Nikon Df Review

Nikon Df Review

Our original Nikon Df announcement story

FX-format Nikon Df unveiled with retro body design and full-frame Nikon D4 sensor. The Nikon Df price tag will be £2749.99 / €3350 / US$2,999.99 (for the 50mm f/1.8 kit) with a release date set for 28 November.

Nikon Df price and specs confirmed

Nikon has officially announced its latest full-frame DSLR, the FX-format Nikon Df, which boasts the Nikon D4’s 16.2-megapixel sensor, a sleek retro body design reminiscent of vintage Nikon film cameras and compatibility with all but three of Nikon’s old lenses.

JUMP TO: Nikon Df vs D610 vs D800: 12 things you need to know about Nikon’s full-frame cameras

Nikon Df body: mechanical dials

Nikon Df body design

Aimed at purists, pros, enthusiasts and ‘everyone who enjoys the process of taking pictures as much as viewing them’, the Nikon Df is Nikon’s smallest and lightest FX-format DSLR, coming in magnesium alloy top, bottom and rear covers that weigh just 710g and is shaped like many of Nikon’s classic rangefinder bodies.

Like the Nikon D800 and D800E, the Nikon Df also comes weather-sealed for resistance to moisture and dust.

Nikon Df weather sealing

What’s more, the Nikon Df body incorporates some of the classic mechanical dials found on vintage rangefinder cameras. The Df boasts dials for setting shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, exposure mode and release.

The shutter speed dial enables settings in 1 EV steps, as well as Bulb (B) and Time (T). The Nikon Df shutter speed scale runs from a maximum 1/4000sec to its slowest offering of 30secs, with flash synchronisation at up to 1/200secs.

The Nikon Df’s shutter has also been tested to provide 150,000 cycles, Nikon says, and has been designed to replicate the shutter sound of classic Nikon cameras.

The new Nikon camera also offers a quiet shutter mode.

Other key features of the Nikon Df body design include a glass pentaprism viewfinder offering approximately 100% frame coverage and 0.7x magnification – as well as a DX Crop Mode with viewfinder marking – and a 3.2in 921k-dot LCD monitor.

The Nikon Df body will be available in black or silver.

SEE MORE: 100 Nikon DSLR tips you need to know right now

The Nikon Df price tag

The Nikon Df price tag will be £2749.99 / €3350 / US$2999.99 for the 50mm f/1.8 kit, with a release date scheduled for 28 November.

Nikon Df specs

Along with the same 16.2-million-pixel, 36×23.9mm FX-format sensor as found in the flagship Nikon D4, the Nikon Df offers an ISO range from 100 to 12,800, which is extendable up to ISO 204,800.

It also incorporates Nikon’s EXPEED 3 image processing engine, which Nikon says provides optimal colour and tonality while minimising noise throughout the frame.

Other key Nikon Df specs include 5.5fps continuous shooting and Nikon’s Multi-CAM 4800 39-point AF system, which is sensitive down to -1 EV and compatible with lenses up to f/8.

The Nikon Df also includes Nikon’s Scene Recognition System wherein the camera’s image sensor and a 2,016-pixel RGB sensor provide data to the System, which analyses the scene and sets exposure, autofocus and white balance accordingly before the shutter is released.

Like the recently announced Nikon D5300, the Nikon Df offers more energy efficiency, promising 1400 images per charge (in single frame mode) with the camera’s EN-EL14a battery.

SEE MORE: Nikon D5300 vs D5100 vs D5200: 13 key differences you need to know about

A Spot White Balance metering feature lets photographers assign a spot white balance reading to a specific area of the frame during Live View shooting,

Other Nikon Df features include an HDR mode, a range of Picture Controls and a Retouch menu with the option to correct red-eye, colour glance, raw processing and a range of resize options. What’s more, during Live View shooting photographers can apply a range of new framing grids (16- and 9-cell grids), a virtual horizon or shoot in 16:9 or 1:1 aspect ratios.

Nikon Df body design: back of camera

Nikon Df lenses

The Nikon Df comes with a new special edition 50mm f/1.8G prime lens, which Nikon says pays homage to classic manual focus lenses, and is tone and texture coordinated with the new Nikon Df.

The Nikon Df’s other big claim – and perhaps it’s most important – is that it enables attachment of non-Ai lenses. The Nikon Df boasts a collapsible metering coupling lever that enables even vintage non-AI NIKKOR lenses to be attached directly to the camera. In fact, Nikon says ‘all but three’ former NIKKOR lenses can be used with this latest Nikon DSLR.

When shooting with a non-AI lens in A (Aperture Priority) or M (Manual) mode, the Df allows full-aperture metering—equivalent to that of AI lenses. Lens characteristics such as focal length and the widest aperture setting can be defined via camera settings, enabling the camera to recognise the aperture setting and calculate correct exposure.

Nikon also says that to meet the demands of manual focus lens users the camera has illumination for focus points in the viewfinder screen, which can be turned off in manual focus mode. When moving a focus point it is illuminated for a short period of time.

Nikon Df price and release date

The Nikon Df price tag will start at £2749.99 / €3350 / US$2999.99, available only as a kit with the new 50mm f/1.8G lens. The Nikon Df release date is scheduled for 28 November 2013 with selected retailers.


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