Nikon has just announced the all new, retro-inspired, full frame DF Digital SLR camera. Before I go any further, this thing looks absolutely incredible. Sure, there has been a wave of vintage-looking cameras sweeping the industry as of late, but you’d would be hard pressed to find one that packs as impressive a feature list as this one. Using the same sensor and processing engine from Nikon’s flagship D4, the DF fuses the passion for pure photography with the outstanding image quality that today’s digital shooters want. With a 39-point auto focus system (including 9 cross-type autofocus points, by the way), this camera certainly isn’t shy to perform.
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Here’s the full press release:
Mississauga, ON, November 4, 2013 – Nikon Canada Inc. today announced the Nikon Df, a modern classic designed for those who have felt a connection to their camera, revel in the idea of going out to photograph an unfamiliar location, and know the effort and ultimate satisfaction that goes into getting the shot. The Nikon Df is a unique, advanced level digital SLR that harmonizes Nikon heritage and modern performance in a lightweight and capable FX-format camera. It pays homage to the enduring style and controls of Nikon’s distinguished “F” series of 35mm film cameras, and features technology similar to Nikon’s professional flagship D4 digital SLR. The Df is a versatile and reliable option to help passionate photographers truly achieve their creative vision. Released along with the Df is the similarly styled AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens.
“Nikon cameras have played an important role in documenting world history for the better part of 50 years, and have earned their position as a reliable tool that pros and enthusiasts can count on,” said Gregory Flasch, National Advertising and Communications Manager at Nikon Canada. “The Nikon Df represents much more than a storied legacy of cameras; it’s about giving the user a chance to truly enjoy the experience of taking amazing images. The design is unwavering, and the features are the latest in Nikon imaging technology. The Df brings together the best of yesterday and today for advanced full-frame photographers.”
A Classically Styled, Thoroughly Modern Masterpiece
From a robust feel to mechanical dials and finely detailed craftsmanship, the Df embodies the very best of Nikon’s photographic legacy. The classically styled camera recalls design cues such as a recognizable pentaprism and top cover, which is now constructed of durable, lightweight magnesium alloy. The top of the camera features elegant yet sophisticated mechanical controls for settings, letting users feel the tactile reassurance of adjustments, such as a familiar click stop for shutter speed adjustment. Additional dedicated dials control ISO, exposure compensation, release mode and exposure mode, while modern controls are also easily accessible. The intuitive control layout allows for quick and confident setting adjustment and retains a solid operational experience that “feels like a Nikon camera.”
The Df was designed with an emphasis on familiar, intricate details made famous from previous generations, including the leather-textured top and grip, along with the body mounted shutter button with a threaded release port. The design also recalls the slimness of previous-generation cameras, making this the smallest and lightest FX-format camera in Nikon’s lineup.
It isn’t all about good looks though, as this enduring design is coupled with legendary performance to create a very capable and extremely appealing FX-format offering for professionals and enthusiasts. The 16.2-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor of the Df is inherited from Nikon’s professional flagship digital SLR, the D4. The large 36 x 23.9mm CMOS sensor is praised for its ability to produce amazing image quality in a wide variety of lighting conditions. Whether shooting landscapes, wildlife or weddings, the Df captures frames that exhibit high clarity, accurate colour and a broad dynamic range. Additionally, Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED 3 image processing engine helps propel image quality, yielding images with a natural colour and depth while enhancing subtle and nuanced tones.
The Df, like the professional Nikon D4, performs well in a wide variety of challenging lighting conditions with an exceptionally wide ISO range from 100 to 12,800, expandable to a staggering ISO 204,800. The combination of low noise and wide range makes this an appealing camera for the challenges faced by photojournalists and event photographers, as well as those who enjoy the pursuit of otherwise impossible images using natural light.
A Feature Set for Passionate Photographers
The Nikon Df is engineered to enhance the experience of taking photos and represents a culmination of decades of experience and feedback from photographers in the field, in the studio and on the sidelines. From its proven AF system to modern connectivity and legacy lens compatibility, the Df contains the best photographic features for an enjoyable all-day shooting experience.
- AF System: The convenience and precision of Nikon’s 39-point AF system is proof- positive of the benefits of modern technology. With 39 selectable AF points throughout the frame for precise focus, the Df also features nine cross-type sensors, and seven AF points capable of working down to f/8. Users can also choose from a variety of AF area modes to match their shooting style: 9-point, 21-point, 39-point, 39-point with 3D Tracking and Auto Area AF.
- Get the shot with 2016 Pixel 3D Matrix Metering and Scene Recognition System: Nikon’s system analyzes each shooting scenario and determines proper camera settings, resulting in even exposures, accurate white balance and precise AF. To capture action sports, wildlife and other fast-moving subjects, the Df has a continuous burst shooting rate of up to 5.5 frames-per-second (fps).
- Compose using the 3.2-inch LCD Display and Glass Pentaprism Viewfinder: Users can easily compose through the high-resolution LCD screen or the bright optical viewfinder. The LCD screen has 921K-dot resolution, making it easy for users to adjust additional settings, review images or compose using Live View. Using the glass optical viewfinder, users will enjoy 100 per cent accuracy and a bright field of view. What’s more, the shooting data presented through the viewfinder has also been updated and digitized.
- Connect and Share Instantly: Another modern touch allows users to connect and share their images instantly using Nikon’s optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter1. By connecting to a mobile device, users can download and share images, and remotely fire the camera.
- Features for Creativity: Photographing dramatic monochrome or vivid landscapes is easier with Nikon’s Picture Controls, which allow for the customization of colour, saturation and tone. The Df also features built-in High Dynamic Range (HDR) to combine multiple shots with enhanced tonal range, and two to five-frame auto-bracketing. For maximum control, images can also be captured in JPEG, TIFF or RAW file formats.
- Support for a Storied NIKKOR Legacy: In addition to being compatible with all current AF, AF-S, DX and AF-D NIKKOR lenses, the Df is also compatible with classic Ai and non-Ai NIKKOR glass. Its new metering coupling lever, located on the bayonet, provides users with the ability to once again enjoy their lens collections with renewed functionality. Full-aperture metering is also supported.
- Accessory System Support: The Df is compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS), letting users take full advantage of i-TTL exposure or fire multiple units remotely using a Speedlight commander. To remotely trigger the shutter, the camera also supports the new WR remote system, as well as the threaded AR-3 cable release, which screws in to the shutter button in the traditional style.
A Classic FX-format Special Edition NIKKOR Prime
The new limited edition AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens is the result of Classic NIKKOR styling combined with today’s optics to create the ideal focal length companion lens for the Df. The design honours original NIKKOR Ai lenses, with colours, texture, and an aluminum mounting ring that is matched to the styling of the Df. This lens is ideal for everyday portraiture, landscapes and casual photography, but offers a wide aperture and 7-blade diaphragm for natural image blur and a dramatic depth of field. Despite the timeless design, the 50mm f/1.8G is created with modern AF-S design benefits to give photographers rapid response, quiet operation and excellent sharpness and clarity throughout the frame.
Price and Availability
The Nikon Df kit with AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition lens is scheduled to be available at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers in late November 2013 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $3,099.95. It will be available in classic Nikon black and silver colour schemes. The AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Special Editions lens is also sold separately and is scheduled to be available at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers in late November 2013 at an MSRP of $299.95. For an additional flair of nostalgic style, Nikon is offering black or tan leather carrying cases, the CF-DC6B and CF-DC6S. Pricing and availability to be announced.
Exclusive Canadian Warranty
Nikon Canada offers a two-year warranty for the Nikon Df purchased from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer. Additionally, Nikon Canada offers a five-year warranty for all NIKKOR lenses purchased from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer. Consumer’s investment is protected by Nikon Canada’s warranties with in-Canada service.