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
Format FX
Compatible Formats FX, DX
Focal Length 50mm
Maximum Aperture f/1.8
Minimum Aperture f/16
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)
Lens Elements/Groups 7/6
Aspherical Elements 1
Diaphragm Blades 7 (rounded)
Distance Information Yes
Super Integrated Coating Yes
Autofocus Yes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor) Yes
G-type Yes
Filter Size 58mm
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
Total Pixels 16.6MP
Effective Pixels 16.2MP
Dust-reduction System Image sensor cleaning
Dust-Off Reference Photo Yes
Image Area FX-format
(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
Picture Control Vivid, Landscape, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Standard, User-customizable Settings
Storage Media SD, UHS-I compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards
Card Slot 1
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 Magnification 0.70x
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)
Built-in Flash No
Flash Bracketing 2–5 frames in steps of 1/3, 2/3, 1, 2, or 3 EV
X-Sync Speed 1/200
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-ready indicator Yes
Accessory Shoe Yes
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
Image Comment Yes
Interface Type C mini-pin HDMI connector, Hi-speed USB
Total Custom Settings 42
Date, Time, Daylight
Savings Settings        
World Time Setting Yes
Battery 1x Li-ion EN-EL14a
AC Adapter EH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5A power connector
Battery Charger MH-24
Tripod Socket Yes
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.











Discussion 24

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i wish nikon would do an upgrade on the df

This is the camera I want to upgrade to from my D80. I started with the FG, moved up to the N90s and now my D80. I wanted to get an FM3A film camera but this Df has the look and function of that and then some. The only thing I have an issue with is the price. As a competent hobbyist that occasionally gets paid to take pictures, I can't justify it. I wish I could. I am sure I would not regret it.

This is the Nikon I have been waiting for. Starting with my Nikkormat FTn in 1971, I have been shooting with Nikon cameras and glass, upgrading to an F3 in 1986. Later, I reluctantly entered the digital SLR era with my D90, a camera that I like a lot. But I always wondered if it was possible for Nikon to build a digital SLR with the great feel of the F3 that allowed me to use my 35mm AF and prime Nikon glass as well as more modern lenses. There must be more people like me since the new Nikon Df is now available. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Yes, several reviewers have pointed out that it is a lot of money. But think about the D4 sensor, state of the art processing power and the ability to use the many older (AI) prime lenses that did not really work on the D90 with its APS size sensor. If I shoot thousands of shots with this camera over a period of 10 years, it amounts to pennies per shot, which is a lot better value than having a bulky but less expensive super camera that I only use occasionally. Great job, Nikon.

Everything is super , finally Nikon allows to his customer to use all lenses built in the past which are still excellent , only negative point is price , 3.000 bucks are too many for a camera like this . Most probably Nikon wants reduce the line of the fans.Right price positioning should be among 1700/2000 bucks.


Bravo Nikon !

A solid , to the point , no frills camera that has the feel of old with the technology of now.
The art of still photography remains alive without overloading the body with the same features of so many other cameras.The DF is perfect in its current state. No second card slot of video needed.There are plenty of Nikon models available to cater to the camera/video crowd.
The appreciation of photography with the creation of an image in its purest form can be realized in Nikon's latest offering .
Very Well Done !

Congratulations Nikon, I am a Canon user but recognise my use of Canon has to do more with my father and above all familiarity. Photography is about everything bar the camera. To me the most important thing is when the tool, the camera, can slip into the subconscious to allow the moment, the light, the magic to be captured without the barrier of technical comprehension of how the tool works.

I think that this adventure of Nikon will capture the more mature photographer, between familiarity, hunkering for the past, nostalgia, don't know (my visceral reaction). I am not sure it will really do anything for the Gen Y or Millenium photographer. It doesn't matter however for the photographer. The more offers in the market the higher the probability that the photographer finds the tool that works for him, or her.

Will I get one, no. After my 5DmkIII I have my Fujifilm x100s. These two cameras capture what I need. There is more than a lifetime of learning in these two tools as an amateur photographer

Being able to meter with the old lenses? GO NIKON GO!!
Same technology than the D4? GO NIKON GO!!
Full frame? GO NIKON GO!!
No video? Who cares? If I want to shoot video I buy a video camera!
No second card slot? Who cares? I'm not a "3500 frames I may get lucky shooter" My best back-up? Small cards, 4 and 8 GB tops. I also always thought that mixing video and stills in the same card was playing with fire. Conclusion; for those that complain about lack of video or two slot card, it's plenty in Nikon's arsenal to satisfy both, so, it's no need to put down the product, after all, you are comparing bananas with apples. Meanwhile, for those of us that like, and miss, a solid performance SLR only, this is wonderful news!

I was SO excited to see a new camera focused on photography. Until I saw the specs and realized it wasn't. Just a gimmick for the nostalgic.
You almost had me Nikon.
2 card slots, and no less than 1/500 true sync speed, and I'll order three of them tomorrow! Without those specs, I'm still a pro that feels like I've been forgotten about...

In many ways this is the FX DSLR I've been waiting for. But, when I compare it to my D7100, the D7100 has more pixels, higher viewfinder magnification, more focus points, and more screen pixels. I wonder why Nikon seems to have cut corners? I'll wait to see if these are limitations that show up in camera tests.

I remember the flack Sony took for leaving video off their A500 and A550 DSLR's. Now Nikon garners a fan base for it. That plus the fact they are going retro after others have had it for three generations at least. And it is no Megapixel king for being a full frame with an asking price that is a grand over Sony's new A7. IMHO even the newer models from Olympus, Panasonic, and Fuji are a better value despite not being full frame. How the mighty have fallen.

I've been waiting for Nikon to introduce a mirrorless compact model to use when I don't want to carry around heavy gear.

I love my old Nikon FM, and I'm not a big fan of working my way through menu after menu on my current models. I like dials and the retro look, however, a few bucks more and you can get the Nikon D800.

Not sure where Nikon is going with the Df. I suspect many photographers are not interested in a new "collector's" item.

Two card slots, Sync at 1/250 and 2/3 the price and they would have a seller. Otherwise wait for big discounts as it gets dusty on the shelf

I see many complaints here about the lack of video capability. This puzzles me because I thought the general consensus was that DSLR's are outmatched for video by real camcorders due to focus issues. I've shot one video in two years with my D7000. The idea of locking the mirror up bothers me, not to mention cooking the sensor, and it burns through the battery. I get good video with my little P7100. No, I vote for this bold, new/old offering, and Nikon should stick to their guns on this one. A simpler DSLR with no video and potent full-frame ability is right on. Add a second card slot and they've nailed it. I think it's brilliant, gorgeous, and I hope it succeeds. I'd buy one if I could. Yo, NIkon! Be happy to test it for ya!

I started taking pictures in the late 60's witha a Nikon FTn shooting rolls of Tri-X black and white for the school newspaper. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age. My 8008 went a long way into helping me gain confidence with digital and finally stepping away from film. The new Df looks like something that I would like to have one day. It might not have the video capability of other cameras but it was designed for people like me that still want to touch the past but keep their feet in the present. I look forward to spending some time with a Df in the future. Hopefully it will be like spending some time with an old friend.

Serious flaw to leave out video mode. Why would I buy this camera? It has less of everything. A used D4 will soon cost less and deliver more. Nikon needs to focus on video too. Even a Go Pro shoots 4K now. In order for most professional photographers to survive in the future you have to shoot video. I love my D800 but I wish is could 1. Sync at a higher speed without loosing light output (i.e.. 500 or 1000) now that would be amazing. Why not design special lenses with the shutter in the lens so this is possible? 2. How about 1080 120p mode, or even better 4k at 60P? These are all the features being offered by others. How about shooting video in RAW too? I love the video quality of my D800 and have owned Canon and plenty of Sony broadcast gear. Nothing beats it, but it could be better. With new stuff on the horizon this new Nikon camera is like a retreat. Nikon is sticking their head in the sand and ignoring the market. I love the big file size of the D800. Bring on the 75mb file. I am ready. My goal is to pursue higher levels of quality with my photography and video production. I have owned Nikon cameras for over 36 years of my professional life. I am looking for tools that will allow me to deliver my best work yet, not tools that will limit my future.

Well, retro issues are a fashion; nice to be a FX, but in my personal opinion Pros will not take this option, looks like a souvenir, I keep D800E, and my old D700, Sorry but I wouldnt buy it.

Video streams are showing up "Not available.. try again later".

A step forward from Nikon but 3 step back at the same time... seems to me like they are charging that price for the retro-classic look of the camera rather than it performance, cause a Canon Rebel still give you more for your money compared to this camera...I pass!

Nice looking build, but the price is the same as a D800 without the same quality. There's a niche for this camera, but not at that price.

The camera looks so small in Joe's hands! I know he is a fan of the battery pack attachments to support his vaunted "Grip" , so this was a bit of a double take. This camera look will definitely pull on the heart strings of us remaining boomer photographers still healthy enough to hold a camera. Brilliant marketing.

Love the camera, and I would buy it, but it doesn't have two card slots. Nikon charges too much to make it a playful retro camera that could have been used professionally for weddings. What a dumb mistake not to include a 2nd card slot for backup. No serious wedding photographer will buy this camera to use professionally. Really Nikon? What a blown opportunity Nikon. You lost me on this purchase. Let's hope for an upgrade.

1/200th flash sync speed :-(

I wish I were a Nikon user. . . . . . . I was ready to buy a Canon 6D and will now wait for the "Canon Real McCoy". Nikon took me back in time when I was in my 20's taking pictures all over the world without having to think about tomorrow. . . . . . now let's get to wok and develop a real VW bug to go with it. . . . . . . Went from 70 to my 20's in no time flat !!!!!!!

Video Links to McNally, Krist and Goldsmith not showing up on Android device. Are the pics linked?