Nikon Df digital SLR camera
Dial into your creativity with Nikon's manual, full-frame digital SLR
- Full-frame sensor
- Tactile controls
- Light weight
- SD card slot located in battery compartment
Nikon's Df is a pro camera with creative users in mind. The dials, numbers, and overall design of the body hark back to different era, but they provide tactile control that is welcomed in this age of buttons and menus. The sensor is full frame, the speed is good, and the picture quality crisp. Above all, it's fun to use.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
The nostalgic styling of the Nikon Df is not only designed to go after people with fond memories of the past; it’s also proclaiming to the world that Nikon has a rich history when it comes to producing cutting-edge cameras for creative users. By putting the latest technology into a throw-back design, it’s relaying this message to a younger generation of photographers who want total control over their photographic creations.
At first glance, the Nikon Df captures your interest because it’s such a busy looking camera. There are dials for almost everything, as well as numbers; plenty of numbers. What do all the numbers mean? What do the dials actually do? If you have to ask yourself these questions, then perhaps this camera isn’t the best choice for you. Though, on the flipside, it may be just what you’re looking for if you want to get a deeper understanding of photography and the relationship between all the settings that can be changed to affect the exposure.
That’s assuming it’s within your budget. It’s a camera that’s mainly designed for professional users who already know what they are doing, but we’re approaching this review from the perspective of a creative enthusiast or aspiring photographer looking to make a step up into a more advanced camera. We're doing this because it’s the type of camera that stands out and offers something different when compared against many other cameras on the market: tactile control.
All the dials and numbers can be intimidating at first, and there isn't a typical mode dial that you can use to just plonk the camera into fully automatic or into scene mode and let the camera figure it all out — that would go against the true nature of the camera. The most you can do is use the ‘MASP’ dial on the right side to select the control mode that suits your needs for your current situation: manual (M), aperture priority (A), shutter priority (S), and program (P) mode.
Across the top, you get an overlaid array of other dials that allow you to conduct the symphony of exposure settings: ISO speed is on the left, along with exposure bias; the right side has the shutter speed, along with a manual switch for changing the drive mode. Another control dial on the rear allows you to change the aperture value of the lens.
When all of these settings come together perfectly, you can produce some magnificent looking pictures. If you struggle to get the results you are after the first time, just keep playing with the dials until you get it right. Or, you can use the aperture priority or shutter priority semi-manual modes to let the camera do part of the work for you. Keep in mind that sometimes photos can look more vibrant or sharper on the rear LCD screen than they might on a monitor. The camera allows you to shoot in RAW mode (and RAW + JPEG), which should be used so that you can then process the photos more easily on your computer to get your desired light levels.
Photos are captured by the Df’s 16-megapixel sensor, which doesn’t offer as many pixels as many other cameras on the market, but it does have a differentiation point: it’s a full-frame sensor. This means that it’s a much bigger sensor than can be found in mainstream digital SLR cameras, which are known to have a ‘crop sensor’ or DX format sensor. The Df’s full-frame sensor is also known as an FX format sensor. It’s a sensor that is bigger in terms of physical size compared to a DX format sensor (36x23.9mm for FX compared to 23.5x15.6mm for DX).
The larger sensor just makes everything look bigger through the viewfinder, and it has other advantages, such as being able to handle light better and not produce as much noise when a high sensitivity to light is used. Combining a high ISO speed while using a lens with a wide aperture and keeping the shutter speed at a reasonably swift level, means you can take photos of dark scenes by hand-holding the camera rather than using a tripod. Of course, you do need a tripod for best results, and especially if you want to allow more light into the sensor by using a long shutter speed, or when you want to capture light trails.
We used the 50mm, f/1.8 kit lens for all of our tests, and the picture quality turned out to be crisp. We used the camera during the day, and also during Sydney’s Vivid light festival, which meant hand-holding the camera while shooting at night. We observed good results down to about 1/30sec shutter speed, though we did have to hold the camera very steady.
Overall, we really like the Nikon Df and the tactile controls that it offers. We had a fun time using it, and we think this is very important: if a camera isn’t fun to use, then it won’t make you want to go out and take photos. With the Nikon Df, you do get a sense of excitement when taking photographs as you wonder what sort of results the settings you’ve dialled into will give you.
How you use the Nikon Df and what sort of end goals you have for your photography will vary, but here are some sample shots from our time with it.
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCWPF .NET EngineerNSW
- CCTransport Planner - GIS SpecialistNSW
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- CCSAP/ Nakisa Implementation ConsultantQLD
- CCDeployment EngineerSA
- FTPerformance TesterACT
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- CCProject Support SpecialistVIC
- FTInfrastructure Security Compliance OfficerNSW
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- FTData AnalystQLD
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPProject Support OfficerQLD
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystACT
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- TPProject ManagerOther
- CCTest AnalystQLD