DxOMark crowns Nikon Df new king of low light


posted Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM EST


One of the big questions surrounding the much-discussed Nikon Df is if the manufacturer would be able to squeeze any improved performance from it, despite it being rumored to have exactly the same sensor as the Nikon D4. But now DxOMark has done its sensor-based analysis of the Df, and crowned it the king of the low light, with the best ISO score in the site's history.

Apart from low light, the Df scored all but identically to the Nikon D4. But on the website's low light scoring saw the Df score 3269 to the D4's 2965. The DxOMark's low light score is calculated as "highest ISO setting for a camera that allows it to achieve an [signal noise ratio] of 30dB while keeping a good dynamic range of 9 EVs and a color depth of 18bits." Even so, the difference isn't huge, because, as they note, "A difference in low-light ISO of 25% represents 1/3 EV and is only slightly noticeable," and the pair have only a 10% difference or so.

However, it is a quantifiable difference, despite the rumored identical sensors. And even more so, the Df manages to top out the list as the highest low light score on the site (though its victory over the Nikon D3s is small enough to be within the margin of error). Keep in mind, both the D3s and D4 are substantially more expensive cameras than the Df.

These measurements are hardly the be all and end all of a camera, and there are plenty out there who disagree with how DxOMark tests. Plus, there's much more to a good camera than just pure image quality — but even so, it seems Nikon has managed to squeeze some impressive extra performance out of the sensor in the Nikon Df.