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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
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
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior Project Manager - Transmission and RAN DeploymentsOther
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTProject - PMO - ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Software Developer (x3)Other
- CCSenior Automation Test AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Developer (C# .NET SharePoint)Other
- FTSenior Front End DevelopersOther
- FTHelpdesk AnalystOther
- FTSplunk Software Developer | 6mth ContractOther
- FTAdministration Support Officers - APS 5/6ACT
- CCTechnical Project Manager - CloudNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence DeveloperSA
- CCLeas Technical AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst - Microsoft BI StackNSW
- CCMultiple Project Managers - Networks - TelcoVIC
- FTLAMP Stack Developer/ PHP DeveloperOther
- FTSharePoint DeveloperACT
- CCWintel Infrastructure EngineersACT
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTPractice Director Quality Assurance – Adelaide Delivery CentreSA
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCNP/CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- CCICT System TrainersACT
- FTProject Coordinator - Travel IndustryQLD
- FTService Desk AnalystOther