New camera: Nikon Df compact full frame DSLR with 50mm lens

The new Nikon Df is a light and compact full frame DSLR that packs the D4 sensor into the classic design look of the Nikon FM2. Available in black and silver, price and availability in Singapore will be announced later.

Update (29 November, 2013):

The Nikon Df and AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G (Special Edition) lens have started sales at all Authorised Nikon Dealers.

  • Df Body only (Black & Silver) – S$3,699
  • Df + AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G (Special) kit (Black & Silver) – S$3,999
  • AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G – S$399
The new Nikon Df is available in Silver and Black.

The new Nikon Df is available in Silver and Black.

The new Nikon Df has the D4’s full frame CMOS sensor, with 16.2 megapixels.

First looks:

I like the retro look of the camera. I know that quite a few other camera makers have released retro-look cameras for some time.

Retro cable release with the Nikon Df.

Retro cable release with the Nikon Df.

But hey, I like the retro look not because it’s trendy but simply because it looks classy – regardless of whether it’s a fresh idea or others have done it.

It is not quite as compact as the FM2 (being somewhat taller at 143.5 x 110 x 66.5 mm) after which it was modeled in design, but it certainly weighs lighter, at 710g. It’s also lighter than current full frame DSLRs like the D4, D800 and D610.

Those used to the entry level APS-C DSLRs may find it slightly heavy.

Connect the WU-1a (optional accessory) to add Wi-Fi connectivity to the Nikon Df.

Connect the WU-1a (optional accessory) to add Wi-Fi connectivity to the Nikon Df.

I love the dedicated mechanical dials for setting shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, exposure mode and release mode – you can adjust them directly instead of going through the menus.

Some photographers are perturbed by the locks for some of these dials as it can be a bit of a hassle – it’s a throwback to the FM2 design – DSLR dials nowadays seldom sport these dial locks.

Note that the Df doesn’t do video and does not have built-in Wi-Fi.

The Df is targeted towards a very specific group of photographers looking for a very specialised camera that focuses on still photography and which is designed to make the photoshooting experience pleasurable.

The Nikon Df comes with EXPEED 3 image processing engine, with an ISO range of 100-12800 (expandable to ISO 50-204800).

Rear view of the Nikon Df compact full frame DSLR.

Rear view of the Nikon Df compact full frame DSLR.

It shoots up to 5.5 frames per second and has the same 39-point Autofocus System (up to f/8 aperture) in the D610 and D7100.

The Df can be used with the full range of Nikon lenses, including non-AI lenses. It is also compatible with SDXC and UHS-I standard memory cards, as well as Eye-Fi cards.

To complement the Nikon Df, the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G (Special Edition) has been specifically designed with tone and texture that matches the Df. It will be bundled as one of the kit options with the Df.

Direct adjustment dials on the top deck of the Nikon Df.

Direct adjustment dials on the top deck of the Nikon Df.

In the US, the Df body is priced at US$2,750 while the lens is priced at US$280. The Df and lens bundle is priced at US$3,000. Price and availability in Singapore will be announced at a later date.

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