The 9 things you need to know about the new Nikon Df

After a prolonged build-up campaign Nikon has officially announced the new Df, a retro-styled DSLR for ‘pure photography'

Nikon Df

 

It's finally here: the new Nikon Df, a retro-style full-frame DSLR that Nikon promises will make you ‘think about the pictures you're about to take'. We've had a look at the camera already, and here are the nine key features you need to know about:

 

1. It's built like Nikon's iconic 35mm film SLRs, with mechanical dials

In the build-up to the Df a lot of noise was made about a ‘remake' of the classic FM2. This isn't exactly what we've got here, it's more a camera inspired by Nikon's entire film SLR range. As well as the look, especially in the silver version, you've got a series of mechanical dials that control functions in much the same way as the film cameras of old. There are dials on the top for ISO, exposure compensation, exposure mode, release mode and shutter speed.

2. It's got the same sensor and processor as the D4...

Df stands for ‘Digital fusion', and that means a couple of things. As well as being a marriage of the physical design of old film cameras with current digital technology, the Df also borrows and combines features from several members of Nikon's current lineup. The Df uses the same 16.2 MP FX-format CMOS sensor and Expeed 3 processor as we saw in the D4. This means of course that it enjoys many of the superb features of that camera, such as the expandable ISO up to 204,800.

3. ... and takes elements of its build from the D800...

The magnesium alloy body is weather and dust-sealed to the same extent as the D800 and D800E. The Df also sports the same glass pentaprism viewfinder as we saw in both the D4 and the D800, with a 100% field of view and diopter adjustment of -3 to +1.
 

4. ... and borrows the AF system from the D600 and D610

The Multi-CAM 4800 autofocus module has been imported in from the D610 with all its 39 points intact. The centre 7 AF points are capable of operating at f/8, which is useful when using a teleconverter combination that produces a maximum aperture of f/8.

5. Its collapsible metering coupling lever lets you use vintage glass

Now this is interesting. The Df features a collapsible metering coupling lever unique to DSLRs that makes it compatible with pretty much any lens in Nikon's back-catalogue. This includes non-AI lenses, original F-mount lenses (pictured above) dating all the way back to 1959. When shooting with a non-AI lens in Aperture Priority or Manual, the Df allows full-aperture metering equivalent to that of AI lenses, and it's possible to adjust for individual lens characteristics in camera settings. In fact, Nikon estimated that there are probably only two or three lenses in its range not compatible with the Df.

6. It's power-efficient

The Df can squeeze 1400 shots out of its lithium ion battery pack (above). Nikon says this would be enough to take the camera on holiday without bothering to pack a charger, thus demonstrating that Nikon has never been on holiday with any members of the WDC team.

7. No built-in Wi-fi

Unusually for a DSLR in released in 2013, the Df does not come with built-in Wi-fi. Nikon's WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapater (above) will do the job perfectly well, though that'll add an extra £50 or so onto the price point.

8. It's bundled with a brand new lens

A new special edition of Nikon's AF-S 50mm f/1.8G NIKKOR lens has been redesigned to complement the retro look of the Df.

9. It is, however, not cheap

When the Df goes on sale on November 28 at selected retailers, it will only be available as a bundle with the 50mm lens, and the price for the two together will be £2749.99. Nikon said that as yet there are no plans to release the Df body-only.


For a full spec of the camera and our team's first impressions, head to our First Look page.

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