Previous page Next page

Nikon Df Review

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

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

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.

Previous page Next page
249
I own it
401
I want it
86
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 1616
34567
fmian

Such an atrocious camera design on the Nikon. The on off switch is fiddly to use, the mode dial needs to be pulled to adjust, the shutter dial has a locking button but you can force the dial without pressing the button anyway. The front dial requires you to dig a fingernail into it to rotate. The ISO dial and lock require awkward finger placement to use, the fake leather is different on the front compared to the back, and it feels so light you have to wonder if its really metal.
Also, the lcd panel on the top is so small it doesn't have anything more than the basic info on it. Which you're meant to be able to see on the dials anyway. But because this camera design tries to do everything at once, it doesn't do any one particular thing well.
I've used manual film cameras from the 60's and this camera is nothing like those. Have we really gone backwards with this sort of thing?
Another nail in Nikons impending coffin.

2 upvotes
ravduc

I don't believe you when you say that you have used cameras from the 60's. Camera's in the sixties did not have integrated exposure meters etc etc. I have a whole collection of cameras that date all the way back to 1902 and believe me this camera is totally different from any cameras from the sixties and behaves like a fusion between cameras from the 70's and modern digital cameras. By the way, I don't remember seeing large lcd panels on top of cameras in the sixties. The DF is not perfect but it offers the option of using it like any other dslr and also the option of using it like older cameras with dials. It functions both ways very well as long as you understand both user interfaces.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
fmian

The Minolta SRT-101 was released in the 60's and had a TTL meter. Based on this I didn't think it was worthwhile reading the rest of your comment.
Now please go away.

0 upvotes
ravduc

The minolta srt-101 was released in the late 60's and early 70's.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

fmain:

Think you've confused an Minolta SR-1 with an SRT101.

My SR-1 does not have meter built in to it.

1 upvote
ravduc

fmain, you sound like you are really exhausted trying to use this camera. You make it sound so terrible. I would hate to see you run a marathon. I don't think it would be very healthy for you to use SUCH a complicated camera.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ravduc

Oh I forgot, one more thing fmain
Please go away!

0 upvotes
fmian

ravduc: Surely you are trolling but you said:
"Camera's in the sixties did not have integrated exposure meters etc etc." and offered that as a reason to believe I hadn't used older cameras.
Then I proved you wrong and you came back with a rather weak rebuttal. You could have just admitted you were wrong. But here it is again via a statement from Wikipedia:
"The Minolta SR-T 101 is a 35mm manual focus SLR camera with Through-The-Lens exposure metering - TTL for short, that was launched in 1966"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minolta_SR-T_101

That's 1966, which was part of the sixties (correct me if I'm wrong)
Basically, your many years of camera use and your collection of old cameras adds nothing to your knowledge and expertise. (What a waste!) Therefore you have absolutely no grounds to add anything useful to this discussion, and that shows in your poor responses.
I might also suggest you take up some reading and comprehension classes. Helps when you're on discussion board.

1 upvote
Charlie boots

I use a D700 and D300 and want to trade the D300. 16mp is just right, D4 too expensive, D800 too large files, Df looks ideal and I really like the manual controls for the major functions. Would immediately buy one but feel Nikon have short changed us with the focusing system as the price is now more or equal to the D800 in the USA.

Will for the present I will keep what I have.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Richt2000

Fugly gold award!
What's the point when AF is Duff
Give me a D4 or a Sony A7r and keep the faux retro for Fuji!!!

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

And many people have reported that the AF in lowlight is just fine.

It’s a lot quieter than the D4, less monies too.

So why don’t you try out the body somehow before believing what you’ve read online.

NB: Manual focus works well and there was a world before AF, in fact AF on SLRs was a joke for years.

Also not "faux" anything nor is say a Fuji XPro1.

0 upvotes
ravduc

This has been to only review which mentions anything about slow focus.

0 upvotes
AlpCns2

Thom Hogan:

"It's night, my big office is lit mostly by my monitor, there are deep shadows everywhere and I point the Df at something black over in one of those shadows that has no contrast and…the camera just focuses (I'm at ISO 1600, f/1.8 and 1/15 if you must know). Pretty much like I expect from my D800, actually. "

and

"but frankly, I'm surprised at the things that it can focus on".

Hmmm. Odd, that this seasoned (real!) pro seems to think differently.

1 upvote
Ken Sky

Caveat:I'm not a Nikon user but Ive admired most of their products. It's hard to see where Nikon is going with this product. For the same price (approx.) you can get a state of the art sensor in a Sony A7r with a great prime Zeiss lens (either 35 or 55mm). I know it's like comparing apples and oranges. But this is 2013/14. It wasn't so long ago this very site was criticizing any new DSLR that didn't have video whether we wanted it or not. I could get an used film Nikon on eBay if I wanted to go retro for a lot less - or take the 610 and stay up to date. This appears to be price gouging for nostalgia's sake. What's worse, it doesn't show what direction Nikon is going. The only good thing is Nikon has not dropped any of the pre-existing choices and are still presenting their excellent lenses.

6 upvotes
RichRMA

So tell us what it should have cost? As much as a plastic D5300? The same as the heavily-compromised D7100 body?

0 upvotes
Bamboojled

Obviously you are not a Nikon user.
A7r with 55 is more expensive (2399 + 1000) $3399 give or take.
Secondly with the Nikon you have:
A real camera system with a vast array of native lenses that cover fisheye through 800 mm that goes back almost 50 years
A state of the art flash system that also is wireless.
A full upgrade path up or down.

With the Sony camera you have:
A small camera body that loses it's size once you add legacy lenses and adaptor as well as loosing most of the key features (AF, VR) once you attach with adaptor.
A camera with no lens system (if you have to use adaptors and mount other lenses, that is not a system)
Focus tracking that is equivalent to a point and shoot not a DSLR.

2 upvotes
_Federico_

The best low light camera which can't focus when light levels are low…interesting. A D600 which costs, here in Italy, 3200 €. No, thanks. I'll keep my 2 D800e and I'll get a Sony A7r.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

_Federico:

You may want to check the lowlight AF yourself, many people find the performance good.

The A7r is no where near as good at lowlight high ISO shooting as this Nikon.

@Ken:

Those aren't the greatest Zeiss lenses for the A7r and the A7r aint real good at lowlight high ISO shooting. Very audible be the A7r too.

This Df's sensor is also a good bit better at high ISO lowlight shooting than the sensor from the A7 or D610.

0 upvotes
ahaack

The lowlight AF of the Df is in the class of a 200$ camera. IF that is good you are set.

0 upvotes
Bamboojled

@ahaack,
above you post that you own a Df...
It is pretty clear you don't and are just flaming...
You are so sad...makes me want to cry, LOL

1 upvote
YogiGX20

I was initially excited but am now somewhat disappointed. Not necessarily about the Df but about the direction the camera market is going. And the Df is a perfect example for this.

These days, the manufacturers deliberately seem to make cameras worse to justify a - let's be honest, still - ridiculous price for what they are and then advertise it as the next best thing you never knew you could miss.
Apart from the sensor, you could have a similar camera (including video) from a camera the fifth of the price! All that's missing now is for Canon to release a retro full frame camera that's worse than the 50D!
I can understand this type of camera is appealing as a reminder of the "god old days" and/or status symbol. And everybody is entitled to their own opinion!!!
It is, however, not a camera for someone like me, who is looking for an upgrade to my D7000 that hasn't got a ridiculous amount of MPs. Why not put the 16MP full frame sensor in a D300s and keep a cheaper retro line as well?

1 upvote
RichRMA

Because the D300s body with that sensor would cost $2500+ now (it's far above your D7000's body) and that puts it above the range of the D610 (which also has a second-rate body). Nikon has set its targets and any new body in that area will be a D800 upgrade.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
YogiGX20

RichRMA, if the D300s is far above the D7000, I would like to ask the question, what Nikon replaced it with? Different target groups, I agree. Although the 16 MP sensor is literally years ahead in engineering of the D300s.
Where is the Nikon all metal bodied APS-C model like the Pentax K-3?
A D300s with that sensor would put the D610 and the Df to shame! And at $2500 dollars I would get one of those!!! That is my point exactly!!!

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

Yogi:

"Worse" in what way? And "worse" than which Nikon DSLR?

By the way "poor lowlight AF" is not an acceptable answer.

0 upvotes
YogiGX20

I'm talking about shutter speed, flash x-speed, max frames in a burst, AF points, .... that sort of thing. All those things that we know, Nikon is capable of performing well in certain models.
For any product in that price range, I'd expect at least the standard set of features of a £600 D7000 for example, plus something else. The sensor alone can't justify a £2000 premium, can it? So what is all that money spend on - downgrading? Putting it into a most profit margin price bracket for all the wrong reasons? I don't get it. I wouldn't buy a brand new very overpriced car, that is poorly equipped, has no extras, looks like a 70's old timer but drives well, would you? I'd either have the real thing or go with the times to make life as easy as possible. But then you can't argue argue about something that's decided with emotions. Not my cup of tea though.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

Yogi:

D7000? Horrid in lowlight compared to this. The D7100 has a slow buffer. The D4 sensor alone does in fact justify a price higher than the D610.

Flash sync: You do understand why that's limited with focal plane shutters, right?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
YogiGX20

You don't get my point, do you? It should take better pictures than the D7000 at that price! And do you know the production price of a 16MP Full Frame sensor? I don't. It's funny how all comments on forums become personal insults after post 3!

To clarify: I'm not interested in the "why", I am a consumer who is used to a standard. If I can't get the standard I'm used to, I look somewhere else. Plain and simple. That's what market research is all about. I'm not a fanboy trying to force myself to like everything a manufacturer produces. Or insult people who do ... I'm out of here and will go and take some pictures. More fun ....

1 upvote
Shamael

By what criteria can a sensor justify the pricing of a camera. A D4 sensor could possibly cost a bit more because of the smaller amountd made. There is no magic in the D4 sensor. It has pixels as big as an old 8 mpix APSC sensor of the mid 90 ies. The fact it has this high senitivity in darkness and that is due to 2 things only. First the physical part, huge big pixels, then the progress in technology. Sony, or any other sensor designer could take a 10 mpix APS-C sensor like the excellent one in D200, and make a super camera with high sensitivity in low light with the knowledge we acquired in 15 years. There is no magic in this sensor. If there was a 36 mpix having this sensitivity, I would speak about real progress in sensor tech. So, what makes then the price of 6000$ for the D4 and 2750$ for this Digital Flopp? The answer is Nikon, not the sensor. An F6 11 point AF system, a matte with Fresnel/split prism, price to 1950$ for the kit, and Nikon sells sh.tloads of them.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Shamael:

Sure there's magic in this 16MP sensor, like the 12MP full framed sensor before it.

The magic is called better dynamic range, then of course there's that other thing.

Even the D610 does better DR than the D800, see the equation there?

0 upvotes
Petroglyph

DPReview, thank you for the review. Lots of interesting cams to discuss these days. This one is out of my price range for a while but it doesn't mean I don't like to read about it.
Cheers.

1 upvote
racketman

Looks great in black.
Canon user.

0 upvotes
sebastian huvenaars

For some reason i keep looking at the Df... It looks like one of those tiny keychain fake camera's, blown up to actual camera size.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Roland Karlsson

Bulls eye! I tried to nail it myself. But .... you did it for me. Thanks.

1 upvote
ravduc

It's a tribute to older cameras in many. No one expects you to understand this.

0 upvotes
sebastian huvenaars

I owned (still have the FE actually) two of those older camera's and loved them. Calling Nikon's latest half baked retro attempt a tribute to the original engineering miracles they made is just not right, understand that.

Nikon want a piece of the retro slice and this is what they came up with, nothing more nothing less

0 upvotes
Apollo18

Happy to buy at £1600 body only. This seems a fair price to me for a camera spec-ed similarly to the D600, but with better build quality.

Instead, I'm forced to buy at £2749 with a lens I don't need. No thanks!

Quite simply, this camera is over priced.

6 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

A:

Nikon is not going the sell the Df for less money than the D610, particularly while the D4 is still selling new.

0 upvotes
Apollo18

The d610 sells for £1300 right now.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

A:

Unlikely, please provide the link to a reputable photo gear retailer at that price. Don't confuse the D600 with the D610.

Then again: "Nikon is not going the sell the Df for less money than the D610, particularly while the D4 is still selling new."

0 upvotes
Apollo18

£1344 at amazon.co.uk

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FPH2CQS/ref=asc_df_B00FPH2CQS15374559?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=cpbcom-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=B00FPH2CQS

It's also selling for £1450 at many other retailers.

So, once again, I'm not saying that they should sell the Df for less than the D600/610. I thought I made that very clear in my initial post when i said "Happy to buy at £1600 body only."

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

A:

Now I get your point. (Think I read "1600usd", originally, my mistake.)

The Df body alone will likely drop a bit in price over the next 12 months. Though not as much as you want.

0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer

The reviewer came across as trying his damned hardest to fault it and some of his comments 'cons' seemed almost petty.

Criticizing having to use the exposure compensation dial with your left hand that may be supporting a lens?.. Isn't this the case with all camera's modern or old?

It seem's the reviewer was comparing ease of use of controls to that of modern camera's.
Hmm.. product development means improvements on past ways of thinking. This is a retro camera harking back to an era where dials and the like were not the most ergonomic by today's standards but seen as the best at that time.
A modern DSLR of today looks like it does because of these developments. If the DF was as ergonomic as a modern DSLR then it wouldn't look retro.

2 upvotes
mike kobal

just admit it, people, everybody wants one, all those negative comments are just lame attempts to talk yourself out of it, if I wouldn't have to work for a living,
I would get two, one for color one for b/w

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
DRNottage

It looks like an abomination. Handles like a Nikon. (Clumsily.) Feels cheap. And is overpriced.
Canon- take note- produce a digital FTb or F-1 that takes EOS lenses and eschews the "melted-down" look, and I'm there.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Gee the one I shot some test shots with handled just fine and felt plenty solidly made.

0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer

Lol :-) I think canon's feel cheap and UI are awkward.

Can't please everybody..

1 upvote
RichRMA

Sure you are. I can't tell you how often people use that "If it had "X" I'd buy it in a heartbeat!" when we know it's all hot air. Canon would charge $3000 for an F-1 remake, at least, and you wouldn't buy it.

0 upvotes
TFD

They should have built it with a mech. shutter a mech self timer and match needle exposure.

An optional external flashbulb flash using number 5 flashbulbs :)

Retro technology gee, if it was cheap and cheerful that would be great, not at these prices.

1 upvote
rb59020

KR loves it.

1 upvote
_Federico_

Enough to stay away.

1 upvote
jamesm1291

As an owner of the DF, I was was amazed by how much it resembled an attempt to damn with faint praise. Then I saw the rating and saw the reviewer had to concede the excellent performance of this camera in the face of his prejudices. I began seriously taking photos in the 50's through a series of Pentax, Canon and Nikon film SLR's. The DF harkens back to these days and I am unashamedly in love with it. Unlike the opinion the reviewer, I find this camera feels quite solid and substantial. It also has wonderful creative capabilities and provides logical access to them. No other DSLR can surpass it in the excellence of its images. It cries for prime lenses, not zooms.

If you are a lover of fine craftsmanship, appreciate the old days when the photographer controlled the camera and not the other way around, want the finest available image quality and are into walk around street photography and stunning portraiture, this camera shines. The price is high, but the rewards are great.

16 upvotes
ravduc

Very well said. I believe that you have understood what this camera is all about.

5 upvotes
Cane

No, if you are an old guy trying to relive the 70's, this cameras for you.

10 upvotes
techmine

Agree; this camera takes you to dark ages in fast forward mode. I never photographed with film camera so why should I bother to go back in time that I never lived. Hype and God knows where Nikon is going. Damn, give us a Sony Alpha 7 camera.

PS: I am a Nikon Shooter (D300s and D40).

2 upvotes
NCB

Solid and substantial. Yet not overly heavy. Spot on. I can't see where the "quality" criticism is coming from. The Df feels fine to me. And nothing wrong with the looks. Nostalgia doesn't come into it. It's a thoroughly modern camera inside yet offering the traditional controls a fair number of us like.

When you realise that it's roughly the same price as a Sony RX1 (which was given a Gold award), yet the RX1 has a single fixed lens, no viewfinder, no grip whatever and limited external controls, the Df looks good value for money.

7 upvotes
ravduc

Techmine, you don't need to go back in time, Nikon has other options for you. If you can't appreciate the DF, just buy another camera. No one is forcing you to buy this one.

4 upvotes
kpaddler

"...why should I bother to go back in time..."

YOU, don't have to go anywhere..buy what pleases you.

0 upvotes
Bamboojled

techmine...
absolutely get the A7 a camera that has no system, no second party support, slow focusing, terrible tracking, kludge adaptors to mount lenses that rob it of it's size advantages.

Kudos, you get the cluelessness award

2 upvotes
String

Actually no, you buy a Leica. Or I guess you can drink the Nikon Coolaid, its your money.

0 upvotes
Apollo18

This looks like a good camera, but I just can't get past the fact that it is (at least in Europe (I'm in the UK)) waaaay overpriced. Buying a D800, a far better spec-ed camera is hundreds of pounds cheaper here.

Those looking for manual controls can alternatively look at an X-pro1 or X-E2 plus a full set of lenses for the same price.

At this price the Df just does not make sense, unless money is no object.

I will wait and buy one second hand in a few years from now.

1 upvote
Frisian

Focus in advance, choose the right aperture and shutterspeed combo for the expected situation. (If you left the grey card at home, use deep green grass)
Frame and concentrated on the coming event that you want to capture.
People who do not understand this, use a 10 fps automatic thing with VR2. (and if you are lucky you get one real good picture every day .... )

0 upvotes
_Federico_

If you you want the finest availabe image quality, go for a D800e.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey

If you really want to "appreciate the old days when the photographer controlled the camera" why the heck does your camera have the Nikon Multi-CAM 4800 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, and 39 focus points? 2,016-pixel RGB sensor metering? "Programmed auto with flexible program"? (wrf!?)

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

_Federico:

It is simply untrue that the D800E has the best image quality. First of course the D4 is useable at much higher ISOs.

Then lenses matter a great deal for image quality. So that opens up the field to the Leica M240, and good Leica M lenses are better optically than good Zeiss lenses that you can use on this Nikon body.

Last you of course forgot the Sigma SD1, which at ISO 400 and below does amazing image quality.

You took a simplistic approach--thinking that mega pixels are everything. DR isn't great on the D800 either.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

Apollo:

But the Nikon D800 isn't "better specced". And that's a point you chose to ignore. Now the D800 may do things that you find important, but that's only for your purposes.

Then whatever camera you use, the lenses really matter too.

0 upvotes
_Federico_

Until 6400 ISO D800e is way better than a Nikon D4. Lenses? Have you ever tried a 55 Zeiss Otus? No Leica can be a match…. not even the Apo Summicron.

1 upvote
Apollo18

HowaboutRaw: Of course it is. What are you smoking?

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

_Federico:

Yes I've tried out the Otus on a D800 and D700 indoors and out, but you see I've also tried out the new Leica M f/2.0 50mm. Further testing is in order, but if I had to pick today I'd say the Leica wins pretty easily.

Then, the problem with the lower ISOs on the D800E is dynamic range, or course a better lens does help there, and yes you've picked a good example.

And it's certainly not like I think the D800 a bad camera.

Apollo18:

There's no "of course" about it with the same lens the D4 will beat the D800 for dynamic in range into lower ISOs. And then of course for high ISO shooting the Df is much better specced than the D800.

Also you completely ignored the points about the Leica M240 and the Sigma SD1.

The D800/E is a good camera body, but it has drawbacks in some situations.

You don't seem real interested in good image quality.

0 upvotes
hexxthalion

@HowaboutRAW - you might want to check Ming's two part review of Otus ;)

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

hexxthalion:

Okay Ming Thein thinks the Otus excellent, so do I. Didn't see flair when I tried the Leica 50mm f2.0 APO. And the Leica appears to handle colour better, though more testing is in order.

One problem with Ming's point, he seems to think that f/1.4 makes the Zeiss a better lens than the f/2.0; that's simplistic thinking that he should know to avoid. Of course, right the Otus is indeed faster.

0 upvotes
Abhijith Kannankavil

the not so great low light autofocus, non interchangeable focusing screen and no focus peaking are the only problems I see with this camera.

I may not like it's looks, but that's just me.

1 upvote
durrace

I'm happy with the Df as it was a no brainer for me ... I was unmotivated to want to carry my D3f as it was too large and too heavy for the kind of photography I was using it for. I wanted D4 quality at least, and I had a large investment in Nikon lenses. I don't see any AF problems and other limitations noted are not a show stopper for me. I ordered an excellent condition non-Ai lens on eBay for $100 for use with it. Photography has gotten better for me with the Df. D4 quality - half the size, half the weight, and half the cost. An even trade in dollars for my D3s ... I'm happy.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Magnus3D

When reading this review i came to the conclusion that the Fujifilm X100S i just bought was a good investment after all, and that at a much more humane price than this retromonster from Nikon.

1 upvote
InTheMist

Funny, I wanted the Dƒ because I wasn't entirely satisfied with the X100s.

Great images and colors tho.

1 upvote
Maverick_

Why punish Nikon for stepping out and producing a beautiful retro camera.

It's not like they abandoned their normal model range.

They just paid homage to the classics. Red Dot does it every day. Auto and motorcycle companies do this rather often too. Nothing wrong with it.

And of course the internals are from a current model, did you expect they create a whole new product just to sell a handful for those with a sense of nostalgia?

As a non-Nikon fan, I think Nikon should actually be praised for thinking out of the box for just one model. Nice concept!

15 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer

I agree. But they built this up to be bigger than the D800 when it's more of a nice design exercise. The whole idea of a retro-breakthrough is awkward and implies older was better. That may be true with stuff like cars or computer operating systems but obviously not with high end digital cameras.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson

The problem is that it does not look authentic. Red dot makes cameras that has that old style and looks to be made out of all metal. The Df looks clumsy and not well designed. Just like DPR says, it looks to be made out of to many not compatible materials.

That said - it is a rather pretty camera. It just misses the mark for looking genuinely retro.

2 upvotes
kpaddler

"...or computer operating systems..."

I'm sorry, did you say you miss Windows 3, or VISTA :-)

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Roland:

Have you handled a Leica M240? It's kind of clunky.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey

Nice concept. Poor execution.

2 upvotes
_Federico_
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Richard Murdey:

Have you handled the Df? And shot with it?

0 upvotes
hexxthalion

@HowaboutRAW - re the new M - have you?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

hexxthalion:

Yes I've shot with the Leica M240, new fall 2012. No, not days of testing in all sorts of environments, but say 50 raws with various M lenses over a few days at a trade show.

0 upvotes
kpaddler

I don't care too much about this retro look, even though it looks good.

What I like is the performance and the smaller size than D4. I never cared for D800 as good as that camera is, I don't need to fill my drives twice as fast.

1 upvote
DELETED88781

My own error?
NEF Files can not complete the download for low light comparison.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-df/16

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Shih

What camera (I'm assuming the Df) and ISO combination are you referring? I was able to successfully download the Df low light scene at ISO 100 Raw.

0 upvotes
DELETED88781

Network Error
I did manage to download jpeg but not RAW at any iso or any camera. strange...

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
InTheMist

Steve Huff's review is up. I find his review is closer to my own reaction to the Dƒ.

"I can have any DSLR or camera that I want and for me, the Df wins it. If I designed a DSLR for my own use it would be 75% Df and 0% Canon 5D. Enough said."

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/12/20/the-nikon-df-camera-review-by-steve-huff/

3 upvotes
ravduc

Finally, a real user review by someone who understands the essence behind this camera.

1 upvote
Simon Joinson

finally a review from someone who agrees with me

10 upvotes
ravduc

I think it's a fair review with positives and negatives. I still feel that he better understands the essence behind this camera. You should read it.

2 upvotes
InTheMist

@Simon Aha! The DPR staff divided? Nikon has succeeded.

0 upvotes
Scott Everett

I think you missed the sarcasm. :)

2 upvotes
InTheMist

@Scott Glashauswohner

But seriously, I would love to hear the bar-dialogue. Surprisingly large number of samples images come from there! You can't be unanimous all of the time, can you?

0 upvotes
ravduc

A reviewer should never be sarcastic. Remember who pays you.

0 upvotes
ET2

"A reviewer should never be sarcastic."

The sarcasm reference was to Simon's comment -- not the review.

"Remember who pays you."

Grow up

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ravduc

You grow up. I had fully understood that he was referring to Simon's comment which was initially addressed to me. Go take a walk and calm down. I would hate to be responsible if anything happens to your blood pressure.

0 upvotes
ET2

Ah, you don't raise my blood pressure. Don't worry about that ;)

"Remember who pays you."

Yeah, whatever, clown. You are paying nothing to use the site.

0 upvotes
Richard Franiec

@ravduc
"A reviewer should never be sarcastic."
Or overly enthusiastic.

"Remember who pays you"
You can always take your money and run...to what tickle your fancy better.

0 upvotes
ravduc

Quite true.

0 upvotes
crisotunity

Ah the legendary Steve Huff, also known as
"Blogger Steve Stonewall Sets World Record with 400th Consecutive Positive Review"
http://newcameranews.com/2013/11/30/blogger-steve-stonewall-sets-world-record-400th-consecutive-positive-review/

Has there been a camera or lens that Steve Huff has not liked?

3 upvotes
ravduc

Yes, all of the Fuji X cameras except the X100, all other dslr's etc.

0 upvotes
InTheMist

@crisotunity

Uh, newcamerareviews.com is a humour site. theonion.com of photography news.

0 upvotes
Bamboojled

Actually Simon and Scott...
pretty much all the reviews have been more positive than the one presented here.

0 upvotes
Richard Franiec

Man, the DPReview reviewers are real heretics. They also revealed decentering issues with S100 lens which no one else even noticed.

1 upvote
_Federico_

Steve Huff? The same who says that with that old style you won't dive into menu? Truly professional review… I won't use the menu even on my D800e, it's quite the same since I can control every parameter as with the nikon df….bah.

0 upvotes
RichRMA

Reviewers over 40 should probably qualify themselves as such. Gives and idea as to where their sympathies are regarding 1970's-style cameras.

0 upvotes
fmian

He calls it a winning camera, but what about the 25% of it that he doesn't like?

0 upvotes
hexxthalion

Huff shouldn't be taken seriously

0 upvotes
physguy88

When trying to recreate a classic, its important to remember the functional ethos that made the original great in their time. The originals not only looked a certain way, but were the best performing equipment of their times. The pure functionality of the originals imbued every aspect of their design with passion and meaning, and allows the classic to stand the test of time.

When trying to recreate the classic, one approach is to pair a slavishly retro design with sub par performance so that a product can be sold at a high profit margin. Or, you can utilize the design elements of the original in a modern body with the highest performance achievable in the modern day, hence creating a modern evolution of the classic and pulling its heritage into an even greater story.

The Ford Thunderbird 2.0 was retro. The modern 911and Corvette are classics. Guess which one is the Df?

1 upvote
MrPetkus

The Pinto?

6 upvotes
String

More like a Mustang II I'd say.

1 upvote
Saffron_Blaze

Did I understand correctly that the poor focusing in low light effectively defeats the value of the impressive low light capability of the sensor?

4 upvotes
sandy b

You understood wrong.

0 upvotes
Saffron_Blaze

Ok, enlighten me. I wasn't being smug. I picked that up reading the pro/con list

0 upvotes
valdazis

You understood correctly, except the occasions when using a manual lens. Why most of the crowd forgets that this product is targeted to the old, valuable and expensive manual lenses?

0 upvotes
wetsleet

But, valdazis, isn't that exactly the reason why this camera should have a split image viewfinder, and maybe interchangable screens also, for all those manual focus lenses which don't need an AF system but could usefully benefit from a split image?
I'm in two minds, because I never liked split image finders and got rid of mine for a ground glass - at least I had the choice. Here you don't.

4 upvotes
_Federico_

This product isn't targeted to manual lenses…because its focusing screen is poor as any other DSLR on the market…. It's way better focusing with an EVF.

0 upvotes
RichRMA

It definitely doesn't help, and AF is very important with a DSLR in low-light as manual focusing is horrible in such a situation, unlike with modern EVF's.

0 upvotes
Bamboojled

_frederico_
You seem to have a lot of opinions on a product you have never used, or have you shot this camera for a while and can comment on it's strengths and weaknesses

0 upvotes
MrPetkus

Thanks for the review.
However, I don't see the huge fuss about a split prism focussing screen and wonder how many have actually used them (if you do, beg pardon). I have and hate them on a modern camera. It screws with metering and is a distraction when shooting AF. At best it's a novelty that the ordinary user will simply swap out while getting dust in the body.

5 upvotes
ravduc

Split prism focusing screens have always been an annoyance to me and I have always changed them (when possible) in my older film cameras. Most people asking for this have never used them, or have forgotten how they were. I have always preferred fully mat screens with no distractions other than a grid.

2 upvotes
wetsleet

Me too. It was nice to have the choice, back then.

0 upvotes
NCB

I have a split prism on a Yashica FX3, nice camera. The split prism works OK, but it's no big deal. It harks back to pre-autofocus era. On autofocus cameras, film and digital, I use focus-confirmation, same as on the Df, if I want to manually focus; works just as well.

2 upvotes
Muus

Dear DPR staff, this may be nitpicking, but: 1/4000th sec is not maximum but minimum shutter speed. Please.

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth

I agree the terminology is unsatisfactory, but 1/4000 s really is the maximum speed, even as it is the minimum duration.

7 upvotes
ryansholl

That's not even completely right. The literal speed of each curtain is constant unless I completely misunderstand how shutter timing works. Which is possible.

In the end, though, not a soul was confused by the terminology used. Find something better to do, Muus

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
oselimg

To be exact; 1/4000th is the maximum speed of the shutter consequently the minimum exposure duration. @Muus=totally wrong statement, @Samuel Dilworth= Your agreement with Muus is wrong and illogical because your explanation is correct. IMHO the terminology is satisfactory and correct also.

0 upvotes
Jogger

if you think of shutter speed as seconds/cycle, then it makes sense.. 1/4000 is the fastest it can complete a (shutter) cycle, i.e. the max "shutter speed"

0 upvotes
wetsleet

To be exact, oselimg, speed is not measured in units of time, ergo 1/4000th second is not a measure of speed, fast or slow.

1 upvote
le_alain

move a shutter in a short time is speed and fast:
move = m, time = s
speed =m/s

0 upvotes
wetsleet

le_alain
The curtains moved at a fixed speed, regardless of the shutter "speed". The change in shutter speed is down to the change in the interval between the first and second curtain starting their travel.
It doesn't help that we always refer to shutter "speed", when it is really a shutter time.
Much ado about nothing I suppose, but I've got time on my hands...(said the watch).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
gerard boulanger

Nikon communication campaign based on "pure photography" and other ad tricks created a lot of expectations, maybe too much especially on this website.
Then we discovered a very different look and a relatively high price. The later is why DPR review is what it is.
Despite missing an award on DPR, that camera is a very good one and should please those willing to use the excellent D4 sensor, external dials and legacy lenses.

If the Sony A7 & A7r receive an award, it will be an outrage I guess...

2 upvotes
ravduc

The awards are very subjective and obviously not based on pointage. It's a very different dslr with a different user interface. For my style of photography, it's perfect. I have lots of other cameras if I need to use larger lenses, etc.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer

Still not sure about the Df. It looks better in person (neither finish comes close to classic nickel/chrome or black enamel), handling is good, it's relatively light, it can take photos in the dark, for which my D700 is good enough, but still impressive.

Tried it with some old lenses and now I get the 16 mp. I still think the Df is a solution looking for a problem but it's a nice solution and I wouldn't expect anybody who buys one to say "it's nice but not perfect" even though this is the case.

2 upvotes
RichRMA

People were possibly tired of dull, black, cookie-cutter DSLRs. At least, anyone but the average consumer.

2 upvotes
rhlpetrus

Nice review overall, comments as expected, love it or hate it, no gray shades. More choices, good for everybody. Funny how people can get emotional about consumer products.

Happy Holidays and nice 2014 to all at DPR.

4 upvotes
ravduc

You either like this camera or you don't. Like you said 'no gray shades'.

0 upvotes
Gesture

The camera is almost a parody of what I believe it was intended to be. enough buttons, dials, switches to sink a battleship.

Like it or loathe it, at least the Pentax K-01 attempted to simplify the external interface.

10 upvotes
Bamboojled

Henry, so sad...
Canon fanboi talking about things he has no knowledge of.
It's fine if you want to post an opinion, but please don't try to come across as if you have actually used this camera...

2 upvotes
Michael MacGillivray

If the goal was to achieve a "retro" look, it failed. It's a hybrid of modern and old, a mish-mash of dials that give it the appearance of a WWI battleship, which were ugly as sin.

7 upvotes
nicolaiecostel

If it were for you, It would probably have no rear LCD :))

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Michael:

Have you handled the body?

0 upvotes
l_d_allan

"Cons" in the overall summary doesn't include lack of video?

Or has that been implemented? Firmware update?

My understanding is that on a camera with LiveView, video is "just" firmware.

My Canon 50d didn't have video, but did have LiveView. The MagicLantern firmware team were able to implement video on the 50d. Amazing.

2 upvotes
stevens37y

It will be a slap if once the nikonhackers will implement the video in DF.

0 upvotes
Richard Shih

It's not "just" firmware, but there are a number of hardware considerations as well. Things like needing a larger memory buffer, additional CPU power to encode the video, and heatsinks to dissipate the heat from the sensor.

That's not to say that the Df doesn't have all those things and video can be enabled with "just" a firmware swap, but without knowing the engineering underneath the hood, no one can say for certain.

0 upvotes
beholder3

Df = mediocre + overpriced

Interesting to see how many grown-up people actually fall for a cheap packaging of completely mediocre content.
Even the sensor recycled from the D4 is meh at best.

Mediocre. Sad, if that is what comes to mind with a recent product. Mediocre.

4 upvotes
rhlpetrus

D4's sensor meh? Ok, case closed.

4 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (11 months ago)

I'm sure you are enamored with something I would think ridiculous. Different strokes. It's no skin off your teeth either way.

0 upvotes
jtan163

It's not surprising - people take their pet rocks to the pet rock doctor.
The level of delusion required to buy a tarted up D610 with no video if far lower.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

jtan163:

Better high ISO lowligher performance than the D610 is an odd way of saying "tarted up".

1 upvote
sadaka

Too bulky, Too expensive!

7 upvotes
Edmond Leung

Definitely Camera of the year.
Outstanding design.
Outstanding performance.
Outstanding image quality.
No video is absolutely the right direction. If you like good video...buy an Arri, not this one.
A real perfect camera.

4 upvotes
ravduc

You have obviously used the camera for more than five minutes and understand the essence behind it.

7 upvotes
stevens37y

"If you like good video...buy an Arri, not this one."
Calm down. Noone will buy it for video.

2 upvotes
Lukino

Am I the only one to find this camera ugly? I love old "F"s, but this Df looks to me more like a medium format Kiev than one of those sexy Nikons I lusted after in my youth...

13 upvotes
NCB

Do you mean the chrome one or the all black one? I've avoided chrome on any camera for a long time; I'm not into retro looks for the sake of it. But to me the black Df I've just bought looks superb.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
ravduc

I hate to say this, but I think you are the only one to find this camera ugly. It looks even better in real life, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? If we all liked the same things, we would all be driving the same cars, and buying the same homes, etc.
p.s. It doesn't look like a medium format Kiev 60. I have one of those and I admit they are not very pretty but they get the job done.

1 upvote
physguy88

You and at least six other people who have seen your comment, including myself. A hodgepodge of silvery buttons stuck onto an angular silvery body with a plastic screen outback like some Frankenstein monster. Ugh!

4 upvotes
UnChatNoir

I've seen both the silver & black edition in the store. The silver version looks more credible than the black one, which feels to me 'plastic fake'. There's indeed in this concept something wrong, a certain refinement or better: consistency is missing in the design and concept. It's also smaller than I thought it would be, about the same size of a Fujifilm X-Pro1. It's an excellent camera's I'm sure, but both the price tag as the AF system cannot convince me. This marvelous sensor should have deserved something better than the D610's AF system, also in this camera the wrong choice. If you want an high end FF, just buy the D610 or D800 and they will offer you more value for a lower price.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Not if you care about shooting in lowlight at high ISOs the D610 and D800 won't cut it.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus

THe X-Pro is definitely large and feels wrong (tried one) for APS-C. Still need to try the Df, it looks like it will handle better. Actually, the X-Pro feels like one of those large consumer RFs, like the old Yashica Electro G35:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/yashica/images/electro-35/D3S_1597-left-1200.jpg

THis was the camera I lusted for back in 1972, but luckly I was able to get an AP Spotmatic F (still works perfectly to this day).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Alan Brown

HowaboutRAW...

If you read the comments.. it's low light where the camera falls down (AF only good in good light?).. It will give good low noise images at High ISO but not a capable performer in focus terms; Not as well as the 'won't cut it' D800 you mentioned.

1 upvote
sandy b

Alan, you have read enough personal reviews on the Nikon page frrom experienced users to know that not true.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

Alan:

And if you've read comments here, AF in lowlight is fine; this has been my experience too. Looks to me like you're going with believing the review instead of those who say there's something wrong with the review.

Anyhow I use Zeiss MF lenses particularly since they improve high ISO shooting.

1 upvote
rbach44

I played with one of these in the store yesterday and I agree without his review: They picked and chose which features were "retro" quality and which parts were modern mid grade. The whole package just doesn't add up the way it should have.

Its a shame, because picking it up just doesn't feel anything close to an old F. It seems like the OM-D line to me in this regard, where they sacrificed ergonomics for classic styling without really digging into the core of what made these old cameras so great (and usable). I wish that this was an old style camera with a bit of the wisdom Nikon has gained from making what I consider the finest and most refined SLRs on the face of the planet. But it really ends up feeling like a compromised frankenstein. I was very excited for this camera, but I am actually pretty disappointed now that I saw it in person.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

What parts did you think were "modern mid grade"? (The kit lens can't be part of the answer. And true it doesn't have the AF of the D4.)

Have you handled and shot with an Olympus EM1?

0 upvotes
rbach44

I thought he body on a whole felt like modern techno plastic with some metal dials on top.

I feel like for such a "boutique" camera that feel + ergonomics should have been everything. But feel like they fell short on both. I honestly feel like my beloved D700 feels + handles better than the Df (at east with my short time with it)

Oh and I have used the EM1, and I rather like it. But I think Olympus is guilty of the same thing sometimes: trading ergonomics for style (the centered viewfinder in particular…). But the whole package is more successful than the the Df in my opinion...

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW

rbach44:

"felt" that wasn't my question.

So which materials did you think were "modern and mid grade"?

The body is magnesium.

Also I didn't ask about Df ergonomics.

0 upvotes
NCB

My Df arrived yesterday, spent last night setting it up, today nipped down to the sea in wet squally conditions to try a few sample shots, and survived! Initial thoughts below.

The big question in my mind when ordering it was grip and handling. The grip is fine; I can just grab the camera with confidence, and it's designed to work well with the top mounted shutter release. Likewise handling feels great; no nasty uncomfortable edges where I wondered if there might be.

Don't understand the comments about quality. Feels like a solid, very well made camera, despite being relatively light; most modern DSLRs feel like plasticy lumps, even when they're not.

It's what I was looking for when ordering it; a relatively light and compact full frame camera which has traditional controls, thoroughly modern innards and handles well. Forget about nostalgia; it's that combination which appeals to me and to others.

Value for money? Same price as a fixed lens Sony RX1 with no grip or viewfinder.

16 upvotes
JDThomas

Your opinions reflect actual usage of the camera. I'm not sure if informed opinions are allowed here. :)

4 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer

Do you really expect somebody to buy one of these and say "Now that I've spent this much and used it for a while, I have to admit (to myself) that it's less than perfect".

3 upvotes
ravduc

There is no such thing as perfection. I have purchased cameras that after using them, I did not like. I really don't agree with you on this. What's 'perfect' for you will not be for me, otherwise we would all be asking for the same products.

0 upvotes
wetsleet

@Abrasive
Yes. It's called Buyer's Remorse
"Buyer's remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such a car or house . It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice,..."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buyer's_remorse

1 upvote
marwiz

So, let me understand. If you buy one and actually like it, you have buyer's remorse. If you did not buy it, or use it, or have any idea of what it is like, and you do not like it, you have an informed opinion. Haaaa...

2 upvotes
wetsleet

@marwiz
No, you got that wrong, but I think you know that already.

0 upvotes
MPA1

You mean you spent that much money without ever even handling the camera?!

0 upvotes
wetsleet

I don't think that follows from what has been said. You seem to imply that only by buying in haste is it possible to come to regret a purchase.

0 upvotes
HBowman

EPIC FAIL IS EPIC !

9 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Have you shot with the Df? Doesn't appear so.

Also since when is 81 a fail?

7 upvotes
ravduc

God just spoke! Over dramatization.

2 upvotes
Allochka Emiliana

Yep, no award even a bronze. Epic fail indeed!

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Allochka:

81 out of 100. Odd definition of "epic fail".

0 upvotes
ravduc

Yeh, all Olympians are epic failures if they do not win a medal. Give me a break! Your quite the analyst! Somewhat one sided I would say.

0 upvotes
Steve

a score of 81.. no matter how much griping DP has about a camera, it usually comes up with a score near or above 80... so they rave about one cam with score of 85 and are disappointed with another camera and give it an 85.. i'm questioning this rating system now.

0 upvotes
Managarm

>> a score of 81.. no matter how much griping DP has about a camera, it usually comes up with a score near or above 80... <<

Agree. A rating system that only uses it's top 25% of the scale is kind of wasted.
I guess Amazon's ownership also doesn't like popular cameras receiving low scores. Would pretty much hurt the sales. Financial interests and honest opinions usually don't go well together.

Not aimed at the Nikon Df, but meant as a general statement.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
dstarr3

$2,800 camera, $2 shutter release. A bargain!

2 upvotes
Paul Guba

Use this with all those old 500mb cards you have to get the true retro experience.

9 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Try 32MB for a real "retro" SD card.

4 upvotes
Bill Bentley

@ HowaboutRAW I still have my Canon labeled 16mb compact flash card that shipped with my 350D. ;-)

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Bill:

Yeah I have one of those 16mb CF cards; it came with my G2. I was sticking with SD though.

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth

Having read the whole review, I concur with the opinion that it’s well done. The Nikon Df is an unusually hard camera to review and you’ve done a good job, all things considered. Very professional.

But I would have liked to hear the discussions between staff members that must have taken place about this camera. Something tells me the opinions were more diverse and emphatically expressed than any in the review!

2 upvotes
Peter Lacus

a "retro" camera with a non-replaceable focusing screen of a dubious quality (for manual focusing) - maybe it's just me, but the viewfinder quality is actually the thing I'd liked the most out of the cameras from the bygone era...

15 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth

It’s not just you, Peter. Hundreds of us have said the same thing, even while we disagree on other things.

If the Df had had a viewfinder optimised for manual focus I would have forgiven it all its other flaws and assaults on good taste. THAT is what is missing in the SLR marketplace. Everything else can be worked around (dials or lack thereof, complexity, etc.), but if you can’t focus quickly and easily you simply can’t use manual-focus lenses in fast-paced situations.

6 upvotes
G1Houston

They could have used the live view more, as mentioned in the review to also include exposure information. How about focus peaking, as more and more companies are adding this to their cameras, Nikon is really behind in these high tech areas.

3 upvotes
Biowizard

Once in a while I just have to peer through one of my wide-aperture primes attached to my lovely original OM-1n (had it from new), to remind myself of JUST how lovely a viewfinder could look. Pity you need to use a 36-year-old camera to get that feel of being "in" your picture ...

Brian

8 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Biowizard:

The VF on the Df is excellent, certainly better than my OM4's and nearly as good as that on the D4 or Sony A900. Of course, as you know, the lens attached matters.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
ravduc

I partially agree with you but I have had no problems with manually focusing lenses on this camera, not anymore than the film cameras that I still use a lot. There is no split image but then I have never liked split image focusing screens and have always replaced them with just a coarse mat screen. I agree with you that for the price they should have provided the possibility of using different screens. The overlay on the present screen (which alloys you to enable a grid) probably has something to do with this.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

rav:

I bet the screen can be swapped at a Nikon service centre.

0 upvotes
ravduc

Maybe they will offer that option but for now I think that the digital overlay on top of the screen has something to do with this.

0 upvotes
wetsleet

@Biowizard
I thought I was the only one! I look through my FE2 for the same nostalgic reasons. I find that it is possible to hold the FE2 to one eye, the DSLR to the other, and you can get a very accurate sense of how much bigger the old viewfinder is. You can actually align the two images and compare the V and H dimensions. Even FF DSLRs, they still have not got a viewfinder to compare to an old film SLR. Why not, aaargh?

2 upvotes
MPA1

Yes - and interchangeable finders with things like High Eyepoint options.
The versatility of modern cameras is actually not as great as the F3, F4 etc was from that pov.

1 upvote
micronean

an 81 on a non-recommended camera?

It seems like DPreview was very generous on their review. Had its name been anything but Nikon, its real place would have been somewhere in the low 70s.

1 upvote
Richard Shih

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/4416254604/camera-scores-ratings-explained

Take a look at the pie chart. The scores are heavily weighted towards image quality and the Df does that splendidly. If its name had been anything but Nikon, it would still have the same score.

2 upvotes
ravduc

Where did you see non-recommended?

1 upvote
Alphoid

Man. This or the Hasselblad Lunar... Tough choice.

8 upvotes
ravduc

I think you deserve the Lunar. You would never understand the DF.

4 upvotes
GPW

I applaud DPREVIEW for their honest review, and not catering to the people who might get upset because it's not what they wanted to hear, it is what it is.

4 upvotes
ravduc

It is what it is for these reviewers but not necessarily for all reviewers and users. You are giving DPR too much credibility without even looking at what other reviewers have said. They are not the Holy Grail of reviewers.

5 upvotes
G1Houston

Thom Hogan's review largely agrees with DPreview's.

1 upvote
ravduc

I really don't think so since he has chosen to keep one for himself.

1 upvote
G1Houston

"I always look at what could have been, what should have been, as well as what we received. I don't think Nikon got the Df right, frankly. That doesn't make it a bad camera, it just makes it a disappointing camera to what it could have been."

He listed the reasons why some people may like it, but he also pointed out many issues in the Df showing evidence that it was rushed to the market before it is ready.

0 upvotes
mike kobal

interesting to see so many comments about af performance and very few complaining about the exposure compensation dial on the wrong side and to rub salt into the would - you need to unlock it before you can turn it, now THAT was the real deal breaker for me. Most current DSLR's and ILC's have it on the right hand side, it won't matter if the Df is you only camera but using it as a second body on a shoot this sure throws a wench in your workflow

2 upvotes
wetsleet

In case you hadn't noticed, this camera is not looking towards "most current DSLR's". It looks back, to non-current non-D SLRs. Back then the compensation dial was on the left, forming part of the ISO selection mechanism, and it locked.

2 upvotes
mike kobal

of course. what was I thinking......
as logical as pairing drum brakes with Ducati's 851 engine

3 upvotes
Zamac

Ha! Not everyone even had an exposure dial. For 25 years I used an OM-1 where exposure compensation was moving the exposure pointer off centre. Before that it was Sekonic.

5 upvotes
G1Houston

" It looks back, "

it is indeed backward looking.

1 upvote
sandy b

And forward as it has as good IQ as any camera available, and better AF in any camera except Nikons 51 pt.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
wetsleet

@mike
in your sarcasm you overlook the essential: it is the the camera's control layout and ergonomics which hark back, whilst its technology is modern. So your analogy with drum brakes, an old technology, is inappropriate.
If you would have the Df ape the modern camera's control paradigm then very little would be left of its 'retro' appeal.
If you don't like the control and ergonomics of a 30-40 year old design I can well understand, but to criticise a camera, whose aim is to reanimate that design, for succeeding in that aim, seems odd.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Aleo Veuliah

This is a camera that I don't need any review to buy it. The look and the specs are enough for me to buy it without doubts.

Extremely Well Done Nikon.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
HBowman

Aleoluyaaa

1 upvote
Digital Suicide

So why you're here? :)

4 upvotes
MPA1

If only money was so unimportant to all of us....!

1 upvote
kadardr

I used to be a marketing guy and one of the anticompetitive strategies was repositioning the competitor product.
From the pros and cons Df is much worse than D610, lame, out of style, there is an imbalance of sensor, processor, and af speed and coverage, it is out of anything, especially of scope. Cheap selection of materials, bad handling, too expensive.
From the review I envisage Nikon Df to be a camera for meticulous old farts with a bunch of old Nikon lenses. This vision simply cannot be true. There is no company on earth that want to put such a product on the market.

It is obvious that this time the review went too far.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

And still the Df is better at high ISO lowlight shooting than the D610.

"Cheap selection of materials", huh? So you've not handled it then. Magnesium is not cheap to work with.

1 upvote
ravduc

I don't think that you can say that they used cheap material. The camera is extremely well put together. The battery door thing is an exception. I haven't had any problems with this and I would think that most are not having any problems. Handling is excellent as far as I am concerned and I use quite a few dslr's. The handling is just different which doesn't equate to poor handling. The reviewers imho do not understand the essence of this camera. My only complaint with the camera is the price. They could have priced it lower, instead they decided to make into an exclusive item.

0 upvotes
tjbates

I'm all for the retro approach to modern digital cameras, but I just walked past the window of my local camera store where the Df sat next to the latest lineup of retro cameras and the Df looked cheap and a little silly - like a wedding cake of buttons and dials. I don't know why, but the silver finish - to me looks cheap. That said, I'd love to try it out but with poor low light AF it wouldn't make it onto my Santas list.

0 upvotes
kadardr

I wanted to say that I do not believe Nikon wanted to screw up everything of this camera. I do not believe that the AF is failure. Simply too much criticism only to bring the df down.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

kadardr:

So you've not used the body? Many people in these comments think the AF is good in lowlight, me included. And I've shot with it--albeit only test shots.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

tjbates :

Looks can deceive. Looks "cheap" doesn't mean made on the cheap.

Test the lowlight AF yourself.

0 upvotes
AlexBakerPhotoz

I still have a Nikkormat EL and some classic pre-AI lenses from the early '70s - 135mm f/2.8, 55mm f/3.5 Macro, 50mm f/1.4, so when the Df was announced, I was pretty excited about it. But now that I have calmed down some I realize that my D600 (dust problem all fixed now) is really wonderful. I traded my D7000 for a Sony Nex-6 that fits in my pocket and amazingly I got a Fotodiox adapter that allows me to use all the old Nikon lenses on the Nex-6! So I'll pass on the Df, but I think it was courageous of Nikon to make it. If anything, I may wind up getting a D7100 as a backup for the broader AF area and no anti-aliasing. If I were starting all over from scratch, I'd have to say the new FF Sony's sure look tempting.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW

Great if those Nikon DSLR bodies work for you, why would anybody jump at the Df except for lowlight high ISO shooting, or I guess if you didn't already own a good FF DSLR?

0 upvotes
JDThomas

If all you're looking for in the D7100 as a backup is broader AF area and no AA filter, save yourself some money and get the D5300. Basically a D7100 in a tiny body.

I like mine a lot. Not as a main camera of course, but as a secondary camera.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 1616
34567