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Nikon Pays Tribute To Their Film SLRs – The Full-Frame Nikon DF

In today’s digital camera marketplace where technology has seemed to reached it’s diminishing returns limit, manufacturers are starting to focus more on the sentimental side of their products rather than going one small incremental step up from its competition.

A few years ago, the Olympus PEN E-P1 started the retro/classic look with their mirrorless camera line and just like that, a new genre within the digital camera came to being.

Tired of black, chunky devices, brands such as Olympus, Fujifilm, and Pentax have embraced the 70s camera look, offering brushed steel with faux leather appearances on their cameras.

Never like what Nikon did with the Df, however. Not even close.

The Nikon Df – Not Trying to be Retro, but Commemorative

The Nikon Df pays tribute to their old F-series cameras. With the appearance that closely resembles the old but with the internals of the new.

Nikon didn’t just slap in an entry-level Nikon DSLR innards into this pretty body, however.

The sensor is straight from the formidable, full-frame D4, with the AF system plucked from the D610.

Staying true to what made Nikon such a brand with strong following, the Df is the first DSLR that has collapsible-type metering coupling lever which allows it to accept old non-AI lenses without any additional adapters.


pic_131105_01

With a plethora of external hard buttons and dials, it doesn’t suffer from ergonomic issues from most mirrorless cameras. It’s a small-body, full-frame DSLR through and through in terms of specs and ergonomics.

(Older) folks like myself would find this a welcome touch and going back to using touch-memory of turning dials and knobs without looking at LCD screens will always be a great skill to relearn.

img_02_tele

Being a modern Nikon, it can, of course, take in any of the modern lenses and function as normal. A great win point for professionals and serious amateurs who’ve collected a big amount of expensive lenses.

It’s also an important consideration for the pros who simply want to add the Nikon Df to their collection of work cameras without worrying about maintaining more than one lens system.

Too “Purist”?

One feature the Nikon Df doesn’t support is video, which is a strange thing considering how little effort it would take for Nikon to include that feature.

Wanting to keep the Nikon Df “pure photography” may make many buyers happy, but it’s a sly marketing move than anything else as what really occurred is they took out a feature that was already there in the first place.

I’ve always found the term “purist digital photography” an oxymoron, there’s nothing pure in digital, from the moment the shutter opens.  Not to mention that the Nikon Df offers in-camera post-processing and retouch, as I’ve said, an oxymoron.

Pricing starts at an eye-watering $2,249 for the body, or $2,999.95 with the AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G.

It’s clearly a camera that’s positioned to the most loyal Nikon shooters both in pricing and appeal, and I’m pretty confident that it will be an extremely hot item this holiday season for some lucky Nikonians.


 

Specifications

Nikon Digital SLR Camera Df Specifications

Type
Type
Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens mount
Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
Effective angle of view
Nikon FX format
Effective pixels
Effective pixels
16.2 million
Image sensor
Image sensor
36.0 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor
Total pixels
16.6 million
Dust-reduction system
Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
Storage
Image size (pixels)
  • FX format (36×24): 4,928 x 3,280 [L], 3,696 x 2,456 [M], 2,464 x 1,640 [S]
  • DX format (24×16): 3,200 x 2,128 [L], 2,400 x 1,592 [M], 1,600 x 1,064 [S]
File format
  • NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed
  • TIFF (RGB)
  • JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8) or basic (approx. 1:16) compression (Size priority); Optimal quality compression available
  • NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control System
Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
Media
SD (Secure Digital) and UHS-I compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards
File system
DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras) 2.3, PictBridge
Viewfinder
Viewfinder
Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
Frame coverage
  • FX (36×24): Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical
  • DX (24×16): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical
Magnification
Approx. 0.7x (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint
15 mm (-1.0 m-1; from center surface of viewfinder eyepiece lens)
Diopter adjustment
-3 to +1 m-1
Focusing screen
Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII screen with AF area brackets (framing grid can be displayed)
Reflex mirror
Quick return
Depth-of-field preview
Pressing Pv button stops lens aperture down to value selected by user (exposure modes A and M) or by camera (exposure modes P and S)
Lens aperture
Instant return, electronically controlled
Lens
Compatible lenses
Compatible with AF NIKKOR lenses, including type G, E, and D lenses (some restrictions apply to PC lenses) and DX lenses (using DX 24 x 16 1.5x image area), AI-P NIKKOR lenses and non-CPU lenses. IX NIKKOR lenses and lenses for the F3AF cannot be used. The electronic rangefinder can be used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster (the electronic rangefinder supports the center 7 focus points with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/8 or faster and the center 33 focus points with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/7.1 or faster)
Shutter
Type
Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Speed
1/4,000 to 4 s in steps of 1 EV (1/4,000 s to 30 s in steps of 1/3 EV with main command dial), X200 (with shutter-speed dial only), bulb, time
Flash sync speed
X=1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/250 s or slower
Release
Release modes
S (single frame), CL (continuous low speed), CH (continuous high speed), Q (quiet shutter-release), (self-timer), MUP (mirror up)
Frame advance rate
1 to 5 fps (CL) or 5.5 fps (CH)
Self-timer
2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 s
Exposure
Metering
TTL exposure metering using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor
Metering method
  • Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G, E and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data
  • Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 12-mm circle in center of frame; diameter of circle can be changed to 8, 15 or 20 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire frame (non-CPU lenses use 12-mm circle)
  • Spot: Meters 4-mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
Range
(ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
  • Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EV
  • Spot metering: 2 to 20 EV
Exposure meter coupling
Combined CPU and AI (collapsible metering coupling lever)
Exposure modes
Programmed auto with flexible program (P); shutter-priority auto (S); aperture-priority auto (A); manual (M)
Exposure compensation
-3 to +3 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Exposure bracketing
2 to 5 frames in steps of 1/3, 2/3, 1, 2 or 3 EV
Flash bracketing
2 to 5 frames in steps of 1/3, 2/3, 1, 2 or 3 EV
Exposure lock
Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
ISO sensitivity
(Recommended Exposure Index)
ISO 100 to 12800 in steps of 1/3 EV; can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.7 or 1 EV (ISO 50 equivalent) below ISO 100 or to approx. 0.3, 0.7, 1, 2, 3 or 4 EV (ISO 204800 equivalent) above ISO 12800; auto ISO sensitivity control available
Active D-Lighting
Can be selected from Auto, Extra high +2/+1, High, Normal, Low, or Off
ADL bracketing
2 frames using selected value for one frame or 3 to 5 frames using preset values for all frames
Focus
Autofocus
Nikon Multi-CAM 4800 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, and 39 focus points (including 9 cross-type sensors; the center 33 points are available at apertures slower than f/5.6 and faster than f/8, while the center 7 focus points are available at f/8)
Detection range
-1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
Lens servo
  • Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status
  • Manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used
Focus point
Can be selected from 39 or 11 focus points
AF-area modes
Single-point AF, 9-, 21- or 39-point dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, auto-area AF
Focus lock
Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Flash
Flash control
TTL: i-TTL flash control using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor is available with SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, SB-400 or SB-300; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighted metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering
Flash modes
Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, Auto FP High-Speed Sync supported
Flash compensation
-3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3
Flash-ready indicator
Lights when optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes after flash is fired at full output
Accessory shoe
ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock
Nikon Creative Lighting
System (CLS)
Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-910, SB-900, SB-800 or SB-700 as a master flash and SB-600 or SB-R200 as remotes, or SU-800 as commander; Auto FP High-Speed Sync and modeling illumination supported with all CLS-compatible flash units except SB-400 and SB-300; Flash Color Information Communication and FV lock supported with all CLS-compatible flash units
Sync terminal
ISO 519 sync terminal with locking thread
White balance
White balance
Auto (2 types), incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored, spot white balance measurement available during live view), choose color temperature (2,500 K to 10,000 K); all with fine-tuning
White balance bracketing
2 to 3 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3
Live View
Lens servo
  • Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time servo AF (AF-F)
  • Manual focus (M)
AF-area modes
Face-priority AF, wide-area AF, normal-area AF, subject-tracking AF
Autofocus
Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)
Monitor
Monitor
8-cm (3.2-in.), approx. 921k-dot (VGA), low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with approx. 170° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage, and brightness control
Playback
Playback
Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9 or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, photo slide shows, histogram display, highlights, photo information, location data display, and auto image rotation
Interface
USB
Hi-Speed USB
HDMI output
Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
Accessory terminal
  • Wireless remote controllers: WR-R10 and WR-1 (available separately)
  • Remote cord: MC-DC2 (available separately)
  • GPS units: GP-1/GP-1A (available separately)
Supported languages
Supported languages
Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian
Power source
Battery
One EN-EL14a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
AC adapter
EH-5b AC Adapter; requires EP-5A Power Connector (available separately)
Tripod socket
Tripod socket
1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions / weight
Dimensions
(W x H x D)
Approx. 143.5 x 110 x 66.5 mm/ 5.6 x 4.3 x 2.6 in.
Weight
Approx. 765 g/1 lb 11 oz with battery and memory card but without body cap; approx. 710 g/1 lb 9 oz (camera body only)
Operating environment
Operating environment
Temperature: 0 to 40°C/32 to 104°F; humidity: 85% or less (no condensation)
Accessories
Supplied accessories
(may differ by country or area)
EN-EL14a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-24 Battery Charger, DK-26 Eyepiece Cap, String for eyepiece cap, UC-E6 USB Cable, AN-DC9 Camera Strap, BF-1B Body Cap, BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover, ViewNX 2 CD-ROM
  • PictBridge is a trademark.
  • The SD, SDHC and SDXC logos are trademarks of SD-3C, LLC.
  • HDMI, the HDMI logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing, LLC.
  • Products and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
  • Images in viewfinders, on LCDs and monitors shown in this site are simulated.

Memory card capacity

The following table shows the approximate number of pictures that can be stored on an 8 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I card at different image quality, image size, and image area settings.

FX (36 x 24) image area*

Image quality
Image size
File size1
No. of images1
Buffer capacity2
NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 12-bit
15.4 MB
279
37
NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 14-bit
19.4 MB
216
29
NEF (RAW), Compressed, 12-bit
13.9 MB
377
47
NEF (RAW), Compressed, 14-bit
17.0 MB
315
38
NEF (RAW), Uncompressed, 12-bit
26.5 MB
279
30
NEF (RAW), Uncompressed, 14-bit
34.3 MB
216
25
TIFF (RGB)
Large
Medium
Small
49.1 MB
28.3 MB
13.2 MB
151
265
566
21
25
36
JPEG fine3
Large
Medium
Small
7.9 MB
5.4 MB
3.0 MB
729
1100
2200
100
100
100
JPEG normal3
Large
Medium
Small
4.5 MB
2.8 MB
1.6 MB
1400
2300
4300
100
100
100
JPEG basic3
Large
Medium
Small
2.2 MB
1.5 MB
0.9 MB
2800
4600
8000
100
100
100
  • *Includes images taken with non-DX lenses when On is selected for Auto DX crop.

DX (24 x 16) image area*

Image quality
Image size
File size1
No. of images1
Buffer capacity2
NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 12-bit
7.2 MB
618
100
NEF (RAW), Lossless compressed, 14-bit
8.9 MB
484
96
NEF (RAW), Compressed, 12-bit
6.6 MB
818
100
NEF (RAW), Compressed, 14-bit
7.9 MB
692
100
NEF (RAW), Uncompressed, 12-bit
12.0 MB
618
72
NEF (RAW), Uncompressed, 14-bit
15.3 MB
484
53
TIFF (RGB)
Large
Medium
Small
21.5 MB
12.6 MB
6.2 MB
349
593
1100
29
39
69
JPEG fine3
Large
Medium
Small
3.7 MB
2.8 MB
1.9 MB
1500
2200
3600
100
100
100
JPEG normal3
Large
Medium
Small
2.3 MB
1.6 MB
1.1 MB
2900
4400
7100
100
100
100
JPEG basic3
Large
Medium
Small
1.2 MB
0.9 MB
0.7 MB
5700
8600
12100
100
100
100
  • *Includes images taken with DX lenses when On is selected for Auto DX crop.
  • 1All figures are approximate. File size varies with scene recorded.
  • 2Maximum number of exposures that can be stored in memory buffer at ISO 100. Drops if optimal quality is selected for JPEG compression, NEF (RAW) photos are taken with ISO sensitivity set to Hi 0.3 or higher, or long exposure noise reduction or auto distortion control is on.
  • 3Figures assume JPEG compression is set to Size priority. Selecting optimal quality increases the file size of JPEG images; number of images and buffer capacity drop accordingly.

Approved memory cards

The following SD memory cards have been tested and approved for use in the camera.

SD memory cards
SDHC memory cards2
SDXC memory cards3
SanDisk
2 GB*1
4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB
64 GB
Toshiba
Panasonic
4 GB, 6 GB, 8 GB, 12 GB,
16 GB, 24 GB, 32 GB
48 GB, 64 GB
Lexar Media
4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB
Platinum II
4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB
Professional
Full-HD Video
4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB
  • 1Check that any card readers or other devices with which the card will be used support 2 GB cards.
  • 2Check that any card readers or other devices with which the card will be used are SDHC-compliant. The camera supports UHS-I.
  • 3Check that any card readers or other devices with which the card will be used are SDXC-compliant. The camera supports UHS-I.

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