The Imaging Resource (IR), one of the web's most trusted resources for all things digital photography, has just completed its in-depth review of the Nikon DF, the company's retro-styled, full-frame dSLR. When Nikon announced the DF, it appeared to many to be the camera that many people were screaming for in its traditional design cues and seeming emphasis on photography. Additionally, the DF is about as close a replacement to the D700 as Nikon has ever made, too.
So, how does the DF live up to the hype?
In terms of image quality, according to IR, the Nikon DF is the best available-light camera on the market, regardless of price. While the DF uses a 16Mp chip like the D4, Nikon did do some tweaking in regards to the sensor to get even better performance out of it.
As for other things to like about the DF, there's a real laundry list. First, there's the image quality (at all of the normal ISO settings), full weather-sealing, the big bright viewfinder, and good battery life. For film shooters, the DF is fully compatible with every Nikkor F-mount lens ever made, the only Nikon dSLR that can boast that capability. Oh yes, then there's the undeniably cool styling, complete with all of those wonderful external controls that serve to eliminate time-wasting menu diving.
As for complaints, there are some here, too. Chief among them: an AF system that is clearly inferior to the D4/D800, which limits the ability to use all of those nice, big pixels to their fullest potential. In regards to the in-hand experience, IR notes that, despite being a big, heavy camera, the DF has hardly no grip at all. Additionally, the DF has only one memory card slot, no AF assist lamp (like all Nikon's other dSLRs), and can't shoot video.
Overall conclusion? The DF is a good camera, but not without flaws, especially when considering that the D800 with its vastly superior AF system can be had for just a few hundred bucks more. Who is the DF for, then? According to IR: the people whose ultimate concern is still image quality and the cool styling.
For more info:
The full test
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