Df: not the perfect camera ...

Started Feb 6, 2014 | Discussions
Shotcents
Shotcents Veteran Member • Posts: 4,472
Re: Winning the Hearts and Minds of Photographers
1

Patrick McMahon wrote:

amazing, went over to the lens forum and there are a lot of Df owners I never saw post here.

so you are right that people are discovering the advantages of the sensor, among other things.

My buddy was over at Adorama a few days ago and was told the same thing I heard at B&H. Df is selling well. But the fellow also said it's selling to older shooters and mainly by established pro clientele.

That makes some sense. I can't see too many first-line shooters in their 20's ponying up 3K for a Df. They're going to add up MP and focus points on their calculators and buy a D800 or D600. And most will be served well with that choice.

I think a lot of the Df buyers are older, experienced shooters with 2 or more cameras in their kits already. I fit that profile and most of my friends, who have also bought the Df, do as well.

It's a camera for experienced shooters, who know exactly where it fits, to enjoy. There are exceptions of course. My friend, who is a grade-school teacher, hated every DSLR she touched until she tried my Df. She owned and disliked the D5100 (One of my favorites) I had given her. Much to my shock she DID pony up and buy a Df. And this is a woman with 3 kids and not a ton of time for hobbies. The Df just rings right for some of us.

Is this a "Groundswell?" I don't know, but the Df is proving to be more than a petty face.

Robert

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Cliff Fujii
Cliff Fujii Veteran Member • Posts: 8,215
Backup the media
1

I find it interesting that people will spend $3000 on a camera body and balk at paying less than $100 for quality brand name media. I have only used Lexar Pro cards in my cameras and have never suffered an issue with the card. I have had issues with the camera which Nikon promptly fixed but never with the media. I replace the media on an annual basis. I understand that some people use the Eye-Fi card to back up their images which would be a backup solution on the Df.

I will dump my photos on a daily basis to my Surface Pro tablet at the end of the day. That way I can review the day's shooting and flag some images for further work. That evening, the computer will backup the images to an external drive.

When starting up for a new day, I format the card in the camera and format the other cards as I install them into the camera. I just wish that the Df had a two button format like other Nikon cameras.  I also make it a point to review the images I have taken on a regular basis to verify that the media is intact.  Of course this won't help if you zapped the media with static while taking it out of the camera.

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Cliff

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brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 7,772
Re: kumbaya lord kumbaya
2

ravduc wrote:

I think that you are making a false assumption by implying that DF owners purchased the camera exclusively to admire the buttons and not take pictures. I may be misunderstanding your point, I am not sure. I also think that many who are buying the camera use it as a professional tool on assignments even if it doesn't have dual card slots. I am not a professional photographer but have been using cameras for over 35 years. If I was being paid for an assignment , I would definitely be carrying two bodies instead of just one. A memory card can become corrupted but a camera body can also fail during a shooting session. Chances of a body failing are probably just as great as a memory card failing. Now I know that is not a solution for backing up your primary card, but at least you would be taking pictures with two bodies instead of just one.

Depending on the event, when ever I shoot with two cameras its short lens on camera one and long lens on camera two. I always have a backup camera and backup bread and butter lens available, which means in a two camera setup I have a third camera in reserve and a spare 24-70/2.8 in reserve, in addition to spare flash, batteries, and memory cards.

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brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 7,772
Re: kumbaya lord kumbaya
2

Shotcents wrote:

ravduc wrote:

I think that you are making a false assumption by implying that DF owners purchased the camera exclusively to admire the buttons and not take pictures. I may be misunderstanding your point, I am not sure. I also think that many who are buying the camera use it as a professional tool on assignments even if it doesn't have dual card slots. I am not a professional photographer but have been using cameras for over 35 years. If I was being paid for an assignment , I would definitely be carrying two bodies instead of just one. A memory card can become corrupted but a camera body can also fail during a shooting session. Chances of a body failing are probably just as great as a memory card failing. Now I know that is not a solution for backing up your primary card, but at least you would be taking pictures with two bodies instead of just one.

A body failing is WAY more common than a card failing. That's something I've actually seen happen.

If my Df has a card failure not related to my cheapness or handling, I'll report it!

Robert

A body failing is usually caught if you chimp, and pictures up until camera failure are usually intact. Card failure may not be caught until you try to download. I've only had one failure of a card, and was caught early in a shoot, a SanDisk 16 GB CF. I've also had a camera failure, Canon 1DMkIII.

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brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 7,772
Re: kumbaya lord kumbaya
3

j_photo wrote:

I'm not bashing the dF--I like the camera and have enjoyed shooting with it. But the lack of two cards is, for me, a major negative.

Agree.

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brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 7,772
Re: kumbaya lord kumbaya
3

Shotcents wrote:

I only use Sandisk and no troubles in 9 years of shooting starting with the D100 and D70. Not only that, but I don't know a single person who's had a card failure.

As was just pointed out, many pro cameras don't have 2nd card slots quite recently and plenty of DSLRs still don't have them. Buy Sandisk, format them in the camera, don't swap them between cameras. And NEVER put them through the wash or get them wet or HOT and expect that they're fine.

Robert

Can you point out which recent pro cameras don't have second card slots. BYW, I don't consider the Df a pro camera.

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ravduc
ravduc Senior Member • Posts: 2,061
Re: kumbaya lord kumbaya

Please define what you mean by a pro camera? What makes it different? The person using it or the camera? If a pro uses the DF does it then become a pro camera?

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ravduc
ravduc Senior Member • Posts: 2,061
Re: kumbaya lord kumbaya

Briannic, I agree with you that it would be safer if the DF had two card slots, but there are other cameras such as the Leica M9 that has only one card slot and I believe that you would call the Leica a pro camera. Not ideal for many professional users I am sure.

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Shotcents
Shotcents Veteran Member • Posts: 4,472
Re: kumbaya lord kumbaya
2

ravduc wrote:

Please define what you mean by a pro camera? What makes it different? The person using it or the camera? If a pro uses the DF does it then become a pro camera?

If you're going to take the term "pro" seriously, Nikon makes just one pro DSLR and it's the D4.

I own the D800 and Df, but the D4 is simply the top tier and clearly pro, starting with it's size and handling and ending with it's FPS.

The D800, Df, D610 are NOT in the same league overall though their owners like to chant otherwise.

With that said, only gear heads and armchair shooters worry about such terms and nonsense. Some amazing work is done with D5100 and far less "pro" bodies.

The pro is about the person shooting, not the camera. Generally there are there levels:

1) Pro - the person who makes money with the gear. This person buys what's needed and usually could care less about some bozo's assessment of what his gear is. It has to do the job: end of story. D4, Df, or a D3100. If it makes money, that's all that matters. Very few pros give a hoot about such things.

2) Hobbyist - Family shooting, vacation, and everything in between, but usually not a devoted artist. This is the group most likely to assign some sort of status to their gear and lenses. Believing they have pro gear might be important, though they can rarely make use of it.

3) Artist - Not always shooting for money and sometimes the best/most talented of the three, this person is also not interested about silly gear hierarchy. The final image is what it's all about. The Df might appeal to them as would a D800.

Most people are #2.

Robert

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Kent J
Kent J Senior Member • Posts: 2,378
Yaaaaawwnn....
2

I have been using Nikon cameras since 2003 (D100, D70s, D200, D700, D40, D60, Df).  I have never had a camera with two card slots, and I have never had a card failure.

This is the biggest non-issue I have heard of.

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-Kent
Life is too short for slow glass.
www.kentjoostenphotography.smugmug.com

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Kabe Luna
Kabe Luna Veteran Member • Posts: 9,493
Re: No surprises there

amobi wrote:

Kabe Luna wrote:

The Dƒ has largely relegated my D800 to low ISO, controlled light-only use. Shot a couple of events with the Dƒ–including one wedding–and at ISO 640 and beyond, its IQ is tangibly superior to the D800. This is particularly true in mixed artificial light, where it delivers not only more accurate colors, but also functionally greater dynamic range.

The more I use it, the more I appreciate its qualities! Great job, overall, Nikon producing a camera to what sure must have been often conflicting objectives!

Please don't make me look again at Df. I have totally crossed it out. Your are far from being a fan boy.

If you shoot in low light and have no desire for the mass of a D3/s or D4, there are far worse choices than the Dƒ. 

My biggest concern when I tested it was the grip. Nikon should borrow from Canon on how to grip a camera. I can't imagine shooting a wedding with Df without a grip. T

For me, having spent a lot of time early on shooting with far worse-handling cameras than the Dƒ (like virtually all 35mm SLRs if you have a substantial lens mounted–their even-slimmer bodies afford precious little purchase–and my beloved Bronica SQ-A sans grip), it's been a pretty quick adjustment to holding the lens rather than the camera body as I used to do (and still do when I've got anything larger than a 24-70/2.8 attached). Muscle memory, I suspect.

That said, I can see how anyone who's never handled, let alone done work using a manual focus 35mm SLR, would find the Dƒ's handling miserable. Sort of like going from a brand new Honda Accord with CVT to a 1990 Civic hatchback with manual transmission and no power steering.

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Waynerm002 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: No surprises there

LOL!!  That is a good pretty analogy.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,348
Re: Df: not the perfect camera ...
2

Why wouldn't it be good enough? It has the same sensor as a D4.

A pro can use any tool. Larry Towell of Magnum took amazing photos on 9/11 with a point and shoot because that was all he had access to.

Marvin Doering Senior Member • Posts: 1,599
Re: Maybe not perfect but

Don't know if it is perfect but I just traded in my D600.  Got tired of waiting for the oil spots to appear.  Actually, I am old enough to remember the older Nikons with the manual controls and I am looking forward to going (somewhat) back to my roots.  Only two disappointments so far.  I knew I would need new batteries.  At least the old ones still work on my D7100.  I was also somewhat surprised that it only holds one memory card.  That seems like a step backwards but perhaps that was necessary to hold down the size.  It is incredibly smaller in the hands.  Once the weather improves I will let you know how it shoots.

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MRD

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,348
Re: kumbaya lord kumbaya

amobi wrote:

TerryAnderson wrote:

amobi,

Sorry to hear you had that issue, a wedding is a really bad place to have that issue.

I also had a 32gb SD Transcend card fail on a family outing. Since then though I never ever use those cards anymore. I only use lexar and Sandisk cards and since 2009 I have never ever had another card get corrupted. In that time I shot mostly with a D700 averaging around 45k images a year. Shooting Weddings, college sports, theater, and special events.

After I retired the D700 to my son, my daughter and I use the D800, D4, D7100 and Df for weddings and special events and still don't use the 2nd card on the D800, D4 and D7100 as backup.

Yes I am done with Transcend. I only buy Sandisk now and no more 32gig.

I recommend Hoodman cards, bought from Hoodman direct.

Premium quality, tested in the USA.

There are far, far too many counterfeit Sandisk cards around. I agree that not exceeding 32Gb is probably wise, though.

foto2021 Regular Member • Posts: 270
Re: Df: not the perfect camera ...

Patrick McMahon wrote:

Amazing that people who use the camera are repeatedly saying the same thing: Time spent with it makes the controls 2nd nature, in many ways the controls can be better, a more deliberative approach develops, more thought goes into the exposure...

I like the Df for the same reason I loved my F4 bodies. The F4 was a sophisticated system camera with conventional controls. The Df is a sophisticated digital system camera with conventional controls.

I really like that combination of state-of-the-art abilities with a traditional user interface. IMHO the F5 lost something by departing from the F4 controls. However, I have gradually gotten used to Nikon's newer user interface.

When it came to choosing between a Df and a D800, I chose the D800 because of its greater ability. If the Df and the D800 had similar ability, I would have chosen the Df without any hesitation at all.

I collected my new D800 today and am very pleased with my choice. It is my second D800. I also use a D600.

Patrick McMahon
Patrick McMahon Senior Member • Posts: 1,253
Re: Df: not the perfect camera ...

Colin,

That is good to hear, and nothing beats finding the camera that is perfect for you.

Enjoy!

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rhlpetrus Forum Pro • Posts: 25,187
Re: Groundswell

tissunique wrote:

You wish...however, at least the DF has raised the awareness of lower mpx being a positive thing..

One here happy with 16mp (D7000), likely geting a Df for first FF digital, even though I used 35mm film cameras for over 30 years.

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Patrick McMahon
Patrick McMahon Senior Member • Posts: 1,253
Re: Groundswell

some lovely images Renato.

i think the Df will be very happy with you

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