwaine
By waxwaine (8 months ago)

Classic remades are a classic fail

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Mazda Miata (UK Mazda MX6).

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

UK MX5, before I hear about it. And it would be nice if these pages actually loaded, the old system worked better.

0 upvotes
RayManFOTO
By RayManFOTO (8 months ago)

Absolute statements are NEVER absolute. SOME classic re-mades are a classic SUCCESS!

2 upvotes
Soothsayerman
By Soothsayerman (7 months ago)

My favorite cameras of all time

Olympus OM-1, OM-2
Nikon FE, FM2

If this had really been created more in the spirit with the FE or FM2 I would have jumped in with both feet grinning, but this thing is big, bulky, goofy and just blech. I'm disappointed.

0 upvotes
armandino
By armandino (6 months ago)

The oracle said:
"everything that has a beginning has an end"

1 upvote
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (8 months ago)

I have never touched this camera and never plan to, but it does seem arrogant for Nikon to lower the specs on a camera and give it a retro look and then charge a fortune for it. No wonder it isn't selling well. It really seems like it wants to be one of those "look at me, I have too much money" kind of pompous cameras. I mean why else wouldn't you get a D800.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

How are the specs lower?

Above base ISO the D800 doesn’t have the dynamic range of the Df. Nor obviously can the D800 shoot as well at such high ISOs.

The Df appears to be selling.

Look if good DR and lowlight high ISO shooting aren’t important to you, then there are other options.

Why don’t you try looking at the image quality produced instead of the box producing that image.

So I guess the D800 as a bigger buffer and more AF points, but then the D4 bests those D800 capacities.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
JDThomas
By JDThomas (8 months ago)

You know, I like my Df an awful lot, but HowaboutRAW you seem to put in an inordinate amount of time defending this camera. You belabor the same points over and over.

You may be right, but at what point are you going to stop tilting at windmills?

These people aren't interested in liking the Df and no amount of your arguing is going to change that. I agree with you, but damn, your posts are bordering on obnoxious and have gone on to the point of obsession. Dude, relax. It's just a camera, you don't have to defend it's honor.

9 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

JDT:

Yeah, I get that I’m playing Wack A Mole. But the moles keep popping up with the same made up story.

Hope you can see why I’d find the oft repeated line: “The Nikon D800 is a better camera,” to be obnoxious.

Just wait for another camera body with features that I respect and others pontificate inaccurately upon.

1 upvote
petemod
By petemod (8 months ago)

Haha, I agree with JDThomas. I check this thread out once a day or so just to see what HowaboutRAW wrote this time... it always cracks me up when I read how strongly he defends the DF.

The DF is a good camera with good specs. HOWEVER, Nikon chose to jump on the retro inspired bandwagon and to many it fell flat on its face. Had the DF not been prophesized to be the 'digital fusion' for 'pure photography' it would not have received the reception that it has. Expectations were raised so incredibly high that they only had one place to go.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

petemod:

It's not my fault you believed the marketing claims.

Remember the Microsoft marketing for Windows '95 or Windows Vista? As a camera the Df is better than those products.

0 upvotes
petemod
By petemod (8 months ago)

HowaboutRAW:

Yeah, stupid me... Why should I have thought that Nikon was capable of producing a DSLR that would elicit the same kind of "pure photography" experience of perhaps a Leica M, with the same stunning good looks, and "non-recycled" parts to match...

Oh wait, they released a mini-series of teaser clips suggesting that they could...

Fool me once Nikon, shame on you (I owned an oily D600),
Fool me twice Nikon, shame on me.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

petemod:

The Leica M240 is kinda thick. And still has the dumb hidden single SD card slot. (Yes, if I had a spare $18,000 in the bank, I'd order a M240 and the new M 50mm f/2.0.)

Don't think the oil problems with the D600 (and oil is always a risk with DSLRs) have anything to do with whether or not you personally like the aesthetics of the Nikon Df.

The Nikon Df is easy enough to use; it's just that you'd have to get used to different controls if you're used to a Nikon DSLR like the D600.

Got news, many manufacturers use the same parts in different models--the same is true for computer code. To avoid taking sales from the D4 and D800, Nikon was not likely going to develop an all new AF system for this very all new body.

Again, I didn't watch the marketing video, not likely I'd have believed it anyhow.

If the strong features of the Df (IQ, DR) aren't important to you, and knobs confuse things for you, don't purchase a Df.

1 upvote
petemod
By petemod (8 months ago)

Nothing wrong with a single SD slot if you're out there enjoying photography and not doing it commercially.

The oil problems with the D600 and the quickly released D610 have proved that Nikon would rather abandon its customers rather than acknowledge the problem. Clearly you haven't experienced it yourself as you would know that it is far from normal.

To sum up your other comments;
Where did I say I had a problem with the knobs or that I may be confused by them? Re-read my posts as it seems you're confused.
Yes companies reuse parts, however why would they reuse parts that people have already complained about (specifically the APSC sized AF array)?
By not having seen the videos you don't understand why many people feel the way they feel.

I'm not buying a DF. Why? Because of the poorly executed "classic" styling, the unacceptable AF array, and because I would have preferred the sensor from the D800.

Buy a DF and put your money where your mouth is, or are you only a dreamer?

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

petemod:

Right now I don’t have the money to buy the Df, but I’d sure consider it if I did.

This is where you said you had a problem with the knobs, twice:

First: “I'm not buying a DF. Why? Because of the poorly executed "classic" styling,”

then from above:

“Yeah, stupid me... Why should I have thought that Nikon was capable of producing a DSLR that would elicit the same kind of "pure photography" experience of perhaps a Leica M, with the same stunning good looks, and "non-recycled" parts to match...”

It’s the “poorly executed” thing that more than implies you don’t like the knobs.

So hope that clarifies.

Now I’m not wedded to AF, since Nikon lenses aren’t optically great so I’d avoid them, and I don’t shoot sporting events. But indeed the AF is just fine on the Nikon Df. Though: No, not the AF from the D4.
Familiarize yourself with the SD slot on the Leica M240; its singleness aint the real problem.

continues:

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Above base ISO the sensor from the D800 doesn’t have the dynamic range of the Df’s sensor, then there’s that other thing. So those are really important Df features that the D800 just can’t match. As I suspected you don’t care about image quality, just specs with bigger numbers.

0 upvotes
petemod
By petemod (8 months ago)

I'm convinced! The Nikon DF is a fantastic camera, and I am plain wrong for having a personal preference and wanting something different. If only everyone could see the light like you do. Thank you for converting me.

By the way, I DO LIKE THE KNOBS AND DIALS. It's the immediate transition to modern DSLR styling on the back that I do not like, along with the bloated look THAT TO ME makes the design look forced. Yet you implied that I would somehow be intellectually challenged by all the knobs. Stop reading in between the lines, because you're failing.

Different people have different needs. To some the final resolution of the image is of primary importance. You brought up a great point as well with the AF. What if I want to shoot sports or my kids running around? Should I be satisfied by the incredible dynamic range, and how clean the image is, even if it is out of focus?

You don't understand how broad photographers' needs can be. You demonstrate this every time you post.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

petemod:

By all means the Df may not be the camera for you, and I never claimed otherwise.

Clearly every camera has trade offs, the D800 mostly gets in its own way with too many pixels for all but giant landscapes, and then less dynamic range, but it has a strong AF and likely a deeper buffer than the Df. Whereas the Df has different strengths.

It’s not like a D610 is some great sports camera either. Then there was sports photography before AF.

Now in the digital era to improve the chance of players and the ball being in focus: One trick of course is to use greater depth of field, and cameras that have better high ISO image quality help in that respect.

Nor am I reading between lines to say that you objected to the Df’s knobs, when you broadly objected to the design–only now raising specific points.

The Leica M240 has all sorts of buttons on the back akin to the back of the Nikon Df.

I've no idea where you get the idea that one camera can do everything.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (8 months ago)

Double yawn! I look in once a week or so and the dear old boy HowaboutRAW is still beating his meat about the Df low light performance..round in circles, situation normal.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Jaber:

And evidently you didn’t read my above comment.

I’ll explain since you clearly don’t understand: “dynamic range” is not the same thing as good high ISO performance. Though since you brought it up, yes the D4 has better dynamic range at high ISOs than the dynamic range of the D800 at high ISOs–but that’s obvious.

Some people, not you, care about colour in colour photography.

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (8 months ago)

and has a hide like a rhinoceros, sarcasm just bounces straight off unnoticed..

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Jaberw:

You’re not using the word “sarcasm” there correctly, your inability to lucidly read my point has mislead your apprehension.

So look up "sarcasm" when you look up the term "dynamic range".

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (7 months ago)

You've been watching Star Trek again and the famous split infinity..
'inability to lucidly read my point has mislead your apprehension.' This sounds like G Bush on a bad day: 'My enemies mis-underestimated me...'

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

Ah JaberW:

You don't know that the "split infinit[ity]" rule is one made up from Latin grammar, where infinitives need to come before the nouns they modify.

There's no such rule in English, only a forced style that has nothing to do with actual English grammar.

The point remains that you need to look up "dynamic range" and "sarcasm".

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (7 months ago)

More bull from a guy paid by Nikon to spam the forum 24-7 365.
Get a life buddy!

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (7 months ago)

I just love yanking you chain babes! You bite the bait every time and don't even notice your hampden being pulled like all wooden trolls.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (7 months ago)

Good point. While I agree with the ergonomics preferences of the Canon that Scott Kelby spoke of, it is quite clear Nikon is clearly well ahead of Canon when it comes to sensor improvements. For me, image quality is what matters the most. For him, he needs speed and apparently the Canons are better suited for that from an operational point of view.

So much BS spouted by broken records of fanboi hype...

I think to say that any photographer would NOT be concerned about Image quality is a bit of a stretch. I suspect that Kelby values image quality as much as anyone else. However I suspect that he hasn't bought into the Nikon fanboy hype, recognizing that from an IQ standpoint the output of whichever two Canon/Nikon devices he is comparing is going to be essentially indistinguishable which is the reality.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

Jaber,

Not paid by Nikon, and more to the point I don't think Nikon would want to pay me. If you've read what I wrote, which you appear not to, you'd apprehend that point.

0 upvotes
NikonF3T
By NikonF3T (3 months ago)

In case you haven't read, Nikon has been planning Df since 2008. Though it originally planned to release in 2011, the Tohoku Earthquake (East Japan Earthquake) of 3/11 damaged Miyagi Nikon facility, delaying the release until the end of 2013.

I have read what Nikon engineers responsible for designing Df had to say and the trouble with finding suppliers of back-then-common molding subcontractors and material suppliers. The carving of shutter dial that can do right, and the final compromise in using magnesium surface was another.

I happened to be in Tokyo when the earthquake came, and went over to Sendai where Miyagi Nikon is located. Little did I know they were planning Df then.

0 upvotes
johnbatten
By johnbatten (8 months ago)

Sorry folks, I have very bad news for most of you. My Df is a wonderful camera, and this review and most of its followers seem very prejudiced. I have been using my Df on pro shoots in parallel with my D800 as well as using it as a carry-around.

DPR has fallen below its high standards with this review. My Df is NOT awkwardly placed on my tripod. The EV dial lock is NOT inconvenient. I do NOT need two-button formatting. The Df's body is NOT large and heavy for FX and 1/4000th is NOT too low. Materials do NOT lack quality feel. I could go on.

As I said in my previous post the main point here is that all cameras are compromises. The Df's reduced size does not leave room for a second card and the larger battery needed for video. The front dial is a retro-quirk but hey, folks, you know what? Yep, that's right, it works!

For me the magnifying RGB histogram and the independent flash adjustability absent on most Nikons (inc. the D800) are absolutely vital - my Df has both.

Enjoy it!

14 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Now, now, calling attention to features on the Df not included in the D800, quote:

“For me the magnifying RGB histogram and the independent flash adjustability absent on most Nikons (inc. the D800) are absolutely vital - my Df has both.”

Must mean you’ve actually used the Df and understand some of its strengths and the importance of having access to data about the images recorded, hence mention of the magnifying RGB histogram.

You mean that every camera can’t have every feature and be everything to every user, surprised not.

0 upvotes
johnbatten
By johnbatten (8 months ago)

P. S. To clarify (apologies for my sloppy ambiguous English) one point - the D800 does of course have a magnifying histogram which I use a lot, but its flash cannot be independently programmed.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

johnb:

Thanks for the clarification, I'd have skipped posting if that point had been clear. And I was surprised that the D800 didn't have that feature.

Anyhow, nice to see some reporting from someone who has had the Df for a few weeks or a month now--someone who also owns a D800.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (8 months ago)

As seen on another camera forum..

'The Nikon Df thread has unfortunately been hijacked by techno geeks who apparently photograph brick walls by moonlight and then endlessly argue the toss on resolution. There hasn't been a sane post there for while. Lots of emotional 'Nikon FF is great' postings with opinions varying between 1/4- 1/2 baked. In reality most of the posters have never seen a Df beyond the DP review pages..'

7 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Seem mighty sure of yourself.

You're going by internet claims about internet claims; claims about claims which just happen to agree with your claims--irony there.

J, you sure appear to be one of those people who haven't shot with the Df.

2 upvotes
DSLR depreciation rules
By DSLR depreciation rules (8 months ago)

At first I was pumped about this camera, then real disappointment came to me when I first held it - I expected it to feel as solid as my FE2, instead it feels like an N80 in my hands - light and fragile. Then I learned about its gimped feature set and I was nearly sick. It's disgusting how much praise this camera has garnered. It is a gimped, overpriced, retro-look DSLR and nothing more. The lack of video capability, fixed focus screen and light, unsolid feel are inexcusable. What is the point of making a retro-looking DSLR then gimping it to the point where using many excellent, fast, old lenses is not realistic because it is nearly impossible to focus them? Getting accurate selective focus on an old <f2 lens is nearly impossible without a split prism or microprisms. The "dot" and rangefinder don't cut it.

6 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Were you really expecting the Df to have the auto focus system from the D4? And the D4's buffer?

The focus screen on the D700 could be swapped at a service center. So it sure looks like you can get a split screen for use with that old f/2.0 manual focus lens.

Dynamic range above base ISO is a good bit better with the Df than the D800 (and the D800 appears to use the same focus screen set up), then there’s the high ISO low light capacity of the Df, which the D800 can’t match.

Video takes more battery power and has some AF problems on may DSLRs–though you can get a D610 if you like.

Magnesium is lighter than brass. Feels plenty solid to me. And magnesium is far from “fragile”.

Look, it’s fine if you really don’t like the aesthetics or really really want to be able to switch focus screens out in the field on your own, but making things up isn’t helpful.

Have you shot with the Df?

My Minolta SR-1 doesn't have a split prism and still manual focus works with fast lenses.

2 upvotes
johnbgood52
By johnbgood52 (8 months ago)

Who cares about video capability? If you want to shoot video, buy a video camera. IMHO, the Df is a step in the right direction for Nikon, but it doesn't go far enough. To an old school guy like me, 90% of the "features" of most DSLRs are superfluous junk that do nothing useful and only add to the cost and complexity of the camera - video capability especially so. I'm paying for things I don't need, don't want and won't use, and that doesn't make me happy.

If Nikon were to take the D800e's sensor and build something around it that actually looks and feels like a classic film camera - say an F3, for example - with only the traditional controls in the traditional locations (including a real shutter with an actual wind lever), I guarantee I'll be the first in line to buy it.

8 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

johnb:

Not a bad idea, but I'd avoid the D800's sensor, not great DR above base ISO is a big problem. A film advance lever to reset the shutter sure could quiet things.

0 upvotes
mandm
By mandm (8 months ago)

How about the film advance lever to turn the camera on and off.
I will be getting the Df. I learned on The ‘F’ back in high school in 69 and I still put a roll of film thru it every year.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Mike Griffin
By Mike Griffin (8 months ago)

I use a vintage micro Nikkor with an aperture coupling fork and manual focus on my D200 and have no focussing issues at all. I focus by eye then use the green spot to get it dead on. Anyone who complains that you can't do the same with a Df either hasn't used one or tried.

2 upvotes
Joed700
By Joed700 (8 months ago)

Beside the retro look, the D4 sensor and the ridiculous price, the Df is half-ass product. I took a picture with both the D610 & Df with a 50mm f/1.8 lens but the image looks so much better on the D610 LCD while the Df's is way to warm. The D610 gives more accurate colors than the Df. The aperture ring on the Df is a joke. If you have sweaty fingers, good luck turning that knob. I would wait for the Dfs....

4 upvotes
Zoron
By Zoron (8 months ago)

warm.....canon warm?

0 upvotes
Joed700
By Joed700 (8 months ago)

Let's just say that the Df's LCD has a yellow tint to it, almost like the D800's LCD...

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Joed700–

It is a joke to make image quality judgments based on jpegs displayed on a camera’s LCD. And it means you’re not particularly serious about image quality in general.

The D610 is a fine camera, however it can’t come close to the high ISO lowlight performance of the Df.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Joed700
By Joed700 (8 months ago)

HowaboutRAW-

I think you placed your ego on the camera. NO, YOU ARE WRONG! I'm VERY serious about image quality in general, even including the LCD display. Speaking from the D700 performance, Nikon has taken steps backward in terms of the overall quality of their D800 to D610... I'm merely being critical about the product here, and for the price I paid for my cameras, I would expect it should show improvement with each new product that comes out and not going backward! Nikon and other camera makers would love people like you who are just willing to pay without demanding for quality. BTW, I don't give a hood about anything that's above ISO 1600. If you are serious about the quality of your images, you would agree with me....

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Joed700:

The fact that you’re going by the LCD image tells me real clearly that IQ isn’t that important–despite any claims you make about being serious. The LCD image is a jpeg. For these bodies you can only make IQ claims based on raws/tiffs/psds, either well printed or displayed on very very good monitors, and you should know that if you own these bodies.

Right, I think the IQ of the D700 is excellent; below ISO 1600 it may indeed be better than the Df/D4. So there I could very well agree with you. But that would depend on the lens, and the only time I shot with the D700 I used the not optically great Nikon 85mm f/1.4. And again you can’t use the LCD on the camera to make IQ judgements.

Then the Df/D4 has much better dynamic range than the D800 unless the D800 is set to base ISO. And the D4/Df are much better at higher ISOs than the D700 or D800.

continues

1 upvote
Joed700
By Joed700 (8 months ago)

HowaboutRAW:

I could care less about what you think of me since I needn't prove nothing to you. However, I do know one thing for sure, you have bad taste and not very intelligent. Anyhow, let me simplify my point here. Since Nikon was able to produce good LCD screens for the D700, now that they are charging way more for the D800/Df...but we are getting poor LCD... One more thing, you choice of lens also tells me that you don't know much about what you buy. I assume that you used the 85mm f1.4 AF-D for your D700. Try the 85mm f1.4 Ai-s or the 85mm f1.4g... Also, someone on the blog claimed that you work for Nikon, and I'm beginning to wonder...you never acknowledge any shortcoming of the Df. As an objective consumer, you should know that there's isn't a perfect camera out there. Why can't you just accept that? I realize the you have turned the Df into a personal religion...and you will attack anyone who's being critical about it....SO SAD! GO GET A LIFE!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Joed700:

Nikon doesn’t make LCDs. And the problem was not the complaints about the LCD, but the IQ judgements based on a LCD’s image.

I used the recent 85mm f/1.4 Nikon lens, it wasn’t great, but Nikon lenses aren’t optically great. But right the lower ISO shots with the D700 were good. And as I clearly said I have no particular problem with the D700 except the AF. I’m not going to chase down every Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens for testing.

Um, regarding me working for Nikon, clearly you haven’t read my posts.

Then, I’ve been clear that some people may not like the aesthetics of the Df, nor do I claim it has the buffer or AF of the D4, so that’s more you haven’t bothered to read. Or perhaps some people want a separate card slot.

There you go: Throwing insults when you really have nothing more to say and can’t really defend your position.

Again: Why don’t try out the Df if you can and see if you like it, instead of making up things about it.

Also look up what a double negative is.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Joed700
By Joed700 (8 months ago)

HowaboutRAW:

First of all, I did try the Df and compared to the D610. As I had stated on my original post, I just don't like the fact that Nikon's DSLR quality is going down hill while they are charging more for their products. You are the one who started insulting me about being not serious about images. Most importantly, I do not need to defend my position as you have stated because I'm a consumer, and I have every right to criticize a product as I please.

Your are just going around in circles: me not serious about images; D800 not as good but D700 is....who cares! The point is, I'm restating it for the last time: Df doesn't live up to its price. If you are happy with it, good for you!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Joed700:

It's not an insult to say you don't care about image quality if you make IQ judgments based on the camera LCD.

You can of course criticize the Df any way you like, but you're not going to be treated real seriously because of some of the claims you made.

For image quality, and apparently build quality, the Df lives up to the price of costing a bit more than the D610. No particular surprise there.

And no you didn't really try the Df, you took a picture with it, looked at the LCD result and supposed that to be the image quality of the overall camera. So did you take 10 raws, take the card home and extract with serious raw extraction software? It appears not.

1 upvote
Joed700
By Joed700 (8 months ago)

HowaboutRAW:

First of all, I had never implied that the image quality of the RAW files from the Df were bad. Even with my D800, images on the LCD looked like sh_t, but the post-processed pictures from RAW were excellent in terms of colors and sharpness. My frustration is the fact that Nikon had the know-how to make things right in the first place, but chose to do a half-ass job. If I didn't use the D300/D700 before, I wouldn't have been made those comparisons. Take Canon for an example, their 5D Mrk III is able produce quality images and a nice LCD to go with that.... This is like buying a brand new Ferrari with a bad paint job, and the bad paint job is the LCD in this case. Yes, the Ferrari is still able to pull all the horse power, but the paint job.....

continues

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Joed700
By Joed700 (8 months ago)

HowaboutRAW:

BTW, are you having trouble with the AF focus in dim light? This is the kind of half-ass I'm talking about. Also, I looked at many sample images produced by the Df, and I've noticed that starting at ISO 800, you will see images getting grainy but very uniform all the way through very high ISO, and this why I don't care for images about ISO 1600. There is a big different between being able to capture images at high ISO versus producing presentational images. You really need to ask yourself why are you taking photo in such poor lighting conditions?

Remember, you paid over $2700 and you don't even have a viewfinder shutter like the D700/D800. Your aperture knob and your LCD are piece sh_t; your AF don't even work in low light...

IF the mentioned issues don't bother you, then be very happy with your DF and happy shooting.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (8 months ago)

Joed700:

Shooting raw with the Df there’s barely any “grain” at ISO 3200, and that’s in deep shadows. So that raises the question are you shooting jpegs? Or then are you just looking at the camera LCD, neither has much to do with overall image quality.

I’ve had no particular problem with the AF of the Nikon Df in those same shadows. Is it the AF on the D4? No.

Here I agree with you, the jpegs on the LCD don’t look as good as the jpegs on the LCD built into the Fuji XE2, but again the LCD image has nothing to do with overall image quality.

I don’t have any particular problem with the knobs on the Nikon Df.

My guess would be that Nikon skipped the back light block in the viewfinder to make things smaller and lighter.

Indeed the Canon 5D MkIII is a very good camera, but it has no where near the high ISO low light capacity of the Df, nor is its dynamic range as good.

0 upvotes
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