In an attempt to revive camera sales that are constantly diminishing, Nikon jumped on the retro design bandwagon and presented their new Df DSLR, a wonderfully designed but also very competent full-frame camera.
The FX CMOS sensor with 16.2 megapixels is completely the same as the one in the much pricier Nikon D4, so you can see that Nikon took this product seriously. Retro style is perpetuated by mechanical control dials and it is obviously reminiscent of the Nikon F, F3 and FM/FE 35mm film cameras.
The Df DSLR is bigger than other retro design cameras, but they are either fixed-lens or mirrorless such as Sony Alpha 7s. The Df is the smallest FX DSLR camera having the dimensions of 143.5 x 110 x 66.5 mm (5.6 x 4.3 x 2.6 in) and the weight of 765 g (1 lb, 11 oz).
Stunning image quality comes from the combined efforts of the already mentioned FX CMOS 36 x 23.9 mm sensor with 16.2 megapixels and the Nikon’s image processing engine called EXPEED 3. Continuous shooting at 5.5 frames per second is more than enough for this kind of camera and auto focus is controlled by the 39 point Multi-CAM 4800 AF system that is familiar from the Nikon D610.
When the light is low, the Df should still do the job pretty well due to its ISO range of 100 to 12,800, but there is additional expansion and reduction available that will bring the sensitivity up to 204,800 or down to 50.
The 3.2 inch wide LCD boasts a 921-k dot resolution. What is also similar to the old cameras is the sturdy build quality perpetuated by magnesium alloy covers used for the top, bottom and rear.
Being also retro in regard to some functional features, the Df has no video capability; it is not compatible with the Compact Flash card, having only one SD slot; there is no built in flash, but only a hot shoe for an external one; and there is no Wi-Fi, but it is compatible with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter. These compromising features have cleverly been deemed optional so as not to tamper with the pure camera qualities of the Df, but also providing these enhancements should a user wish for them. A perfect solution.
Moving in the same direction, there is the option of using a 50-mm F1.8 G kit lens and the Df is compatible with all Nikon F-mount lenses.
But, let’s get back to the design of the Nikon DF DSLR. Loads of manually operated mechanical dials remind us of the good old cameras and bring back the feel that has been somewhat forgotten. The design is not only supposed to define the looks, but also to set the atmosphere and these retro dials do this perfectly. Dialing to adjust the shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, and shooting mode greatly improve the experience.
Modernly oriented users will also enjoy various other function buttons that will remind them that this is still a modern, technically competent product.
Get it from Amazon here
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