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Nikon Df review

January 23, 2014

Overall Rating:

4

Nikon Df


  • Features:
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  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • Build/Handling:
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  • Metering:

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£2,749.00

It's been a long time coming, but now Nikon has released a DSLR in the style of its F-series film cameras. Can Nikon's 16.2-million-pixel, full-frame Df really live up to the hype? Read the Nikon Df review...

Nikon Df review – Our verdict

Nikon’s aim is to try to recapture the essence of shooting on a vintage film SLR. So does the Df achieve this? Well, it is certainly a valiant effort, but the two mediums are very different and merely changing a few of the settings to dedicated control dials doesn’t really offer the same experience. As much as the dials were a novelty to use, the locking buttons mean that you have to take your eye away from the viewfinder to change settings. Neither did I like the repositioned front dial. I guess it made me realise that the design of a modern DSLR suits the digital medium, and while a vintage style or look may be nice, there is no real advantage to the dial controls.

With the same sensor as that used in the Nikon D4, the Df produces great images. Although the sensor may lack the detail resolution of some other full-frame Nikon DSLRs, it does perform excellently in low light, producing very little noise throughout its extremely high sensitivity ISO range.

The Df is certainly a good camera, but other than the extreme low-light capabilities of the sensor, its ability to use pre-Ai lenses and its vintage style, there is little that is unique enough to warrant its purchase over the D610, especially considering its price.

Nikon Df – Key features

Hotshoe
As a professional DSLR, the Nikon Df does not have a built-in flash. Instead, it relies on the camera’s hotshoe.

Dual dials
The two dials on the left-hand side of the top-plate control the ISO sensitivity and the exposure compensation.

Release thread
The shutter button of the Df has a screw thread for a mechanical cable release.

Main menu
The main menu is located on the left of the camera and is easy to press with the thumb of the left hand.

Af lock
This switch locks the AF point so that a press of the directional control won’t change the AF point position.

Info
A press of this button displays all the current exposure and image settings on the rear screen.

  • White Balance: 2 auto, 6 presets (with fine-tuning), plus 3 custom and Kelvin adjustment settings
  • Built-in Flash: No
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -3 to +1 dioptre
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC and SDXC
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • Output Size: 4928x3280 pixels
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
  • LCD: 3.2in TFT with 921,000 dots
  • Field of View: Approx 100%
  • AF Points: 39 points, selectable manually or automatically
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/250sec
  • Sensor: FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor with 16.2 million effective pixels
  • White Balance Bracket: 2-3 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3
  • Focal Length Mag: 1x (1.5x in DX-format crop mode)
  • Exposure Modes: PASM
  • Weight: 710g (without battery or card/s)
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion EN-EL14a
  • File Format: NEF (raw), JPEG, raw+JPEG simultaneously
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3 steps, plus B
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3EV steps
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Drive Mode: Single, continuous (Hi/Lo selectable, up to 5.5fps with AF, self-timer
  • RRP: £2,749.99 (with 50mm f/1.8G lens)
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F
  • ISO: 50-204,800 (extended)
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single-shot AF, continuous AF with AF fine-tuning
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Dimensions: 143.5x110x66.5mm
  • Metering System: 2016-pixel RGB 3D matrix metering, centreweighted (adjustable), spot (1.5%)
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HDMI
  • Compression: 3-stage JPEG, 3-stage NEF
  • Tested as: Enthusiast DSLR
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