Nikon’s New Retro Camera: Nikon Df
Not too long ago, Nikon announced its intentions to join camera makers such as FujiFilm and Leica in the “retro” market with their new Nikon Df. The specs on this camera are pretty impressive. It is a full fledged DSLR with plenty of bells and whistles alongside the more retro body style with all the knobs that older photographers remember having to dial in back in the days when you still had to work a lot of magic in the dark rooms before the image was ready to be seen. Some of the specs built into this camera include (list taken from Digital Photography Review):
- 16 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
- ISO 100-25,600 (expandable to ISO 50 – 204,800)
- Maximum 5.5 fps continuous shooting
- 39-point AF system with 9 cross-type AF points
- 3.2-inch, 921k-dot LCD screen
- Physical shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation dials
- Compatible with virtually all Nikon F-mount lenses (including pre-Ai standard)
- Single SD card slot
- EN-EL14a battery (quoted endurance of ~1400 exposures)
Did you notice something missing from that list? Something that is considered fairly standard in any high-end digital camera these days? If you picked up on that the Nikon Df can’t shoot video, give yourself a cookie. It’s weird that a camera with this many high-end features would be deliberately crippled so as to not create video. Perhaps that will be changed in the camera before it officially hits the shelves. One can only hope. After all, with there being so many other cameras on the market with a retro look-and-feel that can shoot video, Nikon is going to be hard-pressed to convince even the most adamant hipster to go for the Df for the 1970s National Geographic vibe alone. I mean, the Df has wireless features but no video? Not a good idea for a high-end camera.
Still, if you’re a still-life photography-only type and you’re really wanting a camera that can deliver power in a body that reminds you of when disco was cool, then the Nikon Df definitely delivers on that.
– da Bird