IMAGES: The Nikon Df has landed..what do you think?

The Nikon Df has landed. What do you think?

So, what do you think of the design?

Nikon wanted to go retro so why not include a lens with a manual aperture dial? Either way, it is what I said it would be. A stripped down chunky DSLR squeezed into a square with a retro design 🙂

But it looks cool. It looks classic in a modern kind of way. It looks like it means business. I think it will be a grand slam hit even though it will be large and heavy with those DSLR lenses. In fact,  it kind of looks like a retro’d D700.

BUT this will be one of the few DSLR’s I review..and will enjoy doing so 🙂 Looks like a Sexy Awkward Frankenstein of a camera but it beats the usual bubbly fat rounded look of a DSLR (though it is close to the look of a DSLR…then again it IS a DSLR, not a mirror less).

This is Nikons way of coming up with something to ward off the growing Mirrorless segment without hurting its own lens sales. They did the whole retro look but kept it a DSLR. I can see it now..guys walking around with a DF and a 70-200 2.8 attached. Eek.

Prices of classic Nikon lenses may just be going up because many will be shooting these fatties with old glass to get the real manual feel. But how will the MF be using the tried and true digital optical viewfinder?


The Nikon Df in Chrome



Courtesy of Brad Husick, a size comparison of the Nikon df and Leica M and Sony A7. This shows me that the Nikon is pretty large. 

3 way


  1. Saw these on Thursday (first viewing in the UK) and they seemed ENORMOUS. Lovely in many ways, but much bigger than the cameras I’ve been using happily for the past few years.

    Also really disappointing the the Sony and Panasonic reps seemed to know absolutely nothing about mounting legacy lenses on their cameras, although this seemed to be a common area of interest to the people there.

    • Sony does not really want to condone the use of 3rd party lenses as they want to sell their own lenses..even though if I were Sony, I would be touting that as a feature and even optimize the cameras for this use. There is a large market there.

      • Absolutely – any maker who designed and marketed for this purpose, and listened to the market could make significant commercial in-roads – all the enthusiast forums seem to be asking for this feature.

  2. Sorry, but with only 16MP, I’ll pass. Cameras of a similar price offer far better resolution stats etc., and whether they like it or not, companies have trapped themselves in the one-upmanship of the bigger and better numbers game.

  3. The shape of the Nikon F and other cameras of that era was determined by the shape of two film rolls and the by fact that flat,square and cilindrical shapes were easiest to manufacture. Given today’s far better possibilities, however, it is far from being the most ergonomic shape and arrangement. While Olympus and Fuji more or less elegantly add some of the classic form elements to their cameras, Nikon goes way over the top with this ridiculous, over-buttoned, impressive looking replica. This has nothing to do with better photography .If you think this will make you look like a ‘pure’ photographer or a real pro, buy it, and enjoy yourself with fiddly and blocked wheels which necessitate taking your eyes off your viewfinder for every change of camera setting. Nostalgia is a real emotion of course and surely helps selling cameras. But it shouldn’t compromise a good photographic tool.

  4. The Df is an interesting camera. I’m not terribly wild about the design, the proportions look a bit strange (especially if you’ve used an old Nikon F). But, the technical specs are some what appealing, D4 capabilities and weather sealing crammed into a small body. That being said if you’re an owner of a D3 or 4, D600 or D800, there’s not much reason to buy this camera. While video isn’t a big priority [for me], as time goes by I’ve noticed it is a feature that comes in handy, the lack of video in light of a competitor like the Sony A7 (at a similar price point) makes this an even harder purchase.

    This camera just seems like a “me too” attempt at grabbing the retro-camera design demographic that Fuji and Olympus has a lock on.

  5. well was all excited about this however the price has put me off, not sure what I expected but it wasn’t this.

    My money looks like it might head Sony’s way, The A7 looks nice

  6. Looks like a very capable camera to me! But I see many comments from people who never used a “classic” SLR seriously. This camera is not for them, at least not yet. As a professional user of film era cameras, both pre- and post digital revolution, I have always wanted a fully manual FF DSLR with dials and without the bulky ergonomics of modern cameras. For me a camera needs 4 controls: Shutter, aperture, ISO and focus. It can have more features too, but those four I want to be able to change without looking since I already know what I want the camera to do for me. Like how one does with an old Pentax Spotmatic or a Nikon FM2, being able to change settings in the dark, just by feel, in the first row of a theater or music performance without disturbing lights and beeps. And of course someone like me already has a bunch of Ai- and pre-Ai manual prime lenses with aperture rings and I would just buy the body without any lenses.
    If the dials are in the right place, and if it is possible to ignore or turn off as many “features” as I want, then it all comes down to if it has a real prism with a large image and an interchangeable focusing screen so I can adapt any old FM screens with grids or split image.
    It looks as it will deliver all those things. And the vinyl (leatherette) covering is much nicer to grip than rubber or anodized metal.
    So I think Nikon did the right thing! Cannot wait to try it.

  7. Judging from the mass of disappointment in the posts here and everywhere else I expect this camera to fail like the “1”. I guess the Df will appear to a few old folks who usually dont follow camera news and look for an upgrade to their Nikon film camera. But how many of those are there?

    Design aside, Nikon stirred things up with their “pure photography” campaign but all they come up with finally is a function-reduced D600 with a half-retro, half-modern chassis. No manual focusing aids, no split-screen, nothing.

    Fail, Nikon

  8. If you had to compare this to Sony A7, I would say that Nikon leaves people with the choice to want what they sell, and Sony just sells what they want.

    So, make your choice, mine is done. We can’t have it all, but if one makes a camera with an old style good looking body, crappy AF, dusty old sensor, no video, no tilt screen, no double card slot, no wi-fi, no 1/8000th speed, no manual focusing assistance, and 1300$ more in price compared to what it is worth, something is wrong. I call that, “selling sour cherries wrapped in sweet cream”, or ” a donkey in a 2000$ suit.”

  9. I think it looks great, perfect size, supports all Nikkor lenses even pre-AI and most importantly the sample images look terrific.

  10. In my opinion, the only merit of the Df is that it offers the D4 sensor in a smaller, less expensive body. Otherwise, it’s just a retro-styled DSLR. I’ll pass.

    If they had really taken a risk and made a digital FM3a, I would have been all over this. I was hoping for a manual focus-only, smaller SLR with a standard split focusing screen, compatible with all Nikon manual focus lenses, without any extraneous bells or whistles. That means no video (which, of course, they’ve done), but also no extra command dials on the front or back, no buttons for AF ON or live view, no AF mode switch, etc. You know, simple. But Nikon decided not to take a chance and they put out a camera they thought would appeal to everybody. Maybe they’re right and this will be a hot seller, but for me, it’s a disappointment.

  11. A bit of a disappointment, indeed. Not just becouse of pricing (market will show if they got it right, after all) but mostly becouse of so-so specs and design flaws that appear to stand in your way instead of helping to make better photos. I like retro, but here it doesn’t look like ergonomically improved – comparing to a “modern” D800, or to the Fuji retro design for that matter. The biggest fault for me is the 39 point (DX born) AF system. Really, Nikon? I’d rather have a sensor integrated AF with a green dot confimation in the finder, the technology is there, and that would fit with the apparent goal to make MF lenses shine again. Or at least a proper MF-oriented focusing screen with split-image and microprisms. The kit lens beeing a plastic 50mm G doesn’t seem to fit, either. Is it too difficult to bring back into production the 45mm f2.8 AIS-P?
    To all this the key-word seems to be margin – Nikon stated already they will focus on high margin FX. This is how they are doing it.

    So my money will likely be going to Sony (A7) and Zeiss the next time I’ll be shopping 🙂

  12. NEWS FLASH : if you really were around “back in the day” shooting a F2 or something like that AND you’re still shooting today than i would bet all this “vintage styling” broo ha gives you a chuckle . . . seriously, i’m waiting for leica to come out with an “acid washed” black paint model, you know, lots of brass showing right out of the box so you can look like you’ve actually done more with it than chase your kids around the backyard . . . . nostalgia for the life you never lived but you like the way you look to yourself when you’re holding it never mind that it’s the camera design not your pictures that will stand the test of time . . . .

  13. The Contax RTS and Pentax LX were, in my opinion, the most beautiful 35 mm cameras ever made. Slim, as well. In comparison, the Nikon DF fails. Even my current Nikon D3x is better looking.

  14. Simple camera to understand what you are doing in photography, shame 16.7MB, if the price of £2700 I think should have 36MB as true 35mm format. Be nice to have grip? Like F4H

  15. It is easy to describe what to think about it. 1/4000, no video, 39 point AF made for APSC sensors, no tilt screen, stuck with F mount, bulky, a cropped D610 with a retro good looking body similar to ancient F3, a low pixel count sensor, that seems to be a bargain for most, but i don’t know why, no facilities for MF, and 2750$ for the body, what is some 1100$ too much for a low end camera like this one. Now compare Sony A7 features to this and you remain with a fantastic looking camera only. All you need now is a Hassy noble wooden grip and a LV carrying bag, and you belong to that kind of suckers the society wants you to be. So, to Nikon I just say this: Good luck with that. DF, stands probably for Digital Flopp.

  16. VERY overpriced although I think it looks OK – but rather than chic retro it just looks old fashioned.

    I think about £1200 ($1800) would be about right – and personally I much prefer EVFs (I have an EM5) to optical viewfinders and see the use of optical as rather old fashioned now and should be a cheaper option than something like the new Sony A7(r).

  17. I must admit that I do not agree with the positive statements about the looking of the new Df. I find it really ugly, but maybe the IQ if the pics will be good. Please do not hit me, this is my personal opinion. In my eyes there are far too many knobs and switches on that camera. Never haver seen something like this before! No, I prefer the good looking Leica M9-P in black or the Monochrome that are real beauties. John

  18. The knobs and dials look pretty usable to me, the idea is not to depend on the display for getting your settings right in a blink of an eye. The only thing that upsets me is Nikons decision to cripple the versatility of the camera by not adding connectors for a vertical grip. For my kind of shooting this makes the camera useless.
    The Sony A7 with the vertical grip will be my solution. With a lensadapter I will enjoy the retro feeling by manual focusing my old Nikon,… glass.

    • One of the great advantages (to me) of digital photography with a really good sensor is that you can use programmable auto ISO (set ceiling, minimum shutterspeed according to focal length, etc) so you can focus more on taking the actual photograph. Manually setting ISO for each situation with that left side dial might appear nostalgically attractive but just doesn’t seem practical to me. It certainly doesn’t bring me nearer “Pure photography), and adds one more clutter to a body that seems already cramped for space.

      But the I’ve only seen the pictures…

      If I still had my D700, instead of the D800 since last April, I would probably ditch all my objections and go for it.

  19. D7100 sized with the full-frame sensor of the D4. Nothing not to like for purist shooters.

    Rest assured there will be a lot of photographers ― particularly those who felt the void that was left when the D700 didn’t immediately get a replacement ― who feel the imaging sensor and the processing pipeline in this camera are worth the price alone.

    Regarding the size, as of today, the Nikon Df is the lightest full-frame DSLR in the world and the second lightest full-frame camera, next to Leica M series. So that’s an achievement, yes.

  20. I just don’t know here. On one hand I really like the styling but on the other, it looks like a cluttered mess and really ultimately very chunky. It looks exactly the size of modern dslr and those aren’t the most practical walk around or field cameras for extended use.

    once you go to a physically smaller design, these dslr size cameras feel very clumsy. For what is is, it looks like a repackaged dslr. Not exactly earth shattering as one would expect. Style for style sake?

  21. Beautiful camera, great concept, I’m really glad they’ve done this! But perhaps a few years late? It’s still a DSLR quite bulky and thus just as clunky and not nearly as practical as its campaign alludes to. Weather sealing is awesome and I’m sure it has enough tech to leave little to no question about how it performs. The question I keep thinking about though is who is this camera for? What can it do that other Nikon bodies can’t already?

    Again, great concept. It’s fun to see a big name brand taking things this way, it just doesn’t feel like the timing is really there. It kinda feels like it’s for those willing to shell out $3,000 just to keep you locked to Nikon lenses and DSLR sizes while Nikon still has no answer to the mirrorless onslaught.
    $3,000 gets you a lot of other options with different brands like Sony (7R) or Fuji (X-Pro1 with plenty of glass now and an upcoming update to X-Pro2 if one is willing to wait).

    Heck, $3,000 for this camera and the 50mm plus a 70-200mm f/2.8 (yes, Eek!) gets you close enough to a used M9 (the original mirrorless) and a 50mm Summicron f/2.0, now that’s pure photography (of the digital type that truly blends classic and modern tech)

  22. I’ve been imagining exactly this kind of digital ‘FM2’ or ‘FE’ or ‘FM-D’ for several years now. And now it’s here, it feels like what I have in my mind become something real (a bit different, it has an excellent EVF like in sony a99 in my imagination 😀 ). But then the decision will be easy for me, I couldn’t afford it. So maybe I have to wait several years for a used one 😀

  23. Pricing is official. Just saw the official announcement at nikonrumors. What a bummer. Nikon trying to get more money for the same camera with a little different packaging. They said in their financial statement that they wanted to shift to high profit margin FX to help their bottom line. I guess this is it.

    Price and Availability

    The Nikon Df will be available in late November 2013, invoking classic Nikon silver and black color schemes. The suggested retail price (SRP) of the Df (body only) will be $2,749.95*, while the Df and 50mm f/1.8 Special Edition lens kit will have a SRP of $2,999.95*. The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens will be sold separately for a SRP of $279.95*. For an additional flair of nostalgic style, Nikon is also offering black or brown leather carrying cases, the CF-DC6B and CF-DC6S (pricing and availability to be announced).

  24. Nikon finally is trying something they should’ve done long long time ago… but… a Frankenstein camera? Am I the only one who’s not impressed buy it? It feels like Nikon is trying too hard and not trying hard enough at the same time, does that make sense? I know it doesn’t.

  25. Is it worth it at $500 more than the A7r? Probably if you already have a bunch of nikon glass. The Sony/Zeiss lenses however probably won’t have much of a size advantage and definitely won’t have a price advantage. I guess we’ll have to see some comparisons Steve!

  26. There’s an aweful lot of buttons and an unnecessary LCD screen competing for attention with a camera that looks like it wants to push getting back to the basics.

    Now that they can dispense with the overdone, underwhelming “teasers” maybe they will send a few examples out. It only seems appropriate with all of that nail-bitting hype to provide some substance for anxious customers.

    I wonder if this one has one of those fancy fly-paper sensors like the D600. I hear that the LCD will have a “low oil” indicator too.

  27. Retro– 20 years of camera design wiped out in am instant! 😉 I have no problem changing aperture, speed, ISO, modes and exposure compensation on my D700 or D3. What I really wanted was a digital F6.

  28. Half hearted compromise resulting in an unhappy mishmash of classic F styling and current. Looks clunky and just not retro enough. Probably as a result of trying to play it safe when they should have been brave and gone all out for a more angular F / F2AS look. Looks like my A7R preorder is safe.

  29. It’s more ascetic then aesthetic, kinda retro-ugly unlike the X100s retro-svelte and think it’ll find the market somewhat tough, even K-01 loving hipsters and Nikon aficionados couldn’t have missed the A7 furore where the product was the marketing. The marketing was atrocious, this is the burlesque equivalent titillation of seeing a hot blond that turned out to be a man with long hair, there are unanswered questions but will care enough?

  30. Well I like it – tests will tell us how worthy it is for the price. The pictured size is favorable, and the price as mentioned at a couple of sites is less than the D800. But for some it will be hard to justify – but the seemingly high cost is likely explainable because of the traditional dials and and electro-mechanical connections that go along with them.
    Either way, as has been mentioned, Sony’s ‘7’ series now seems to have altered the landscape of FF imaging and it wasn’t that hard to see coming. The fact that Nikon and Canon have taken so long or sat on the sidelines speaks a little of trend ‘blindness’. But I do like the idea of traditional set dials, etc.

    • There’s no trend to be blinded to. Not yet, anyway.

      Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and Fuji have paved the way for mirrorless, carving out a niche market and demonstrating that the concept is technologically viable. But right now mirrorless sales are falling faster than DSLR sales >>

      And until Canon and Nikon jump in in a serious way, mirrorless won’t go mainstream. When they do, the industry trend will shift. Like it or not, Canon and Nikon remain the foundation of the global camera industry.

      That aside, size and weight are real considerations, I agree. Today’s DSLRs are unreasonably large, IMO. Back in the 1970s, when Olympus introduced the OM-1, Nikon, Pentax and Minolta all quickly followed suit with smaller models: FE/FM; ME/MX; XD/XG. That was the new trend for about a decade following, before autofocus and built-in motors arrived, and then cameras started to grow in size again.

      I believe mirrorless is the future. However, I think DSLRs will continue at the high end for a long time, and you may see DSLRs adopt some new tricks, too … like electronic overlays similar to the Fuji X cameras’ OVF overlays.

  31. I have serious doubts about the usability of the top left dials, ISO and Exp comp. They do not seem practical. Also I see the top shutter speed dial position and the aperture dial ( presumable the dial on the back) and both seem to be meant to be used with the right thumb. Based on photos only, it seems like a weird set up unless you use A or P modes only. I like the look though. But to me, and this is probably jumping to conclusions considering I’m just based on photos, it seems like an half assed attempt of making a camera look vintage but without considering how people will actually use it.
    I’m Ok with this being a Dslr, but for this to work Nikon should create a specific line of lenses for this range. Just a few fast primes with aperture controls on them, fully compatible with their range of DSLR if they want to, and with a vintage look.
    Vintage manual lenses will look awesome on this, which makes it a shame that it uses a mirror instead of an EVF, focus peaking would make this an amazing peace of kit. It makes sense to have a new range of lenses, 28-35-50-100 all 1.8, it would be a pretty cool setup without being over the top. Maybe add a 50 1.4 to the mix. I can imagine some people buying a whole set just to have the full package.

  32. For some reason, after all those enticing teaser videos, the attraction vaporized with the final images. Way removed from the simplistic beauty of the compact F series. They left too many features in. That prism housing looks like an FE2 copy btw.

    • I agree. It smacks of a half-baked concept. And although I’m currently a Canon user, I grew up with Nikons and still love the old lenses and cameras. But there is something cynical about this. Retro design for the sake of it, just to capitalize on a fashion trend. It lacks the design vision of the cameras it’s trying to imitate, such as the FM2. It’s not a bold new concept, it’s just another digital camera with a different skin. As such, it’s not what I thought and hoped it would be: a digital homage to Nikon’s glorious past.

        • A digital successor to the A-1? Canon switched lens mounts at some point; that would be an obstacle in using “legacy” glass.

          All those posters complaining about the Df not being mirrorless are overlooking the simple fact that Nikon has always stuck to the F-mount, for a very good reason. That F-mount also explains why some lenses (the AFS ones; the 58mm I got yesterday is a good example) look slightly odd on that relatively small bayonet.

  33. I will know when I handle one, and after having read some long-term user reviews. Ergonomics are vitally important, as is reliability. Meanwhile, I can be “pure” and retro with my FM3A bodies, while using my existing DSLR bodies when digital is the better option. I am patient, and my budget for 2013 and much of 2014 is already committed to other things, anyway.

    Price WILL be a factor, too, as several thousand US dollars will fund quite a bit of film and processing! The rumored $2750 US price is higher than I would want to pay, unless something like a truly excellent fit in my hands becomes a factor. [The D800 is a quite good fit, for me, with controls I favor. The 5D Mark III is a truly excellent fit, with tolerable controls.]

    The DF is on my radar screen, but not my wish list. The D800E and 5D Mark III remain on my wish list, though I may wait another generation, or try a mirror-less option.

  34. Understand the camera alone is $2750. Sony execs must be wetting themselves silly right now. If pricing is accurate, Nikon has seemingly pulled another V1/J1 pricing debacle.

    • Maybe not. How much is a D800? A D4? Expensive. This one offers smaller size, same IQ as D4, no nonsense and a MUCH cooler look than any of those cameras. It will sell..big. Mark my words 🙂 For example, I am not a DSLR guy or fan but I would buy this over a Canon 5D, 6D, D800, D4, D700, etc. I would not buy those DSLRs but I would buy this one if it is what I hope it is. Even just to use for old classic MF Nikon glass. Can’t wait to review it but if it disappoints, then it will tank.

      • I think a lot of people, including myself, see this a a neutered D4/D800 at a D800 price. For now what we hear is that it uses the same focus system as the D600/610, has no video, max shutter speed of 1/4000th. Most likely a slower max flash sync. From a stat comparison it looks as if it’s a D610 with no video, a 16MP sensor, an AF ON button, and some retro design elements. For me the price point is wrong. I’m sure there are loads of people who will have no problem forking over the money but there just isn’t enough of the “retro” to price it that high and for what we currently know now of the stats there is nothing from a performance standpoint to price it that high, especially in light of other offerings now available.

    • I’m with you. I had some hopes this might be an SLR that would entice me. My wife was throwing a fit when I told her I was looking at it. The first thing I did online this morning was take a look at the videos with the 3 photogs and the specs of the camera. The specs are fine for my shooting today but the camera is larger than I had hoped. The retro dials are ok but sticking a G-series lens on it did not set well with me for their target “retro” niche. My wife is now happy as I plan on staying with my Fuji X-System cameras. I am sure the camera will sell well but it is just not for me. Now if Olympus would do a APS-C/full frame camera with the metering system and size of the OM-4 series that would use the old Zuiko lenses I would be the first person in line!!!

  35. Df vs mirrorless make for kind of non-sequitur arguments, I think. Two entirely different categories. The Df is not a mirrorless camera, nor is it intended to compete with one. End of story.

    I think its mission is to shake up the DSLR category a bit.

    What the Df most closely reminds me of is the Nikon FA…but with the prism of the FM/FE series (I see a little Contax G2 on the top left panel, too). Overall size and chunkiness appears to be about the same as the D7000/D7100. To me, that’s a perfect size. As DSLRs go, that’s on the small size.

    I have several Nikons, stretching back a long way ― including the D3s, which operationally is brilliant, but a bear ― and strangely enough the one camera I enjoy handling the most, by far, with the best ergonomics I have ever experienced on a Nikon, by far, is my D7000.

    It’s compact, yet feels chunky and solid. The ergonomics are great and the speed is good. Anything smaller and my hands are creeping all over the body. Put a prime on it, and it’s easy to carry all day long.

    I have a feeling that the Df may handle extremely well, with a good combination of ergonomics and haptics. If it’s operationally fast and efficient, that will go a long way to solidifying its appeal. And with a 16 megapixel full-frame sensor (that’s likely got the latest processing tweaks onboard), it should produce excellent image quality without the need for massive file sizes that bog down the whole workflow process for shooters not needing billboard-sized resolution.

    And seriously, how many people here actually use 1/8000 of a second more than once or twice a year? Answer honestly.

    Unquestionably there is a point at which cameras get too big. I wouldn’t want to carry a D3s or D4 around on my shoulder all day long while traveling. Sure, I could do it, but fatigue inevitably sets in, which diminishes enjoyment and thus creativity.

    On the other hand, there is a point at which a system camera can become too small as well. I think the Df strikes the right combination in-between for the largest number of users looking for a quality, full-frame DSLR of modest size.

    Does the Df have the most pleasing industrial design? That depends on your point of view, I guess. It certainly seems to be polarizing folks. But even with what appears to be roughly a 50/50 split that should translate into strong sales for Nikon.

    I’ll take mine in black, please. 😉

  36. I would dig it if it had a split prism viewfinder and a lower price. Throw in a manual shutter advance and more megapixels if you want to keep the proposed 2800 dollar price. Otherwise pure photography just sounds like pure profit to me.

  37. My first thought was disappointment. The form factor is ugly and too square. Now i’ m kind of starting to like it. But those af-s lenses are not small…

  38. Loving the non Italic font they used. LOVE.
    This camera is one beautiful machine. Total babe.
    This body + 58/1.2 noct…. Drool.
    (And when everyone sees a real, accurate size comparison you might be shocked at how small it actually is).

    Good times my friends. good times.

  39. I was a Nikon fanboy for YEARS! Until I started shooting with the X-Pro1. I look forward to seeing all the hip guys lugging this dinosaur looking contraption around their necks. Wish I was a chiropractor!

  40. …hmmm… if it is reportedly going to be nearly $2800?, I think I may pass… cool style, but not enough features, and you’re going to end up going bigger and heavier than any of the mirrorless alternatives… i think the best way to go light, compact, packed full of features for a Full Frame mirrorless ILC would be one of the Sony A7’s… sadly the native new FE lenses will take a really long to fulfill (it took, and still takes, quite a long time for decent NEX lenses to come out), but at least you have a lot of outside brands to try, especially while using the appropriate lens mount adapters.

    the DF will probably appeal most to the hardcore Nikon fans who’ve been yearning for a retro styled camera to relive, with modern tech, the look and feel of a classic camera. being it’s not really fully packed and just takes photos, for that price, you must really want that look and feel above all else to justify the cost despite the limitations… still, there’s a very strong appeal to this camera’s nostalgia if can afford the entry fee for such a piece… i can see having a lot of pleasure taking photos just for the pleasure of taking photos with the way the DF may handle and operate as simple or “pure” as it is designed to be.

  41. $2746? If this is just a re-shelled dslr with no ‘proper’ manual focus screen then i have lost interest. It would just be a marketing gimmick while the Sony A7 cameras are higher spec and more honest. Plus they can use some of my m mount lenses.
    It would be a camera for people who buy Lexus 300 sedans not realizing it is just a Toyota Camry in a fancier wrapper. Hmm, maybe Lexus should have introduced a ‘pure driving’ campaign to go with that…

  42. Looks like it was posted for pre-order at amazon then taken down. Price was listed at $2746 and change US. Too pricey for a de-featured D4 with retro knobs and body. I think i’ll continue to shoot my old film bodes for that retro feel and use my D300 until it wears out. Maybe the D400 will be out by then…….. or the X-Pro 2…

  43. I like the design, “analogue” dials are the only thing that work for me. Hence I bought an X Pro 1 – the most ergonomic digital kit I ever touched. But why, oh why, does Nikon insist on giving us those dreadful gelded G lenses? Featuring a lens without an aperture ring thoroughly contradicts the message of their cute little string of teasers – maybe that clicking noise is the sound of him slowly zipping up his fly?

  44. Wow – what a fail. Nothing new here. Awful design that doesn’t show any creative thinking. Bit of a ‘jump on the band-wagon’ exercise. Nikon should leave the retro design cameras to Olympus and Panasonic who are making creative new cameras with advanced features that take a glance over their shoulders at past camera designs – atleast their designs have a reason. This camera looks ugly, and whats its purpose? An old school camera with a digital sensor… hmmm not exactly ground breaking. The only benefit is that the ergonomics are probably ok. Camera is a bit big and heavy though. So why buy it over a D600 or D700, who’s ergonomics are probably really good anyway?

  45. This really looks old style! Anyway, it’s A LOT more beautiful than modern DSLRs. But I prefer by far the modern interpretation of the theme by the Sony A7. Modern in style ànd in technique (mirrorless).
    BTW I think that Nikon will have to come up with “old style” lenses too, to match this beautiful body.

    • Exactly. If it does not have ‘proper manual focus’ but the standard focus from Nikon’s digital slrs then I have lost interest. Because all that they would have then created is a new shell for the same product. Which makes a lie of the pure photography campaign.

  46. I like it, also! Sure, it’s not as sleek or compact as the other retro-inspired cameras like the E-M1 & A7, but it still seems relatively small and compact for a dslr and I actually prefer and dig the clunkier hard design that comes with an older style such as this.

    I guess it may not be a full functioning dslr.. just for photos, which is fine and cool for this camera. I wonder if it will have anything new going on inside?… early rumors and information about the DF seem to indicate it’s a stripped down D4 with smaller retro-styled body. If that’s the case, the only slight downside is exactly that, perhaps.. it’s a stripped down high end model with basically the same performance, without the movie ability… no new improvements to existing 16mp sensor or anything?.. maybe? I guess the official announcement tomorrow (11/5) should clear up a lot of the mystery about exactly what Nikon is giving us here in the DF.

    Still, I’m sure it will be a great performer. I am attracted to the top of the camera with all it’s dials and exposure numbers details all over. That tiny lcd screen would otherwise seem kind of wimpy, but it does give it that old school feel.. nothing fancy, and shows exactly the information you need to know going in to take a photo.

    It does seem big in comparison to the other mirrorless offerings it’s competing against, what can you do?.. there’s a mirror in it, however, I suspect it may be smaller and more compact than it looks like in the recent pics. Still, for those who want a modern retro camera, you just have to be comfortable mostly shooting with larger heavier full frame lenses for mirror cameras as that’s pretty much the way they have to be designed for such a camera.

    With all that above, I hope the price will be within reason for such a camera… it should take great photos, but really that’s all it’s going to be used for, which is fine, but all the more reason that maybe the price for such a camera should not be ridiculously expensive given it’s possible limited sets of features… if price is right, I’d like to get one, but if they come out with a high price to get into and really not be competitive to compete with Sony or Olympus in the type of market Nikon seems to be going with with the DF, then maybe I’ll pass until maybe later when the cost should eventually go down to something I can swallow for an alternative camera for pleasure and not work.. which is how I’d probably use this type of camera.

    Anyways… lastly, I am curious how it will be “hybrid”… perhaps adopting a OVF & EVF toggle? Will hopefully see the full story and know it all tomorrow!

  47. Wait a second. Why did I go mirror less and RF again? Ok, I remember it now, it was size and weight.
    But I like the dedicated iso dial on the Nikon.

    • Dear retow (=Steve),
      I quite agree. This camera has a wonderfully nostalgic look about it, but it will certainly be more admired than actually purchased.
      The times for big camera bodies are over, if we like it or not.

  48. A Nikon FA and an F4 had a digital baby. A LARGE digital baby. I like the top view and the old school SS dial, but the back just reminds me it’s a digital machine. Not sure if it’s a winner or loser. Can’t they just make an F3hp with a digital sensor and NOT a bazillion digital options?

  49. Did not buy a D800 or D600 to replace my D700(my first DSLR). I guess I am waiting like everyone else to see the final DF product, specs, and a review or two. Then to get my hands on one.

    Still waiting for my Leica M………….still waiting… A7 instead? Waiting for reviews..

  50. I really like this camera because Nikon has made important features such as ISO and Shutter into manual dials just like the old film cameras. This is so great. No just mount a great compact lens on it like the Voigtlander 40mm Ultron and you will have a killer compact camera.
    But as someone mentioned above Nikon now needs some small size retro look lenses for it to complete the package.
    A small design like this should not have to use those absurdly big SLR lenses that Nikon currently has.

  51. As someone who does not yet own a Nikon DSLR and owns Nikon film equipment, I will buy one of these unless it is priced through the roof or has a viewfinder not conducive to manual focusing. But right now, I want one. Bad.

  52. If the viewfinder is of the same league of the old nikon this camera is going to be a very best seller. there is a plaetora of customer, including me, that never feel comfortable with actual dslr. Better than expected. Don’t understand too much why they made the new lens without aperture ring as long as they do the hard work to put dials for the most important setting(including iso).

  53. My initial reaction. Eeek and oh dear!. Too large and a confused design. Makes the slightly awkward Sony A7 look sleek.

    • Mine too, I really wanted to like it but to me it looks clumsy, like it’s been rushed out the door by a company caught on the back foot…….I appreciate the sentiment and some of the features, whilst it’s definitely a step in the right direction I’m sure Nikon can and will do better.

  54. As nice as this looks, I think not including manual aperture dials on lenses is a big fail. What’s the point of having all those awesome manual dials on the camera but the lenses get lost in the mix of taking it back to classics?

    • There are plenty of F mount lenses out there with an aperture ring…. I have 8 in my bag right now ranging from 20mm to 90mm…. My real problem is the price being asked for last years Tech in a fancy wrapping….basically this was a parts bin exercise …

  55. I have mixed feelings with this camera. I like the look, but it does look a bit cluttered. To me, it has a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a dSLR or is it a retro SLR that is digital? I have to agree with what Steve in inferring with the lack of a lens(es) with an aperture ring; this is sort of a half-way committed step into the retro realm. Fuji is really the only one who hit the nail spectacularly on the head with that (not counting Leica, because they’ve always been that way). I honestly don’t think this really “shakes anything up.” You’ll have some enthusiasts who will buy it because they like it, but I don’t think it will necessarily be the runaway success that some think it will be. I’d be curious to see what Thom Hogan thinks. Something tells me he won’t be so impressed…..

    I am an m43 guy, and I love what they did with the E-M5, E-P5 and GX7. In my opinion, those are a perfect mesh with retro meets digital. I wish Olympus would have stuck with that trajectory with the E-M1, but that too has a bit of an identity crisis in my mind, like the DF. A slightly beefier E-M5 would have been perfect. A “pro” is going to buy the additional grip anyway, why build the vertical grip in. The whole idea of mirrorless, in my opinion, is to be “anti-dSLR”, but it seems like everybody is throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks, instead of being fully committed to an idea, and making some bold decisions.

    Again, while I like the look somewhat, it’s ultimately a fail.

  56. The chrome version is ‘comedically hideous.’ I’m getting used to the black version, though. Either way, unless it actually FEELS like an old F, i don’t think the ‘retro’ styling is enough to carry it. That, and the low-ish resolution sensor…. If they were going to issue a different version of the 50/1.8G, they needed to go whole hog and add an aperture ring on that lens.

    As for comments that this camera is “too large” — what the hell has happened to us? Dedicated photographers used to drive wagon-sized cameras through the American frontier. People shoot with view cameras. Mamiya RZs and Hasselblads. I routinely see teenage girls with full-fledged SLRs, and now grown men can’t deal with a camera of this size? Just because some things have been smallified doesn’t mean everything has to be. People are spoiled and take too much for granted. It’s a camera. Supposed to be bigger than a key fob.

  57. did someone say max shutter speed 1/4000?????

    I was never in the market for one anyway, but really 1/4000 at this level?

    • let’s do the math, shall we?

      we have a camera with base ISO 100 so we can use good old Sunny 16 rule:

      f/16 – 1/125s
      f/11 – 1/250s
      f/8 – 1/500s
      f/5.6 – 1/1000s
      f/4 – 1/2000s
      f/2.8 – 1/4000s

      you see? during the bright sunny day you can shoot at f/2.8 after that you should slap ND filter on.

      • understand all that, though I think you may be one EV worse off than your table which is for 15ev. my point is that this is alot of cash for a camera you cant shoot wide open without fiddling with filters. The EM5 has the same limit and fast lenses. Probably fine in Northern England, very frustrating in Arizona

  58. I thought this camera was supposed to be an Optical/EVF hybrid cam – at least the that was the early rumour. Guess in this case it means retro film style manual/digital hybrid. Hope there is another surprise with tomorrows ‘s release.. I did not fully understand/appreciate the power of an EVF until using the X100s.

    Great that there has been an intensified focus in the industry on build quality and design too..i think everyone appreciates that even if this camera is too big or not right for some.

  59. I was hoping it would be a bit smaller but that being said, it is a massively handsome camera. In all a fairness to Nikon regarding the size, I am curious to see how it measures against other full frame DSLRs, not mirrorless cameras. I suspect legacy glass will work on this camera which makes it all the more appealing -aperture ring. I think people who have shot Nikon film cameras or their full frames will no doubt appreciate this camera for what it is, a camera that uses Nikon glass and has dials rather than menus. No doubt I would rather carry the Sony A7 camera for convenience but I am not a pro, but in classic Sony fashion (the company that brought you Betamax and Memory Sticks) , the user is limited to EF glass or some type of lens mount adapter which kind defeats the purpose of that low flange back and honestly, who can really afford Leica glass. I am sure both cameras are wonderful but while they are full frames, they are very different. As for that advertising campaign, pretentious beyond belief and I wonder, did they uses a Sony or a Canon video camera.

  60. I like the top view, the front view is ok but when it was time to design the back they must have run out of time and/or money, the back doesn’t fit at to the rest. they should have made this a raw only camera.

  61. Very nice looking camera. I am concerned about the bulkiness, though. I would have like to have seen this as a mirror-less camera, like the Sony A7, but with the Nikon FM2 architecture.

    I would guess that this is priced somewhere between the D610 and the D800 – a pity as this is still far out of my reach.

    And is it me, but would no-one else fancy a APS-C version, to keep the price down? I think the current generation of APS-C sensor IQ is more than good enough; and it is much more affordable.

    Anyway, bravo Nikon for embracing the retro culture.

  62. Wonderful design!! especially the chrome look..

    Finally they start to understand the a camera is an instrument and not just a tool…

  63. Certainly it will be a good seller to Nikon retro style lovers, but that’s about it. I think in order to make it successful it has to be a Full Frame and under 2000.00 dollars , otherwise it wont make any sense to carry extra weight , technologically Nikon is not offering any thing extra in this camera but the few manual controls on the top. Lets see how it performs if any different.

  64. 95% of the comments around the web are about the looks of this camera.

    Honnestly I don’t care about it. Tired of the hype of “retro design”. But if it’s fully fonctionnal, fine. The most interresting thing is that nikon users may have soon access to a compact body with the excellent D4 sensor (if it’s the 16 mpx expected). For wedding photographers or photojournalist this could be a perfect camera.

    “I can see it now..guys walking around with a DF and a 70-200 2.8 attached. Eek.” You can imagine it, but I think you will barely see it. This camera is obviously for the users of primes or compact zooms principally.

    • Size does matter! In this case, the smaller the better. I carry my X100S all day long in NYC, on the subways, everywhere. I tried this with the D800 and I am still paying for the emergency room bill.

      • Totally agree! Final size, weight, sensor specs and usability seems more important to me than the return of old fashioned dials :/

      • “95% of the comments around the web are about the looks of this camera.”

        this camera is all about the looks because technically it has nothing else to offer that makes it really special.

        “For wedding photographers or photojournalist this could be a perfect camera.”

        all these dials are nice to have but will slow you down in the process of taking the picture.
        not the best solution for that type of photography i guess…

        • As I said, there is still a great sensor (maybe…)in a small body. For me it’s not a camera which has “nothing else to offer”. Nothing totally new, maybe. In “low” cost, Nikon users have only the D800 / D600 and their exmor sensor, which are great but really different from the D4. Slow down the process? I don’t know. Maybe. I’m used to the modern interface of Nikon DSLR, but I can’t really judge this one.

          But despite that I think this might interest some photographers, I have a strange feelings when watching this… Small size and retro body… It’s like Nikon was trying to copy what sells right now, but without the courage to really change the technology… It’s looks like a confession that Nikon feel threatened, but without beeing a real response…

  65. It looks nice but what a fat boy. Bet it weighs a ton too. Why are Nikon cameras like these getting bigger still?

    If the likes of Olympus, Panasonic, Sony etc can pack what they do into a small body why can’t Nikon? Fail.

  66. – Df: 13 x 7 x 10 cm (5.1 x 2.75 x 3.94″)
    – a7: 12.7 x 4.8 x 9.4 cm (5.00 x 1.89 x 3.70″)
    – d800: 14.6 x 8.2 x 12.3 cm (5.75 x 3.23 x 4.84″)
    – d600: 14.1 x 8.2 x 11.3 cm (5.55 x 3.23 x 4.45″)

    • So completely not the same thing….an X100 vs. the Df…. You might as well have said I’ll stick to my pencil …

  67. I’m not sure about the aperture dial in particular. It seems a little out of reach.
    I do dig the dedicated ISO dial though.

    If this has the D4 sensor using this with a 1.4 lens on the front would be a pretty nice walkable low light monster.

    Kind of comes down to price.

    I have to make the decision of whether or not I want to get this and make use of all my Nikon glass or if I want to get a Sony A7 and make use of my two M mount lenses. I recently let go of my old Nikon DX body so I kind of do need a FF backup body for professional use since my Fuji isn’t really up to the task(at least for me). If this is priced low enough I’ll get both and sell my Fuji…may sell the Fuji anyway actually.

  68. Looks very uncomfortable. They went for narrow from side to side, but had to stick with thick from front to back. It looks like anyone with medium to large sized hands will struggle. The design and aesthetics look good, but if it could have been a bit wider, it would be a winner for me.

  69. This camera looks utterly ridiculous. I don’t want to GO BACK to dials. I’ve had it with dials. Modern DSLR designs have achieved smooth lines and easy menu controls that are intuitive and clutter free.

    This is a step back in too many ways for me. I don’t want any part of it.

  70. Finally Design is back….. Looks good !

    A camera you like or you don’t and buy because you want it, not because you studied the specs of 4 camera’s and find one reason to

    Maybe Sony’s A7’s are good, but they don’t have the attraction of the Nikon DF. Together with the Leica M serie, again a camera to smile

  71. It’s about time that manufacturers make this kind of camera with dials like the cameras we had in the 70’s and 80’s. No need to look at a screen, just look at the top dials. I am sure that this will start a new (old) trend with manufacturers coming out with models similar to this one, and trying to make them more and more compact. I think that Pentax will want to join in. Maybe Olympus (although I doubt it) will make a full frame OM 4 and use the four thirds mount that they have left behind. Four third lenses could be used in a crop mount (like sony nex lenses on the A7) as well as being used with an adapter on micro four thirds.

  72. I love the look of this camera as I do the sony. They will both perform well and for me both will need investment; however I have a feeling that my choice between the nikon and the sony will actually boil down to battery life.

  73. hmm. i have doubts, until i can pick it up.
    look at the strap lugs – this, along with the a raised shutter button to the top plate looks mighty awkward. won’t the strap rub up against your finger?
    also, how does one turn the thing on, and can one do it with one finger? the current nikon way of turning a camera on is the simplest, fastest way bar none. there is such a thing as progress!

  74. Oh dear….So many ways in which this shows that Nikon have lost the plot. What really sums it up is that third image showing the back of the camera – a modern rear panel from the DSLR parts bin and a silly little bit of FM2 style leather glued onto the pentaprism which they hope will say ‘retro’. They should’ve gone to the guys who came up with the V1 which is an infinitely better blend of classic and modern design. This shouts ‘design by committee’ (presumably led by some marketing dude who’s just noticed that retro seems to be quite popular these days…). Can’t wait to see what they plan to charge for this.

  75. The overall question is… what was wrong with digital camera’s that suddenly, the old school-approach became popular again?

    I think I know the answer – a generation, likely my generation of 50+, didn’t like the increasing featuritis in most camera’s that were on the market. The silly ergonomics, the irritating smaller and smaller thumb wheels and dials, the accessibility over important parameters via LCD menus. Making a picture is ‘something you must feel’, it had completely gone in quite a few over-automated DSLR’s.

    Be honest… how many of you really use all this stuff like face-recognition, panorama’s, 10 settings for different picture formats, while you only need one, even the movie capabilities?

    For me, Fuji film and Olympus understood the message, Sony only half and Nikon didn’t at all and Leica is completely on the other side of the scale, because they cannot do any better.

    Nikon only did perform a style-exercise, squeezed the bulky, ugly DSLR D4-concept with heavy-weight glass (but with no aperture dial) into something that looks and feels like a new beetle with a DSG and TDI-engine. Or the plastic imitation of a toaster-model that every family had 40 years ago, but now made in far-away eastern country with a blue LCD-display.

    For those that have really known it, it doesn’t come even close to the concept of a real FM or FE, which offered a true pure minimalism that could face every serious photography mission and most of all, the future, forever. It is still a piece of art.

    This Df isn’t anything of this, it is as fake as it can be. Nikon knew it: they outlined the size it should have been by the inner edge on top of the camera. Everything in this design is bigger, heavier, uglier than any camera would have been in the sixties or seventies and less practical too. Look at this row of hidden connectors: this is a cyborg. Nikon: why could you design such beautiful, practical, perfectly finished cameras AND lenses in the past (à la Leica), and is now everything at least 2x as big and heavy, and containing too much plastic?

    That’s it folks, for me the Df-hype is over by seeing these pictures, this is once again a must-have topic for the yuppies, one that is going to sell well amongst those that kick on this kind of imitation stuff without knowing the original spirit.

    Tell me one reason not to buy the likely cheaper D610, for instance? Or the D800?

    • What exactly Leica cannot do any better? I am satisfied with the simplicity, quality and the size of MM and M and Summilux ans Summicron and with the magical photographs they produce, with the little help of my eyes.

      • Do not start the Leica discussion once again. I’m afraid this Nikon should target a different public with not exactly the same budgets and focus.

  76. New wine in old bottle. Nothing groundbreaking unlike the Sony 7R. I have ditched all my Nikon gear. They should have made a digital version of the Nikon S. Then we can use all the old M mount lenses. I am sticking with my Leica M.

  77. Looks big and heavy. It’s usually a bad sign when a company starts to emphasize strengths of the past when at the same time competitors, espesially Sony look in to the future. Cameras will become mirrorless, and DSRLs like this new Nikon will become niche-products. It’s just inevitable.

  78. Oh my, what a cluttered, overloaded, clumsy beast. I don´t really like it. And what lenses will we use? Does Nikon have 24mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8 etc? These big and heavy lenses? Or only the mediocre old stuff? Should I really shop at ebay for ancient lenses for the DF? Hope it gets better from here…

    • I meant: Does Nikon have high quality and light weight 24mm 2.0, 35mm 2.0, 50mm 1.8g (yes), 85mm 1.8 (yes). – These are the right lenses for it – at least for me.

  79. For me it is ugly. The top plate and wheels look great, but the body looks too thick and the back looks like from a different designer than the top plate.
    For away from a digital FM2 IMO.

  80. It is cool looking…takes me back…I used to be a Nikon man….I won’t be buying one…but it is nice to know that this is being offered.

  81. I’m curious if it has some fine focusing screen (ground glass) for mf with large aparatures…
    otherwise only thing left from fm2 is the looks… for a bit.

  82. Oh Lord, it’s dog ugly ! This retro trend is getting ridiculous, and it’s not even well carried out here. Sheesh, it’s very rare that I feel NO lust for a camera whatsoever, but here…. No cigar. The A7 I preordered is ugly enough as it is, but it’s a beauty compared to that “thing”.

  83. I dunno…. there is nothing wrong with the current Nikon designs that they had to go all retro and build this camera. The red mark on their current grip design is such a classic signature! They seem to be missing that balance of new and old – something that the Leica M has in spades.

  84. I´m sure Nikon have had a test panel of users chosing between different designs and this was the best compromise.
    Nikon got bashed when they released the V1, a truly beautyful simple design alá Bauhaus.
    This one also got a nice heft to it. I´m sure when you pick it up it gives you a good feeling and confidense. and lust to go shooting and that is a wery importing thing about gear/tools.
    Even thou I a have a 5d mkII, this one with the new 50 and a new (same design) 35 will be a great compagnion.
    Well done Nikon.
    I would like to be a fly on the wall at the next Canon CEO meeting,
    Will they answer this ??
    Maybe 😉

  85. Could they not have squeezed in a few more buttons and wheels? Actually, then they would have had to remove the screen.

    Imho this camera looks plasticky and fake. I’ll leave final judgement until I see one for real but by the photos it does seem to have a poorer build quality than the cameras it seeks to mimic.

    I am underwhelmed. Nikon had some really stunning manual film cameras but this camera doesn’t live up to that pedigree.

  86. retro for retro is useless … but direct settings (speed aperture iso EV+/- ) via multiple knobs is GREAT !!!!

  87. Don’t like it, period. It is just like any other Nikon DSLR with a few “retro” buttons. It is just as clunky with has too many features. People bought FM2, which was my very first camera, for its simple design and operation, not for the look. This camerca does not have any of FM2 spirit.

  88. The top plate looks a little crowded and it only goes up to 1/4000th shutter speed. A high end camera in this day and age should be able to shoot 1/8000th. I also like the homage to the past but the camera companies should innovate and not duplicate the designs of their respective predecessors.

        • Yes, but going lower than ISO 200 on the D700 will make it loose dynamic range.

          I’m also quite certain that the Df can go lower than ISO 100 if that is needed, just like the D800, which can be set as low as ISO L1.0 which is equivalent to ISO 50.

    • YES!! that is it…80’s looking. I could not put my finger on it but was saying..this does not look like a 70’s Nikon…but that is why. It looks like an 80’s Nikon!

      • To me it looks much more F3 than FM.

        I like it anyway as I enjoyed my old F3HP just as much as my FM2n. Not sure I would consider a DSLR again at this stage of my affair with the Leica M Monchrom, but if I were to change my mind, I would definitely choose one with physical dials over one without physical dials.

  89. Yeah, I think it is way too complicated for retro. No need to have all those exposure modes. Or all those buttons. Or that fatness. It seems to be just a retro shell on an existing camera. Still like it but I will wait to buy Steve’s one once he unloads it..

    For those who are asking ‘where are the aperture settings for the lens?”, it will take the old Nikon AIS lenses – all metal with aperture rings.
    Then you will have your full manual focus, manual aperture setting, digital SLR system.
    I just bought a perfect condition Nikkor 24mm 2.8 (it has less flare than the 2.0) last night for $130.
    You can have a full, excellent, manual Nikkor lens system (24, 50, 105) for less than $500. Less than the cost of 1 new af lens. And this will complete the manual look and the manual function.

  90. I can’t help but like it, since the first camera I bought for myself in high school was a 1977 Nikon FM. This design is much more FM, than F2 or F3. Clever body sculpting line around the top bely its thickness — it’s not a slim design at all, but it looks trim from certain angles.

    My first thought was why didn’t they add an aperture ring in-between the body and lens? You could still use all the current lenses w/o aperture rings, but you’d get back that functionality. Years after the demise of the aperture ring, I still think having all lens functions quickly in my left hand (aperture, focus, zoom) is a lightyear better than today’s control dial implementation.

  91. I am not sold on the looks. It looks a bit retro, but I would not say simple. Seems bulky and not elegant. I would really love an aperture ring and a simple top with 2 dials. Nice try, but I don’t see much difference between this and other DSLRs. I think the Sony A7 and r seem more appealing. Not only in the simple design but also a smaller body with a full frame sensor. I am sure it will handle great, and may be a pleasure to use. Also, I tend to get turned off by hype. Sony seemed to handle the promotion in a way that I liked. They seemed targeting photographers concerns, not an idea like Nikon’s “pure photography”. I want high IQ from the sensor, high quality glass choices, fast intuitive handling, simple design, in a smaller body. Sony seemed to touch base on all of those points. We’ll have to see with Nikon.

    • I agree. It’s retro just for the sake of it. Not because it’s better. It’s a ploy to lure people who were considering buying a mirrorless camera with cool retro looks, because mirrorless cameras are taking a big bite of the dslr market and Nikon does’t want to put out a really good mirrorless camera because what they really want to sell is their lenses.

  92. Might look better in black. This just too cluttered; not really “pure photography”. Dials etc are there to simplify and speed things up (D700, D800 are very good at that), not to slow you down.

    The Contax S2 that I had for a while was, simplistic though it was and looked, meant for the “deliberate” photographer. It made me deliberate a lot; it slowed me down. I liberated it.

  93. Steve, where did you get this? I just did a quick search and you are the only site that has an image this complete of the DF. ( not that I am questioning, I think your site is one of the few that keeps it unbiased and honest )

    To be fair, people said alot of things about the look of the V1 when it came out, but once they actually shot with it, they loved it. Any idea on the price of the DF?

  94. Keep the Dials and Manual Controls… Add a Sony or Olympus EVF, and fully Articulating Rear Screen with Video & Touch-Screen Capabilities and you would have my Dream Machine instead of a Monument to Dying Out Geezer Sentimental Types!

  95. It looks like you don’t have to get your eye of the viewfinder to get your settings right. Could be a straight forward working machine with no BS. I just hope it will not get to heavy with a vertikal grip.

  96. Oh, you posted more pictures… As a whole, it just looks odd to me. It just looks Frankenstein’ish I guess. It’s as if I can see a pretty camera buried deep within all the plastic they have surrounding the thing. I normally like silver/black styling, but this one visually looks like a toy. I’m looking forward to the technical specs.

  97. Ugh, too many dials and buttons.
    They need to look at the Nikons of old – or what Fuji is doing know.
    Put an A on the SS dial (for aperture priority) an aperture dial (with tiny LED display as each lens will be different) around the mount, like an old Oly OM2’s shutter speed dial (again with an A for auto, like the Fuji and ditch the PASM dial)

    I would love to see a proper focusing screen in it too.

  98. It is said that it will have a 16mp sensor. It will cost more than the D610 just for the retro design. Nonsense from Nikon. A D610 with the focus points and focus system of the D800 would have been great. Hope in the future they’ll join Sony by making FF mirrorless cameras. That’s the future even if Canon and Nikon are refusing to see it for now.

  99. If I were to dream up an SLR interface based on my own needs/wants, it would look exactly like this in every way. Bravo Nikon, I may just be replacing my D700 after all…

  100. The English have a slightly rude expression: “Same to you, with knobs on.” And that’s what this is: same Nikon DSLR tech, with knobs on.

    No doubt it will excite the you-kids-get-off-my-lawn crowd — which is financially important to Nikon, because crabby old guys with conservative tastes are the only ones who have any money to spend in today’s winner-take-all economy. But in terms of expanding photographers’ ability to take worthwhile pictures… nope, don’t think so.

  101. Too thick, too round, nothing retro. Why a grip on a retro design body??? To me it looks just like a two toned DSLR body. Dissapointing…….

  102. Disappointed. Had hoped Nikon would join the mirror less revolution. As a Fuji and Nikon owner I had hoped to use my old nikon glass on a full frame mirror less camera. It looks like my excitement was misplaced. The image of the camera is of little importance. Size and weight are important to me. Perhaps the specs will confirm this is a lightweight camera. If not I will sell my Nikon gear and wait for the X Pro 2. Nikon I fear you are getting left behind. The future is small mirror less not a retro gimmick. If Sony had a decent line up of lenses I would sell both and settle with Sony. Hurry up with that X Pro 2.

  103. interesting design but thats the only thing i like about it. as i already own a big dslr (thats not technically outdated) theres no need for me to buy another one. the next camera i will buy has to be much smaller…

  104. What a thing of beauty! If it feels substantial in the hands, and I think it will, then they should sell really well. Finally, Nikon has figured out that maybe people want to buy a nice body besides black plastic. Now Canon’s execs are yelling at their designers to come up with one to compete within 6 months I bet. It’s a new race to the moon! Retro styling is always welcome. I just wished the Sonys looked more like this.

  105. It still use a Prism ? Does it still use a mirror ? I don’t get it.
    I expect to see a Mirrorless camera like the 1st old Nikon no Prism on top. Flat like a Leica or Fuji.

  106. Looks great! Love the old school controls and LCD display. Not sure I’d love it with the large lenses though. On the other hand, when I was shooting a D700, I used primes only anyhow. Hmmm….

    • Steve keeps referring to Nikons lenses as large, when in fact Nikon has plenty of small lenses in their vast catalog.
      For example: Nikon Noct 58/1.2 is smaller than Sony’s new FE 55/1.8. The 50/1.2 is even smaller than both of them. How small is that new Sony fe 24-70/f4?
      I understand Steve & other Leica shooters are spoiled by those awesome little Leica lenses, but Nikon has plenty of small ones too.
      To keep painting Nikon as “having large DSLR lenses” just isn’t accurate.

  107. Steve, your busy schedule just got busier. I want to see a shoot out between the RX1, RX10, A7, A7R, DF, and whatever Canon has coming within the next couple of weeks. Deal? ; )

    • I’d love to but not sure when I can get a hold of the Nikon. I will have to order one like everyone else and will, just so I can review it. If I love it I will keep it, if not..maybe sell it..or maybe a give away? Hmmmm

      • When you do your real world usage review, I hope you comment on the vast array of buttons and dials (set aside plenty of time). I counted 23 but from some of the angles it was hard to tell. Maybe Nikon can or does hold training on how to get the most from 23 buttons and dials all at once. Maybe a two-dvd (blue ray double sided) set.

      • Giveaway competition?
        How many sales in first month or 2? Quite a few I think.
        More or less than A7r? Will Nikkor lenses sell it?
        I fear not.

        Ratio of Black to Panda sales?.
        % of negative reviews by people who have never held one etc etc?
        Sort of 1V1 style.
        Or just send it to me…….
        PM me for address. UK
        Thanks Steve.

  108. Well done Nikon. But, are we about to go perpetuating of what had been around all these years (tech-wise, look-wise, etc) and not embracing (or even attempting to invent one for that matter) a fresh one? Not against a new thing here, but for fotography sake, do we even afraid of embracing the future so much as digitizing the old one? Or maybe they just need something to sell in order to stay a float for as long as people are in, I don’t have the datas. Just food for thought I had.

  109. I like the back to basics approach (which is why I sold my Nikon gear and bought into Leica, but where are the aperture settings for the lens? Is this in a menu again, or will the camera have its own manual aperture ring lenses available?



    • For those who are asking ‘where are the aperture settings for the lens?”, it will take the old Nikon AIS lenses – all metal with aperture rings.
      Then you will have your full manual focus, manual aperture setting, digital SLR system.
      I just bought a perfect condition Nikkor 24mm 2.8 (it has less flare than the 2.0) last night for $130.
      You can have a full, excellent, manual Nikkor lens system (24, 50, 105) for less than $500. Less than the cost of 1 new af lens. And this will complete the manual look and the manual function.

      • I think you can use the Nikon D-type lenses as well, which also have an aperture ring and AF as well as a focus ring for manual focusing.

        I think a 50mm f/1.4 D would cost around the same as what you paid for the 24 mm f/2.8.
        Very small and light weight lens that probably would do very well on this camera.

        Also Voigtländer makes several brilliant lenses that fits every Nikon DSLR without an adapter like the 40mm f/2.0, which has an excellent manual focus ring besides the aperture ring.

        • Not to mention Zeiss, which now makes many excellent lenses in Nikon F mount. They are all manual focus, but generally better than AIS Nikkors. I Have the 25mm/2.8, 28mm/2, 35mm/2, 100mm Makro and 135mm/2 Apo Zeiss lenses. The only one I would be hesitant to recommend is the 28mm/2 Distagon which has too much field curvature. The Nikkor 28mm/1.8 G lens is better for my kind of landscape photos and gives better corner sharpness in the fore ground (no aperture ring though. 🙁

        • Unfortunately it seems like the aperture ring on those Nikon, Voigtländer and Zeiss lenses cannot be used and must be set to the highest aperture to work just like on other newer Nikon DSLRS.

          • Apparently I’m wrong as for instance the Nikon D800 can be set to use the aperture dial on both Nikon D lenses and Voigtländer lenses.

            The setting can be found in the D800 menu under:

            Custom Setting Menu -> Controls -> f9

            Just set the “Aperture setting” to “OFF” and you can now use the aperture ring.

            Don’t know if the Df has this option, but it would be nice if it did.

  110. Hmm, I’m not convinced. The top plate looks crowded, the mini-mode dial should be dispensable on a retro styled camera (have a look at Fuji) and I do not prefer the stacking of dials (left side). If the rumors are right, it will have a mirror. That’s really more retro that I want to own. 😉

  111. I really really wish they had made more effort to reduce the distance between the sensor plane and the LCD surface.

    I like the many dials. The PASM dial seems a bit useless though, this could have been more elegant.

    I’ll wait to see the price and the AF system. I’d really like to upgrade my D7000 to either this or the new Sony A7. However, I can’t deal with another round of sloppy D7000/D600 AF. Also it looks like this camera might be twice the price of the Sony. We will see…

  112. Looks a bit like the old FM/FE’s but a bit chunky. I was hoping for a size closer to the FM/FE’s as Leica did with their cameras. Also, will we be able to use our old manual lens. Hopefully the prism is a split-image as before as well. I guest the old timers that built the FM/FE’s are long gone and the young buck designers might feel that going back into the past too far is 3 steps back and only one step forward. I guess I was really hoping for a smaller camera that accepted the good old manual focus lens without all the bells & whistles. I’m sure it will appeal too many but not sure if it is for me. Will have to wait for more information.

  113. A certain elegance seems to be lacking… too fat, too squat and too many wheels and dials in a small space making it visually too cluttered for me. Not quite what I was expecting. But then again after the M’s elegance and simplicity even the real F3 now seems lacking in style. I hope the IQ is better than the design score.


  114. I don’t mind the fact of adding manual controls instead of buttons, however I don’t see the point beyond that. I wish it was much smaller! Function over style is where I am going with this…….

  115. Looks nice from the top with the analog format -dials instead of arcane computer tech…when we have a full image I’ll do a visual comparison with my Nikon F-2/MD2/MB1 before I’m really moved to buy

  116. Looks like they wrapped it in an IPhone case. You know, those cases to protect our phones. Will need to see more I guess. All the dials on top are refreshing though.

        • well, they had to do something with all the D4 sensors of the unsold units. At the price they sold it, no wonder, and funny thing, they do the same thing with this camera, a good sensor in a low end body that looks good, and the prank in that, they expect this to be sold in masses. Well, Nikon, good luck with that then.

        • IQ from the Df will definitly be better than what the D700 can deliver if the Df has the same sensor as the D4.

          Also it will be much easier to take pictures with the Df than with the D800 due to the lower pixel count.

          if you are used to a D700 think twice before going with the D800. The IQ is fantastic, but it is much harder to get sharp pictures with the D800 than with the D700.

          The weight of the Df is also less than the D800. 765 grams versus 900 grams.

          Compare that to the Leica M which is 680 grams.

          • 765 grams? Ouch. My Canon 6D is practically the same at 771 grams. This Df really is just a different skin, but it otherwise a normal FF DSLR. That’s not a knock . . . I love the look compared to my 6D and the D700/800/610, etc. But I don’t see this competing with the A7/R for example.

          • Let me amend my sentence then, “I love the look compared to my 6D and the D4/D800/D610, etc.” But the A7 appeals to me for the size; not the D4 sensor or any sensor. I suspect the A7R has the D800E sensor and DxOMark seems to prove this. But I can’t use my 6D with a wrist strap without getting tired and on hot days the neck strap gets very sweaty (even a heavy lens on the A7 will push it out of the wrist strap realm). What I meant about not competing with the A7 had everything to do with size. The Df may be the best FF camera of all time otherwise, but that wasn’t what I was addressing . . . best for me needs to be one I can carry everywhere. And the A7/R sensor will be no slouch. For that matter, I don’t think any current FF camera sensor is a slouch.

          • what is so special about a D4 sensor, it’s just another 16 mpix FF sensor, and it’s a few years back in time, I do not think it was invented yesterday. The fact that is comes out af a highly overpriced camera into another highly overpriced camera form the same company means absolutely nothing to me. D3X had the same senor as Sony A900, the price was of D3x was almost 3 time higher, but that did no means that D3X was 3 times better. It was paying a lot more for 1/3 of a stop better high ISO rendering.

          • It’s harder to take sharp pictures with a D800? Don’t make me laugh. aps-c shooters have a higher Pixel density than the D800. D800 has a pixel density comparable to a 16mp aps-c sensor. How hard must the 24mp shooters have it then? Don’t pixel peep so much, or if you have to buy better glass.

            OT: I think Nikon is going overkill with the film era controls.

    • It’s a little smaller (D600 sized) and lighter – 765g (compared to the D700’s 1095g).

      You lose the fill/pop-up flash and some AF points. Also, I think max shutter on the D700 might be 1/8000? The Df is 1/4000.

      You gain a few MP’s (16MP, compared to the D700’s 12MP).

      And of course you gain the dials – that’s a big plus for many people.

  117. I can’t wait to see it next to the D610, for example. The benefit is that it will natively use the lenses already in the Nikon collection. The disadvantage is that it can’t be as small as I’d like given the flange distance has to be built in. But I like the retro like look of this camera quite a bit.

  118. looks good.. looks like a pimped FM3a though..
    you know what’s lacking? an aperture ring addition should be nice to the all-retro look

    still, the grip and other dslr-ish stuff makes it a bit too bulk in my opinion..
    I still miss the old sexy FM-series look.. this DF looks like one.. but.. not

    • But you can mount all sorts of lenses with aperture rings on it of course, such as an AF or AIS Nikkor or even a Zeiss ZF.2 lens. I only have one F-mount lens that does not have one (the wonderful 28mm/1.8 AFS G). If it’s true the Df has only a 16MP sensor like the D4, that is what disappoints me. I would want the D800E’s 36MP or better yet a 45MP sensor.

      • Apart from the Pre AI compatability of the Df. Its the same as the other FX Cameras? Isnt it?
        All of the higher end Nikons work with all AI & later lenses! Dont they?
        Maybe Pre AI lenses will go up in price a little?
        Did Leica R lenses go up in price when the the Leica Clowns finally got delivery of their M240’s?

        • Yes, that’s right. Most Nikon DSLRs can use AI, AIs and AI converted lenses, though some won’t meter with them. I think this is the first Nikon since the F4 to be able to mount pre-AI lenses.

  119. I’m disappointed.
    I’ve come to realise that “marrying” old mechanical user interface and looks with a digital backbone, even if simplified, results in a cluttered looking camera, instead of the smooth uncluttered lines of f.i. my D800. I decided to give up on the Df and keep the D800 over the weekend, and got myself the 58mm 1.4 instead today.

  120. Looks kind of chunky, like a brick. But I love those dials and innovative mechanics and layout. That ISO dial… Everything taken together, I think this one may not excel in size, but be very pleasant to use.

    • I agree about great old-school styling…especially the practicality of having physical dials again – hey, even an ISO dial! However, I think that doesn’t preclude the possibility of some great new styles too. The recent Leica / Jony Ive “M” actually impressed me…but I appear to be alone. Guess I might have to give up my camera-enthusiast card….

      • Recent generation photographers will be able to experience 70’s / 80’s style bodies with the benefits of 21st century technology

        • Yeah, but the best bodies came before I was born: the M series, the folders, and the small rangefinders (Canonet etc).

  121. I am a Nikon man, and loved all my Nikon cameras, but this one…don’t know…!!! waiting to see more pictures, from this one is not what I was expeting!!!

  122. I’m looking forward to an actual size comparison to other cameras. I was wondering though, is it gonna hang a bit strangely with that strap lug location?

    • More like a Digital F100. The FMs are fully manual cameras that don’t even require a battery–this camera is almost totally antithetical to that, with all the usual whiz-bang auto modes and whatnot. Not saying it’s not cool or not good looking, but it is almost NOTHING like the FM2 I have sitting on the shelf behind me.

      • Hey, thanks genius, obviously yes, a digital camera can’t work without a battery. Read “FE”, or “FM3A” if you want to be pernickety about priority mode. This camera is all about taking pictures the way you were with a FM2, oups, an FM3A, straight knobs and no electronic automation if you don’t want to use them.

        (Digital F100 ? really?)

      • Digital F100? That’d be a D700 or D800 then 😉

        I do agree that it’s completely against the whole principle of why the FM2 is great though. The FM2 has a shutter speed dial, shutter release, winder and rewind lever on top, where this camera has all manner of excessive crap stuck to it – I mean it even has a damn Bracketing button on the side of the prism! The other annoying thing is that while it isn’t minimal enough to be light, it also isn’t fully featured enough to really rival any of Nikon’s normal DSLRs.

        On another bad design note, am I the only one who thinks the Silver camera would look a LOT better with black dials on top?

        • That size comparison is way off. Look how big the Hotshoe on the Nikon is compared to the other 2.
          Make all 3 hotshoes the same size and you’ll see it’s not as big as you(or Steve) thinks.

          • Sorry, but these three hot shoes ARE same size !!
            There is an optical delusion due to the silver colored parts outside the margin of the hot shoe on the DF. But just use a small piece of paper, put it on the screen and compare the actual screen size: it is the same for all three !!

          • I took a piece of paper and measured the hotshoe and set the paper on the Sony A7 hotshoe that Steve has shown here, and guess what, the size from one side to the other matches, thus the size compare is real here. If there is a milimeter difference, it make maybe 2 milimeter on the whole camera, but one will probably not see that. The picture just fakes your eye, that’s all.

      • I get the point, and I think its rather nice. Might be too much in one body though considering the campaign. Just a tad overboard on the specs n stuff I say. Otherwise very nice looking camera and probably a joy to use.

        • I was initially excited about this, but after seeing it I agree that they are trying to cram too many features. The press made it sound like an FM with a full frame sensor, which sounded incredible. Now we see it’s just a squarish DSLR with shutter speed and ISO dials on top. It’s more attractive than a modern DSLR, but not by much.

          As far as Steve and other folks saying attaching a fixed aperture zoom would defeat the purpose of a small camera, they need to remember that there are plenty of smallish fast primes in the Nikon lineup. The 50mm 1.4D is inexpensive, sharp, and has a decent build, an apeture ring, and a REAL zoom ring. DSLR lenses don’t have to be enormous.

    • The bulk.
      Tha absence of a real aperture ring (the major drawback to me).
      The exposure compensation dial on the left hand.
      Otherwise seems a pretty sleek piece of gear.

      • Well don’t buy the lens… Get yourself a copy of the Nikon 24mm f2.8d, 35mm f2d and the Voigtlander SII lenses 20mm, 28mm, 40mm, 58mm and 90mm….or any of the Zeiss lenses… All with Aperture ring and relatively small… And you will likely be very happy with this camera….

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