Nikon Df cameras pleasantly join together historical style and nowadays high tech (09.01.2014)


From last year’s November, the full-frame DSLR camera Nikon Df is attracting people from the counter of I AM PHOTOGRAPHER pro shop. Its look is made attractive by the shape of film based Nikon F3 known from the 1980s. But the inside of the camera hides much from the nowadays Nikon DSLR cameras’ flagship Nikon D4.

Many Estonian and Latvian photographers have found Nikon Df cameras from I AM PHOTOGRAPHER Pro Shop. We have received a lot of positive feedback from them about the features of the camera. I welcome all those interested to get to know the camera and I’d be happy to share my experiences.

Nikon Df’s body is made from magnesium alloy and thus, it’s lightweight and resistible. Its stylish look is really attractive and brings joy of recognition to older generations of photographers. Its light body construction ensures that it is weatherproof similar to D800/D800E cameras. But when holding it, it becomes clear how usually ergonomics has been taken into consideration when creating nowadays DSLR cameras. It cannot be said that Df is uncomfortable to hold but the body and buttons of D4, D800 or D610 are so well thought-out and placed so logically that at first, ”retro“ seems a step back. On the other hand, this kind of look has been the purpose of this camera. It is quite pleasant to get all the information about the settings in use from the buttons themselves not the screen. No more twirling the camera. Everything important fits on the main side of the camera. Nice overview and leading from the same place.

The body of the camera together with the battery weighs only 710 grams. My neck is used to wear a D4, which weighs 1340 grams. It’s almost twice the weight. For a traveling photographer, this camera is a pure joy. The weight difference is accomplished thanks to its small battery. It was a big surprise when I realised that with one charging, it is possible to take 1700-1800 shots. The 50mm f/1.8 lens that comes with the camera is also lightweight and it fits with the Nikon Df body perfectly. There is nothing bad to say about the quality of the lens as well. When using other Nikons lenses with Nikon Df, I got new experiences. AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED ZOOM NIKKOR suited fine but 70-200 mm f/2,8G ED VR II NIKKOR took the camera out of balance when photographing because the centre of gravity moved over to the lens too much and I had to change the way I hold the the camera. This very same light weight of the camera and small measurements need some practice when using lenses with longer focal length.

The back side of the camera is very user friendly and well thought-out when it comes to the placing of the buttons. In addition, the existing space has been designed very effectively and it also fits a 3.2 inches 921 000 dots screen. Its optical viewfinder is big (as of D800) and thanks to its high quality prism, the frame is very clear and pleasant to use.

Now, about the most important thing – its photo quality. I was familiar with D4 in its goodness – even when using higher ISO, there is not much digital noise. Nikon Df surprised me the most with great sharpness and very detailed photos taken in JPG format. With RAW files, I noticed extraordinary light dynamics, especially in the darker areas. This was a very nice surprise especially when knowing that we are dealing with a familiar D4 sensor. It seems that a lot of developing has been done with the software. When using higher ISO, the digital noise remains on the same good level as with D4.

This camera does not have a video function. Ok, you have to accept that – there is only „pure photography“.

To whom is this camera meant then? I think that press and sports photographers continue to enjoy the perfect ergonomics and fastness of Nikon D4. Fashion and nature photographers continue loving the extra detailed photos taken with 36 megapixels of D800/D800E

Nikon Df is meant for a photographer who enjoys the essence of photography. This camera is a bow to photography, joining together today’s high tech, reliability and uncompromising picture quality and adding emotions from the past through this camera’s retro style. I believe that this camera suits well into the bag of a traveling photographer because it saves room and weight but at the same time, no compromises have been done in the quality of its photos or construction. This camera is a suitable companion for every wedding photographer where, as a stylish “tool“, it emphasises the importance and celebratory of the event. This camera suits for a respectable gentleman but also for young fervent photography freak. Those people who enjoy photography will not be unimpressed by this camera.

Aivar Pihelgas



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