Oh Lord…won’t you buy me…a Nikon Df

Carrie Sylvester
Nov 5, 2013

Nikon Df DSLR

Feeling a little nostalgic today? I know I am and it’s thanks to the introduction of the Nikon Df a new DSLR with all the modern bells and whistles but with the retro look of a film SLR. It not only looks like a film SLR but if you listen closely, it evens sounds like one. Until I heard the unmistakable shutter click again I hadn’t realized how much I loved and missed that sound.

Okay camera geek love aside, there are official specifications that might interest even the most novice photographer as well as a seasoned professional. Although the $2,749 (body only) will keep it out of reach for a good deal of photographers no matter their level of experience.

Specs at a glance

  • A 16.2-megapixel full-frame FX-format DSLR
  • 36 x 23.9mm CMOS sensor
  • ISO range from 100 to 12,800 expandable to ISO 204,800 (WOW!)
  • User controlled 39-point AF system
  • 3.2” LCD (fixed)
  • Built-in High Dynamic Range (HDR)
  • Optional Wi-Fi capability through the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter

When the InfoTrends crew headed to PhotoPlus East trade show in NYC just before Halloween, we were treated to an early look at the camera. Because I had seen a teaser video on the train to NYC, I was already looking forward to the announcement. I had even tweeted that I wanted it sight unseen just from watching the promotional video.

The camera had a nice solid feeling in the hand but it wasn’t too heavy nor too light. The recognizable pentaprism and top cover screamed classic Nikon. The mechanical dials might be a little intimidating to some but Nikon film photographers should be excited about refamiliarizing themselves with them. The top of the camera is where the mechanical controls can be found for shutter speed ISO, exposure compensation, release mode and exposure mode and all gave the tactile “click” assurance that the setting was set. All camera, scene, and photographic controls are also accessible through the camera’s menu-driven user interface.

The Nikon Df will be available in late November in either the silver and black or black only color schemes. The camera will carry a price of $2,749 (body only), but can also be purchased with a Special Edition Lens Kit that includes Nikon’s newest 50mm f/1.8 lens for $2,999. The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens is available separately for $279. For photographers wanting an even more nostalgic look, there will also be either a black or brown leather carrying case available as an accessory, pricing and availability will be announced later.

InfoTrends’ Opinion

There were a couple notable things missing from the Df specification check list and they are the ability to capture video and the company went with a fixed instead of an articulating LCD screen. These features are important misses in my humble opinion. Nikon may have chosen to leave them out because they will leave the video taking to a user’s smartphone seeing it is the device many users are gravitating towards for their spontaneous and planned video shooting needs. They also must believe that an articulating screen isn’t very important to most users and maybe they made the right call.

Nikon has introduced a new camera with a tried and true retro look and feel just in time for the holiday season. Will the Df get more people buying DSLRs? Probably not, its audience will be limited and likely be someone who wants a retro style camera where price is of little concern. And although I have spent the last day singing Janis Joplin’s old classic song with a Nikon twist, I do hope that the Lord hears my song or at the very least passes the request onto Santa because it is a little too pricey to be a gift to myself any time soon.

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