RSS Twitter YouTube

Nikon Df Review

16 Megapixels16 MegapixelsSingle Lens ReflexSingle Lens ReflexHigh ISO: ISO 6400 or more is available at full-resolution.High ISO: ISO 6400 or more is available at full-resolution.Level: Measures camera tilt and helps to keep the horizon level.Level: Measures camera tilt and helps to keep the horizon level.Continuous DriveContinuous DriveManual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringDepth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Depth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Weatherproof - Seals protect from dust, humidity and light splashing.Weatherproof - Seals protect from dust, humidity and light splashing.Accepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Accepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed review

Introduction

The Nikon Df is their first retro-styled digital camera. The Nikon Df brings a highly mechanical interface into the digital era. This full-frame DSLR is certainly a hybrid though with dual control-dials, plus dedicated dials for EC, ISO, Shutter-Speed and Exposure modes.

The Nikon Df is built around a 16 megapixels FX CMOS sensor with an class-leading sensitivity range from ISO 50 to 204,800, matching the Nikon D4 reviewed here. This serious photography tool offers a complete set of manual-controls and compatibility with Nikon lenses dating earlier than 1977 thanks to a retractable lens-coupling tab. Modern lenses use electronic contacts which obviously still work with the Df.

The DSLR can shoot continuously at 5.5 FPS. It's durable mechanical-shutter provides 1/4000 to 30s shutter-speeds, plus Bulb exposures. The camera body is full weather-sealed and its has an extra-large optical viewfinder with 0.7X magnification and 100% coverage. A 3.2" LCD with 920K pixels is there to review images and preview capture in Live-View.

This in-depth camera review analyzes the Nikon Df in terms of features, usability, ergonomics, performance, image quality and controls.

Nikon Df Features

Sensor

  • 16 Megapixels CMOS sensor
  • Full-Fame Nikon FX format
  • Standard ISO 100 - 12,800 range
  • Expanded ISO 50 - 204,800 range
  • Customizable Auto ISO
  • Built-in Dust-Reduction
  • JPEG, TIFF, RAW or JPEG+RAW Output

Exposure

  • PASM and Bulb exposure modes
  • 1/4000s - 30s Shutter-speeds
  • EC, ±3 EV, 1/3 EV steps
  • FC, -3...+1 EV, 1/3 EV steps
  • Matrix, Center-Weighed, Average & Spot metering
  • AEB, 2 or 3 frames, maximum 3 EV steps
  • AEB, 5 frames, maximum 2 EV steps
  • Flash Bracketing, 2 - 5, steps as AEB
  • Exposure Fine-Tuning, ±1 EV, 1/6 EV steps
  • Fixed 1/3 EV expsure steps
  • Also 1 EV steps for shutter-speed
  • HDR, 2 shots, 1-3 EV steps, 3 blending levels, single image or series

Focus & Drive

  • 39-Point Phase-Detect autofocus system
  • 9 cross-type points, sensitiv down to -1 EV
  • Single-Shot and Continuous focus-drive
  • Single-Point, Dynamic-Area and Auto focus-point
  • 3D Tracking AF with OVF and Live-View
  • Contrast-detect AF for Live-View
  • Face-Detect AF in Live-View
  • 5.6 FPS Drive, 100 JPEG or 29 RAW
  • Customizable Self-Timer, 1-9 Shots, 2-20s Start Delay, ½-3s Interval
  • Quiet-Shutter with delayed mirror-return
  • Mirror-Up and Exposure-Delay, 1-3s
  • Multiple-Exposure, 2-10 shots, optional Auto Gain
  • Interval-Timer, 1-999 times, 1-9 shots, 1s-24h interval, delayed start 1m-23h59m
  • Optional Autofocus Fine-Tuning

Viewfinder & Displays

  • 100% Coverage viewfinder, 0.7X magnification
  • 3.2" LCD, 920K Pixels
  • Illuminated top LCD status display
  • Single-Axis Digital-Level
  • DOF-Preview

Images Parameters

  • AutomaticTwo types: Normal & Preserve Warm Colors, Preset, Kelvin and Custom4 Memories WB
  • Preset White-Balance fine-tuning, 2-axis, 13-steps
  • Kelvin White-Balance fine-tuning, 1 axis, 13-steps
  • 6 Picture Styles
  • Automatic or Manual Sharpness, 10 steps
  • Automatic or Manual Contrast, 7 steps
  • Automatic or Manual Saturation, 7 steps
  • Manually Adjustable Hue, 7 steps
  • Manually Adjustable Tone-Curve, 3 levels
  • Virtual WB Bracketing, 2-3 frames, 3 steps, 2 axis
  • Virtual Active D-Lighting Bracketing, 2 - 5 frames
  • Optional High-ISO Noise Reduction, 3 levels
  • Optional Long Shutter Noise Reduction
  • Optional Distortion-Correction
  • Optional Vignetting-Correction
  • Optional Active D-Lighting (ADL), 5 levels or Auto
  • Optional Dust-Off reference photo
  • In-Camera RAW development

Controls

  • Dedicated EC dial
  • Dedicated ISO dial
  • Full-stop Shutter-Speed dial
  • Dual control-dials
  • Drive mode switch
  • Exposure-Mode dial
  • 8-Way controller
  • Combined AE-L/AF-L button
  • Separate AF-On button
  • Customizable Function button
  • Customizable DOF-Preview button
  • Focus-Point lock

Body & Construction

  • Nikon F-mount
  • Lens meter-coupling
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Hot-Shoe and Sync-Port
  • Wired remote port
  • SDXC memory slot
  • Proprietary Lithium-Ion battery
  • 1080p HDMI output
  • Metal tripod mount

Capability - What can it do?

The Nikon Df is a high-end professional DSLR. As such, it has every photographic feature expected from its class and a tremendous potential for expansion. Its Nikon F-mount accepts more lenses than any other digital Nikon. A new tab flips into position to meter with legacy non-AI lenses which predate 1977. Given its full-frame sensor, the Df shows the same field-of-view with an F-mount lens as a film camera.

The Df was introduced with Nikon's Pure Photography advertizing campaign. Its retro-style only tells part of the story. Mechanical dials give direct access to fundamental photographic controls while the Df accepts a classic wired remote and sync-cable for external lighting, in addition to having a standard hot-shoe.

Nikon Df

There are two things one will not find on the Nikon Df. One is a built-in flash. The other is video. While it offers limited Live-View functionality, there is no way to record video. This makes it surprising they even bothered with an HDMI port which is still useful to playback images and send Live-View to another display.

Professional photography features are all there. Full manual-controls allow shutter-speeds of 1/4000 to 30s, plus Bulb exposures of an indeterminate maximum length. The aperture range is, as always, controlled by the lens in use. The Nikon Df leads in terms of ISO with a standard sensitivity range of 100 - 12800, expandable to 50 - 204800. The standard sensitivity range is available in 1/3 EV stops and the expanded one in full stops.

Its impressive ISO range means the Nikon Df is able to capture images in extremely low-light photography. Its 16 megapixels CMOS sensor features the largest pixels of any current digital camera, just like the D4 reviewed here
Nikon D4
. Its autofocus system is not as sensitive though, as it operates down to -1 EV versus -2 EV for the D4.

This DSLR offers flexible metering options with Nikon's Matrix, customizable Center-Weighed, Average and Spot available. As often is the case for most Nikon DSLRs, Average metering is available instead of Center-Weighed since the metering switch only has 3 positions.

The number of white-balance on the Df is impressive. There are two versions of Automatic WB and 12 presets, including 7 types of Fluorescent, plus both Kelvin and Custom WB options. All these, even Custom WB, can be fine-tuned in 13 steps along A-B and G-M axis.

Nikon Df

The list of Drive modes is truly extensive. There are the usual Single-Shot, Continuous, Self-Timer and Mirror Lock-Up, plus Quiet and Exposure-Delay modes. Continuous is available from 1 to 5.6 FPS while timers can capture 1 to 9 shots after a 2 to 20s delay wtih a ½ to 3s interval. Quiet slows down the mirror and delays its return until the shutter-release is let go. Exposure-Delay performs automatic MLU for 1, 2 or 3 seconds before capturing a frame.

Additionally to all those Drive modes, the Nikon Df offers Multiple-Exposure, Interval-Timer and bracketing for exposure, flash, white-balance and Adaptive D-Lighting. Up to 5 frames can be bracketed, depending on the chosen parameter and increment.

Autofocus on the Df is highly flexible. There are 39 AF-points and the camera can choose one automatically among 9, 21 or 39 of them. 3D Tracking is available and uses all 39 points. A single point can be selected instead. Manual Focus is available and includes Nikon's Range-Finder feature which indicates which way to turn the focus-ring.

Nikon Df

The Nikon Df has an extra-large OVF with 100% coverage and 0.7X magnification. The camera body is fully weather-sealed. As always, a weather-sealed lens is required to complete the seal.

There is a single-axis Digital-Level which can be seen in the OVF and a dual-axis one visible in Live-View. WB but not exposure is previewed in Live-View. Face-Detect AF is also availble in Live-View which uses Contrast-Detect to focus.

Nikon Df
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com
By on 2014/03/01
3

Nikon Df Facts


SLR digital camera

Sensor-Size: 36 x 24mm

Full-Frame Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

16 Megapixels DSLRISO 50-204800
Nikon F Mount
1X FLM
Shutter 1/4000-30s
100% Coverage
Extra Large Viewfinder
Full manual controls, including Manual Focus
1 Axis Digital LevelCustom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning
WeatherproofSpot-Metering
Built-in Dust ReductionHot-Shoe & Sync-Port
5.5 FPS Drive, 100 ImagesLithium-Ion Battery
3.2" LCD 920K PixelsSecure Digital Extended Capacity
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

Your camera bag is empty.

Add cameras or lenses by clicking on the star next to their name.

Updates

    2020.01.01

  • 2020.01.01

    Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Review

    Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Review

    This highly capable and compact mirrorless ranked as Best Beginner Mirrorless Digital Camera of 2019. Its 20 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor with Anti-Alias Filter is pared with 5-axis stabilization to maximize sharpness. Features a tilting 2.8 MP 0.39" EVF with large 0.7X view and Eye-Start sensor in a body with dual control-dials.

  • 2019.12.10

  • 2019.12.10

    Best Digital Cameras of 2019

    Best Digital Cameras of 2019

    The Best Cameras of 2019 awarded by Neocamera: Best Travel-Zoom, Best Premium Compact, Best Ultra-Zoom, Best Mirrorless and Best DSLR.

  • 2019.11.26

  • 2019.11.26

    10 Gifts Photographers Will Love

    10 Gifts Photographers Will Love

    The 2019 gift guide for photographers showcases photography gear that amateur and enthusiasts will enjoy. It is divided into 3 price categories to suit different budgets from $50 to $200 USD.

  • 2019.11.25

  • 2019.11.25

    Sony Alpha A7R IV In-Depth Review

    Sony Alpha A7R IV In-Depth Review

    The newest Sony high-resolution mirrorless packs a 61 MP Full-Frame BSI-CMOS sensor on 5-axis Sensor-Shift system. It shoots at 10 FPS, records 4K Ultra-HD video and focuses with a new 567-Point and 425-Area Hybrid AF system with Realtime tracking. This professional-grade camera features a 5.8 MP 0.5" EVF with 0.78X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor plus triple control-dials in a weatherproof body. This review shows exactly how the A7R IV performs and compares to top Full-Frame and Medium-Format digital cameras.

  • 2019.11.04

  • 2019.11.04

    Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

    Professional Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless sporting an ultra-high speed 20 MP sensor with 121-Point Phase-Detect AF on a 5-axis image-stabilization system effective to 7-stops. 60 FPS drive with blackout free view on a huge 0.83X magnification 2.4 MP 0.5" EVF. Even a builtin GPS in a dual-grip double dual-control-dial IPX1-rated weatherproof and freezeproof body.

  • 2019.10.17

  • 2019.10.17

    Nikon D3500 Review

    Nikon D3500 Review

    The lightest DSLR packs a 24 MP APS-C sensor with ISO 100-25600 sensitivity-range, 5 FPS drive and Full HD video capture. Basic features with simple ergonomics.

  • 2019.10.16

  • 2019.10.16

    Time-Lapse Photography for Beginners

    Time-Lapse Photography for Beginners

    Learn how to get started with time-lapse photography in 4 easy steps.

  • 2019.10.07

  • 2019.10.07

    Fujifilm X-T30 Review

    Fujifilm X-T30 Review

    The newest 26 MP 4th-Generation X-Trans CMOS sensor and X-Process 4 from the flagship X-T3 in more compact body. ISO 80-51200, 1/32000-30s, 20 FPS Continuous drive, Cinema 4K video. Dual control-dials and 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start Sensor.

  • 2019.09.30

  • 2019.09.30

    Nikon Z6 Review

    Nikon Z6 Review

    Nikon Full-Frame Mirrorless with 24 MP and 5-Axis Built-In Image-Stabilization effective to 5-Stops. ISO 100-202400. 12 FPS Continuous Drive. 3.7 MP 0.5" EVF with 0.8X Magnification and 100% Coverage. 4K Ultra-HD video.

  • 2019.04.22

  • 2019.04.22

    Fujifilm GFX 50R Review

    Fujifilm GFX 50R Review

    Medium Format Mirrorless Digital Camera based on 50 MP 0.8X-Crop CMOS sensor without Anti-Alias Filter. ISO 50-102400, 1/16000s-60m Shutter-Speeds, 3 FPS and Full 1080p HD video at 30 FPS. Large 0.5" EVF with 3.7 MP, 100% coverage, 0.77X magnification and an Eye-Start Sensor. Dual control-dials in a weatherproof and freezeproof body.