Nikon DF Review
n order to keep up with the ever-changing taste of the consumers and the dynamic world of the Internet, brands tend to modify and adjust their designs. Sometimes, a product can lose the originality because of too much of a change in the design, and the competitors can capture the distorted audience.
The latest trend seen in the design process of different products of major established brands is the returning back to the iconic roots of the product from which they evolved long ago. Vintage and retro designs can help the brand to differentiate themselves from the newcomers with the nostalgic experience. It shows the consumers that they are different from other younger competitors.
Nikon, the giants of their respective industry, has also entered into the trend of going retro with their Nikon Df or the Digital Fusion. A classic Nikon outside packed with all the modern features inside. Let’s have a look at this device.
Nikon DF – Going Retro
Giving an outlook with exposed screws, mechanical switches, wheels, and dials, Nikon has fashioned the Df in a design which gave rise to the brand back in the day. Containing all the latest features of any modern-day DSLR, the Nikon Df is an excellent choice for those who are a fan of retro and classic designs. Let’s have a review.
Design, Ergonomics & Feel
Looking at the design of Nikon Df, the classic look is quite apparent. However, this classic look is limited only to the front and to the top of the camera. Rest of the camera is similar to any other Nikon DSLR in the present day market. The front and top of the camera have exposed screws. The control wheels on the top of the camera contain all key settings. Although, there is a Quick Access key to access the controls quickly without having to play with the dials.
There are two dedicated wheels to adjust the ISO and the exposure on the top left side of the camera. However, to access any one of the dials, you have to press a button in order to unlock the wheel as the wheels are positioned in stacks over each other. There is another dial at the top right corner of the camera to set the shutter speed. An on/off dial and an exposure mode dial is also located near to it.
The Df is comparatively heavier and larger than the most competing models. The bulkiness is because of the weather sealing and the camera frame which is made of magnesium alloy. The size of the camera is larger because of the bigger viewfinder and the pentaprism which acquires more than the required space. It weighs at 710 grams and offers a comfortable grip while handling the camera.
The Nikon Df is a full-frame DSLR camera. It boasts a 16.2 MP, FX-format CMOS image sensor, similar to Nikon D4. The camera is powered by the EXPEED 3 image processor which offers crispier image quality, better dynamic range and deep shadow performance. Continuous shooting rate offered by the Df is disappointing as it just gives 5.5 fps but, it does have an exceptionally wide ISO range of 50 to 204,800.
There is a 2,016 pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II sensor which sets up the exposure automatically and has a 39 point AD system with nine cross-type points which is pretty impressive. The camera does not feature any pop-up flash but has slots for adding external strobes. This is a setback for many photographers as the pop-up flash acts as an emergency source of lighting when there is not much space available to set-up the external strobes. Also, you can attach almost all Nikon F-mount lenses ever made to the Df which is quite a plus point for many users.
Viewfinder and LCD
The Nikon Df comes with a typical DSLR optical viewfinder which is not much different than shooting the viewfinder of the Nikon D600 or the D700. The pentaprism viewfinder gives a 100% coverage of the scene with a magnification of 0.70 times. It is encircled by a rubber eyecup to provide a better and comfortable grip.
Talking about the LCD, it is very large measuring at 3.2 inches with 921,000 dots. It provides a very sharp display of the images. The LCD is not touch-enabled, and a traditional 5 button layout to the left of the LCD is used to navigate through the options. Also, the LCD is not tiltable which is more of a setback considering the hefty price of the camera.
Lack of Video Recording
The Nikon Df is completely about photography and no video at all. This looks like to be one of the major drawbacks of the camera. The specifications and innards of the Df are fully capable of supporting a full 1080p video, and there’s no technical reason as to why Nikon omits the feature of video recording. Since it does not have any video recording capabilities, there are no microphone ports.
Battery, Storage & Connectivity
The battery compartment is situated at the right side of the camera. The battery is Lithium-Ion battery and is quite slim and lightweight. It has an amazing life of 1,400 or more shots at a single charge. Talking about storage, the recommended card to use for the storage purpose is a card with 90Mbps or any other faster UHS-I card. For connection, there is a Type-C Mini HDMI plus USB 2.0 High-speed data. Also, an adapter could be connected to transfer the files over the Wi-Fi.