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Does The Nikon Df Matter?

November 05, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Nikon Df Top View

Nikon Df Top View

Nikon just announced the much rumored Nikon Df full-frame, retro-styled DSLR. The Df has the same marvelous 16mp sensor as the D4. It's a stills only camera, with a mechanical shutter and loads of mechanical controls. It is Nikon's smallest full-frame DSLR. I won't bore you with the full list of specs. You can read those over at DP Review

Nikon Df Front and Side View

Nikon Df Front and Side View

So let's get to the crux of the matter. Does the Nikon Df matter? Is it just a cool looking camera or is there really something to the mechanically based design? I will cut to the chase. I do believe the Df will matter to an enthusiast who is looking for more control right at the fingertips. This is a camera for a slow stills shooter. It's not a sports shooter's camera or a wedding photographer's camera. This is a thoughtful photographer's camera. 

I love the fact that Nikon have brought the wonderful 16mp sensor from the D4 into an enthusiast camera. If this camera had been available when I bought my D800, I would have had a really tough decision on my hands. I also love that Nikon have put a mechanical shutter in the Df. True, that decision cost the camera any video capability, but I think they are correct in assuming that their target market for the Df isn't concerned about video. 

As it stands right now, I'm not in the market for this camera, but I haven't had one in my hands yet. That could change everything. If I were to pick up a Nikon Df, I'd see it as a replacement for my D700, although I write that with more than a little trepidation. The D700 is a great events and sports camera. Given its mechanically-based design, I'm not sure the Df would be a natural as a second body to my D800, and it won't have the frame rate of the D700 for sporting events. So, we'll just have to wait and see. I certainly can see myself walking the Big Woods in my slow-shooting mode with the Nikon Df in my hands. I have a feeling that the look and feel and sound of this camera will be nothing short of sweet. 


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