Unveiled: The New Full-Frame Nikon Df DSLR
Wow. Nikon has announced a new FX-format DSLR that is sure to catch your eye and might even have you do a double-take. The new Nikon Df DSLR Camera is a still-photo-dedicated camera with the styling and form factor of classic F-series film cameras that contains the sensor of their current flagship D4 DSLR. I say it again, wow. This is a camera sure to appeal to those shooters who appreciate not just the look of older cameras but the simple control of its manual operation system and a thin yet durable and easy-to-grip body. With assets that recognize the advantages in both state-of-the-art digital technology and analog control, the Df sets aside video functions to focus solely on creating gorgeous high-resolution photography. It is available in a black body and a silver body. And Nikon has commemorated this camera announcement by introducing the AF-S 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens and therefore created a silver Df DSLR with 50mm f/1.8G kit and a black Df DSLR with 50mm f/1.8G kit.
While the Df has not completely abandoned the possibility of digitally navigating through its intuitive menu, it does emphasize dials and direct control of the most important camera settings. Exposure mode, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation and release mode have their own dedicated metal control dials. The exposure mode dial makes clear the absence of scene modes for only simplified and straightforward P/S/A/M mode shooting.
The geometric hump of its glass pentaprism viewfinder and the dial-heavy top plate immediately signal the classic style elements of this camera, but this is not simply a case of retro form just for the sake of it. In addition to its state-of-the-art digital functions, the Df provides numerous features that have fallen by the wayside on modern DSLRs, but will certainly be appreciated by the strictly still enthusiasts out there. The shutter-release button has a port for a threaded manual shutter-release cable and yet the camera is also compatible with the updated WR Remote System. It also has both a hot-shoe mount compatible with all i-TTL speedlights and a PC sync port for more versatile flash options. And, thanks to a collapsible metering coupling lever, the Df features a mount system that works with older non-AI lenses as well as all current AF-S, AF-D, and AF NIKKOR lenses. In fact, by registering up to nine older lenses and adding their focal lengths and aperture values, the Df will enable full-aperture metering with vintage NIKKOR lenses.
The Df’s 16.2MP FX-format image sensor is paired with the EXPEED 3 image processing engine for an optimal balance of resolution, image quality, and shooting speed. Its wide ISO range of 100-12800 is expandable down to 50 and up to 204800 and lets you capture sharp, low-light subjects with crisp edges. DX format crop mode is supported and DX format lenses are compatible when the camera employs the 24 x 16mm DX image area. The Df features JPEG, RAW and TIFF capture and incorporates the best features of Nikon’s various DSLR models. For example, its 39-point autofocus system with 9 cross-type sensors quickly achieves sharp focus. Nikon’s 3D-tracking focus with a 2,016-pixel RGB sensor is particularly adept at holding focus on a moving subject as it crosses through the frame. A Spot White Balance feature enables you to target specific areas of your composition for a simple color correction. Continuous shooting in full resolution JPEG is supported at 5.5 fps up to100 frames and the maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 second, which can be set in increments of 1/3 EV. A dial-accessed quiet shutter release mode allows single-frame exposure without the sound of the mirror movement.
The pentaprism viewfinder provides 0.70x magnification and a 100% angle of view in the FX format. For clear and bright live view image composition and image playback, a 3.2” 921k-dot TFT LCD monitor us supported. It offers a 170-degree viewing angle, a virtual horizon indicator and five adjustable brightness levels. Scratch and shock resistant glass protects the LCD and an integrated glass and panel structure minimizes surface reflections. When composing with the LCD in Live View mode, the Df uses fast contrast-detect AF and can display your image at up to 15x magnification for precise focus confirmation.
The Df is the thinnest, lightest full-frame DSLR that Nikon offers and it has a rugged, yet comfortable, build. Magnesium-alloy body covers, weather-sealing and dimpled rubber coating protects the camera from impact; a well-angled front hand grip and perfectly placed rear thumb grip ensure comfort as well as control during long shoots. The knurled metal dials are easily accessible, while shooting, and rotate smoothly and the i-button on the rear of the camera also provides a quick and direct route to numerous camera functions.
With the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter, it is easy to instantly share photos from the Df with your smartphone or tablet and then out to the waiting world. The Wi-Fi connection also lets you use your smartphone as a remote control for the camera. Nikon’s Scene Recognition System shows off the onboard intelligence of the Df, enabling you to let the camera adjust aperture, white balance, shutter speed, and flash for balanced images. Built-in HDR automatically combines two shots into one high-dynamic-range image and a newly formulated Active-D Lighting brightens shadows for help in a wide variety of settings. The Df also offers Picture Controls such as Vivid, Monochrome, and Landscape mode to add creative control over your images.
With an updated exterior design, the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens is a perfect match for the Df. It features a classic exterior with an easy-to-grip knurled focus ring and also features Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for fast, smooth, and silent autofocus. With the SWM, full-time manual focus override is always available and is certainly complemented by the precise focus ring on this lens. A maximum aperture of f/1.8 is very effective when shooting in low light, and creates shallow depth of field for sharp focus on your subject with a pleasing out-of-focus background area. The 50mm focal length provides a natural perspective, which accommodates numerous specific applications and is ideal as your day-to-day lens. When used with the DX format available on the Df DSLR, the equivalent focal length is 75mm, which expands its versatility into a full-fledged, fast portrait-length lens.
|Mount Type||Nikon F-Bayonet|
|Compatible Formats||FX, DX|
|Maximum Angle of View (FX-format)||47º|
|Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)||31º 30'|
|Maximum Reproduction Ratio||0.15x|
|Minimum Focus Distance||1.5' (0.45 m)|
|Diaphragm Blades||7 (rounded)|
|Super Integrated Coating||Yes|
|AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)||Yes|
|Dimensions||2.9 x 2.1" (73 x 52.5mm)|
|Weight||6.7 oz (190 g)|
Combining the Special Edition 50mm f/1.8G with the Df DSLR in both a silver and black kit makes for a camera system that offers the best of Nikon’s digital technology with the look, feel, and control of the SLR cameras used by the photography legends who continue to inspire us today.
For more information on this new Nikon, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.
|Camera Type||Single-lens reflex digital camera|
|Lens Mount||Nikon F bayonet mount|
|Picture Angle||Nikon FX format|
|Image Sensor Format||FX|
|Image Sensor Type||CMOS|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 23.9mm|
|Dust-reduction System||Image sensor cleaning|
|Dust-Off Reference Photo||Yes|
(L) 4,928 × 3,280
(M) 3,696 × 2,456
(S) 2,464 × 1,640
(L) 3,200 × 2,128
(M) 2,400 × 1,592
(S) 1,600 × 1,064
|File Formats||JPEG-Baseline Compliant, selectable Size Priority/Optimal Quality
JPEG-Baseline Compliant, Fine Normal or Basic Compression
NEF (RAW) + JPEG
|Picture Control||Vivid, Landscape, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Standard, User-customizable Settings|
|Storage Media||SD, UHS-I compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards|
|File System||DCF 2.0, DPOF, EXIF 2.3, PictBridge|
|Viewfinder||Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex Viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Frame Coverage||FX (36x24): 100%
DX (24x16): 97%
|Viewfinder Eyepoint||15mm (-1.0 m - 1)|
|Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment||–3 to +1 m – 1|
|Focusing Screen||Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII screen with AF area brackets|
|Reflex Mirror||Quick return|
|Lens Aperture||Instant return, electronically controlled|
|Shutter Type||Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal plane|
|Shutter Release Modes||Single-frame (S), Continuous Low-speed (CL), Continuous high-speed (CH), Mirror-up (Mup), Quiet Shutter, Self-timer|
|Shutter Speed||1/4000 - 30 seconds, bulb, time, X200|
|Frame Advance Rate||Up to 5.5 fps|
|Continuous Shooting Options||1–5 fps (CL) or 5.5 fps (CH)|
|Self-timer||2 sec., 5 sec., 10 sec., 20 sec.; 1–9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 sec.|
|Exposure Metering System||TTL exposure metering using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor|
|Metering Method||Center-weighted (75% given to 12mm central circle)
Matrix: 3D Color Matrix Metering II (G, D, E lenses); Color Matrix Metering II (other CPU lenses)
Spot: Measures 4mm circle
|Metering Range||0-20 EV (matrix or center-weighted)
2-20 EV (spot metering)
|Exposure Meter Coupling||Combined CPU and AI (collapsible meter coupling lever)|
|Exposure Modes||Programmed Auto (P), Shutter-priority (S), Aperture-priority (A), Manual (M)|
|Exposure Compensation||–3 to +3EV in increments of 1/3 EV|
|Exposure Bracketing||2–5 frames in steps of 1/3, 2/3, 1, 2, or 3 EV|
|Exposure Lock||Locked at detected value with A AE--L/AF-L button|
|Mirror Lock Up||Yes|
|ISO Sensitivity||100-12,800 (Expandable 50 - 204,800)|
|Long Exposure Noise Reduction||Yes|
|High ISO Noise Reduction||Low, Normal, High, Off|
|Active D-Lighting||Auto, Extra High, High, Normal, Low, Off|
|D-Lighting Bracketing||2 frames using selected value for one frame
3-5 frames using preset values for all frames
|Single-point AF Mode||Yes|
|Dynamic AF Mode||Number of AF points: 9, 21, 39, and 39 (3D tracking)|
|Auto-area AF Mode||Yes|
|Auto-focus System||TTL phase Detection, fine-tuning, and 39 focus points (9 cross-type sensors)
Center 33 points available at apertures slower than f/5.6 and faster than f/8
Center 7 points available at f/8
|Detection Range||–1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F)|
|Lens Servo||Single-servo AF (AF-S), Continuous-servo AF (AF-C), manual focus (MF)|
|AF-area Mode||9, 21, or 39 point Dynamic AF, Auto-area AF, Single-point AF, 3D-tracking (39 points)|
|Flash Bracketing||2–5 frames in steps of 1/3, 2/3, 1, 2, or 3 EV|
|Flash Control||i-TTL flash control using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor with SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, SB-400, or T103
i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighted metering
Standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering
|Flash Sync Modes||Front curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, Auto FP High-Speed Sync supported|
|Flash Compensation||–3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV|
|Flash Sync Terminal||Yes|
|Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)||Supported|
|White Balance||Auto (2 types), Color temp (2500K-10000K), Cloudy, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Fluorescent (7 types), Incandescent, Shade, Preset Manual (up to 4 values)|
|White Balance Bracketing||2–3 frames in steps of 1, 2, or 3|
|Live View Shooting||Photography Live View Mode|
|Live View Lens servo||Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time-servo AF (AF-F); Manual focus (MF)|
|Live View AF-area mode||Face-priority AFWide-area AFNormal-area AFSubject-tracking AF|
|Live View Autofocus||Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)|
|Monitor Type||Wide Viewing Angle TFT-LCD|
|Monitor Size||3.2" diagonal|
|Monitor Resolution||921K dot|
|Monitor Angle of View||170° wide viewing angle|
|Monitor Adjustments||Brightness, 5 levels|
|Virtual Horizon Camera Indicator||Yes, also in Live View and Viewfinder|
|Playback Functions||Full-frame & thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar), playback zoom, slide shows, histogram display, highlights, photo information, location data display, auto image rotation|
|In-Camera Image Editing||Yes|
|Interface||Type C mini-pin HDMI connector, Hi-speed USB|
|Total Custom Settings||42|
|Date, Time, Daylight
|World Time Setting||Yes|
|Battery||1x Li-ion EN-EL14a|
|AC Adapter||EH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5A power connector|
|Operating Temperature||32 to 104 °F (0 to 40 °C)|
|Operating Humidity||85% or less|
|Dimensions||5.6 x 4.3 x 2.6" (143.5 x 110 x 66.5mm)|
|Weight (Body Only)||1.6 lb (710 g)|
|Compatible Lenses||Compatible with AF NIKKOR lenses, including type
G, E, and D lenses (some restrictions apply to PC
lenses) and DX lenses (using DX 24 × 16 1.5×
image area), AI-P NIKKOR lenses, and non-CPU
lenses. IX NIKKOR lenses and lenses for the F3AF
can not be used. The electronic rangefinder can be
used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of
f/5.6 or faster (the electronic rangefinder supports
the center 7 focus points with lenses that have a
maximum aperture of f/8 or faster and the center
33 focus points with lenses that have a maximum
aperture of f/7.1 or faster).
In the following videos, three world-renowned photographers discuss their impressions of the new Nikon Df DSLR after testing it in working situations.
Lynn Goldsmith delights in the sheer freedom that digital cameras like the Df have brought to her professional life, since she used to be compelled to carry at least five film cameras in the field to accommodate different ISO settings, color, or black-and-white film.
Bob Krist, as a travel photographer, takes a "less is more" approach to gear, since his goal is to be dropped "behind cultural lines" to make his images and be as lightly laden with equipment and acquire his images as unobtrusively as possible.
Joe McNally discusses the moment he first picked up a digital camera and went from being a film photographer to a digital photographer. He was impressed with how well the Df tracked movement and performed as he photographed Mexican charros (cowboys) at a rodeo competition.
The theme that runs through these three conversations is the freedom and flexibility that a small, full-frame digital SLR, such as the Nikon Df, has brought to their quests for image making and how they have been enabled to further express their individual vision, with a mere fraction of the gear they used to carry.