Nikon DF First Shots and Lab Notes: Impressive image quality, quirky looks and handling


posted Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM EDT


Nikon made a splash last month when it announced the Nikon DF, a full-frame DSLR whose design takes you back in time to the film days, merging the control-rich aesthetic of F-series film cameras with modern digital design. We're happy to report we've got an early production unit in the IR Lab, and we've posted First Shots -- a series of Still Life* test images -- for your pixel-peeping pleasure.

At the heart of the Nikon DF is a 16.2-megapixel, FX-format CMOS image sensor, the same chip used previously in the pro-oriented Nikon D4. As in that camera, it's paired with an EXPEED 3 image processor. You can check out the Nikon DF's test images on their own, or use our Comparometer™ to pit its pictures against those taken with the Nikon D4, or any other camera we've ever tested. Go check out the images, then circle back and let us know what you think about the DF's image quality.

Meanwhile, Luke Smith, our senior lab technician, shared some interesting insights on the new camera. And we always value his insights -- after all, he's shot nearly every major camera released over the past 10 years. Hop on over to the review page to read Luke's take on the Nikon DF.

See First Shots taken with the Nikon DF here. And be sure to read our Nikon DF hands-on preview for a closer look at the camera's features. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for our complete Nikon DF review!

* Use our Still Life target images to look for detail (tone-on-tone, fine, highlights, shadows), as well as noise suppression, white balance, color accuracy and color shape retention. They're at the full range of ISOs to show how many of these factors change as ISO rises.