DF - a tough choice

Started Dec 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
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southwest aero Junior Member • Posts: 45
DF - a tough choice


I just wanted to make a follow up thread to my previous inquiry on body choice for aerial photography. Primarily shooting aerial photos, and secondarily travel / fun stuff, I was trying to choose a nikon FF body.

In the end, after trying the 600, 800, and DF, I went with the DF. I was luck enough to have friends that loaned me their 600 and 800 to compare. I used the same lenses on each, sigma 35mm 1.4 and Ziess 21mm ZF .2. Here's why I went DF:

While not really shooting low light, I am shooting fast shutter speed, and the high ISO performance lets me crank that up a notch. Yeah, the D800 goes to twice the shutter speed, but I'm never in a situation where that would help, and the only situation I could imagine is sports with long FL.

AF is not so important as everything is in DOF at infinity focus while doing aerials. D800 was noticeably better when shooting the kids playing, but the DF rarely missed if I was careful. As far as manual focusing the Ziess, it wasn't any harder on the DF, maybe easier, but only marginally. The Ziess is 21MM, so not hard to focus anyway.

For most people the dials on top are an aesthetic / style thing, but to me they turned out to be quite functional. While the DF was hanging around my neck while flying the paramotor, I could quickly look and make adjustments with one hand. This is ultimately what made me go with the DF over the 610. I wasn't really considering the D800 after looking at the results I got. Seems like the vibrating motor caused the super high res images to blur just a bit in the details. Maybe on another platform this camera would be amazing, but handheld in this type of environment, it struggled. The 610 was very comparable IQ to the DF when below 2400 ISO, but once the sun was below the horizon, the DF produced slightly cleaner images at the same settings.

Sorry for the rambling, hope it might help someone with the not so easy choice to make. A few snapshots:

 southwest aero's gear list:southwest aero's gear list
Sony RX1 Sony Alpha a7R Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21 Sony FE 55mm F1.8
Nikon D800 Nikon Df
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