November 4

8 comments

Nikon To Announce the New Df Retro DSLR Camera

By Dan

November 4, 2013


Nikon-Df-kit-silver

Tonight, Nikon is slated to unveil the D𝑓, a brand new full frame FX camera that’s built to look just like an old Nikon camera. You know, the kind that were made back when there was no D in SLR.

Like a cross between the old Nikon F series and the new fangled digitals, the D𝑓 is said to have the same 16.2MP CMOS sensor as the D4, a 39-point AF system, beautiful image quality, the EXPEED 3 image processing engine, Wi-Fi sharing, a firing rate of 5.5 fps and an array of milled, manual dials on the top deck that control shutter speed, exposure mode, ISO and +/-EV. Modern guts, classic styling. Just like we seem to like it these days.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the new Nikon D𝑓 is that it’s supposedly compatible with the entire catalog of Nikon lens, both new and old. Not only does it work with all current AF-S, AF-D and AF NIKKOR lenses, it’s got a meter coupling lever that allows the use of both AI and older non-AI lenses. If you’ve got any old Nikon glass in your cabinet, you can put it back into the game with the D𝑓.

Nikon-Df-top-2

Nikon will offer the D𝑓 body only for $2,746.95, or paired with a Nikon 50mm f/1.8G special edition lens for $2,996.95. As of right now, the D𝑓 will be available for sale on November 28.

Although I read all the pre-release rumors I’ve been out of the office for the past two weeks, so I haven’t even had a chance to ponder this one yet. Let me know what you think, though. Yay or nay? Does this change anything? Do think the Nikon D𝑓 is an adequate answer to the current trend of retro-style Fuji X lineup? Is this the new standard or an overpriced dud?

Bottom line, would you buy the D𝑓? If so, how would you see it fitting into your own camera lineup? If no, then why to? I’ll be excited to get my hands on it and let you know what I think.

Edit: Here’s the official announcement from Nikon and a short teaser video that gives you an idea of how the camera looks and sounds, and how they envision YOU using the D𝑓. You can also read my analysis here.

About the author

Hi, I'm Dan Bailey, a 20+ year pro outdoor and adventure photographer, and official FUJIFILM X-Photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.


As a top rated blogger and author my goal is to help you become a better, more confident and competent photographer, so that you can have as much fun and creative enjoyment as I do.

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  • I’d prefer the black version but I question the need this satisfies other than nostalgia for former film photographers. The camera doesn’t seem to be that small at least compared to my Fuji XE-1, and if it can’t compete on size, it doesn’t have as many features as a D800 either.

  • Not bothered about the styling bit. A camera is a tool for taking photographs. Whenever did a carpenter obsess about the ‘styling’ of his chisels? So long as it is efficient and easy to use, who gves a damn about what it looks like.

    But the compaptibility with the old Nikon lenses – now that really is something worth having. I have a ton of old Nikon lenses which are excellent but virtually unuseable with my current D3. That facility alone make this new body interesting.

    (P.S. I wonder what all this fancy styling, knobs and dials stuff, does for how waterproof/dustproof the body is?)

  • I like the looks of it, and appreciate the nostalgia of it, but in the end it is a less capable tool than many of their other offerings. And some of those offerings cost less. If money was no object, sure I would buy it. But money is an object for me, so I would have to make a more rational, less emotional purchase. It is cool though.

  • I am a semi professional adventure photographer from Alaska. I spend almost all my time shooting in an alpine environment where lightness equals actually carrying your camera and getting the shot. I love the D700. I sold it though when the D800 was rumoured to be released, and then bought the d700 again when I realised the d800 was a studio camera! I longed for the D4 sensor in a small fast body. Now here it is! If it was just another continuation of the d700/800 style I would buy it without hesitation, yet it is a beautiful camera that reminds me of my old F4, my favorite camera ever to use for wildlife and adventure. Those that say the manual knobs would slow you down, they obviously wouldnt do any better with any camera you put in their hands. This camera is an adventure photographers dream body. I’ll give you one guess to as to what Galen Rowell would think of it! Wish he was here to use it.

  • As to it “not having many features”.. what the hell, a camera is aperture, shutter speed and a medium to record the image, wether that be velvia or a digital sensor. Learn to use those things and you will take great photos.

  • If they’re going to come out with a retro camera, it should at least be film. There’s a (growing) market for that right now.

  • I sold it though when the D800 was rumoured to be released, and then bought the d700 again when I realised the d800 was a studio camera! I longed for the D4 sensor in a small fast body. Now here it is! If it was just another continuation of the d700/800 style I would buy it without hesitation, yet it is a beautiful camera that reminds me of my old F4, my favorite camera ever to use for wildlife and adventure.

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    Terry Bourk

    I have read you new book “Behind the Landscape.” I could not “put it down” meaning that I kept at it because each photo you presented/analyzed was interesting and informative. I am trying to develop an eye for composition (both the scene and the light).

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    Roger Sinclair

    You have done it again! Another triumph.

    Your generosity to share, the clarity of thought and concise explanation thereof is brilliant. Perhaps I should also mention the beautiful photos and the talent necessary to produce them.

    Thank you, Dan.