With classically inspired design, the Nikon Df DSLR is a lightweight, FX-format camera with mechanical controls, a recognizable pentaprism, and a 16.2-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, inherited from Nikon’s pro D4.
It’s for those who hearken back to the days of the Nikon film cameras, for a camera that looks as if it came out of the mold of the old F series cameras. But it is a digital camera, of that there is no doubt.
And if there’s any doubt, no video!
Nikon also has announced a similarly styled AF-S Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8G Special Edition prime lens, which pays homage to original Nikkor Ai lenses, with colours, texture and an aluminum mounting ring, designed to complement the Df.
But looks aren’t everything. The Df features technology similar to Nikon’s professional flagship D4.
• 16.2-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor
• 9 cross-type sensors, and 7 AF points capable of working down to f/8
• 39-point autofocus (AF) system
• Expeed 3 image processing engine
• 2016 pixel 3D Matrix Metering and Scene Recognition System
• continuous burst shooting rate of up to 5.5 fps
• ISO range of 100 to 12,800 (expandable to ISO 204,800)
• 3.2-inch LCD display
• glass pentaprism viewfinder
• built-in High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology
• compatible with all current AF, AF-S, DX, AF-D Nikkor lenses and classic Ai and non-Ai Nikkor glass
• Wi-Fi compatible with the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
The classically styled camera recalls design cues such as a recognizable pentaprism and top cover, which is now constructed of durable, lightweight, magnesium alloy. The top of the camera features mechanical controls for settings, letting users feel the tactile reassurance of adjustments, such as a familiar click stop for shutter speed adjustment.
Additional dedicated dials control ISO, exposure compensation, release mode and exposure mode, while modern controls are also easily accessible.
Nikon says when users get one in their hands and use it, they’ll says it “feels like a Nikon camera.”
The Df was designed with an emphasis on familiar, intricate details made famous from previous generations, including the leather-textured top and grip, along with the body mounted shutter button with a threaded release port. The design also recalls the slimness of previous-generation cameras, making this the smallest and lightest FX-format camera in Nikon’s lineup.
The 16.2-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor of the Df is inherited from Nikon’s pro flagship D4.
The company says the will deliver high clarity, accurate colour and a broad dynamic range, with the processing engine yielding images with a natural colour and depth while enhancing subtle and nuanced tones.
The combination of low noise and wide range makes this an appealing camera for the challenges faced by photojournalists and event photographers, says Nikon, as well as those who enjoy the pursuit of otherwise impossible images using natural light.
With 39 selectable AF points throughout the frame for precise focus, the Df also features nine cross-type sensors, and seven AF points capable of working down to f/8. Users can also choose from a variety of AF area modes to match their shooting style: 9-point, 21-point, 39-point, 39-point with 3D Tracking and Auto Area AF.
3D Matrix Metering and Scene Recognition System analyze each shooting scenario and determine proper camera settings, resulting in even exposures, accurate white balance and precise AF, says Nikon.
The Df has a continuous burst shooting rate of up to 5.5 frames-per-second (fps).
Using the glass optical viewfinder, users will enjoy 100 percent accuracy and a bright field of view. The shooting data presented through the viewfinder has also been updated and digitized.
Photographing dramatic monochrome or vivid landscapes is easier with Nikon’s Picture Controls, which allow for the customization of colour, saturation and tone. The Df also features built-in High Dynamic Range (HDR) to combine multiple shots with enhanced tonal range, and two to five-frame auto-bracketing. For maximum control, images can also be captured in JPEG, TIFF or RAW file formats.
Anyone with a bag full of old Nikon film lenses will be smiling. The Df is compatible with classic Ai and non-Ai Nikkor glass. Its new metering coupling lever, located on the bayonet, provides users with the ability to once again enjoy their lens collections with renewed functionality. Full-aperture metering is also supported.
The Df is compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS), letting users take full advantage of i-TTL exposure or fire multiple units remotely using a Speedlight commander. To remotely trigger the shutter, the camera also supports the new WR remote system, as well as the threaded AR-3 cable release, which screws in to the shutter button in the traditional style.
The new limited edition AF-S Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens is the result of classic Nikkor styling combined with today’s optics to create the ideal focal length companion lens for the Df, Nikon suggests. The design honours original NIKKOR Ai lenses, with colours, texture, and an aluminum mounting ring that is matched to the styling of the Df.
This lens is ideal for everyday portraiture, landscapes and casual photography, but offers a wide aperture and 7-blade diaphragm for natural image blur and a dramatic depth of field.
The lens is created with modern AF-S design benefits to give photographers rapid response, quiet operation and excellent sharpness and clarity throughout the frame.
The Nikon Df kit with AF-S Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens is scheduled to be available in late November at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $3,099.95. It will be available in classic Nikon black and silver colour schemes.
The AF-S Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens is also sold separately and is scheduled to be available in late November at an MSRP of $299.95.
(For an additional flair of nostalgic style, Nikon is also offering black or tan leather carrying cases, pricing and availability to be announced.)