The Nikon Df File

Nikon Df
Nikon Df

Non-mirrorless and pentaprism are not yet dead after all. Nikon makes a bold statement with the Nikon Df — photography’s heritage isn’t dead at all. You might not want the latest, bestest sensor — albeit three years old, its sensor rocks. Maybe what’s here is already perfect enough. Right, you bet this camera is an instant modern classic of digital photography by being all about manual controls and a photography experience before the ascent of menus on testosterone. The Df, says Nikon, reignites the photographer’s passion for photography with a thrilling blend of classic and modern. On the outside, it’s classic Nikon — the company’s thinnest, lightest full-frame format body with an elegant mechanical operation system inspired by the legendary F, F3 and FM/FE series film cameras. On the inside, it’s flagship Nikon DSLR — the advanced 16.2-MP full-frame 35mm equivalent image sensor and processing engine from the D4 with ultra fast 39-point AF system.

Nikon Df
Nikon Df
On the whole the Nikon Df (specs) is a 765 grams weighty beauty and beast at the same time with retro looks, classic operation and leatherette on the prominent pentaprism that houses a big bright viewfinder. The camera’s controls look as elegant as a Swiss watch with lots of muscles around it. This isn’t a kind of fine arts Fujifilm X series. This one is bursting with power.

With the Df, Nikon certainly takes a lesson from Sony and Fujfilm: go looks, go style and quality finishing materials, and people will be willing to pay a premium. Priced at $2,749 body only and $2,999 with the special edition 50mm F1.8G kit lens, Nikon’s Df concept is simple — it’s a reversal of mechanical dials having given way to buttons, menu systems and LCD displays: “A perfect blend of classic and modern, the Nikon Df offers a more personal shooting style that will inspire a new relationship with your camera—one you may have known and lost over the years—and reawaken your joy for taking photos.”

The full-frame 16.2MP image sensor paired with EXPEED 3 image processor and expandable ISO range down to 50 and up to 204,800 (!) enable the capture of sharp low light details with crisp edges and shadow areas that reflect proper, natural tonal gradation and highlights with rich, smooth gradation. The Df’s rugged magnesium alloy body will withstand harsh conditions.

Additionally, the Df wouldn’t be a true classic if it wouldn’t work with 30 or more years old lenses. Nikon developed a mount system that works with all current AF-S, AF-D and AF Nikkor lenses and has near-100% F mount lens compatibility.

+++ You can order the Nikon Df and Special Edition 50mm F1.8G lens from

+++ Now what do reviewers and photographers say about this modern classic camera? Read our definitive, continuously updated Nikon Df Reference File bringing you all the relevant hands-on reviews and field reports that matter (latest update on top):

Rock photographer Mick Rock adores the Df — here is why (he has photographed most major rock stars, yet this could be the most important camera in his life, he says):

If I’m shooting very fast with other cameras I may lose focus or the right exposure for a few frames or maybe they will actually stop shooting. With this camera I can be totally relentless and completely maintain focus/exposure etc.

The beauty of the Df is that it is so suited to my approach to shooting. It’s flexible and adjustable and durable but also very light to hold. I’m always moving around, I’m always looking for different angles. This is the perfect beast.

It’s physically beautiful and it does have some resonance with my trusty camera from the old days. But also technologically, the focusing system, the speed at which I can shoot, the ridiculous low light I can shoot under — this could be the most important camera in my life. I can be a rock and roll bandit with one of these cameras in my hand. I can be young again, believe I’m 23 and be totally uninhibited.

New Nikon shooter blends retro charm and modern superpowers, says Wired:

Aesthetic intrigue and low light performance aside, who should consider paying around $3,000 for the Nikon Df? The easy answer is someone who (1) loves the way cameras used to do things and (2) has access to older pre-Ai Nikon lenses. The Nikon Df also has immense appeal as a step-up camera for anyone who’s comfortable with manual controls. The other full-frame cameras in Nikon’s stable are straightforward bodies for pros and enthusiasts — the D800/D800E, D610, and D4S are all practical, video-capable options. The Df is more limited than similarly priced cameras in terms of features, but it’s also a lot more fun to shoot with.

“A tale of two cameras,” concludes The Verge — “a beautiful beast of a camera,” they say, “that’s let down by woeful controls” (I don’t agree at all with this conclusion…:

The Nikon Df reminds me of Microsoft’s Courier tablet. On paper, the fusion of Nikon’s esteemed design heritage with its latest technology is an obvious win, but turning that aspiration into a practical reality has turned out to be harder than anticipated. Like the Courier, which never made it past the concept stage, the camera that combines the best of Nikon’s past and present doesn’t exist. The Df asks for too many usability compromises to simply dress up modern performance in a retro shell.

Nikon’s traditional strengths are very much evident in the Df: it’s built to last, takes amazing photos, and is compatible with one of the broadest and best lens ranges in the business. But then it’s also more than $1,000 more expensive than Nikon’s own D610, which is roughly the same size, much easier to use, and can record 1080p video. While it’s true that aesthetic considerations in photography are moving beyond the images produced and turning to the equipment with which they’re captured, the Nikon Df just isn’t pretty enough to justify its numerous shortcomings.

Pop Photo tests the Df, and I wholeheartedly have to disagree with their bottom line. There are worlds between using a Df and D610…:

If you have a stash of older Nikon glass, especially non-AI lenses, the Df is pretty much your only DSLR option without having your lenses modified. If you don’t have old glass, you may be better served by the D610, which will save you enough money for another lens. Of course, that means you’ll miss out on the Df’s unique style—but only you can decide how much that matters to you. Suffice it to say that this still imaging machine has all the flair and prowess most advanced enthusiasts could ever want.

Love it or hate it, says DigitalCameraReview:

With its retro, steam punk-like styling and multiple manual controls, the Nikon Df is one of those cameras that polarizes photographers. Not everyone is going to like or even feel comfortable with the camera’s design and the need to depend on sometimes difficult-to-use dials and buttons to adjust settings. Some photographers — by preference or necessity — are used to that run-and-gun type of shooting referenced earlier and don’t want (or don’t know how) to slow down and enjoy the experience of creating an image.

Although I can’t confess unwavering adoration for the Df, I fall on the positive side of the love-it-or-hate-it divide. I like the Df a lot. I like the amount of physical control over shooting those sometimes-annoying dials provide. Image quality is outstanding and is the camera’s strong suit–as it should be with any camera. Add good dynamic range and excellent high ISO performance and I find it’s easier than I anticipated to overlook some of this camera’s quirks.

THEME‘s very own take on the Df? Df-initely a hell of a camera that’s class-leadingly superb in difficult light offering the overall feel of a camera that gets you hooked — but please read the whole thing:

Tech freaks and pixel peepers most likely hate the Df (hating a camera, how weird is that…). They can’t stand the gimmicky styling and don’t understand why someone would spend nearly $3,000 on a camera with “worse” specs (not to mention less pixels) than a, say, D800.

Then there is the rest of humanity and, in one last camp, people who yearn for a solid, reliable, no nonsense, not too big camera built on proven technology to shoot for fun or professionally, be it in the street, for weddings, photojournalism or studio work. They’re no nerds and no geeks. They love photography, and they’ll love the Df. The camera might look a bit over the top. But it’s a highly efficient tool, all you need is within reach of your fingertips (…)

Beware. The more you use the Df, the more it grows on you. This Df “forces” to be shot like with a film camera. Less can be more. I love this reductionism.

Nikon Df with Nikkor 28mm F1.8G | 1/80 F7.1 ISO 3,200
Nikon Df with Nikkor 28mm F1.8G | 1/80 F7.1 ISO 3,200 | Daniel Kestenholz / THEME

MSN U.K. calls the Df “one for the purist” — so the Sony A7 might be a more rational deal?

The Nikon Df is not a perfect camera but the results you’ll get from it are. It’s the very best of picture quality available and for less than the price of a Nikon D4. As a device for purist photographers then, Nikon has achieved its goal. All the same, that’s quite difficult to justify when the Sony Alpha A7 full-frame camera comes at half cost again.

What’s more, the A7 points out where Nikon has failed with the Df. The Sony camera really is noticeably portable and convenient whereas you’re very much bearing the weight of the sacrifice around your neck with the Df.

Don’t get us wrong, though, we really like the Nikon Df, but to think that it’s delivered the full-frame dream of superb image quality and affordable price in a significantly more compact body would be a mistake. If you can afford one and don’t mind the mass, then go for it. Otherwise, the A7 is probably what you’re after — that or a camera that doesn’t exist yet.

Except for the price, Digital Spy loves the Df:

Nikon’s Df camera is a very difficult product to judge. On the one hand, we want to smother it with praise simply because of its looks, build quality and attention to detail.

On the other though, the camera’s high price feels frustrating. While the sensor from the D4 clearly translates to fantastic images, we can’t help but feel that the “shooting experience” offered on the Df needs to be available to a wider market.

This said, as a no compromises piece of photographic kit, the Df is put together with such love that it’s hard to ignore.

Some will hate the slow and finicky click wheel controls, whereas others will find the way it changes their photography to be a complete revelation.

Either way, the styling alone on the Df makes it a very desirable product. Ultimately, it all depends on whether the looks appeal to you, as if not, there is plenty of money that can be saved to get just as good quality stills from a DSLR.

To us though, the Df feels like a bit of a classic.

The Phoblographer reviews the Df — in a nutshell? Great camera if you don’t need video…:

The Nikon Df has a lot going for it, so it’s not a complete disappointment. It was fun putting my classic lenses on the Nikon Df and seeing them shine. The image quality is superb, but it’s sad that Nikon decided to take the fantastic sensor from the D4 and then limit it by down-spec’ing the camera. The controls are more complicated than they should be for pure photography, which makes me question Nikon’s strategy. I understand they were trying to follow the trend with the whole retro thing, but they put too much thought into the design and not into the user experience in my opinion.

In the end though, I could see myself owning the Nikon Df at some point. It will be a used or refurbished camera one day or the price will come down to a more palatable level. This camera is good for event photographers and wedding photographers especially if you don’t need video capabilities, despite all its flaws.

DigitalRev‘s verdict:

Convincing conclusion by Sam Hurd:

When you make a living (or just shoot a bunch!) from making photos it can become hard to get excited about going out and shooting for yourself, but it’s essential to do it. It’s the best way I know how to get the wheels turning in different directions and recharge my creative batteries. Having a camera that makes me feel excited and involved while making an image is important. BUT that’s a really hard thing to explain so I’m going to stop trying and just suggest you try one for yourself. The cost of this camera is really high, but I blame the sensor quality for that one. They could have put in the D800 sensor or perhaps something even less expensive than that, but as I’m spoiled with the versatility and ISO capabilities of the D4… I’m glad they didn’t.

Side note — I also find that when subjects see a camera that looks classic (like my M, M9 or now the Df) they feel a bit more engaged in the process of making a photo, which is a huge advantage. It’s one reason why I love my Leica M so much and why I might find myself using it a bit less now that I’ve got the Nikon Df.

Well Steve Huff picked up a Df himself — his conclusion:

The Nikon Df is a camera that has been welcomed by some and pushed away by others. It has been a polarizing release for Nikon with some hating on it before even holding one and others lusting after it as soon as images of the design were released. Me, I originally thought it would be a good camera but one that would NOT be for me due to the size, weight, and the fact that it would be a “DSLR in disguise.”

After receiving one in black and silver and using them for two to three weeks I realized that this camera is the only DSLR I would own today. It is much lighter than I thought, a little smaller than I thought and is a joy to shoot with the right (light) lenses. It has gone with me everywhere for the past couple of weeks and has shot in bright light, low light and NO light without issues or any kind of glitch or fault. This truly is the “King of the Nighttime World” and if high ISO and low light is your thing, the Df is the champion at this point in time (end of 2013).

Besides the low light performance, the Df bring sin a handsome classic design, beautiful manual control dials that allows you to control any setting you desire quickly and easily. It offers a bright optical viewfinder that is easy to frame and shoot with even though it can be a challenge to manually focus with when using fast prime lenses. The build is good but not tank like or over built. I think Nikon struck the right balance here as they wanted to keep it light while keeping it solid. They succeeded on this front.

Concludes honorable DP Review‘s Df review:

The image quality is excellent, though. In terms of its output, whether in Raw and JPEG, you really are getting a D4 for around half price. But just looking at the camera, you quickly realize that you’ve got the shutter mechanism and AF of a D610 with a 50% “retro tax” added. And while you may get the D4’s high ISO image quality, you don’t get its low light autofocus or backlit controls, both of which contribute hugely to its shooting capability in poor light.

The Df is rather pretty, of course, and that D4 sensor is extremely capable. Add to this the ability to use classic lenses and it’s still got considerable appeal. If you like the way it looks, have some pre-Ai lenses you want to use, or hanker for the chance to use traditional dedicated control dials, then it’s a camera you should seriously look at. But, unless you take ‘Pure Photography’ to mean that only the pictures matter and the camera itself doesn’t, the Df doesn’t quite live up to its billing.

The Nikon Df is a product that’s as much about invoking nostalgia as it is about capturing the moment. Its control setup, though slower than a modern DSLR layout, will appeal to anyone who wants a camera that feels more like a camera than an electronic device. However, despite an excellent imaging sensor, we think too many compromises were made on such an expensive camera.

From SLR Lounge‘s initial review with a series of nice sample images — praising a camera “with a soul”:

Back in the days of film, we used to talk about how certain things had soul. Unfortunately now this is something we hardly talk about anymore, everything is cheap, disposable, mass-produced and all about value, bang-for-buck, etc… Well, the Df appears to be a camera with a soul. Somewhere along the lines of a Leica or a Rolex or an Apple product maybe? It is a celebration of Nikon’s long legacy made exclusively for those who appreciate such things.

Nice hands-on review by Tom Grill with some beautiful shots, praising a “camera with a soul

I have to admit to being prejudiced against this camera before I received one to test for this review. I was disappointed by the specifications and put off by what I thought was an unjustifiably high price. My attitude changed somewhat once I had the camera for awhile and began putting it to use. Nonetheless, I still have mixed reservations about it.

This camera is not for everyone in the same way a retro Fujifilm X camera is. At such a high price point you are going to have to be very serious about having a use for it. It doesn’t quite fill the gap of a D700, and doesn’t add any advancements over a D610 or D800 that would make it ideal for travel, scenics, weddings or fashion. I am not exactly sure where it fits in with the needs of a professional photographer. Its nostalgic experience is something else entirely. You will be buying this camera as much for the experience of using it as for what it can deliver in terms of image quality, and you won’t be disappointed with either.

Ken Rockwell loves the Df:

For the first time in digital history, we have a Nikon DSLR built like a real camera, with engraved and knurled solid metal dials, alloy top, rear and bottom plates, and it takes a real cable release. It’s a real camera, not a black plastic dog plop like everything else.

The design is masterful: we have solid metal dials for everything, and we also have two electronic command dials just like other DSLRs. Any user may use any of these dials any way he pleases. Bravo! (…)

I’ve been waiting for this for over 10 years. Mine was on order as soon as it was announced. The Nikon Df is small, light, tough and intuitive, so my D800E can go out with next week’s trash.

I just wish the Df cost a lot more so it wouldn’t fall into the hands of the general public. It’s value to me as a stealth camera drops if everyone has one and people figure out that it’s digital.

DxOMark‘s Df results are in. Do we have a new low light champion? They don’t criticize the camera’s performance, they simply don’t like the retro style…:

Nikon certainly threw a curve ball with the Df. One the one hand it has the first-rate sensor of the D4 in a much more compact and lighter weight body, but the choice of retro controls appears to be a step backwards.

They make sense with older manual focus lenses, with their manual aperture rings, providing they can be focused accurately but models like the F100 and F6 are proven over those earlier models when used with autofocus lenses, and that includes the current G-series (which lack aperture rings).

As it stands, Nikon may find the Df sidelined by both the D800, and the D600, which is a pity as the sensor is a superb performer in low light.

DP Review updates the real world samples gallery, check it out:

We’ve tried to use a selection of lenses, including older Nikon and third-party glass as well as the recently-launched AF-S Nikkor 58mm F1.4 G. Here are 40 images shot at a range of ISOs to show how the camera performs.

Photographer Neil van Niekerk says AF is as fast as the D4’s, yet he’s kind of ambivalent, not only ergonomics-wise (well he’s used to Nikon DSLRs…):

I do believe this camera is meant to appeal to the connoisseur — someone who would love to use and own a beautiful retro-styled camera, with a top class sensor. This camera is meant to look good! And why shouldn’t we proudly show and use the cameras we are using. And no, I have never taped up my camera to be all ninja-stealth. I don’t intend to ever.

So would I recommend this camera? Yes, maybe, perhaps. There’s that ambivalence again. This really is a camera that you’d best try out in a camera store and see if it appeals to you, and feels good in your hands. It will certainly look great in your hands — and your images too.

Imaging Resource‘s first impressions are not overwhelming:

The Nikon DF focuses nicely, the exposure is consistent and it’s reasonably quiet to operate. I have yet to do side-by-side comparisons, but to my eye the images look quite like the Nikon D4, as expected.

The control dials work well for the most part, especially the ones with the center depress button, but there are two that don’t work so well for my tastes. The ISO dial is a bear and takes two hands, one to press the lock release and one to turn the dial, which is really frustrating. And the shutter speed dial is pointless to me, because in order to achieve precise speeds you have to turn the dial close to where you want it, and then use the common digital scroll wheel to get it precise. But if you just set the dial to 1/3 increments then you can do this anyway, and I am guessing most people will set it there and never touch it again, using the more common and easy rear dial instead.

The top shutter speed is only 1/4000s, where the D4 will go to 1/8,000s. Because of this and the minimum aperture being F22, I was unable to complete our full series of ISO tests, because as I approached the top ISO (a whopping 204,800, as also found on the D4), I was unable to achieve optimal exposure. This is only a small gripe that will not affect many shots, but it is still worth noting.

The viewfinder is very nice, big like a film SLR, but the overall look of the camera to me is not my taste. The “silver” edition of the camera that we’re testing seems to use several different shades of plating for the exterior, making the body somewhat cheap looking compared to most pro cameras. And the shiny black front caps on several of the front buttons don’t help in this respect.

Overall, the Nikon DF is an interesting camera which takes nice images, but has some rather oddball quirks.

What Digital Camera has impressions by photographer Jeremy Walker. The Df doesn’t pair well with zoom lenses, it’s made for primes, he says. While he regrets the lack of a split image or microprism ring in the viewfinder for manual focusing, is it an overpriced camera?

The Nikon Df has the sensor and workings of their top of the range Nikon D4. The D4 chip is an awesome piece of engineering and although ‘only’ sixteen megapixels the results are fantastic, especially when working in low light and other high ISO situations. The remarkable high ISO capability of the Df not only allowed me to shoot at 1,600 as a default much of the time with clean, noise free images but pushing the camera further to 3,200 and even 6,400 gave superb image quality.

If you want a camera for travel, for discreet street photography or anywhere where size, weight and portability matter, but you don’t want to sacrifice the qualities of full frame, this is the camera for you. I can also see a lot of pro’s buying a Df as a back up camera, sitting in the corner of the camera bag ready to save the day.

I’ve read some comments that’s it’s too expensive, but I disagree. You’re basically getting what is essentially a D4, which costs over £4,000, in a classically styled but less rugged body, for under £2,800, which I consider to be very good value for money.

Ming Thein asks, “Retro for the sake of retro?”:

Much like the final form of the Df, I’m confused. On one hand, there are very sensible engineering choices – the sensor, for instance; but on the other hand, marketing said that you have to have AF and a full digital set of controls and a retro look, so we land up having too many buttons and knobs and a bit of an F3-collided-with-a-D600 appearance to it. The more I think about it, the more I really, really don’t know quite what to make of the Df. I’m going to wait until I have the chance to shoot with one before saying any more. But again, like the A7/A7R: even if the first effort isn’t quite right, and it takes several iterations, everybody benefits from products like this. In the meantime, I think I need a panadol for the headache that’s developing (…)

A note on price. The Df is a rather steep $2,750 — that’s quite a premium to pay for retro. Build quality remains a bit of an unknown, but it’s very nearly the same price as a D800E. Better image quality? I highly doubt it. That said, Leica have been doing the same at an even greater premium and selling them by the boatload, so perhaps they’re on to something…

The essence of THEME‘s own first impressions, and oh boy, I do love this Df:

Such beautiful cameras don’t happen often. Nikon clearly put a lot of market research into the development of this camera. The Df isn’t for everybody, but it is what many have long been waiting for because this camera reminds us on what many of us have lost as photographers. Photography, to me, is as much about images as about enjoying good gear and the very experience/process of photography. The Df’s certainly an adequate tool for this. This camera is right down my alley; a camera, finally, that is like a trinity between D4, Leica M and film. You’ll get what you pay for.

DP Review has lots of Df material ready on the hour of announcement. They’re asking: is this retro done right?

The danger is that the design gets in the way of usability. When “traditional” ergonomics work really well, as in the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and X100S, the effect is luxurious. “Hands-on” manual control coupled with hybrid viewfinders and a boatload of features — plus, of course, excellent lens quality — make using those cameras a lot of fun to shoot with. My worry about the Df is that Nikon might have gone too far backwards for the sake of cosmetic appeal, without really adding any practical benefit to the shooting experience (…)

As such, although I hate to say it: from a cold, hard practical point of view, I can’t shake the feeling that the Df is a little bit… silly. Hardcore Nikon fans will point to the support for 50 year-old non-Ai lenses, which is valid, but I suspect that the constituency of photographers for whom this is a real selling point is vanishingly small. Of course, I could be wrong. Naturally, there will be some photographers who will see the Df purely in terms of a lower-cost shell for the D4’s very capable sensor, and might not care about the design.

But whether you love it, hate it, or are just not sure, the Df is certainly one of the most interesting cameras of the year.

Says CNET‘s Lori Grunin:

I’m predisposed to like the Df, as it’s shiny with dials and a good full-frame sensor. Nikon certainly gets points for style, and I agree that a lot of folks won’t miss the video. But I think that sensor will keep it from being a slam-dunk choice among photographers who’ve gravitated to similarly targeted models like the Fujifilm X100S. Sony’s A7R lacks an optical viewfinder, doesn’t excel for autofocus, and isn’t as shiny, but in exchange it’s a lot cheaper, significantly smaller, and produces stellar photos; the Nikon D610 is a lot cheaper with a lot more features and I assume (I haven’t tested it yet, but it’s pretty much the same as the D600) produces the same great photos. Yes, for the Df you can go on a binge with all the old Nikon lenses you can scoop up cheaply on eBay, but if you’re that photogeeky then you know that these days you can mount almost any lens on any body with a little work.


The Nikon Df is as much as exciting prospect as it is an oddity. We were hoping for something smaller, something a little more deft to use — the all-locking mode dials are something we’ll need to play with extensively before they take, we would think — and a touch more up to date. Mid-level focus system with -1EV low light autofocus abilities, last-gen processor; we get the retro charm, but feel the Df had the opportunity to show off all the very latest Nikon tech, not be an experimental model to sit on last year’s laurels.

It’ll definitely appeal to those that want to go old skool though. Grab your old lenses, pop it into manual focus — the AF area point can be switched off when in manual focus via the menus — and you’ll feel like the past has caught a train to the present.

Steve Huff posts a Leica M Typ 240 vs. Sony A7 vs. Nikon Df size comparison:

Leica vs. Sony vs. Nikon | Steve Huff
Leica vs. Sony vs. Nikon | Steve Huff

That’s (bodies only) 680g vs. 465g vs. 765g.

Nikon Df Silver -- Top
Nikon Df Silver — Top
Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Special Edition
Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Special Edition

+++ You can order the Nikon Df and Special Edition 50mm F1.8G lens from

  • Passageways

    A few remarks.

    “Now the internal just have to match the external beauty”

    Do you mean use film? :-)

    “The chrome/silver version looks definitely better”

    I prefer the black.

    If you can actually control the innards using manual dials on the camera…I really like this. Going into menus or even having to set ASA (ISO) shutter speed etceteras via fancy hot buttons is something I find annoying.

    Sometimes I think if you ask them why they put everything buried in lengthy menus the answer would be: “Because we can”.

    I would say more like a Nikon F4 than FM3A.

    Not bad though. I believe getting people to think it looks like an old film camera might perk people’s interest in film and speed up the current trend toward using film again.

  • David Holliday

    It looks a lovely machine. It will not inspire me to want to use film. I still have some film nikons That I do not use

  • Robert Mark

    Great job disguising the thick DSLR body. Love the look of it. Can’t help wondering why they didn’t add an aperture ring in between the lens and body.

  • Passageways

    Send the film cameras to me David, they will receive a new lease on life :-)

  • You’ll have to accept to use a dial instead of an aperture ring, kind of like adopting older ergonomics into digital… wasn’t expecting they take retro so literally!

  • Robert Mark

    Maybe we should move focus to a button push/control dial combo function? How about adopting the power zoom lever like on point and shoots? I’m not buying the impossibility of an aperture ring.

    Since there’s an aperture control somewhere on the body it seems like they missed an opportunity. A nice unmarked ring with click stops would have been great and wouldn’t interfere with old lenses w/their own dials. Especially given the dedicated ISO and SS dials in their traditional positions.

    Or maybe I’m just grumpy.

  • dierk

    Does anybody at Nikon think, tons of tiny buttons are better than a got designed and customizable menu??
    Tons of tiny buttons make a good retro design? (I would not like to try this in winter with gloves!)
    I would prefer 36 MPix and have the option to down sample it to 18 MPix or use the the high resolution.
    This is innovation a la Nikcanon, nothing really new!
    Sorry, Nikon, I am glad, that I sold my Nikon gear after 25 years being a Nikonian.

  • Michael Watkins

    Gorgeous? Maybe if you never use exposure compensation in A or S mode. The top plate tells a different story about beauty, in my opinion. They put the exposure compensation dial in the absolute worst position, forcing the photographer to remove their left hand from shooting support to dial in comp. Maybe exp. comp made sense to put on top of ISO back in the GAs light sensor days but not today and thus in the name of marketing they”ve produced a less capable digital body.

    Making matters worse they took up the space where the exposure comp dial would have worked well and instead they put a truly pointless PSAM mode dial next to a tiny LCD. Use that space for the comp dial as nature intended for most of us.

    What retro back-to-roots camera needs a “Program” mode on a mode dial, anyway? They should have put the PSAM dial, if they must have one, on top of the ISO dial.

    If I rewind the clock back to last November I would not have bought the Df instead of the D800, even if the Df had the same sensor.

    Yeah, it looks kinda sweet when I squint or look at it from a distance but as a camera that will make me happy while using it? Looks like a fail to me.

  • callibrator

    Some people will never be happy, whatever they come across.

  • Drazen B

    We’ve caused a DDOS on today…the site is still down ;-)

    I wouldn’t like to jump into any preliminary conclusions, it remains to be seen how well it will handle and how usable the manual controls will be.

    The fact is, you seem to have the best of both worlds in one camera package – if you’re longing for that classic feel and “it’s in my hands again” sensation, use the magnitude of manual controlls dials and buttons it comes with, if you’d like to stick to the typical contemporary DSLR of today, the command and sub-command wheels are still there at your fingertips, so is the menu system, exposure settings, auto-iso, picture style menus etc.

    Part of the ‘hybrid’ moniker this camera comes with is IMO ability to run it in either in traditional or modern way.

  • Crowdedhousenl

    Right you are…7 days after announcement I read mainly remarks …that Nikon should do this and that and that they missed this and that

    Wel if people have 1 or more this and that’s its simply not the camera for them….

  • Brian

    I bought mine yesterday, from one of the last local independent camera shops- “Small Business Saturday”. I brought a Vivitar 135/2.3 Series 1 with me, focus was fast and easy. Same with the 55/1.2. I still need to test the AF lenses, having too much fun with the Manual focus lenses. The dial controls- anyone used to an EL or FE series camera will like their placement, easy to use with gloves on. Buttons and Menus- needed for setup, but not regular shooting. Sure Nikon could have left some of them off, but they are not required for actual shooting.

  • Rosby

    I have been taking photographs for over 50 years and having been brought up on film and manual cameras I am often amused by the comments coming from photographers who have never touched a manual camera. I have the pleasure of owning many cameras including a nikon F3 and lovely manual lenses which still fit my D700. My favourite lens a 24mm F2.8 nikkor also fits my Leicas (M9, M6,M3,M4) with adaptor.
    I have no problem with manufacturers making retro cameras and in some regards it is welcoming to turn the clock back to simplify cameras as they have become very complex to use via all the menu options however I cannot emphasise enough how clever digital cameras are and how they potentially have placed the art of good photography into everyone’s hands. At the end of the day the camera is a tool and each tool does a different job. There is no doubt that a manual focus and manually adjustable camera will not handle a fast moving job as well as a pro digital Dslr and therefore the choice of tool is dependant on the job in hand. I would like my Leica M9 to have a manual shutter cocking lever a la M3 but that is not what Leica designed so we get a very rough motor drive advance which destroys the retro manual digital marriage. So we have to compromise and accept the shortcomings as we see them and the decision therefore comes down to how we see the tool and what we will accept.
    With regard to the Nikon Df it looks well enough and it fits the retro look although it falls short in that it does not have a removable pentaprism and interchangeable focussing screen like the F3 so manual lenses can be used with a proper focussing screen. I have read that this is not a problem and it certainly would not be with a 24mm as it can be left at infinity and almost everything is in focus. However this would not stop me buying the camera as you would just learn to use the tool with whatever limitations it has. It is therefore as always down to a choice made by the heart and the wallet. I am sure the Df is a fine piece of equipment but fine photographs require more than a camera and at the end of the day the subject, light and composition are the most important elements.

  • Bengt Nyman

    DxO reports that the Nikon Df beats them all in low light ISO capability.
    It’s a remarkable 10% better than the next competitor, the Nikon D800.

  • David Holliday

    People complain that the exposure comp dial on the X series cameras can be knocked out of place but when a lock is put on the ISO dial people complain they have to unlock it. The camera is weather sealed but people complain they will not be able to use it with gloves. As for difficulty changing the ISO as in using two hands. How about in the film days you either carried two or three camera set on different ISO’ or you used both your hands in a dark room to remove the entire film wind it back into cassette and then load a film with another film speed. By the way I have a black Nikon DF on order $2190 and will be using the aperture rings of the 50 and 85mm 1.4 ds . Then I will use aperture priority mainly . I sold my D7000 and kit lenses and 50 1.4 g (that I never liked ) . I also have X100S and XE1.

  • It’s a great machine, you can’t go wrong with the Df David. Absolute pleasure to use. Let us know how you’re getting along with it!

    Regarding unlocked ISO dial… That’s exactly what just happened with a Sony RX10 I tested. The exposure compensation dial switched position erratically. Wish there was a way to force and unforce the lock…

  • David Holliday

    I can hardly wait. I might even do a you tube unboxing . I was undecided at first but am sure this is the camera for me. While it might be bigger than my first FG20 it certainly will remind me of it. I saw a silver one in the shop and really likes it . But I am going for black . .

  • Silvestro Crino

    I pretty much got rid of all my Nikon digital gear in favor of the Sony A7RII when it came out a few years ago. But since I still shoot an FG and an FE film camera once in awhile I kept my 24mm f2.8D, 35mm f2D and a hand full of the wonderful Voigtlander F-mount manual lenses (20mm, 40mm, 58mm, 90mm)… I found myself missing shooting these lenses without an adapter on a digital body…so thought I might buy a cheap used D610…as I searched on Ebay I started seeing some excellent, mint condition, low shutter count DF camera bodies in the $1600-$1700 range (even cheaper if you were willing to go less than mint )…. bought myself a Mint DF body with less than 8000 shutter actuations for less than $1700… picked up a K3 focus screen from… and now I have the absolutely perfect digital companion for my FG/FE bodies and for my manual focus lenses … this is a fun and fantastic camera for the hobbyist…and at $1700 or less….its a deal….