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Nikon Df dSLR


  • announced Nov 2013
  • The Nikon Df is bound to be a hit with Nikon die hards who will fall in love with its nice styling but unlike the Olympus OM-D E-M5, instead of combining great retro looks and ergonomics with cutting edge technologies and awesome new versatility such as brilliant image stabilisation down to 2 secs hand held, almost waterproof features, WiFi control by smartphones, etc, etc, Nikon has produced a camera with no new technology but instead less technology and functionality than is currently available in equivalent but less expensive cameras - such as their Nikon D800 dSLR.
  • It certainly has more aesthetics than Nikon's other dSLRs, but at a cost of less customisation options - unlike the OM-D cameras, the top dials cannot be customised to other functions as needed and some dials such as the exposure compensation dial will be redundant in manual exposure mode.


The Nikon Df is a hybridization of:

  • Nikon F-series film camera:
    • body resembles that of Nikon's F-series 35mm cameras, complete with dials for shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation as well as shutter release with the old screw-thread cable release capability
    • the ISO and exposure compensation dials are individually lockable but require vision to do so which may limit their utility
    • the 'lift to unlock' PASM selector dial is especially awkward to operate with eye to viewfinder
    • the shutter dial only shows full EV increments down to 4 sec, so if you need longer exposures or finer changes, then you must set it to 1/3 step and use the front dial instead.
    • but no mirror lockup lever and no interchangeable focusing screen so no split-prism screen to enhance manual focus, and no EVF to allow focus peaking or live image stabilised magnified view
    • and if your CPU lens has an aperture ring it must be locked to the smallest aperture 'auto' setting, and you cannot use the ring directly to set aperture.
    • but like other modern high-end Nikon DSLRs, up to 9 'non-CPU' lenses can be programmed in for use with the Df. When one of these is attached, aperture is adjusted using the dedicated ring on the lens.
    • and you can also attach very old, pre-Ai (automatic indexing) lenses as the Ai indexing tab around the lens throat can be folded out of the way, to allow these older non-Ai lenses to mount without jamming. For metering to work with these lenses you must set the camera aperture AND the lens aperture to the same aperture manually.
    • the 16mp full-frame CMOS sensor
    • EXPEED 3 image processing engine
    • 1/250th sec flash sync
    • the 39 point autofocus system from the Nikon D610
    • same boring fixed non-touch 3.2“ 921K dot LCD screen as the Nikon D610/D800/D4
    • same optical pentaprism viewfinder as the Nikon D610/D800/D4
    • same limited shutter range as the Nikon D610 (30sec-1/4000th sec)
    • same limited 5.5fps burst rate
    • “environmental sealed” as for the Nikon D800 dSLR
    • same slow CDAF live view mode
  • minus a few features:
    • only +/- 3EV exposure compensation instead of +/- 5EV
    • only 1 SD card slot and no CF slot
    • lighter at 760g, it is lighter than the other Nikon full frame dSLRs (the D610 is 850g)
    • no movie mode
    • no scene modes
    • no timelapse recording
    • no built-in flash
    • smaller grip which will make ergonomics more difficult, especially with larger lenses
  • RRP $US2749 body only

In summary, lovely looking camera with great image quality with excellent high ISO capability designed for the still photographer only, but no built-in image stabilisation, and unlike the Sony option below only takes Nikon-mount lenses or larger format lenses.

photo/nikondf.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/06 19:37 by gary1

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