Classic design meets modern digital with the new Nikon Df, a full frame DSLR that is designed for photography purists with a love of old school film cameras. The Nikon Df has its forefathers to thank for its vintage 35mm body style. However, one look at this camera proves that there is quite a bit of modern technology under the hood. The camera sports a 16.2 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor, Nikon's Expeed 3 image processor and an expansive ISO range of 100-12800 expandable up to a whopping 204,800 ISO. Nikon promises the Df will have the same high ISO performance of the D4. If that's the case this camera will appeal to photojournalists and wedding photographers worldwide.
The Nikon Df features a 39 point AF system just like the Nikon D600. Also like the Nikon D600 is a burst shooting rate of 5.5 frames per second. The camera also features a 3.2-inch LCD and glass pentaprism viewfinder. Looking through the viewfinder you will be able to see the shooting data clearly presented in digital form.
A missing feature from this camera is easily spotted--video functionality. But the Nikon Df makes no excuses for this obvious subtraction. This camera was clearly created for the photographic artist with no need for video capture.
Earlier today Amazon made a bit of an astronomical blunder by uploading their per-order webpage of the Nikon Df. Here's the screenshot we grabbed before they quickly pulled it down.
The Nikon Df will be available in late November for a retail price of $2749.95 for the body only. The camera will be available in both a black and silver finish. However, if you would like the Df with the special edition 50mm f/1.8 lens you can nab it for $2999.95. This is about a $30 savings if you were to purchase the camera and lens separately. The 50mm f/1.8 special edition lens will sell for $279.95.
So what does this mean for the newly released Sony a7? Well, my guess is that Nikon's Df will still outsell the a7 simply due to the Nikon tag on the camera. If you are already invested in Nikon glass, love the classic look of vintage Nikons, and have a hankering for a full frame camera then the Df will truly peak your interest. It has mine! However, those that are looking for more than just a name should take a closer look at the Sony a7. It's only $1700 and is worth a second glance. Although I would not choose the kit lens, there are plenty of other Sony lenses (and a plethora or other lenses) from which to choose. A thousand dollars difference is not chump change--and that money can buy some pretty good lenses if you don't already own some.
Although full frame cameras have the wow factor, the gap between the image quality derived from an APS-C sensor versus the image quality from a cropped sensor camera is becoming less and less pronounced. Is the high ISO and dynamic range of the newest Nikon camera going to knock our socks off? Time will tell. If the Df can perform like the D4, then its steep asking price will be justified. However, if the Df lacks professional functionality required by high-end users, it becomes an overpriced toy for those with too much money. I certainly can't wait to test it out. As a professional wedding photographer, owner of some nice older Nikon glass, and lover of the vintage camera look, I am beyond excited to try out the new Nikon Df!