More Nikon Df Reactions & Insight

df-row-1Something funny happens whenever a new Nikon SLR camera is officially announced: specs are disseminated, analyzed, & scrutinized with more emotion than any other brand or product in the entire camera industry.  It happens every time, and it can be an amusing and/or frustrating thing to watch, as the opinions & observations unfold both before & after initial deliveries of the new cameras are made. 

When the new Nikon Df teaser videos hit the web a few weeks back, excitement & speculation were at a high point – what would the new camera be?  Nikon did a masterful job of marketing, and created a huge hype for the new Df SLR camera with the teaser videos.  As cameras go, the Nikon Df was a pretty well kept secret.  But once the camera was officially announced and all specs were published, the opinions started to flow. 

This time around, it seems that most negative opinions about the Nikon Df are centered around 2 main themes – the price, & the feature comparisons to current Nikon cameras.  And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I do think many people just don’t understand that the Df is a very different type of camera that is being made for a different type of photographer.  And, I think that those photographers are psyched about the Df!

The new Df camera is a departure from previous new Nikon SLR introductions.  It is not an improvement on previous models (i.e., D2x, D3, D3s, D4).  Instead, it is an entirely new concept for a Nikon digital SLR, and it is a niche product that is not intended to be everything, to everyone.  The Nikon Df will be manufactured in Sendai, Japan – just like the D4 & D800 – which ensures that it will be made to the highest Nikon standards.  It will be a strong, magnesium body with many manual dials & features. All of this stuff costs money, and to me, this alone justifies the price. If you want the good stuff, you have to pay for the good stuff – and $2746.95 for a camera that is made well, includes the D4 FX sensor, and will perform as expected in low light situation & at high ISO’s, will be well worth the price.  

I’ve also seen the comparison charts that show the Df specs, compared to both the D610 & D800 – but the comments that that these charts produce seem to miss the point.  I guess that’s because, for me, the Df is not a camera that should be compared to these cameras.  Instead, it seems to me that if the Df should be compared to any camera at all, it should be the Nikon D4. But then again, perhaps the Df shouldn’t be compared to any current Nikon DSLR at all.   That’s because the Nikon Df camera is truly about much more than performance alone.

All indications are that the Df will meet or exceed photographer expectations – for those who understand what the Df is all about.   And what is that?  In my opinion, the Df will be a camera for those photographers would want a lighter weight camera, with a fantastic FX sensor that will perform well in extreme situations, like the D4.  But, it will also be a lot more than just that alone.  The Df promises to be a photographer’s trustworthy companion – like their FM, FE, F2, & F3 series cameras of yesteryear.  Back then, photographers were literally attached to their cameras – both physically & emotionally. It seems like Nikon is trying to capture that feeling once again, with the new Df camera. I’ve also got a feeling that this new Df camera will be the first of many in a series of  Df SLR’s, which will eventually become Nikon classics.

And yes, I am accepting pre-orders for the new Nikon Df  – just tell us which one you want at http://servicephoto.com/pre-orders.html

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One Response to More Nikon Df Reactions & Insight

  1. I would agree Burke, I love the concept of the Df, a camera that has the meat of it’s functions outside of the menu system.

    Although, I REALLY would’ve liked Nikon to get more aggressive with pricing and retro specs. I understand the need for the FX sensor and that alone pushes the price up to the $2000 range, putting in a DX would’ve had folks on the other side complaining though. I do hope to see more Df bodies, maybe some with DX sensors and $1699 price tags.

    To keep the list down, here’s what I though Nikon was going to put into the camera.

    – D2x/D3x/etc. viewfinder – OR – F5/F4 replaceable viewfinder.
    – D4 sensor
    – D4 metering
    – rear LCD for preview and applicable buttons

    NOTHING MORE.

    I got the D4 sensor and bits right, but definitely missed on the limited amount of features. They could’ve trimmed it down, shaved the price and I think it would’ve been more of a hit.

    Justin Gladden

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