Photography

Nikon Df: A retro-styled full-frame DSLR

Nikon Df: A retro-styled full-...
The Nikon Df is a retro-styled and slimmer full-frame DSLR
The Nikon Df is a retro-styled and slimmer full-frame DSLR
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The Df is compatible with virtually all Nikon F-mount lenses
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The Df is compatible with virtually all Nikon F-mount lenses
The Nikon Df is a retro-styled and slimmer full-frame DSLR
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The Nikon Df is a retro-styled and slimmer full-frame DSLR
An optical glass pentaprism viewfinder on the the Nikon Df gives 100 percent frame coverage, and there's a 3.2-inch LCD on the rear with a 921-k dot resolution
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An optical glass pentaprism viewfinder on the the Nikon Df gives 100 percent frame coverage, and there's a 3.2-inch LCD on the rear with a 921-k dot resolution
While it doesn't have a built-in flash, the Nikon Df has a standard hot-shoe
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While it doesn't have a built-in flash, the Nikon Df has a standard hot-shoe
The Nikon Df will go on sale later this month with a body-only price of US$2,800, or $3,000 with the 50-mm F1.8 G kit lens
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The Nikon Df will go on sale later this month with a body-only price of US$2,800, or $3,000 with the 50-mm F1.8 G kit lens
The Nikon Df is said to be good for 1,400 shots on a single battery
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The Nikon Df is said to be good for 1,400 shots on a single battery
The Nikon Df uses the same 16.2-megapixel full-frame sensor as the flagship D4
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The Nikon Df uses the same 16.2-megapixel full-frame sensor as the flagship D4
Everything about the looks of the Nikon Df are retro, right down to the leather-textured top and grip
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Everything about the looks of the Nikon Df are retro, right down to the leather-textured top and grip
The Nikon Df features the Nikon EXPEED 3 image processing engine
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The Nikon Df features the Nikon EXPEED 3 image processing engine
The most striking feature of the Nikon Df is undoubtedly its abundance of mechanical dial-based manual controls
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The most striking feature of the Nikon Df is undoubtedly its abundance of mechanical dial-based manual controls
The Nikon Df is a good looking retro camera
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The Nikon Df is a good looking retro camera
The Niklon Df forgoes Compact Flash card compatibility in favor of a single SD slot
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The Niklon Df forgoes Compact Flash card compatibility in favor of a single SD slot
Though there's no built-in Wi-Fi, the Nikon Df is compatible with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
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Though there's no built-in Wi-Fi, the Nikon Df is compatible with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
The Nikon Df measures 143.5 x 110 x 66.5 mm (5.6 x 4.3 x 2.6 in)
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The Nikon Df measures 143.5 x 110 x 66.5 mm (5.6 x 4.3 x 2.6 in)
The Nikon Df weighs 765 g (1 lb, 11 oz)
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The Nikon Df weighs 765 g (1 lb, 11 oz)
Because the Nikon Df is a DSLR, it is considerably larger than mirrorless cameras
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Because the Nikon Df is a DSLR, it is considerably larger than mirrorless cameras
Though there's no built-in Wi-Fi, the Nikon Df is compatible with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
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Though there's no built-in Wi-Fi, the Nikon Df is compatible with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
The Nikon Df comes with an optional 50-mm F1.8 G kit lens, which has matching retro looks
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The Nikon Df comes with an optional 50-mm F1.8 G kit lens, which has matching retro looks
There's no video button on the back of the Nikon Df, because there's no video recording option
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There's no video button on the back of the Nikon Df, because there's no video recording option
Nikon is also offering optional black or brown leather carrying cases for the Nikon Df
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Nikon is also offering optional black or brown leather carrying cases for the Nikon Df
Available in silver or black color schemes, the Nikon Df will go on sale later this month with a body-only price of US$2,800, or $3,000 with the 50-mm F1.8 G kit lens
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Available in silver or black color schemes, the Nikon Df will go on sale later this month with a body-only price of US$2,800, or $3,000 with the 50-mm F1.8 G kit lens
Settings on the Nikon Df with dedicated control dials include shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, and shooting mode
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Settings on the Nikon Df with dedicated control dials include shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, and shooting mode
Inside the Nikon Df there's a 16.2-megapixel full-frame FX CMOS sensor (36 x 23.9 mm)
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Inside the Nikon Df there's a 16.2-megapixel full-frame FX CMOS sensor (36 x 23.9 mm)
View gallery - 23 images

Nikon has revealed its latest full-frame camera, the Nikon Df. The new DSLR boasts the same 16.2-megapixel FX sensor as the flagship D4, but in a much smaller and retro-styled body. Aimed squarely at photography enthusiasts and purists, it's been designed to pay homage to the Nikon F, F3 and FM/FE series of 35mm film cameras and features mechanical control dials galore.

While we've seen plenty of retro-inspired cameras in recent years, including the Fujifilm X100S, the Olympus PEN E-P5 and the Panasonic GX7, these have all been either fixed-lens or mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The Df is the first retro DSLR, and as such was never going to be as small as the recently announced mirrorless Sony Alpha 7s, though it is the smallest ever FX DSLR.

Inside the Df there's a 16.2-megapixel full-frame FX CMOS sensor (36 x 23.9 mm), which is paired with the Nikon EXPEED 3 image processing engine for producing top-notch image quality. An ISO range of 100-12,800 means the camera should be a solid low-light performer, and it's capable of continuous burst shooting at 5.5 fps. Auto-focus is dealt with by a 39-point Multi-CAM 4800 AF system which has nine cross-type sensors, like that in the Nikon D610.

The most striking feature of the Nikon Df is undoubtedly its abundance of mechanical dial-based manual controls
The most striking feature of the Nikon Df is undoubtedly its abundance of mechanical dial-based manual controls

The most striking feature of the Nikon Df is undoubtedly its abundance of mechanical dial-based manual controls, which add to its retro good looks and give it a feel to match. Settings with dedicated control dials include shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, and shooting mode. There are also enough other controls, including function buttons on the front, to keep most enthusiasts happy.

An optical glass pentaprism viewfinder gives 100 percent frame coverage, and there's a 3.2-inch LCD on the rear with a 921-k dot resolution. A rugged build quality sees magnesium alloy covers used on the top, bottom, and rear of the 143.5 x 110 x 66.5 mm (5.6 x 4.3 x 2.6 in) and 765 g (1 lb, 11 oz) camera. It also boasts the same level of weather sealing as the Nikon D800.

An optical glass pentaprism viewfinder on the the Nikon Df gives 100 percent frame coverage, and there's a 3.2-inch LCD on the rear with a 921-k dot resolution
An optical glass pentaprism viewfinder on the the Nikon Df gives 100 percent frame coverage, and there's a 3.2-inch LCD on the rear with a 921-k dot resolution

It's interesting to note that in playing to the photography purist market (or perhaps because of a lack of space) Nikon has omitted video capabilities from the Df. This will no doubt rule it out for some photographers, while delighting others. The Df also forgoes Compact Flash card compatibility in favor of a single SD slot. Additionally there's no built-in flash, or indeed Wi-Fi, though it has a hot-shoe for an external flash and is compatible with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter.

Reaffirming the Df's status as an enthusiast's camera, it will not ship with the standard compromising zoom kit lens. Instead, there's the option of a 50-mm F1.8 G kit lens, which has matching retro looks. The Nikon Df is also compatible with virtually all Nikon F-mount lenses, not just current AF, AF-S, DX and AF-D NIKKOR offerings. Thanks to a collapsible metering coupling lever located on the bayonet, classic Ai and pre-Ai NIKKOR glass can also be used.

Available in silver or black color schemes, the Nikon Df will go on sale later this month with a body-only price of US$2,800, or $3,000 with the 50-mm F1.8 G kit lens.

Product page: Nikon Df

View gallery - 23 images
4 comments
Mark A
From a time when you needed to give each exposure some thought. Lovely. I would like one of each please.
EUbrainwashing
It is like designing a fantastic, ultimate state of modern technology, motor car that looks like and is operated as if a horse.
Ken O'Neill
@EUbrainwashing ...I think a comparison with an old Rolls Royce or E-Type Jag vs. todays equivalents would have been a more appropriate analogy.
Marshall Roath
What may be more useful to those of us with older F bodies and a case full of lenses would be a digital back that would slide onto the older bodies. Something like a motor back but not as bulky.