Nikon DF: The spirit of the F-series reborn?


posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 12:01 AM EDT


If you've been shooting since the film days and still reminisce about your favorite cameras from that time gone by, then Nikon's latest announcement will be right up your street. The 16.2-megapixel Nikon DF is a full-frame DSLR that puts you in a time machine and takes you back to the days when form and function matched. The DF doesn't hide major features in menus or behind complex operations: Every major exposure variable has its own dedicated, physical control. The result: a camera that looks the business, gets you out of the menu system, and lets you focus on your subject.

And as an added bonus, the weather-sealed, magnesium alloy-bodied DF promises to resurrect favorite lenses you'd long-ago retired, solely because your DSLRs didn't fully support them. The Nikon DF has fewer limitations on old glass than do other Nikon DSLRs, thanks to a new metering coupling lever on the bayonet which supports pre-AI lenses. (Nikon is also releasing a retro-styled AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens alongside the DF body, and this couples modern optical design with classic Nikkor styling.)


The Nikon DF is based around the same 16.2-megapixel, FX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 3 image processor seen previously in the Nikon D4. While its 5.5 frames-per-second burst performance lags that camera, it boasts the same exceptionally wide expanded sensitivity range of ISO 50 to 204,800 equivalents. It also sports a 100% pentaprism optical viewfinder, a 3.2-inch, 921k dot LCD monitor 39-point autofocus system with nine cross-type points, 2,016-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II system, and a whole lot more besides.


One interesting omission -- and it's certainly in keeping with the retro aesthetic -- is the lack of movie capture. That's right, the Nikon DF is a digital SLR that only shoots stills, just like your film camera did. (Who'd have thought, just a few years ago, that not including video would be revolutionary?)

Available from late November 2013 in either silver or black versions, both with black leatherette trim, the Nikon DF is priced at US$2,750 body-only. A kit bundling the 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens is priced at US$3,000. (The lens itself retails separately for US$280.) Black and brown leather cases for the Nikon DF will be offered too, with pricing and availability info yet to be revealed.


The rumors on this one have swirled for weeks: Want the full story on the smallest, lightest full-frame camera announced by Nikon to date, which promises to bring the spirit of the F-series into the digital age? Read our hands-on preview of the Nikon DF, and see what all the fuss has been about!


Just want to reserve your place in the queue before the rest of the world gets their orders in? Place your pre-order with our trusted affiliates now, and you'll be among the first to shoot with the Nikon DF!


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