What the Nikon Df is and is not…

 What the Nikon Df is and is not…

nikon-df_3

Ever since the Nikon Df was announced just a short while ago we have a group of people who are trashing it and those who are embracing it. I am seeing SO MANY people, even a few reviewers who have lost sight and are totally not understanding what this Df camera is or why it is or who it is for.

Why do you have Nikon D600, D800 fans bashing the Df? Because for some reason they feel threatened. It happens all of the time with EVERY brand and every camera release. People own camera A and when camera B comes out they feel they need to defend their choice. This happened with the Leica M 240..I had M9 fans attacking me left and right for saying the M 240 is the better camera (because it really 100% is). Why? Because they felt threatened that their M9 was now bettered by a new model. To me, this is absolutely RIDICULOUS. Just because a new camera bettered an older model does not mean the older model is no good..it is still as great as it always was and is still capable of amazing results. There is always something that comes along that is bigger better and faster. In every area of life.

In the case of the Df, it is not really “better” but it is “different” and sometimes, people are afraid of change when they are used to one thing or one way of life, even if this change can bring many positive improvements. Again, in the case of the Df, you will really be getting the same results in IQ as most other Nikon full frame cameras but it is indeed smaller and cooler looking, and has more manual (easily accessible) control which goes a long way in motivation.

All silly nonsense if you ask me because if everyone was out shooting instead of bickering then it would be much more productive. I mean, WHO CARES what cameras are out and what someone buys? It is the image, the photo, the results…that matter. Always has been and always will be.

I have always felt that one should own and shoot with a camera that THEY feel connected to. If you have a camera that looks good, feels good, is easy to use and intuitive..well,  that is all you need. For some it will be a point and shoot, for some that will be an iPhone, for others it will be a Nikon D4 or a Leica M. ALL that matters is what connects with you on an emotional level, and yes my friends, cameras can and do connect on a level such as this. If you have not experienced it yet then you have not found your camera.

Emotions. Yep, when you own and cherish a camera that you use day in and day out and you enjoy the hell out of it and shoot it like it is an extension of your brain and eyes, then you know you have it. This is one reason why I have shot Leica M cameras for so many years. I connect with them.

So when a camera such as the Nikon Df is released with its old school looks and charm and people bash it, I just do not get it.

For example, for myself and many others..in the DSLR world..if there was a Nikon D610, D800 and D4 along with a Df on a table every morning when they woke up, the Df would be the only one selected to take out. I would NEVER choose a 610, 800 or D4 to go out and shoot with if I had a choice, which is one reason I do not own any of those cameras. DSLR people seem to be afraid of any change because the Df is in reality just another DSLR but with a nostalgic look and nostalgic control scheme. For me, I welcome BOTH. It is not about a camera looking cool, it is about a camera looking great, feeling great, performing, delivering results, and a camera that you can have total control over, easily. One that excites you to go out and shoot.

Do I care if the Df has the sensor of a D4 and innards of a D610? No, IN FACT I think this was a great decision by Nikon. I do care about how it feels, how I control it and if it will connect with me. Results, those are guaranteed as long as you have someone who knows what they are doing and has passion for the craft.

So why all of the attacks on the Df? Makes NO sense. Like I said, I may HATE It due to the bulk and size but I may LOVE it as well.

Nikon-df-silv

The Nikon Df is NOT…

The Df is NOT made for those who want a D600, D800 or D4 style camera. If you love that style then buy one of those..why even look at the Df and and complain/trash about it if it is not for you? The Df is not for those who want to use their 70-200 or 24-70 lenses as that would be ridiculous IMO. Just buy one of the standard DSLR’s if that is your thing. The Df is not for those who want a jam-packed camera with video..if you want that, go for a D800. It is not made for sports and action shooters either! Why so many misunderstand what this camera is blows my mind.

The Nikon Df IS…

The Df IS for those that want to be inspired by the fact that you have a camera that looks and feels like an old friend. One that you can control with dials on the camera instead of within menus. One that you can shoot at a slow and steady pace with and photograph life as you see it. One that will pose a challenge to you at the same time when using old classic MF glass and one that you can learn from. It is a camera you can take with you anywhere and will excel with small fast primes, even old school glass that you can buy cheap. The Nikon Df, much like a Leica M is for those with a true passion for LIFE and PHOTOGRAPHY, not those who stress over things such as specs and details that mean nothing when it comes to the final output. Those who want to shoot one frame at a time..take their time and think about what they are doing. The Nikon Df is for those who want a nice looking camera that feels great and delivers image quality equal to the flagship $6000 Nikon. Low light? This is about as good as it gets. Period.  $3000 with lens? That is about right for what you are getting here..D4 full frame performance in half the size, the best low light shooting available, and everything I stated above for less  than what you will pay for a D800 (which did not inspire me due to size and bulk). Again, why so many misunderstand what this camera is meant for and WHO it is meant for is really blowing my mind.

nikondf

So if you want to shoot sports or action..if you want a huge beefy grip..if you want video inside that you will use a few times per year…if you want spray and pray 100 FPS or if you want to look like a traditional paparazzi then go buy a D800 or D4. If you are worried about specs on paper, go for a D800.  If you are someone who wants a connection with your camera, and a camera that you can be inspired by..one that speaks to your mind, body and soul…and one built and made for photography then check out the Df as it just might be the one for YOU.

Then again, if you are looking for this the Leica M is also right up your alley 😉 

For me, it has always been Leica M and to some extent the Olympus E-M1 is also doing it for me (I have yet to see where the Sony A7 stands..but will know VERY soon). Will the Df be the next? I have no clue until I shoot with it but so far, I love what I see and my only complaint is the fact that it does not have 1/8000th second and it is a little thick and bulky looking (which could make or break it for me). Other than that, it looks pretty amazing to me, and this is from a guy who has not wanted to even touch a DSLR for 7 years. I look forward to mastering the manual focusing with old lenses. Should be fun, should be a learning experience and should be a challenge, all of which are fantastic in this hobby and profession. Keeps us on our toes. I only see good things coning from this camera and no bad, at all.

For all of these reasons, I am pretty excited to get one and test it. If I hate it, I will state why. If I love it, I will state why. As always, it will be a real world review with TONS of photos. This review will be up in the 1st two weeks of December. (I hope).

In other news..I should have a Sony A7 and A7r in my hands within 4 days MAX to start my full long term review! I will do comparisons with the Leica M and a few other surprises as well. I believe these Sony’s are straying to ship REAL soon so many should be getting them soon.

The Nikon Df can be pre-ordered at B&H Photo or Amazon. 

For those that fancy a Leica M..I think there may be a few around..Check Kan Hansen (khpny19@aol.com), Pro Shop or PopFlash!

The Sony A7 and A7r can be seen or ordered HERE or HERE.

 

219 Comments

  1. Great work Steve,
    I am saving for the OM-d EM-10 MK II for the focus bracketing for macro, the OM-d EM-5 MK II for the hi res mode and the OM-d EM-1 for all my other serious stuff, along with the wonderful Oly glass. I will also have the Nikon DF for the full frame, light gathering astrophotography low light fun!

    This is how I will “connect” to my tools and photography.

  2. This camera is a non-event. Sorry Nikon. I have been faithful to the Nikon brand for years and wil remain so, but what were Nikon thinking when they brought this thing out. A D4 sensor. Brilliant. A focusing system that fails to be anywhere close to matching the potential of the sensor. What on earth is that all about? I have used Nikon film cameras for years and still love the feel of a manual wind on lever and good old fashioned dials, but wait. This is a feel good old fashioned ooh factor and nothing more. Do you want to take pictures or lovingly stroke your camera and admire its looks. Come on Nikon, get serious will you if your going to bring out a new camera and charge about the same as for the D800 then please do your homework. Some of us are actual photographers and not just posers and stuck in the past dreamers. How about a D4 sensor with a focussing system that can keep up. No built in flash, dont need that. I can live with 1/200 sec flash sync and a top shutter speed of 1/4000 sec. I have no use for video and I dont need 11 frames per second drive. I do need a built in grip, not an add on and a build quality that will stand up to every day use in all sometimes less than perfect conditions. Sort that out Mr Nikon and you’ll have me reaching for my credit card. Till then, my wallet will stay securely closed!

    • What you need is not what everyone else needs..the Df is one hell of a camera, and I would take it over any Nikon body, any day of the week. We all have different likes and needs, and I love the Df as is.

    • Why so angry? get a different camera then it’s not for you? And why is it that when people give objective reasons (low light, old lens, whatever) for the Df people only respond with “form over function.”

      No. Bad.

  3. Why so aggressive? 🙂

    I have D800 and I do like it. And Im as well going to buy Df.

    By the way, when I bought d7000 long tome ago, Iv got a questionare from Nikon, asking what do I want next … i wrote them FM3a body with D700 sensor … And now its here, even better 🙂

  4. true words: the connection with the camera. For me, it’s the most important thing. I treat my camera like a buddy and when I see the Df i would imagine, padding on the camera and say hey you are with me now (:

  5. Do not be ridiculous, Df only worth 200 dollars more than D610 200-2200 is a resonable price.
    The overall image quality is not better than D610, and the dial and retro body do not cost much,
    so for the retro look 200 more is reasonable.

  6. Steve I like the sound of this camera for all the reasons you have given to own one, but I’m unclear as to why a 70-200 would be ridiculous to use with a DF? This camera embodies everything I like in a camera, especially no video, low light capability, full frame and superb retro looks but I also love my 70-200 f4 lens (previously used with my D300) and I can’t afford to buy two full frame cameras to utilise this lens or a 24-70 which I also want one day. Can you clarify this for me please. Keith

  7. Well said. Glad to see someone else actually understands why it was made. I’m selling off my 800 and buying the DF. Why? Simply put, I miss my old friends and the DF is the embodiment of them with modern guts. Thanks Steve for understanding.

  8. Since Digital arrived, I haven’t found THAT camera. That’s why I’ve kept drifiting back to film again and again. Digital has always felt cold and removed to me. Too many functions and menus to think about, rather than connecting with the picture taking. (I only need to control: shutter speed, appature, ISO and possibly white balance with digital – though I mostly shoot RAW.)

    I hated DX, and since FX I’ve got some really good pictures with digital, but the camera still feels like a tool, rather than an intuitive extension of what I’m doing.

    Digital is also way way more expensive than film, and I simply do not understand those who say its not…..photo printer, computer, paper, ink, batteries and charging, weight, time to process the images, software, lenses more expensive, camera body significantly more expensive etc etc etc. AND IT HASN’T SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVRED MY PHOTOGRAPHY!

    What I wanted from Nikon, was a digital FM idea, not necessarily FM looking like, but a digital stripped down to the basics. Even if that meant MF.

    To me Lieca seems to have it, but way too expensive for both camera and lenses. (especially since I have built up a collection of nikon wares over the last 30 years.)

    The Df seems to be a step in the right direction, but is still bulky, and has too many functions. I will certainly be trying one out to see if I ‘connect’ with it. But while I certainly welcome its arrival I’m still concerned that it won’t be THAT camera. Closer, but not close enough.

    I agree with Steve, I don’t care how many MP it has, anything over 10 is quite enough for me, the files take far too long to load up anyway, (even with windows 7 and dual core stuff) And I’m certainly NOT buying a new computer every time I buy a new camera with a pixel hike! I DON’T LIKE SOFTWARE, because it is always doing something I don’t want it to do, crashes way too often, and it keeps me in front of this thing for far too long when I should be out taking pics. I’m still of the mind to GET IT RIGHT IN CAMERA., and dabble in the software as little as possible.

    Please, please could someone give me THAT camera, or if the trend into more and more apps continues I might have to give up photography and take up painting!

    The Rev

  9. People who Can’t take good photo’s with there camera need to feel validated and justify having a photography hobby or career … so they pixel peep…bash… and put down other brands …
    Instead of posting their images or useful information they post verbal Crap!!

    Everyone else just goes out and enjoys taking photo’s and sharing in the excitement of other peoples creations and knowledge …..

  10. I have ordered a Df; it looks and feels like my kind of camera. For those who are bashing it, they don’t have to have anything to do with it, and they don’t have to buy it. So they could forget about doing that and do something more productive. I shoot with a D4 and it is the best camera I have ever owned. I’ve been with Nikon for years and have never been disappointed with any of their products.

    • “I shoot with a D4 and it is the best camera I have ever owned. I’ve been with Nikon for years and have never been disappointed with any of their products.” Lucky you, you went straight to the top of the line, never had to “settle” for the likes of a D600. I have not doubt that the Cadillacs of Nikon’s line are outstanding, but their Chevrolets are more like Volkswagens. Or maybe Kias…..

  11. Wanting to carry a beautiful camera need not be mutually exclusive from wanting to create beautiful images. I would strive for both.

    I think the product positioning of the Df is strategically smart on Nikon’s part. It’s going to be a niche product anyways, and the people who will want it will pay a premium for it. For the people who don’t like the design, the specs, or the price – vote with your wallet and just don’t buy it.

  12. How can you review a camera when by your own admission you haven’t shot with it yet?! The results are what counts – everything else is a matter of personal preference.

  13. People just love to complain about everything. You pays your money and you takes your chances. If you don’t like it, just don’t buy it, simple as that; vote with your wallet. It’s a free marketplace. Nikon (and every company in order to survive) introduces products that they think will sell to some segment of the market that they serve. I shoot with 3 D800Es and a D4. I’m intrigued by the styling on the Df so I pre-ordered one.

  14. This is absolute nonsense. Since the Df was released I’ve been one of the legions of photographers ardently bashing the thing and I can assure it’s not because I’m intimidated. Through the course of my career I’ve owned and/or used almost every Nikon digital body ever made and many film cameras before that and not one of them has made any difference in the way I work or the photos I make – because it’s not about the camera. This camera is creating waves because it highlights the difference between the two different kinds of DSLR consumers – camera enthusiasts and photographers. The Df is built for people who are more interested in carrying something beautiful than creating something beautiful. Sure, it’ll be capable of producing wonderfully clear and crisp photos but there are plenty of cameras that already do that and the only reason buy this one instead is because of style. Arguing that this retro style is important because it inspires photographers is like saying that Apple should build a Mac that looks like a typewriter because it’ll inspire writers. Try being inspired by what you’re photographing instead of the hardware over your shoulder – it’ll get you a lot further.

    • It’s not nonsense, when you stop and think about it. Nikon is in business to make money. If there is retro-fever out there right now (witness the success of the Fuji X100), then there’s absolutely no reason why Nikon shouldn’t take advantage of that market demand.

      Everything you say is true. But even a professional picks one model or brand over another based upon criteria. And often that criteria has to do with ergonomics, haptics, etc. Sure, they’ll all take a great picture … that all depends on the photographer.

      But there may well be serious shooters out there who want the D4’s sensor in a much lighter and smaller body, and actually have an ergonomic preference for mechanical style dials and knobs, as opposed to LCD computer screens and scroll wheels. For them, this is their camera.

    • “The Df is built for people who are more interested in carrying something beautiful than creating something beautiful.” <—- says it all.

    • This is the old “I-can-make-pictures-with-any-camera” argument. Which can hold some truth. But different models inspire different kinds of picture making. This is fact.
      The commenter “Eathan” displays incredible arrogance in suggesting that anyone who does not like the control wheel type of interface is not interested in making great pictures.

      Why bash on choice? Tons of photographers have been waiting for a camera with proper dials for many many years. Many, like me, have stuck to film cameras only because of the superiority of their much simpler exposure controls. It’s all about the photographs. I only wish there were also beginner cameras with these types of controls. Because it has a very big impact on students photographs. I see it all the time. So lay off with the arrogance and self-satisfied tone that only you are interested in picture making. That’s BS.

  15. You raise some solid points, Steve.

    I can’t say why anyone else may “trash” the Df, but I know why I don’t like this new camera.

    I have to admit that the reason why I don’t like the Df is that I feel that Nikon may be heading down a path that I’m not willing to go (back) on. When it comes to dials and ol’ school camera bodies, I want ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with them. I’ve been there, done that, and to ME it’d be a step in the wrong direction.

    Since 1986 I’ve shot with large format film cameras, medium format film cameras, 35mm film cameras and DSLR cameras, and the latter are BY FAR, IMO, the most ergonomically advanced of the lot. DSLRs allow me full control of the camera with little to no lag in responsiveness. Any of the enthusiast or professional Nikon or Canon DSLRs fit my hands like gloves(specially when vertical grips are added). I’ve not had the same experience with any of the other camera bodies, to include the latest mirrorless offerings(which feel like toys in my hands and an unstable platform for any serious shooting).

    That being said, I completely agree with you when you say that folks like me feel threatened. The “threat” I feel is that Nikon may decide to drop their so-called ‘modern’ DSLR styling in favor of going BACK to the future.

    I have to admit that it’s a silly thing to worry about, but if enough customers are in retro mode and cameras like the Df take off, what’s stopping Nikon from making most of their camera line look like the Df? It’s not like Nikon listens to their customer base. Just look at how many have been clamoring for true replacements of the D300 and D700, but Nikon has yet to provide proper replacements.

    It’s not completely far fetched for Nikon to say: “hey, let’s be the HIPPEST camera manufacturer on the planet and let’s GO BACK to the FM styling, across the board.”

    That’s my ONLY concern.

    As far as OTHERS liking this kind of camera, I could care less what others shoot with. It’s their choice.

    • Perhaps you are don’t see how DSLR-like this DF is. Put the camera in auto ISO with a AF-S lens on it and it will perform very much like Nikon’s other DSLRs. You have front and rear command dials and all the other features. Only your primary controls are by a dial interface is all. So in auto ISO, look how fast you can change the minimum shutter speed with that dial without going into a menu, for example.

      It will focus fast as a D610 and quite capable of handling pretty good action. The grip looks sufficient for the size of the body and many reviews have already stated it fits well in their hand. The black model will look fine with modern AF-S lenses on it. I bet the black one will even look just fine with some of those zooms Steve says are not appropriate. This camera looks like it would make a good second camera for those Nikon owners that already have a FF DSLR. No need to buy new lenses like you would if you got a mirrorless for a second camera and wanted native mounts.

  16. Even if this is well written, Steve, this article is obsolete. No need to take a red doll and paint it black, you will not change the opinion of people anyway.

    Each of us creates his own world to his own image. So, my view of things is not your’s and not the one of any of those who comment or write here. I do not estimate you get paid by Nikon to defend this product, even if it looks like it.

    My point is simple, I love the look and the expression of this camera. I do nopt like the partial cheapie technology of it, mid range apsc camera AF, at first, and I do not see a sense in putting the D4 sensor only in it, a choice among different sensors had been possible, and, I miss MF focusing facilities, period.

    For me this camera IS NOT at the top in technology compared to the price, for me this camera IS simply too expensive.

    So, that is my view of what this camera IS and IS NOT. If now someone, you included, has another opinion, he might live with it, I will live with mine, and that is the only one that counts for me. I consult sites like your’s to see tests and practical experience reports written by an experienced photographer, what can lead me to buy a product, and, since we shoot same style, I stick to your test results.

    At 1500$ for the body I would have bought it, despite of all it has not, the design is absolutely a masterpiece, despite all what one can say about it, and this, again, is my way to see and create this camera to my needs. I have many cameras standing around that I like but never use. I just like well designed cameras and most old cameras just look amazingly good.

    • What I frankly don’t understand are all these comments “at $1500 for the body I would have bought it”…that’s hardly more than the price of the D7100…and clearly this is offering a far superior package.

      People are complaining about 16MP, but how many of those people have actually made prints bigger than A3 ? I made prints with my good old 5D at 80x120cm and they are brilliant – provided they were shot below 400 ISO.

  17. Indeed. I also have not wanted to touch a dslr for years. I shoot my F3 and my G2 and am happy. But when I saw the Df, wow! Can’t wait!!! Take my 3 grand Nikon with my thanks!

  18. For me, it offers a awesome sensor that does really well in low light, where most of my photography interests lives. I never did “connect” with the new digital DSLR designs. I always enjoyed and “connected” with my FE/FM film bodies. The Df appears to have exactly what I want and need to help me to re-connect with my camera and the passion I had to produce memorable images. Can’t wait to try it out!

  19. Looks like a nice and interesting camera. However, when I think of my dream digital Nikon FE, I’m thinking of a camera that is thin-bodied, small manual focus lenses with aperture rings, traditional shutter speed dial, and most importantly, something that replicates the split-screen focusing of the FE. So the Df doesn’t give me much of that. As a landscape photographer, I’m looking for something that is optimized for manual focus in a lightweight package for hiking. Neither the Sony A7/A7r or the Df are really all that close to that vision, but the Sony is closer to what I’m thinking because it is thin-bodied.

    • Hi Kevin, out of curiosity, what do you feel the A7s are lacking for your landscape requirements? Short of an actual split prism screen or better yet a range finder patch I’m not really sure how any camera could get better for MF and if you have time the Sony solution beats those (and has a tilting screen so that you can work on focus and composition without having to get the camera to eye level).

      • James, I don’t think the A7 lenses have aperture dials, do they? If so, I stand corrected about that point. A manual shutter speed dial, like the Df has. Native manual focus lenses that are lighter and smaller than their auto-focus counterparts. And a digital version of the split prism for a focusing aid. Though I don’t own a Fuji X100s, I think they did something cool with the A settings for both aperture and shutter. I don’t like the MASP dial that most cameras use, because it’s kind of a two step process. And the X100s has a digital split screen thing that also sounds cool. So if you put all that in the A7, that would be a sweet landscape setup I think.

        The thin body is nice so you can put the whole thing in a very small, lightweight daypack, such as a small Camelback. Both the Df and A7r look pretty sweet, as does the E-M1, and 2 or 3 other of the top mirrorless cameras on the market. I can’t decide. I want all of them.

        • Thanks Kevin, you’re right the A setting on the fujifilm dials is how that kind of control should be implemented, I’ve posted that elsewhere, the same about the concept of their hybrid rangefinder system.
          Also the Sony lenses don’t have aperture rings.

          But put Leica M lenses on there and wow! A tiny FF package with physical aperture selector and amazing IQ. Zeiss have announced some MF lenses in the new Sony mount too, but they are a year or so away I think.

          I know what you mean about wanting them all too, the thing that made the decision to switch from m43 to A7r easy for me is the fact that my larger camera is an A99, so this solution allows me to use the same lenses on both cameras with full functionality and also have a small take anywhere camera too. I guess that if that wasn’t the case I’d be much more on the fence.

          Anyway, good luck with the camera hunt!

  20. It’s an over priced under spec’d camera. I really don’t think people are slating it because they feel threatened, more because they are underwhelmed. It should have had a D800E sensor and 1/8000. Frankly if you are charging top whack, you need to deliver an exceptional camera imo. Nikon is not Leica, it is not a brand of prestige.
    Nikon should have made it mirrorless or at least should offer a mirrorless option. Nikon will likely be late to the party, and Fuji (maybe Sony if it’s get’s around to making fast lenses) will get the lions share of the market when the DSLR market contracts substantially when mirrorless begins to take over.

    Sony’s lens selection and statement about not producing ‘crazy fast’ lenses for the a7/r have put me off that system. I won’t be investing in a system that doesn’t have some decent F1.4 primes, preferably 24/35/85 at a minimum.

    I think it will be interesting to see if Samsung ‘gets it’ and makes fast lenses from the get go for their FF solution.

    Getting back on track, I think the critique of the DF is more than justified. It others too little, and the price is too high. Either Nikon heavily discount the camera, or it won’t sell…

  21. To me, it seems like the reason why many people around me bash this camera is this camera “could have been better”. A disappointment. They all love the Nikon’s alternative direction for the classic look and control, but it is far from ideal in many aspects. Large, AF centric OVF, etc.

    I can see a fundamental problem here; the Japanese camera manufactures almost always release new cameras not as their final answer, but the transition to the next step, which is different from what Leica does. (There are few exception, such as X100, etc) Leica always let us believe their new product is the best they can do at the moment of the release.

    If this camera could have been convince us the final answer from Nikon (at this moment), the reception would have been totally different. I read the interview of the chief of the Df project team, and I can smell that the team wanted to release slightly different camera from Df, but the other departments at Nikon prevent accomplish the team’s ideal goal due to some realistic reason.

    • Agreed, they are definitely holding back and not giving their best, if they really are giving it their best shot something is wrong. . Segmenting /dumbing down is what irks rather than price.

  22. “I have always felt that one should own and shoot with a camera that THEY feel connected to. If you have a camera that looks good, feels good, is easy to use and intuitive..well, that is all you need.” After decades as a dedicated Nikonian, that’ show I fee about the Olympus OM-Ds. Even after finally going “full frame” with a D600 earlier this year, the E-M5 was my “go to” camera. I never got comfortable with the center-weighted AF array in the D600. Last month I got the E-M1, and last week the 12-40 f/2.8. This week I sold the D600 and the 24-70 f/2.8. I think I’m done w DSLRs.

  23. Look, it’s a great looking camera, had a knockout sensor and is amaller than the usual DSLR fare. It is also priced somewhat higher than most expected by about $500 or so. This aside, what bothes me is that for a camera consciously looking to Nikon’s long F mount heritage, it was fitted with a focusing screen that does nothing for manual focus. It is brighter by all accounts but go and focus a 50/1.2 or a NOCT or any fast Zeiss ZF lens in low light. Had they incorporated that into the plan, many more with loads idols glass would have cheered. Instead, you’re paying a premium for the ‘look’.

    • Let’s hope KatzEye can create a replacement screen with split screen for the Df. Then it would be a nice camera for use with manual lenses.

      • Not going to happen. KatzEye hasn’t been able to craft a screen for newer full frame Nikkms because the design by intention precludes an easy swap. WYSIWYG. Which in my estimation isn’t the manual focus solution that anyone with a supply if old glass is looking for. The α7R seems to be.

        • I wasn’t aware that the D700 was the only Nikon FF D-SLR with KatzEye screens available. But you are right, Liam. Sad.

          I think Nikon has done a big mistake here. They have produced a kludge and not the pure manual focus camera it was intended to be.

          Nikon wants to increase their profit margins. But the only way to be able to charge more for your products is to understand your customers and give them what they want. I would have paid more for the Nikon Df if it had interchangable focus screens.

          Now my overall feeling is almost a subconscious angry feeling saying that “I don’t want this camera”. And that is coming from someone with 2xFE2s, 3xFM3As and a closet full of Nikkor AI-S glass.

          Clearly, something has gone very wrong here.

          • Agreed . I think the ‘no thanks’ camp are winning the argument. Nikon consult yor customers in future and stop being so secretive and self satisfied. You never know it might just work as a business concept too.

    • I don’t really understand this argument, either.

      Try focusing ANY lens on an older, manual focus Nikon camera in low light. Lenses slower than f/1.2 or f/1.4 are even harder to focus on these cameras (so not sure why you’re mentioning fast lenses).

      If you use their current DSLRs (especially the ones with great low-light sensitivity) you get a green dot focus assist light that tells you when you’re in sharp focus. Much better than trying to rely on a groundglass / split-image / microprism and your own diminshed eyesight in low light.

  24. Good summery, Steve, and a nice reading too. To me, the Camera is a typical Japanese “could have been” Camera. It could have been a nice Camera for artistic work if the sensor had some more resolution. It could have been a nice Camera for classic lenses like the non-AI ones, if the screen could be changed for a more grainy one or with a split image like the classical Nikons. It could have been a more rugged-build Camera like the D800 for less money or, better, the D4. It could have been a Camera with a back that does not look like that one of the D600.
    Well, it´s just a good-looking Camera with does nothing better than the cheaper ones but a few things worse than the other Nikons. Nikon seems to be a little frightened not to harm the sales of the other DSLRs. Thats no good starting point for a new Camera-Class. Maybe they sometimes build a DSLR like the FM2 or the F3 used to be in Film-Times, could be a real Winner.

    • Agree with your comments. Nikon is nowadays all about cynical marketing and no longer interested in being the best they could be.’Good enough’ in Nikon’s judgement no longer satisfies .

    • “It could have been a nice Camera for artistic work if the sensor had some more resolution.”

      What are you shooting that a 16-megapixel full frame sensor doesn’t give you enough resolution? We passed the point of sufficiency for most applications when we hit 12-megapixels.

      “It could have been a nice Camera for classic lenses like the non-AI ones, if the screen could be changed for a more grainy one or with a split image like the classical Nikons.”

      I agree that would have been cool, but the engineering work to accomplish this with an autofocus camera is more challenging than you might think. And cost would have been higher.

      “It could have been a more rugged-build Camera like the D800 for less money or, better, the D4.”

      According to Nikon it offers the same weather sealing as the D800. What are you planning to subject it to that will require it to be more rugged? If you need D4 levels of ruggedness in your work, then buy the D4. That’s what it’s for. You’re not going to get that extreme level of durability in a camera that costs half as much (with a lens).

      “It could have been a Camera with a back that does not look like that one of the D600.”

      What’s wrong with that? I find the back ergonomics of the current Nikon DSLRs superior than any other DSLR out there. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

  25. Hi Steve, while I agree with a lot of what you’re saying here some parts just don’t ring true for me, if it is about slow thought through photography why use the high ISO monster sensor instead of the high resolution one (that also has better dynamic range at low ISO)? If it’s the king of digital manual focus then why not have a split prism or even super matte screen (or even better a user replaceable one)? Or introduce a hybrid viewfinder in a Fujifilm style (I realise that thus might have added cost or complexity but that would be a real value add too!) If its all about controls and ensue of use why are the third stop shutter speed settings not available from the control dial, and even more weirdly why do thowe controls not always show you the right settings (instead of setting the shutter speed to an a mode on the control you set the camera to a mode but the dial is still set to a shutter speed that no longer means anything)?

    In the UK the launch price is £2750 ($4400) which is higher than the d800 and d800e launched at too. I’ve not got a problem with the concept but Leica and Fuji feel like the end products that the Df concept should have become.

  26. Isn’t expressing oneself, whether positive or negative a part of free speech? If I recall correctly Steve, you have made many negative comments about different cameras. Nothing wrong with that, as I believe it is your prerogative.

    “So when a camera such as the Nikon Df is released with its old school looks and charm and people bash it, I just do not get it.”

    Is it really that the Df has old school looks and charm the only thing people have found to “bash” it over? “it does not have 1/8000th second and it is a little thick and bulky looking which could make or break it for me”. Besides that there are a few other “little things” that people are concerned over.

    “All silly nonsense if you ask me because if everyone was out shooting instead of bickering then it would be much more productive. I mean, WHO CARES what cameras are out and what someone buys?” Doesn’t a lot of this blog site deal with G.A.S.? People do CARE about what equipment they are going to spend their money on.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I love this site. Your enthusiasm over some of the gear that comes your way, the fact that you have included an open forum so others can share their experiences, is just great. But criticizing people because they “bash” the Df or any other piece of gear, comes across as . . . well “bashing”. Why should you care if people bash the Df or not. Seems like the only people who should care is Nikon or any of the other manufactures.

    Personally I like the way the Df looks and I think the choice to put the D4 sensor in was a good one. However there are issues along with the three thousand bucks, that would prevent me from buying one.

    Like you say “If you have a camera that looks good, feels good, is easy to use and intuitive..well,  that is all you need”. And “It is the image, the photo, the results…that matter. Always has been and always will be”. That I can agree with and more to the point of your blog in general, isn’t it?

    A good part of this posting just doesn’t fit with you and all I can think to say to end this is, get over yourself. Allow everyone their opinions, it is what you yourself usually say.

  27. Sorry Steve but you’re off target here. DF is just a D600 back and 16mp sensor with a retro over crowded top plate, it’s a half baked effort from Nikon. And the absurd £2700 price is just the icing on the cake for most. One to ignore en masse..and shame on Nikon for not having the guts to go for what most wanted, a simple manual focus camera with only the basic controls, not some half breed D600 body with a cheesy top plate.

    Epic fail from NIkon

    • Agree,shocking complacency . The specs are not thought through ,best low light sensor paired with average -1 EV AF module , 39 focus points when they should have used the superior FX 59 point set up , too fat, too big, too heavy , one card slot , silly unergonomic grip . In short a disparate mash up that needed to be much better and would have been if designed from scratch with photographer centric input instead of juggling existing parts bin components and reliance on marketing bull .

    • “…shame on Nikon for not having the guts to go for what most wanted…”

      Unless you speak for “most people,” I’ll have to take that as hyperbolic.

      I agree this camera has polarized a lot of folks, and I also agree more focus points would have been ― at least on the surface of things ― a more logical choice for this camera. But I think you’re going to have to wait and see how it actually performs before forming a cogent opinion.

      Does it need dual card slots for its intended market? Probably not. Neither Leica nor Fuji’s X cameras offer dual slots, after all. And Nikon has plenty of other models that do offer dual card slots, if that’s what you need. (In fact, I think Nikon offers more cameras with dual card slots than any other manufacturer right now. Don’t quote me, but I think I’m accurate on that.)

      Is the body too bulky? Well, let’s see: it’s the world’s smallest, lightest full-frame DSLR. So that’s arguable.

      Does it cost too much? Well, you’re getting the D4’s magnificent sensor in a much smaller package. And Nikon is charging half the price of the D4. Given that the Df doesn’t offer the other pro features of the D4, well, half-price would seem to be pretty fair to me.

      The point is, it all depends upon how you frame the argument.

      From Nikon’s perspective, this camera will sell, and sell well. If it doesn’t meet your needs, don’t buy it. Plenty of other choices out there.

      • I don’t mind the 16mp sensor, but it’s not worth this price not even close to it.
        Sorry to be cynical, it’s as if some bunch of non photographers sat at a table and brainstormed and went with every idea they had, rather than think about it properly.

        It is a cheesy cash in on some so called retro theme that’s not even done properly.

        Having the not so great 39point AF system is also another downer, in a camera this price?
        I don’t pretend to speak for everyone, but a lot of people think this is poorly thought out, stupidly priced and simply a waste of time and the huge potential entirely lost.

      • We will have to agree to disagree on all facets of the Df. If you like it and it suits your needs/ purpose fair enough.

        For me Nikon has lost its way and no longer makes the cameras that suit me, I now prefer other brands in all sectors for many reasons. Today’s Nikon, apart from traditional workhorse pro level anvils for press/sports users, is just peddling cynical iterations of yesterday’s tired products. If they have designs waiting to wow us all, as you imply, I will be only too pleased but somehow I doubt they will deliver anything significant without a radical rethink.

        Simply selling to the less demanding masses and uninitiated ‘Macdonald’s style’ maybe a great business plan for Nikon, but as you suggest I will pass,

      • Robert have you read the latest Q and A from Nikon over at Nikon Rumours? Shareholders first , photographers nowhere – this is my complaint about Nikon.

        • Unfortunately, if you were running a large multinational, you’d have to juggle these same concerns.

          No shareholders, no Nikon. And not really practical for them to go back to being a private company at this stage of the game.

          Once again, I have to reiterate that Nikon is building cameras for the millions who are actually buying them … not for the 100,000 folks who will buy an OM-D EM-1.

          If Nikon adopted such a strategy straight away, they’d lose money, and fast. Just like Olympus is now doing. And Fuji. And Panasonic. And Pentax. And Sony.

          You get the point.

          You must satisfy the bulk of your market. While Nikon might not be moving fast enough ― in the opinion of some ― with exciting, innovative products to suite a relative few, that doesn’t mean that they’re not carefully weighing new options to move their eventually…when it’s deemed profitable.

          Remember that introducing a whole new system (which is really what many are talking about here) takes a tremendous amount of planning, prognostication, engineering, etc. It also comes with a lot of risk as you are introducing it into your already profitable user base…which adds yet further complexity.

          Part of this is the curse of legacy. When Canon first introduced the EOS system (’89, I think it was), they were able to start with a clean sheet of paper and build everything out from the ground up. Very advantageous. Do you know why Nikon didn’t abandon the F mount and do the same thing? Because of legacy. They had an enormous base of loyal professionals that had been using their gear for close to 30 years and couldn’t afford to abandon the system. Eventually they were able to close the advantage gap that Canon’s EOS system had created, through careful and clever engineering, but they needed to do so gradually without alienating their base.

          A similar circumstance is occurring now as the industry slowly introduces mirrorless (which is where things are headed in the medium term, I believe).

          I guess the simple answer here is that if Nikon doesn’t have anything in their lineup right now that suits your needs, shop elsewhere. Plenty of stuff to choose from.

          But as has so often been said here and elsewhere: the camera you were using 2 years ago didn’t suddenly stop working the moment some shiny new bauble came along.

          • I agree with the gist of your comments in general but with Nikon why do profits and great products have to be mutually exclusive? In the past Nikon were able to achieve the two goalie in tandem , today their inclusive line up is a shambles.
            Thom Hogan’s latest article re the latest Nikon Q and A session is quite enlightening on this subject and attempts to interpret the truth of the situation reading between the lines.

  28. So, all in all, a great and enticing camera, conversation piece included. Anyone that disagrees with me, I know where you live! 😉

  29. I think Nikon stepped in a little too late into this market. Fuji (for example) is already way way way ahead in this competition. I have had the pleasure to try several fuji X camera’s, and oh boy, the handling and ‘analog’ controls of these camera’s is just a breeze ! I think I could really connect to this camera on an emotional level as you have the feeling that you are photographing with a photocamera, not with a piece of technology. And with the X-E2 and upcoming X-PRO-2 they will (r)evolutionize this, I’m sure! . Add to this the outstanding IQ, High Iso performance and brilliant colors and you wouldn’t want something else. And have you already read the reviews on the excellent new Fujinon XF 23mm 1.4 lens ?

    After saying this, I (as a long time Nikon user) will be very curious about the Nikon DF of course. But I’m afraid that they can’t touch Fuji yet. Nothing to be ashamed of, because Fuji deliberately took that road and Nikon just see this as a new niche that they still have to discover.

    Will I sell my Nikon D600 and lenses for the Fuji X systems ? .. time will tell and it depends on whether I get the same feeling with the DF.

    I read a comment here from someone: “Just to be clear, Nikon doesn’t HAVE any competition…outside of Canon”

    SAY WHAT ??

    I really don’t hope that Nikon will go the same way as Blackberry. Blackberry underestimated the competition from day 1, overestimated their own products and failed to look 5 years ahead. Sony is already changing the game with their new FF mirrorless camera’s and the M4/3’s are speeding up their technologies as well. Times are a changing !

    • Great comment. The X100 is such a fun camera to use.

      Incredible how many people don’t get that the Df does not compete with other dslr-cameras. It competes with the Leica and Xpro1. I think the Df looks very strong in that competion. Perhaps because its the only digital single-lens-reflex with analogue dials in existence.

    • “I read a comment here from someone: ‘Just to be clear, Nikon doesn’t HAVE any competition…outside of Canon’

      SAY WHAT ??

      I really don’t hope that Nikon will go the same way as Blackberry. Blackberry underestimated the competition from day 1, overestimated their own products and failed to look 5 years ahead. Sony is already changing the game with their new FF mirrorless camera’s and the M4/3′s are speeding up their technologies as well. Times are a changing!”

      Go back and re-read my whole post to understand why I said that. It’s under #51.

      Emotions are a poor substitute for facts. People vote with their wallets, and they’re consistently voting for Canon and Nikon … for the moment. Now this may change, but I suspect that by the time it does, the two heavyweights will have already begun introducing interesting new products into the pipeline.

      I could be wrong, but Nikon has endured many ups and downs in the market over the decades (not to mention WWII) and yet they remain at the top of the industry. You don’t do that by being stupid.

  30. I have a D600 and it is a very good camera for me but I love the look of the Df. If I could pick one I probably would go for the Df but if I had both I probably would find myself picking up the D600 a lot. I don’t care about video but I do like the U1 and U2 modes and I do use big zooms and I agree that would look ridiculous on a Df …… I wish I had the money for both.

  31. “if you want to look like a traditional paparazzi then go buy a D800 or D4. If you are worried about specs on paper, go for a D800. If you are someone who wants a connection with your camera, and a camera that you can be inspired by..one that speaks to your mind, body and soul…and one built and made for photography then check out the Df as it just might be the one for YOU.”

    I can’t explain how much is wrong with this paragraph, I’m beginning to wonder how much of this site is actual opinion and how much of it is paid for.

    • “I can’t explain how much is wrong with this paragraph, I’m beginning to wonder how much of this site is actual opinion and how much of it is paid for.”

      That is my thought too. Just cannot understand why Steve should give two hoots about people bashing the Df or any other camera.

  32. I don’t get it. You are testing cameras and/or presenting them and now you say that this doesn’t matter at all as about 5 years ago we had everything we needed and so we just can choose depending on our taste and “feel”. Hey, sorry, this is nonsense. Every camera that comes up must be compared to the actual concurrents, or even older models from the same company. Otherwise you just can stop writing reviews.

    I understand that the Df is a fine camera that needs a small premium to be payed compared to the other models of the company, as all those wheels and levers must be payed somehow. But I don’t understand the choice of the sensor at all. The D4 sensor is for fast sport shooting, high frame rates, and high ISO, nothing the conaisseur really needs. What we get here is a kind of D700 in a nice package, for a premium price.

    The best choice for Nikon would have been to offer variants with different sensors, and I could bet that we see ad Dfx nex year with 36 mP.

    And, finally, I’m hightly disapointed about the viewfinder, which is not a great choice for manual focussing.

    I don’t bash the Df, it’s a good looking camera and may hopefully influence the future design of Nikon. But the package as it is presented now is just not convincing. Add the sensore of the D800E, add the viewfinder of a F3, and finally add a decent lens (even if the 50/1.8 is a very nice lens) and then come back and probably everyone will buy it.

  33. Hi Steve

    Just one question, how come you find the lack of 1/8000th sec a complaint?

    I’m sure the type of shooting you enjoy, doesn’t require such a fast speed.

    If your were shooting athletes or gymnasts with telephoto lens wide open, I could understand why you would need such speed. After all isn’t the df all about slowing things down abit and becoming more connected?

    Keep up the excellent work

    Kind Regards

    Gav.J

    • I normally shoot wide open 100% of the time..always have..just my style. If shooting a 1.2 or 1.4 lens, in full sunlight here in AZ 1/4000th doesn’t cut it. ND filters will work just fine though.

      • I stand corrected. Of course, a 1.2 or 1.4 is very wide on a sunny day and the 1/8000th would be more suitable.
        I guess Nikon need to hold a few things back, to safe guard the sales of their D800 and D4 models.

        Cheers Steve

        All the best

        Gav.J

  34. I have my doubts about this being a good camera for small fast primes. How will it focus them?

    The AF points are in the middle, and focus/recompose doesn’t work with shallow DF. [You focus on a plane, not a sphere. When you swing the plane to recompose you put it behind your subject.]

    It doesn’t have interchangeable focus screens, so forget manually focussing small fast primes (including the kit lens).

    It only works with fast lenses if you always put the subject in the middle. So portrait lenses, i.e. not-so-small fast primes, will be fine.

    I think a 105/2 DC will look pretty damn cool on this body…

    • Very well put Joel. I can focus with the screen of the D800 reasonably well, but those 51 focus points are a real help. And you’re quite right about focusing and recomposing. That always bothered me.

    • Good question. According to the very respectable Bjørn Rørslett over att Nikongear the finder in the Df is much superior to any other Nikon camera. Even though this is not visible on the spec-sheet. He writes that its far easier to focus the Df than the D800. The image “pops” into focus. Looking forward to reading more proper comparisons on the viewfinder.

    • “The AF points are in the middle, and focus/recompose doesn’t work with shallow DF. [You focus on a plane, not a sphere. When you swing the plane to recompose you put it behind your subject.”

      I’m glad to finally hear somebody else express what soured me on the the D600 first time I put it to my eye. “Focus/recompose” is an oxymoron: focus, recompose = lose precise focus. The Df is going to have the same center-weighted AF array as the D600/610, so there is no improvement there.

      As stated elsewhere, I’ve abandoned the Nikon platform for that and other reasons.

  35. The last time I saw such a savage attack on a yet-to-be-released camera (hello, dpreview!) was when the Fuji X100S was announced. The unholy alliance of naysayers, trolls and Sony fanboys had a field day – “misguided”, “overpriced”, and the pagan mob’s favourite “it’s just a MARKETING exercise”…yeah right, then so is every other release. And we all know how the X100S turned out! Oh, and apparently the D4 sensor is now meaningless and futile because it’s…2 years old {gasp!}. So every time I see the “alliance” waving their torches and pitchforks at a new release it’s hard NOT to get excited about it…rather like the zombie apocalyse…not that I’m suggesting they’re zombies ;-p

    • Word. Very a zombie horde not tolerating any different views. They preach the gospel of speed, autofocus and more and more technology. Speed does not lead to better photographs.

      Slowness and clear analogue dials very well might lead to better pictures, as slowness and clarity of control inspire reflection. And it is reflection that develops better picture-making. The crowd you mention don’t get that it is the photograph that matters and that it is the photographer that makes the photograph. Not the camera.

      • Tor you right about everything you say…..I personally would which Nikon had build a digital F3….take an F3, replace film by 24 Mpixel sensor + 2 SD cards (one for RAW, one for JPEG) and a normal lithium battery (which can be replaced by a Duracell)…..sell. I don’t even care for a display (photographed from 9 till 46 without one you see). I don’t care for AF since I rather use ZF (zone focus), I don’t care for film (I have a 178 Mbit hacked GH2 when the need strikes). I don’t care for P (if I pee I use a toilet) A works fine. Therefore I don’t like the Df……not radical enough. A bit halfassed so to speak.

        Greets, Ed.

        • I can agree with what you say but considering the Df is a special release I don’t think Nikon will make any other cameras in this style for a good while so I’m going to buy. I think it is extremely seldom that the world gives us exactly what we want so we have to learn to feel comfortable with what we get.
          My perfect Df?
          -No autofocus. Gets rid of lots of buttons and settings, cost and complexity.
          -No masp-dial and no disgusting unmarked control wheels.
          -No bracketing button
          -Less buttons on the back

          Im okay with the screen but perhaps an even better solution would have been a wifi our bluetooth connection to my iPhone. for occasional exposure review.

          These above drawbacks will not keep me from buying the camera as I realise the next guy will want autofocus or whatever.

          We all have to stop demanding things to be EXACTLY like we want them or we will lie on our backs screaming and kicking our feet. Nothing is perfect. I see so many people writing “if only this, if only that – now I won’t buy!” To be perfectly honest I don’t get the endless whining. As you can see above it is not the ultimate camera for me either but that won’t hold me off from seeing all the awesomeness in the Df. It seems to be a wonderful camera with the dials I’ve dreamed of for so many years.

          Sorry if I sound harsh, I don’t mean to, I am just tired of the endless whining and all the ‘if only this, if only that,’. I could dance that dance too. But why be sour and bitter when you can be happy?

          The word ‘fusion’ could be thought of as a synonym with ‘compromise’. Or ‘halfassed’ as you say. I agree. In my dreamworld Nikon or whoever would make the uncompromising camera you speak of – the FM4d, but that will never happen. So I’m really very happy about the Df.

  36. Steve, a sensible and enjoyable comment. I will get a DF to make sense of my 50mm 1.2 and my beloved 105 1.8 let alone my draw full of old Nikon bottles that languish beside my Nikon F. A camera I love as much as my M2. But for me its not the modern platform battles, its the glass war, ubermmicron V the 1.4 Miss Otus regrets V the new 58mm 1.4 noct noct nocting on heavens door. Look forward to your verdict.

  37. Steve this is nonsense (no insult just an observation),

    >if you want spray and pray 100 FPS or if you want to look like a traditional paparazzi then go buy a D800 or D4. If you are worried about specs on paper, go for a D800<

    A D800 is not only specs on paper, sir. I know I used one. But it is a camera that will need a disciplined photographer (with a stirdy tripod if needed). It has to be used like a medium format camera, you have to have high quality primes on it. If you do that, it will amaze you just like the Sony 7Ar amazed you. And just an observation as well, no camera gives my photo's "a look" (a lens however can, Zeiss primes and Leica primes), I give my photo's my look, in post, working from RAW.

    Greets, Ed.

    • Exactly. A balanced article, which goes off track in the apparently inevitable hyperbole. A D800/D800E is actually a quite difficult camera to work with. Getting sharp images and, more importantly, getting the sharpness just where you want it is no easy thing. When you get it right it is amazing. Not a camera a “papparazzi” would choose.

  38. I agree with both camps here.. Im somewhat dissapointed in th3 DF because of what “could” have been, It could have been a real world-shaker… But its just a camera with a retro-look, thus its not for me. Simple. I’ve actually just started using my newly built darkroom.. It makes photography so simple in a way, if Im not preparef to put down hours of work on a shot in the darkroom, the shot is just not good enough. Simple and straight forward. The equivalent of the digital “maybe”-shots just goes in the trash (not literally) 🙂 Omg, I must have been editing thousands and thousands of boring digital shots the last few years.. and Im tired of it, Im going back to real photography.

    • good man 🙂 I’ve done the same and use digital only if I can’t shoot on higher than ISO400 (fridge is stocked with 100 and 400 films only)

  39. Steve, you missed one important reason why people are bashing the Df: Nikon customers are feeling like they are being punched in the gut by Nikon, over and over again, and they are getting frustrated by it.

    I got really excited when the Df was announced. The idea of a smallish full frame camera that is compatible with the entire back catalogue of Nikon lenses…

    And I wanted to upgrade my Nikon D7000 because:
    – the autofocus is way way way too slow
    – the autofocus is inaccurate, it cannot nail focus with anything faster than f/2.8
    – it is too big and clumsy
    – it has a crop sensor

    But now it turns out that the Df comes with the same horrible autofocus? And is still huge and clumsy? And costs almost twice as much as the new Sony?

    Nikon is constantly messing with their customers. First they abandon the DX system in an attempt to force everyone to move to the D600. Then it turns out the D600 is a broken camera: AF from a DX camera, oil on the sensor etc… And now they put a fancy new skin on the D600 and call it the ‘Df’ at twice the price?

    I’m sorry Steve but it seems to me that the only people who would spend $3000 on a Df are old farts who are in denial of the mirrorless revolution that is happening right now. Who else would spend this amount of money on a camera that is already obsolete.

    The Df feels like those giant rear-projection screens that were sold right before LCD screens became mainstream. Dead on arrival.

    • I agree with your assessment re Nikon in general, and the Df is a good illustration of your main point. I am from the film era and should like the Df but I do not for the reasons you raise.

      I am not against ‘retro’ per se but the Df seems phoney , jumping on a bandwagon, whilst the Fujifilm team with there back to the future ”X ‘products seem sincere . The ‘X’ system is being properly supported with clearly defined road-maps, speedy firmware updates, and generally good responses to customer feedback.
      Nikon by contrast appear complacent and smug with their take it or leave attitude. Sadly, for now, I have decided to leave.

    • You guys just don’t get it. Read Steve’s post again. If you want an autofocus camera with big lenses there are tons of models from all the big manufacturers for you. The Nikon Df does not compete with D610 or D800. It competes with Leica M9 and Fuji Xpro1. The Df is for people like me who still uses and FM2 because the ergonomics of “modern” DSLR’s are horrible in my opinion (and others who the Df is meant for). I don’t use autofocus and wish Nikon had left it out of the Df. But compared to the Xpro1 the Df has pretty spectacular autofocus for those who use it. What other camera in this class of cameras even have autofocus? M9?

      The term “retrocamera” is stupid. We don’t like them primarily for the looks but because of the ergonomics. Do you call a pencil “retropencil” because it is not a ballpoint? Do you call a car with manual gears “retrocar”? Do you think we should call oil paint retro-paint since there now is “modern” acrylic paint. Sounds really stupid to me. Cameras are tools just like pens and different people want different tools. A ballpoint pen might be more modern than a pencil but no one would ever differentiate between them with the adjectives modern or retro.

      The Df might be bigger than my FM2 but still the smallest full frame dslr in existence. There is a reason these things are large.

      “Nikon constantly messing with their customers” come on man. It’s a camera.

      I have waited for this for over ten years. Is it perfect? God no. They should have left out the autofocus and pasm-dial (and the disgusting control wheels that go with the use of a pasm-dial). There are too many buttons. Bracketing button is unnecessary as is a lot of buttons on the back. Will those drawbacks keep me from buying this camera? No. Because the world isn’t perfect and things never work out exactly how you want them do. You need to learn to deal with that.

      The Nikon Df is absolutely awesome. Can’t wait to get it. This will be my first real digital camera since until now there has been no choice unless you could afford a Leica. I know many photographers who think the same thing.

      You techno-guys obsessed with your mirror less and your autofocus and whatever. Go buy the cameras you love but leave us manual-focus analogue-dial-heads alone.

      It’s our time now

  40. I love the concept of DF. RF style body with D4 sensor? It has reportage written all over it. And the reviews are good, I would see no point in not buying it. But I won’t. D600 is just fine for my use.

    Anyway, what troubles me with pretty much all the reviews out there, with any camera for that matter, is how little reviewers focus on the ergonomics of a camera. As of now, I have not seen anyone punch in a SB910 and 24-70 on this puppy and comment on the feel of it. It adds a lot of bulk, but it is what I use 90% of the time. I’m sure others do too, who cover events and such. And this camera in particular would be really nice for event work.

    Any chance on testing it out Mr. Huff?

    Reason I’m asking is that 24-70 makes any camera a hulking beast, and punch in a flash, and you are just asking for trouble. Or at least, trouble with your wrist. Hold it for 10 straight hours in your hand and youll get why balance is important. Nevermind that it starts to look like a bazooka with a periscope.

    These things are hard to try in the store. The slight off-balance might only occur after hours of usage, and for me, it was the main reason on buying a grip. I don’t care about the extra energy of batteries. D600 is just so damn flimsy without it. 🙂

    Anyway, I think there might be some demand for these kinds of reviews. IQ is usually good enough with any modern camera. But using it day in and out for a week and adding how it feels to the story, well that is a valid question.

    Thank you for all the awesome reviews Steve and big cheers from Finland.

    Heikki

    • Good points about balance and grip when using zooms and flash. For personal shooting for fun, that is why many are seeking smaller cameras and natural light (even if indoors and at night). Whether primes on the Df is small enough, will be a personal choice. For me, probably not.

  41. Of course I always love these roller-coaster praise/flame-fests on just released new cameras . . . . . which NO ONE has held in their hands, passed thru the usual reviews on sites like Steve’s, or available to see, hold, and buy in your local stores. Funnier still to see these online arguments escalate to just silly insults and jabs. . . . . al over something (the Df right now) anyone has only seen in pictures !

    IF you don’t need the full-industrial power of a D4 and its’ prodigious capacities and weatherproofing, and you don’t need video, then the Df could be on the list of ‘maybes’ among the various D-models from Nikon.

    I often think that what is overlooked is how products speak to us from a design standpoint, or the physical sensation of how it feels in your hand. In musical instruments, lots of various instruments in the same market segment could fill the bill, yet it comes down to a personal judgement. All great guitars, but some guys want Taylors, others Martins, others Santa Cruz, etc. All terrific axes, but for one personal reason or another, one will prompt a purchase-now reaction. Cameras are the same way.

    Me and the Df? Hell, I’d buy BECAUSE there’s no video !

  42. I think a lot of folks don’t like the Df because they think the control layout should be different and they (I) wish it could be thinner.

    • BTW, this is the other “Gary”…the one that posted the prior comment to yours…

      I agree with your reasons why some don’t like the Df (control layout and size), but what amazes me is how many attack the camera model with a tone of disgust and anger. It’s like they take it personally.

      It would be one thing if people just offered some reasonable criticism, but I’ve read plenty that borders on just plain losing it over a camera they supposedly do not like. No doubt something deeper is at play for many. It’s like some are using the camera as a way to vent feelings of frustration and anger over their life!

      • Gary, many people take it personally because they have thousands of dollars invested in Nikon glass.

        It is hard not to get offended by the stuff Nikon is pulling lately.

        • Mike, thanks for giving one explanation that might make some sense of some of the comments. However, if one has several thousand dollars invested in Nikon glass, then what is so wrong with the current Nikon lineup?

          It seems to me that no camera or camera lineup will be perfect, but the current Nikon lineup pretty much offers something for everyone. If one cannot get good pics with the current Nikon dslrs, esp. the FF ones, then there is a problem and it is not with the cameras.

          These cameras are amazing, when you look at what they can do, what was available only a few years ago, how far we’ve come technologically, and even on price. The D610 is a breakthrough price for FF; the D800 is a breakthrough price given its high IQ sensor.

          Again, nothing is perfect, and it seems the expectations are out of whack for some.

          Also, imagine if Nikon had simply not released the Df. It was not expected. Then what of all these people with Nikon glass? I guess they wouldn’t have complained so much and made do with the other Nikon offerings, all of which are still available to them today.

          The people I know who are pro’s and have a lot of Nikon glass are not the ones complaining. They find it easy to make do with what Nikon offers.

          The bottom line is this: it still is just a camera. Even if someone has a lot of Nikon lenses. And if someone has a lot of Nikon lenses, they probably already have a very nice camera, perhaps more than one. And they probably can afford another camera that Nikon makes.

          Some people are getting worked up and making a judgment on a camera they haven’t used; some do not have this investment in lenses. It is silly to get so angry over a camera that one doesn’t have to buy.

  43. Amen…preach it brother! I don’t get the vehemence with which the Df camera has been attacked. It was the same way with the Leica X-Vario.

    I get that some people will not like any particular model of camera, but why the tone of hatred expressed by so many? It’s only a camera, there are many options, and no one camera will be right for everyone.

    This must be a way that people vent frustrations from other areas of their lives. As you suggest, Steve, much of it is insecurity and always wanting the validation that their camera is better. Perhaps some want to bash the camera because they reall want it but cannot afford it.

    Photography and cameras should be a fun hobby; life is too short to get worked up about a camera model. Thanks Steve for always bringing us a positive perspective.

    • I think you got it there, and I also find perplexing this insane “love” of cameras & gear, I’ve never seen it in any other realm outside gear-head teenagers bragging about what was best the Camaro or Firebird in the 70’s. I also think maybe 99% of those bashing camera brands with a religious insecure zeal etc. rarely go out and shoot a camera other than from their keyboards.

  44. ^ Intended for Les in reply to comment no.6. Don’t know why it’s down here. Can you move it for me please, Steve?

  45. Watch out Les, it seems Nikon’s latest firmware update for their DX lines (and the P7700) does exactly that.

    Ben Herrmann over on DPR claims that his P7700 no longer accepts third-party batteries. “photoholiko” reports the same findings. Naturally, having been warned, people aren’t exactly queuing up to test it for themselves, but it seems there is indeed an issue here.

    Consider capabilities stripped!

  46. Hi Nikon guys,
    just for the case that you read this: The Df is nize, but not as nice as the, say, FM2. The FM2 was lean in all regards. The Df still is fat, not anly optically, but also function-wise. Look at Leica. They were able to keep the M thin, at least optically. Ok, not as thin as the M7, but still, thin enough. Apple are able to build thin but powerful laptops. Why can’t other camera manufacturers build lean cameras, too?

  47. Today people complain when adjustment of white balance or ISO settings are located in a menu structure they don’t like, the external button or dial for it is at a place they don’t like, the automatic setting cannot be programmed in the preferred pattern. People develop sentimental feelings because the ISO dial is the same shape as on the camera they lusted for as a teenager, and even believe that might have an impact on the artistic quality of the pictures they make with the camera.

    Heck, a few years ago there was no way to choose ISO or white balance at all, except by exchanging the film (>$10 per change) or by carrying a set of filters (one set for each size of filter thread, of course). Heck even more, EVF, LCD, external smartphone, tablet or laptop deliver a real-time Polaroid with histogram and all.

    On the other hand, there are so many cameras to choose from with identical, basic functionality, they are still expensive, the customer has every right to be picky or to apply irrational criteria.

    On a Nikon FM or Leica M6, after choosing and loading the film, you do three things: (1) preselect shutter speed, (2) adjust aperture by following the “traffic light”, (3) focus. (1), (2) and (3) combine several activities: a) guess exposure and focal distance to determine effect (DOF, freeze or show movement) and to minimize time for fine-tuning, b) select the area or the subject for measurement, c) set aperture and focus, d) eventually make a choice to set above or below the indicated measurement. A Nikon FE or Leica M7 is almost the same.

    A “modern” camera does all this, plus ISO and white balance, fully automatically and instantaneously. But cameras for “pros” or “enthusiasts” allow to set >30 parameters to manipulate the camera’s decision making. As a user, you either adjust the 30 parameters before each shot (lead time for scrolling menus, setting buttons and dials scattered all over the camera), or you try to be prepared by permanently adjusting 30 parameters while moving, when the potential subject or the environment changes.

    Unlike in the rest of the technical world where electronics helped to miniaturize, lenses with electronic focus and aperture control are larger than their mechanical counterparts.

  48. Me thinks steve knows when the A7s are shipping with that comment at the end. Since you probably cant answer the obvious question. How about I ask you how do you define REAL SOON? lol

  49. I’m not sure about the target market with the Df. DSLR fans will want a… familiar looking DSLR with huge lenses (…), people who want something smaller will skip the Df and go for Fuji, Panasonic, Olympus et al, the snobs among us will want the Leica logo, so… what’s left? People who used an F2 or FM? I don’t get it. I’ll hang on to my Ricoh GR. Not full frame, but… (seriously) camera of the year.

  50. steve i think you’re missing the real reason why people are not liking this camera, and it isn’t “envy”.

    It wont feel like an old school camera because apart from the top, the back is set up like any other nikon DSLR. you can’t even change focusing screens for manual focus. they designed the cheapo 50 1.8, but didn’t add an aperture ring, and people know it can be done. this isn’t the D100 era anymore.

    Apart from that, they took out video. why? we all know this is just firmware crippling and for what? to make the marketing campaign better? if you don’t like video just don’t give people a button for it and let them figure out how to turn it on ala fuji, at least the function is still there.

    and this is what people are pissed out about, it feels like they have been cheated. Nikon users are probably the most loyal, and they’ve gotten used to innovation, which the DF is obviously not.

    And this coming at a time when the much hated big corporate giant sony is serving up state of the art compact full frame cams starting from less than 2k. it seems like a last ditch effort on nikon’s part to squeeze their loyal fans for whatever they will pay.

  51. If I’m going to buy a new camera, I want the latest in technical performance, a fairly small and light camera/lenses package, great lenses, and a user experience geared to serious photographers. At the moment, the Nikon Df is a puzzle and I await your review. The E-M1 is not a puzzle because it stepped up to the plate and, for me, hit another home run on all my criteria surpassing the excellent E-M5. I agree with you 100% on needing to be inspired to shoot and have a great shooting experience with your gear. If it were not so big, heavy, and wrist pain inducing (especially with 24-70 stabilized zoom and big flash mounted), I would like my Canon 5D3 because the results are good and reliable. And the UI is pretty good. But I’ve never bonded with the 5D3 – probably because it is just too big and not at all discrete. I love your enthusiasm, and willingness to let your thoughts of the moment fly.

  52. The internets are a bunch of critical whining people, there’s no doubt. Though I do feel the Df is NOT what many of us were excited for… a digital FM/FE. Simple, classic, portable, manual, large bright viewfinder.

    This didn’t happen. Nikon created a beast. Hence the amount of hate and rants that you may have unfortunately received.

  53. I’m detecting something here >>

    “So if you want to shoot sports or action..if you want a huge beefy grip..if you want video inside that you will use a few times per year…if you want spray and pray 100 FPS or if you want to look like a traditional paparazzi then go buy a D800 or D4.”

    Steve, you’re sort of implying that folks cannot connect with a D4 or D800. I think many can. Personally, I love the D3s. The ergonomics are fantastic (weight notwithstanding), the feature set is stellar, and the IQ is excellent in the widest variety of conditions. It’s my go-to when I absolutely, positively know I must get the shot. And it does. Consistently and reliably.

    Is it big and heavy? Oh yeah! Would I want to travel with it if I was not traveling strictly for a specific shoot? No.

    Yes, those cameras are big and heavy. That’s not necessarily the same as saying they’re uninspiring to shoot with, though.

    As to the Df, yeah, mostly agree with your comments. Looking around one can see that it has polarized the photo community. Folks love it or loathe it. But even if 50% of the folks out there love it, it will sell…and sell well. I expect it will be sold out for the first little while.

    My only tech reservation with the Df is 39 focus points. They’re accurate and reliable enough I find, but when stretched across a full-frame sensor it can be challenging to find the right point. Focus-and-recompose isn’t always preferable, particularly when you’re shooting portraits with a short tele at f/1.4, as that technique with ultra-shallow depth of field throws you out of your focus plane. That’s when you need to manually select your focus point, and that’s where 39 points on a full frame sensor gets trickier.

  54. Hi Steven, in the last paragraph, are you suggesting that they will start shipping out A7/A7R early, even since next week?

  55. Steve, I agree with most of what you said, but getting technical for a moment, the dealbreakers for a camera of this intended use are the missing split-prism screen and a large and bright pentaprism. Unless I’m wrong, you can’t change the screen. I’ve heard people talk about how split-prisms are less useful with today’s cameras, but having used the focus dot confirmation with MF lenses in the D200, D800 and D7100, it’s just not the same as my FM3a, and the absence ruins that experience; especially that moment as your breath pauses, your brain gets that rush, and the subject comes into focus as your hand turns that silky smooth focus ring. These little things form that process so vital to this type of shooting.

    • I always preferred with my film cameras a fully mat focusing screen. I never did like the split image that I removed on my OM2 with a fully mat screen. The split screen for me was just a distraction.

  56. While reading this article and the great comments took me back to why I bought a M9. I wanted a camera that brought me back to the basics. By luck I bought an M3 in the early 70’s as my first 35mm with interchangeable lenses. Later sold it to buy a Nikon. A year or so ago, I began looking back at many of the photos I had made with the M3, I realized I had done my best work with it. Similar to what I did with my Nikon F3. Something about going back to basics called out to me.

    While tempted at one point to buy a D800, a year ago I sold all my Nikon gear except my D700 and a few old lenses. I then bought an M9. Wish you could see the smile on my face…

    When the M 240 came out I thought about pre-ordering one but felt I was being drawn back to the Dark Side.

    Could the DF take me back to my F2 and F3 days? Could it replace the D700? I went ahead and pre ordered the DF.

    While I have your attention thanks Steve and all of you for your reviews and comments.

  57. Steve, I think you hit on something interesting. People aren’t defending their cameras, they are defending their choice. They are defending themselves. It’s totally about out of proportion egos afraid that they no longer have the best, fastest, biggest, etc…

  58. Steve, you have stated it quite well.

    I have been wanting the D4 sensor to make an appearance in a smaller and lighter body, but with the Nikon “pro” DSLR controls, not the “consumer” controls of the D600. (Yes, I am one of those waiting for a “true” successor to the D700.) Well, Nikon has built the D4 sensor into a smaller body, but with old-school dials. That is certainly acceptable to me, and while I like the Giugiaro-designed Nikon bodies, retro-F is OK, too. This is likely to be as close as Nikon will get to making a D700 successor.

    Living in sunny Texas, 1/8000 is certainly desirable, but I can work around that.

    Now, for me, it is quite simply a matter of ergonomics. Until I handle a camera, I do not know if I can bond with it. I neither love nor hate the Df. If it is not a good fit, or otherwise just does not “click,” I am back to looking for a particulary gently-treated D700, to be a digital FX companion for my F6 cameras.

    • It’s the same as the D3 and D700. They had 1/8000th shutter speed but ISO started at 200 instead of 100 on the DF

  59. Steve,

    How do you think the Df compares to the compact DSLRs like the D600 and the Canon 6D you reviewed recently? Seems to me that the size and weight of the 6D and Df are fairly close, as should be the image quality. While the Df is much cooler-looking with its retro dials and leatherette on the prism, is it really more convenient in use than a regular DSLR? Most DSLRs are a dial near the shutter release for shutter speed or aperture, and another on the back for exposure compensation. The major improvement I see is the ISO dial, but the exposure compensation dial (which I use a lot more than ISO) looks a lot slower and less convenient.

    I thought very hard about the Df as I’ve been considering a DSLR to go along with my Leica M Monochrom kit, and in the end I went with the Canon 6D. I chose the 6D in part based on your excellent review of that camera, but mostly because it was considerably cheaper than the Df and I’m guessing (I haven’t seen the Df in person yet) just as convenient in use. Of course it is nowhere near as sexy, but sexy won’t get me better images.

  60. Hi Steve, To understand this camera, you must have lived through film days. And know what the hell you are doing with a camera. You must know photography not just taking snap shoots.

  61. So am I. Whatever camera I choose to use, it is just because I CONNECT WITH MY CAMERA OF CHOICE. Well put. Bravo Steve.

    Yashica RF, Pentax 67; and Leica M for now

  62. I think the problem here is that Nikon are really falling behind the competition in terms of innovation. DSLR sales are tanking. And this seems to the best that Nikon can come up with.

    • Just to be clear, Nikon doesn’t HAVE any competition…outside of Canon.

      Tanking? Yes, DSLR sales are down a bit overall, but they’re still selling millions of units for both Canon and Nikon. Nikon’s DX cameras annually sell about 4.5 million units. Compare that to Olympus’ estimate of 100K OM-D EM-1s.

      Just to put this in further perspective, Nikon, Canon and Leica are the only (read: ONLY) camera manufacturers in the world right now currently making a profit from the sale of photographic equipment.

      Every other imaging company that makes cameras is in the red. Olympus has been in the red with its cameras for 5 years straight. What saves them is a profitable medical manufacturing division (endoscopy, etc.) that is able to absorb the losses incurred by the imaging division.

      Fujifilm? Losing money. Panasonic? Losing money. Pentax? Losing money. Sony? Losing money.

      So any innovations we’re seeing from these second-tier manufacturers aren’t translating into enough sales to lift their bottom lines.

      Certainly there are areas where all the camera makers have been weak with respect to innovation, particularly when it comes to connecting with the cloud and cleverly/easily sharing photos with specific targets. That’s where improvement is needed, IMO.

      If the Japanese camera manufacturers don’t figure THAT out soon, they may get caught flatfooted as someone like Apple comes in and reinvents the way image handling and dissemination is achieved.

      • Your facts are correct ala Nikon guru Thom Hogan and mores the pity . Nikon are currently profitable because their brand has been synomonous with quality and leadership in the camera world .
        This perceptiion over the last few years is no longer really valid but is still seemingly held by the masses who buy cheaper Dslrs and Coolpii (plural) when so many better non Nikon products exist in today’s market. How long will it be before they wise up. If Nikon spent their marketing and advertising budget on R and D they might begin to innovate again, but no, the modern Nikon prefers to flog the same old basic formula and iterate ad infiniitum -it is becoming tedious.
        As for the Df my disappointment is that Nikon are not trying nearly hard enough . The camera and its teaser campaign makes a mockery out the term ‘pure photography’ which is rather presumptuous and patronizing. In reality the claims for the Df are without meaninful substance , it is only a cynical pastiche formed from the parts bin, some ‘B ‘ level ,with knobs on. To add to this dissatisfaction the UK price is US equivalent $ 4400!!

        Nikon may well be profitable, but for how much longer with their stubborn refusal to deliver in so many key areas for years – DX – primes, fast zooms, D400 just for starters. I have to stop this post now as I am boring mysel silly complaining about Nikon when I have moved on and ,like Steve am,really more interested in images than gear / brand rants.

        • Hogan is correct, though he’s not the only one who has reached this assessment.

          I agree, some new innovations from Nikon would be most welcome. But remember, if we’re going to criticize Nikon for being conservative, we have level the same charger at Wetzlar. Leica hasn’t innovated in decades (yet people praise them on their own merits).

          A fluctuating world & marketplace dictate that business decision be made carefully, however, and based upon the bottom line. Nikon and Canon’s current strategies are profitable. They’re profitable because they’re making the sales. They’re making the sales because that’s what folks want to buy. Meanwhile, other manufacturer’s strategy of trying to innovate (not that their products are really more innovative, if you look closely, btw) is not working in terms of bottom line sales.

          As I’ve often said before, Nikon and Canon doubtless have designs for new product on the drawing boards, but won’t roll them out until their analysis tells them that doing so will positively affect the bottom line.

          As to disruptive technologies, I don’t really see any of the major camera manufacturers offering that. Mostly the strategy seems to be incremental improvements, cool little features, and a return to retro. Oh yes, and putting bigger sensors in smaller bodies.

          That’s really all we’re seeing. I do think the industry may have hit a bit of a cost-benefit-innovation plateau…at least for the moment.

  63. “The Df IS for those that want to be inspired by the fact that you have a camera that looks and feels like an old friend.”

    An old friend that gained a lot of weight apparently…

    “One that will pose a challenge to you at the same time when using old classic MF glass and one that you can learn from.”

    Is anyone looking to be challenged by their camera?

    “It is a camera you can take with you anywhere and will excel with small fast primes, even old school glass that you can buy cheap.”

    I what way does the Df “excel with small primes” any differently than a D800 or D600 or D610 or D700…?

    “The Nikon Df, much like a Leica M is for those with a true passion for LIFE and PHOTOGRAPHY, not those who stress over things such as specs and details that mean nothing when it comes to the final output.”

    LOL

    “Again, why so many misunderstand what this camera is meant for and WHO it is meant for is really blowing my mind.”

    The problem with the Df is what its not: A small digital equivalent to the Nikon FM. It is instead a bloated, bulky DSLR in a fake retro cloth at a ridiculous premium price.

    • bingo! been saying it since announcement, this camera isn’t what it’s pretending to be, it is confused product.

  64. Steve, love your “Leica frame of mind” and the reminder that photography is also about a sense of magic that mere words and gizmos can’t describe.

  65. Nicely put Steve.

    Also… initially… based on DX0Mark data, I did question your statement somewhat:

    “Low light? This is about as good as it gets. Period.”

    However, I’ve been looking at a lot of D4 images lately, and I have to say I might now be inclined to agree 🙂

    The output from that sensor/processor combo is simply amazing.

    • Folks who slag the D4 sensor as being “old” or “low on megapixels”, really don’t understand the engineering behind that sensor. Same goes for the D3s, frankly.

      Both offer far more real world capability than most people will ever need…and more specific capability than a great many contemporary sensors.

      It ain’t all about megapixels. Tonality, gradation, shadow detail retention, color depth, etc are more often far, far more important.

  66. Für mich zählt nur die Bildqualität ,ist eine Nikon DF besser als meine D3 ? Ist eine Sony A 7 R vielleicht
    Besser ? Mich ärgert das keiner der hier schreibt das mal eindeutig zum Ausdruck bringt, alle Eiern nur da
    Drumherum ,man will es sich mit keiner Marke verscherzen. Ein Leica M mit Objektiv kostet 10000,00 Euro
    und da kommt so eine A7r für 3500,00 Euro und hat noch eine bessere Bildqualität da muss man sich schon einiges schön reden, um den Preisunterschied zu rechtfertigen.

    MFG Miko

  67. Sorry but I have NEVER bought a camera because of “looks” ……. But I think now I “wouldn’t buy one for the same reason” ……. Sorry just PUG UGLY …… I wouldn’t say it makes the nex”blad” pretty …… But not far off ;P

    • That’s why manufacturers produce different models. To each his own! I think the camera looks great. Your house looks different than mine I am sure. Nothing wrong with that. Your making a very subjective comment. Many people like pugs.

  68. Thank you for a great post Steve! You are right. How a camera feels is perhaps “the feature” that is most important.

    I need proper marked dials to be able to make the best work that I can make (I also prefer manual focus). So until now there has not been any digital camera, except for X100, that I could like and afford. There was no choice. All cameras had the dual, unmarked dials for control of aperture and shutter. And so finally after a decade of waiting the Df shows up. Why did it take so long before we had some choice?

    And further. Where does all the vitriolic hate-comments come from? I had to stop visiting nikonrumours because the climate there is thick with hate. Derogatory comments about the Df only being for “hipsters” or “people just wanting to look cool” and so on. Really mean stuff that has very little to do with opinion and very much to do with venting feelings of anger. Belittling people who are different from you. And yet the Df is really unique and offers something no other DSLR offers: proper dials for ISO, Shutter and Aperture (with right lens). And according to Bjorn Rorslett the finder is far superior to any other Nikon camera (despite this not being visible on spec sheet).

    I don’t think it’s too expensive when you consider its in made in Japan and the manufacture of high quality mechanical dials is far more expensive than the interface on the other cameras. It requires build up of special tooling and other investments. Plus the Df is made in relatively small quantity. To then believe that something like that could or should have a similar price to the Thailand-made D610 which shares component structure and design with every other Nikon DSLR is completely unreasonable.

    I remember there being similar negativity and bullying going on when the FM3A was launched (the marketing campaign was also very similar to the Df campaign). People with autofocus cameras and “modern” dials where mocking it online, calling it retro for posers and saying that “nobody would buy that unless for nostalgia”. That is simply not true. There are even some press parroting this narrow minded opinion that the Df is just for looks when it clearly has completely unique ergonomics in the Nikon line-up.

    The controls for Aperture, Shutter, Focus and ISO are the most important parts for making a photograph. How these work governs how the camera feels to operate. And if you try to make art the heart is always right.

    Specifications like sensors, sharpness or any other technical detail means nothing if its a bad photograph. It is the photographer that makes the picture – so the main objective of a camera should always be to inspire good picture making. A blurry, unsharp great picture will always be better than a sharp, technically perfect bad picture.

    Too often when there is something new or at least a bit foreign, there is tons and tons of vitriol online. Because of this, it was a long time ago since I completely stopped reading the comment fields on news sites because the anger and vitriol would make me feel bad and frustrated and just ruin my day.

    Out of my great joy and curiosity over the Df I made the choice to search online for information, but much of the commentary just made me feel bad for liking this camera. As if I was stupid or something. But I should not complain: we who love manual controls on cameras have very small problems compared to, for example, women publicly expressing feministic opinions, only to be met by vile sexism and general belittlement from the seemingly very large crowd of Angry White Men.

    I for one celebrate the arrival of the Df and look forward to the day when I can buy one. And for the people who generally like the camera but are dissapointed in some detail like the sensor or autofocus, price or whatever – remember that nothing is exactly like you want it. Life is not like that. The world, the things in it and our life is never perfect, never just like we thought or hoped. Deal with it. Learn to cherish it. Or become bitter. Never succumb to bitterness – others or your own.

    Thanks for reading my rant. Somewhat ironically I needed to get this off my chest, not to discuss. If you agree/disagree that is completely fine. Cheers.

    • Samsung NXF1 FullFrame will look most as Lieca M
      (if rumour photo from couple of years ago are anything to go by)

  69. When an unusual looking product enters the market there will be strong reactions in various ways. In this case it’s Nikon’s Df. The design polarises opinions and creates ‘fruity’ reactions. I personally find that interesting as long as it stays civilised. To me the Df looks like a dogs breakfast but I think it’s not necessarily a bad camera. There a so many good cameras around and if one cannot produce good images with any of those then the gear is not to blame.

  70. When I noticed the first rumors, I was ( as a decadelong Nikon user) thrilled. Then the disappointment:
    No video. Why to close out people which like to use it. “Pure Photography” doesn’t mean in my opinion to minimize the options but to give a quick and direct access to camera functions and a special look and feel ( as done) Why not leave away a dedicated video button but enabel people who love to use this excellent lowlight sensor for movie by giving them the option to turn the program wheel on video. The obvious reason to leave away the video option was to protect the other models of the range. How stupid! Who does like the form factor of a D 610 buys a D610. Why no IBIS to get full use of the ” old” Nikon glass? Why no tiltable display to expand creative shooting options? Does this distract from “pure photography”? Not at all. And then a semi plastic body at the price point where you could expect a full magnesium/alloy body. The D4 sensor is said to be phantastic but somehow outdated concerning the time since it is on the market. So: Too expensive! Nikon managed to create a camera with a excellent sensor but the failed to create an excellent camera with an excellent sensor. Almost like to equip a car with a porsche engine but the cheap plastic nterior of a Darcia or Tata. Nikons seems to do as few as possible just to make cameras sellable but doesn’t seem to have the interest to create something really stunning and breathtaking ( like Olympus with the OMD models)

  71. I understand your points Steve but let me add a comment or two from the type of photographer this camera was aimed at. I’m a boomer. I went to an art college in 1968-1972 to study design and photography. A Nikon F was one of my first cameras. I loved it. I also worked hard through my college years, saved my pennies and bought a Leica M2r. As the years passed and I entered into a career in photography, Nikons and Leicas were always with me. In fact probably spent 20 years dragging around a combo of the F3 and the M4. They were old friends. When Leica came out with the M8, I jumped. Dito for the M9. But Nikon kept coming out with soulless round plastic bricks. Now don’t get me wrong, the cameras Nikon makes are fantastic machines. I own a D2 and had a D3. They are perfect cameras for many jobs and for most working photographers. But the hype was a F3 or FM with a digital sensor. A camera just like the old style cameras Leica now makes. While I won’t bash the new Nikon, I just feel it misses the design mark. It just does not look like it will become an old friend. I may change my mind when I get a chance to hold and use a Df but I won’t order one blind. It is just not that attractive and my current gear serves me well.
    I guess what I’m saying is that Nikon promised us one thing and delivered something else. So, while it might be nice, it is not for me… yet.

    • I think Nikon’s ‘video teaser’ campaign worked against them.

      In fact, I don’t think they should have marketed this based on the retro styling at all. I think they would have been wiser to play-it-up as a ‘D4 sensor in a smaller form factor’. Period. Leave it at that.

      Then… let the customers, upon seeing it, say ‘wow – I like the retro design’. Let the public ‘market’, discuss, and debate the choice of styling. I think Nikon should stick to marketing the technical aspects.

      Calvin Klein they are not!

  72. You write: “The Df IS for those that want to be inspired by the fact that you have a camera that looks and feels like an old friend.”

    Well right you are, as is your total observation !

    Just as you write: “Then again, if you are looking for this the Leica M is also right up your alley ”

    Well right you are again, I already had an M9 and ordered the Nikon Df

    Going back to almost everything which has an ‘F’ bajonet is more or less the same as the leica approach,

  73. Steve, you crack me up! Thanks for a terrific article. You seem to be someone that loves new equipment, just because it’s fun. On the spur of the moment I recently bought a NEX-6 and it restarted my photography engine. Later, I bought an E-M1, and that was it! Photography was fun again! This is what new gear and technology should be about … Thanks for trying to get that point across to others.

  74. Very well put!

    As a D800 shooter for work, X100 for myself, this is the camera I have been waiting for years to have. Use it as a second/back-up body, and for personal work without giving up IQ, AF speed, or having to invest into a whole second system that would cost $3k anyway (with good prime set that I already own for Nikon.)

    If you get the chance, you might try the 35mm 1.8DX lens on it (with crop off) vignetting yes, but creates a quite moody look.

  75. Luxury DSLR???

    I think the problem is that die-hard Nikon users don’t understand what their meant to do with a luxury DSLR, every other Nikon DSLR has been produced for it’s functionality with regards to performance and use where as the Df is more about user experience.

    • I agree with ya, Will. Besides the price-point issue that has been mentioned, I really wanted to rekindle my initial experience into photography with a film SLR and standard 1,8/50mm lens. What I was hoping for from the Df was the split prism VF focusing as well. I am entering retirement so all the pro gear is gone as I did not need those capabilities any longer. I do not possess any G.A.S. (my DSLRs were Nikon D2H bodies that I had for 10 years!) but just want something that inspires me to go out and shoot.

    • I also think that die-hard Nikon users don’t realise that this camera is attracting attention from many non-Nikon users to a Nikon camera. I have never owned a Nikon camera and have been using cameras for more than fourty years. This is the first digital Nikon that I would consider owning not because I never liked Nikon, but mainly because of what this new camera represents (as mentioned by Steve).

  76. I don’t quite get why so many knock the D600 camera sure its not the top of the range and isn’t as rugged as some but for anyone who’s used it its already a pretty good size compromise, the quality just oozes out of the sensor and at £1200 it was a steal until the Sony’s came along. What I do think the Sony’s have ultimately done is re-set the pricing benchmark for FF and as their sales sore others will have to re appraise they’re pricing structure. I would take the DF over the D600/D610 as I enjoy using manual glass and getting out of auto the simplified dials may well assist in this but the price just seems totally left of field given the Sony cameras. I’m sure it will drop quite quickly otherwise game over to Sony.

    • Yeah folks like to knock the D600/D610 but really it offers more camera than your average enthusiast needs. Now the oil on sensor thing is a legit criticism, but that sensor is really great.

      I think the D600 is a terrific portrait camera. I think for traditional portraiture 24MP is a good sweet spot. Nice though the D800 is I think 36 MP is overkill in many situations, but obviously very useful for some as well.

      It’s why I’m interested in the Df over the D800 even though I can afford a D800.

  77. We’re leaving out a big part of the dynamic. This thing was much hailed and anticipated before the official announcement.

    I have not seen the bashing of this model to the extant portrayed. What I do see is some level of disappointment in the badge engineering of components, fair enough. But what I do see is the gigantic bashing on the price.

    It seems people are more disappointed in the price than anything else. It’s the lofty price that brings the secondary criticisms – i.e., for this price I would have expected .

    The blogosphere disagrees that this consumer product is fairly priced.

    For a real eye-opener, check out the NikonRumors site for comments two days before release, and then again two days after. Night and day, conflict arising out of price.

    • Yup! I waited for this before buying a DSLR (the Leica is lousy for ultra-wide, super long or macro lenses). As someone who owned an FM back in the day, I am the primary audience for the new Df.

      I bought a Canon 6D instead because the Df was not worth an additional $800.

  78. It does what it was designed to do: get the attention of enthusiasts like me who remember the cameras they either used or lusted after in the 70’s.

  79. Ouch, whiplash! This post started out so well: noting that the Df isn’t better, just different; asking who cares what camera somebody buys; declaring that after all, it’s the photos that count. All true and all worthy of a reminder.

    But then we have a sharp turn into advocacy as we’re told that the Df “is for those with a true passion for LIFE and PHOTOGRAPHY.” Wait, don’t we ALL prefer to believe we’re passionate about life and photography? Seriously, how many emails do you get that say, “Hi, Steve, my life is kind of crummy and I really don’t give much of a crap about photography. Which camera would be best for me?”

    What’s really going on here, I think, is simply nostalgia. The Df is designed to trip the triggers of all of us who started out when an FM2 was a pretty hot setup and it was still possible to impress chicks by saying you were a photographer (or at least we thought it was.) We see a camera with a lot of engraved knobs and it’s like a fountain of youth. Somebody whose first camera was the one built into his phone, on the other hand, is probably going to see all those knobs as a silly hindrance. But that doesn’t mean he’s any less passionate about life or photography.

    I’m in my 50s and just as prone to yearning for my lost youth and its material trappings as the next guy (which is why I’d have preferred that Nikon do a digital SP!) But I know that’s just self-indulgence. Caveat: If self-indulgence really does make your pictures better, then go for it! Let’s not kid ourselves about what we’re doing, that’s all…

  80. But surely part of the fun is having an opinion? And what is more we are allowed to have different opinions. I love making photographs, I love the art and the satisfaction it gives me but I’ve got to say I love the kit, the tech and the banter on the forums as well, they are not mutually exclusive. I take at the very least 50 photographs a day virtually every day, I probably spend on average of 90 minutes every day actually taking photographs, sometimes a lot more but I still have time to chuckle and tut to myself over other people opinions about the kit. Clearly the Df is not ‘crap’ but it hardly moves the game forward. I’m sure it will sell to some, but absolutely not to me…..

    • I agree I still use my Nikon D200 (Yikes it’s not Even Full Frame) Does this make me Insane in the Frame-well for 150. cdn Included with a FG all Black Japan Film SLR-50 1.8 I place this Cheapskate lens on my D200 and I also shoot Leica M3-M4 M6 (with a broken Lightmeter) and using a found scanner with Hand Developing using Vitimen C and Cafeine with basic BW film.
      I’m an Inde artist on a limited budget-Alls I’m aiming at Is Whatever works-Film.
      It’s a poor Artist who blames the Instrament.
      I use a poor mans Leica M9-Panaleica with various primes w adaptors.
      I can appreciate the 2x Focal range and use Primes (Pentax-Nikon-Cannon) RF Primes as well
      with Leica 39mm with LTM to Micro 4/3 and guess what the Pros’s ask my What the F RU shooting with.
      When I told them how much I spent on gear (Second hand thrift stores-Craigslist-Ebay)
      I even compared on a HD Apple Pro Cinema display VS D Shots-CLOSE ENOUGH in Digital I realize Nothing can Beat the Optics of Leica (You get what you pay for) But do we see (Our actual vision is Not HD.
      I still prefer the look of film (LP vs CD) I hope I didn’t offend anyone but I a film nut and wnjoy both formats of Hybrid Manual film primes with D Cameras have a very Special and Unique.
      Not ashamed to have Happy accidents and override various settings.
      I managed to hand held using available starlight in Near Darkness with a very Cheap Pentax MF stoped down to F 1.4 set at 1600.
      Pentax late 60’s Explore David baily’s The Birth of Cool
      Poor mans Nikon Hey if it’s good enough for david baily who Im I to complain.
      As always Steve Many eternal blessing for your site and 2 Everyone out there.
      Hippy Shooting
      Paul
      Circle

      • Jesus man, can’t understand what you’re saying! Punctuation?
        All I get is that you are fond of film but you use a lot of different gear, not necessarily recent…
        Your point?

  81. Well … I’m a Nikon user since the arival of the digital to my life, before I shooted with Canon (talking about film here), and later on, once I was completely inmerse in Nikon I got and old F and shooted with it too for fun … For my street photography or “family trips” I’ve shooted Canon G, Olympus Pen, Ricoh and nowadays Fuji (an X10) … So As you can see I´m not a Nikon “fanboy” but a “camera as a tool fanboy”.
    For my work I shoot Nikon (D700 and Nikor lenses) and love my workhorse, trustful 100%. But as a street photographer in my spare time I really was expecting something diferent from Nikon when they came out with this DF so my deception was big …
    The camera (DF) is provably (I never touched one) as Nikon usually does, a very nice piece of work, I don’t doubt it. I’m sure people is trashing it out there, like every simgle thing in these world … oh you like BMW, well I preffer Mercedes-Benz, Nikon or Canon?, Leno or Letterman?, well I preffer Ferguson, oh! another weirdo, Americans making fun of the Europeans, Europeans making fun of the Americans … You get the point, right?. That is just trash talking that doesn’t bring anything but a waste of time. Forget about cameras and let the photos talk, that goes to separate the good photographers from the dirt.
    From my point of view, this camera is not for what you said neither Steve, you must excuse me here, but I don’t agree with you, I think this camera is just an attempt from Nikon to jump in the “vintage looking cameras” train, but they missed the best oportunity to shake the market anyone ever had … Basically they did a D600 with another suit (I’m well aware of the different specs) but you know what I mean … They are not bringing anything new to the party. They lost the chance to bring a full frame rangefinder mirrorless camera with the total resemblance of their S line with a very simple line of primes (as Fuji did with the X Pro 1) and shake the market kicking Leica and Fuji in the nuts at the same time. That and no other thing is what Nikon had to do … Unfortunatelly they brought the DF, I’m sure is a sweet camera, fun to use and it looks very good too … But to me is just another DSLR, and we already had plenty of that in Nikon’s catalog.

  82. You could not have said ( written ) it better Sir . I love it ( and I love the D600, D610 & the D800 too! ) The only thing that’s holding me back from buying one up to now is the price… The Df, just like the D700…, NO VIDEO.., nice !!!

  83. I am looking forward for my rental DF to come in. Then I can test it with all my MF Nikkor lenses with an open mind, instead of worrying that I dropped $3k on something I may not like.
    For me, the most important part of the camera is not the specs but if it instills in me the desire to pick it up and go and take photos.

    Huss

    • I played with the A7 and the A7r on a Sony promotion seminar few days ago. A7 is acceptable, but the A7r according to Sony person. It is a pre-production model, no idea it is real or not, It is the slowest digital camera I have seen. After shooting two photos, for the third one, you have to wait for at least half a minute or more for the processor to finish processing. There was no clear indication that the image was processing by the camera, the camera just paused.

  84. The Df surely looks exciting for what it is – a retro DSLR. While I love the looks of a D600 I also love the X-E1 and any retro styled mirrorless. I need both or I will get bored with only one thing. After all I admit being as much of a gear head and enjoing both new and old technology.

    I’m looking forward to your review. You surprised me with being so positive with the V1 despite it being a “tiny sensor” and not having the Leica brand or much of a classical feel over it. 🙂

  85. I kinda want one, if it wasn’t for the new Sonys I’d be ALL OVER this bad boy. I think the price is right, image quality is great….and as shocking as it may sound to the readers of THIS mirrorless loving blog…

    …I kinda miss holding a DSLR shaped DSLR 🙂

  86. Yes agree completely. Maybe the ‘problem’ now is there are just so many great cameras coming out and the marketplace is changing so quickly, it’s harder than ever to know what you really want. Personally, I was all over the Oly EM-1 until the Sony A7R was announced. And I had no interest in the Nikon DF until I heard about the new Nikkor 58/1.4 lens, which got me thinking. But then I remembered the upcoming Panny-Leica 42.5/1.2 Nocticron…

    • @Simmon I’m with you- once I found out about the Nikon 58/1.4 I wanted this body even more. That’s a special lens imo, and I’m more interested in it than anything Nikon has released in recent history. Dxo testing has not so spectacular numbers, but once you see the rendering & characteristics of real world samples, it’s clear that Nikon focused on quality over quanity(quantity being max sharpness), just like their angle on the DF. I hope this isnt a one off thing for Nikon: I really like this new direction they are going in.

      Since Steve hasn’t even mentioned the 58/1.4 since it was announced(which is a little disappointing Tbh), I thought it might be ok to post a link to a pro photographer’s thoughts on this lens.
      Check this out if you haven’t seen it already; It’s an incredible write-up with breathtaking photos:

      http://www.samhurdphotography.com/2013/gear-reviews/nikon-58mm-f1-4-lens-review-and-comparison-with-detailed-sample-images

        • I picked this lens up because I wanted a fantastic prime around this focal length and have been waiting forever for Nikon to come out with something really interesting. This lens is it. I love the way it renders and to be honest while I was about to jump into the A7 but the Df combined with the 58mm have given me pause.

          I kind of think both the 58mm and Df are a little high in price, but I guess if this stuff is your passion and you can afford to why not pay for something you love.

        • The rendering is indeed very special, nothing like it and therefore well worth the steep price (not more expensive than the other pro AF-S Nikkor 1.4 primes though). Beware of sample variations though; I’m exchanging mine for another because of focus problems.

  87. Steve, I respect your view but you do get excited about nothing sometimes… People have right to state their opinion about camera gear, being that positive or negative. You use “bashing” a bit too much, sorry… I have D800 and Leica M (240 & M9). I have a “connection” with each of these cameras. I enjoy using each one of them. Nikon Corporation (or Leica AG, for that matter) did not have to “shove it down” for me in order to get connected with each of these tools. I did my research before buying, tried it if I could and when I opened the box of MY camera, I was already “connected and inspired”. I wanted to like Df. Since switching to Nikon from years of using EOS system, I wanted a second DSLR body. Df announcement at first (for me) looked as perfect fit. But then I discovered more details that made me change my mind (not “bashing it”): 16mp is not enough for me (I shoot stock for living and that file size would limit more sales of larger size files, nothing to do with quality just pure Potential “$” value…). I find 24-25mp ideal for what I do factoring in the financial factor for sales. D800 has 36mp and that I find too extreme on the other hand (my Mac takes longer digesting those huge files… Etc.), but I enjoy that camera anyways. Df is NOT what Nikon initially “hinted”. It is a great try but cut short on some “basic” features (to be called more than Just “retro” looking) that almost all of “bashes” (as you call them) mentioned. I won’t go in to detail on those. I like that Nikon tried to “make it interesting” and I am sure that it will sell good. It is just not what I expected when I read for the first time “digital FM” or “digital F3″… Once I reviewed everything this camera will eventually offer, I decided to pass… Lastly, for THAT price I would buy another D800, but I won’t as I did to do it before Df. I will wait. Maybe Nikon will have something soon that will suit me better for second body? Retro or not…

    • I agree. And maybe I just expected more of the Df, I expected a radically different concept. Not just a DSLR in a ‘retro’ shell. If we can even call it retro, because in my opinion it only resembles film-era camera-design.

      I think it’s perfectly reasonable to critique this camera, despite it’s so called intentions of who it is aimed at. Just because this camera is aimed in a certain way by Nikon marketing, doesn’t give it a free-pass against objective critique.

      • I also agree, it is not a Nikon FM. It is still almost as heavy as a D610, and a lot bigger than an FM. Besides, for my photography it isn’t worth the extra cost over a D610 for a few knobs for controls.

    • “…I shoot stock for living and that file size would limit more sales of larger size files…”

      Interesting. You’re talking stock photography, not fine art photography. The D4 sensor ought to have more than enough resolution for you. It certainly does for most commercial work.

  88. Well written, Steve! Interestingly, to some extent I realize that kind of shooting (one frame at a time, using primes, connect with the camera) with my Oly e-Pl1 😉 But the Df could be a natural upgrade.

  89. Great written Steve, I totally agree with you. I do not either understand why people need to throw a lot of shit on different cameras. I have noticed that some cameras provoke a lot of negativity with people, why bother if camera not suit their needs. I am quite new to this world, bought a fuji x100s this summer and are totally satisfied with the camera and it fulfills my needs. Noticed though that some x100 user and a lot of dslr user are really piss off with that camera, specially if it gets a for review. But if they are satisfied with their camera they do not need to care, but some really need to convince the world that piece of crapp…

  90. I am not a Nikon shooter so the Df has little interest to me. I like the way Fuji implemented their dial interface, but of course they had the freedom to use on lens ring for aperture, something Canon, Nikon, and Sony all abandoned in the first push to modern autofocus lenses. Interesting that Sony brought it back for the RX10. The ability to stick the various dials in an auto-position on the Fuji is also nice, like the old auto aperture settings on manual focus lenses. The D800 guts in the Df would have made more sense to me but probably drove the price to high.

  91. Exactly, spot on. “Camera Envy” pays off for no one except the manufacturers. And, since it seems to be an embedded human characteristic, it will never end. Two years from now the Df will be “forgotten” except by the aficionados and collectors, and everyone else will be on the the next can’t-live-without-it photography object.

    By way of example, if you have an OMD-EM5 just get out there and shoot. Don’t worry about the EM1. If you’re itching to get something new buy a new prime and prepare to fall in love with your “old” camera all over again.

  92. These are very sound comments. Cameras are picture making tools plain and simple. An M9 still takes the same quality image it always did, as does a D700.
    The Df appeals to me, and is the first Nikon I have been interested in in years, because of the idea that it is a simple tool that employs the D4 sensor. I could therefore shoot action with a camera that hopefully is small, light and easy to control.
    A few years ago I was on an photo safari with two people using big Nikons and Canons with enormous telephoto lenses. I had an M8 with a M135 lens. I just kept shooting with my simple tool and got the shots while they were often scrolling through seemingly endless submenus while the game fled. I would expect the Df to perform better in such circumstances.

    • “…Nikons and Canons with enormous telephoto lenses…”

      They absolutely had the correct gear. That they didn’t have it set up correctly ahead of time was their fault, not the equipment’s.

      Much as I love the ‘M’ line, it would not be the tool I would take on safari.

      Not unless I could walk right up to the lions.

      Lions tend to frown on that. 😉

  93. Time will tell. Same as when Fuji X Pro1 first launched. A lot of bad criticism, If you like the style, buy it. If you have no money, don’t. Like Leica, expensive. They all are digital cameras, they all can take photos.

  94. Steve I am with you on what matters most, making a connection with the camera. This happened for me with my Nikon D100 and D200. I got the best images with these cameras not because they where technically good but because I was compelled to pick them up and use them – a lot. Since these cameras I have been through too many cameras looking for this magic again. While I am in the keep it small no DSLR camp and really looking forward to the a7r. I may just have to hold a Df and see if it has that magic for me before I decide.

  95. In regards to what camera to grab if they were on the table – for me – it would depend what I was going out to shoot. If I wanted to do street and be somewhat inconspicuous, then maybe the Df. But if I were doing portrait work, I’d grab the D4 in a heartbeat. Landscape, the D800. The 610 to prop the door open on the way out. 😉 I hear what you’re saying about the many audiences. To each their own. This will have a crowd it will appeal to, just like everything else. The M 240 has its own following but there are still many of us flocking to the M-E or used M9’s to shoot with. It’ll be the same with Nikon and the Df. People will still seek out the D800 and D4 – those that want (or need) that body, grip and features and where the Df just doesn’t make their cut. You hit many excellent points here – but no one will know for sure until they actually shoot with it and feel if it melts away (as it should) or if it is an obstacle.

  96. I’ve used a Nikon D3 professionally for four years. When it came out is was said by many to be ‘fantastic, amazing, incredible’ and many other great things…so I bought one. Now, apparently, there’s ‘better’ cameras available than my D3. The thing is though, my D3 is still all the things people said it was then it first came out. It’s not like someone broke into my house and removed some of it’s capabilities…or did they?

  97. for compact fullframe should one go for Nikon DF or Sony A7/A7r with higher megapixel plus mirrorless, but less manual control?

    • Obviously the Sony. The Df is not compact and will only let you mount Nikon lenses. With the Sony you can mount a much wider range of lenses. Also the Sony is much cheaper.

      • I have D800 & I have just bought the Df a week ago. All I can say when I am using Df is, I have more pictures that don’t need to be cropped. Even I can’t understand & explain why I have a tendency to look & think deeper before making shots with Df. It makes you slow down and picture out the result first, like a real old time, saving film photographer.

        One thing I don’t understand are those people who judged on cameras by just looking on the specs. With Df, the learning curve is steep but the result is pure art. With Df to touch & use is to believe.

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