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Nikon Df: Performance

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Nikon Df: Performance

The 39-point AF system is the same as the D600 and D610, so no nasty surprises leapt out. The Multi-CAM 4800FX unit inside the Df is a solid and speedy performer, delivering fast AF acquirement in both single and continuous AF, even in relatively poor light

The focus tracking is also very strong. The 39 AF points can be reduced to 11, so that it’s quicker to jump round the AF coverage. However, as the 39 AF points are grouped relatively tightly in the centre of the frame, you find yourself having to focus and then recompose if your subject is off-centre.

The controls can be easily referenced at waist-level. The same is true of adjustments, even with the slightly fiddly locking mechanisms for each dial.

However, it is when the Df is to the eye that adjusting dials is a little more awkward, specifically the exposure compensation dial. It might have been better placed to the right of the viewfinder – where the small LCD currently resides – with the exposure mode dial on the left. Despite this, manual shooting was a very enjoyable experience.

Nikon Df

In terms of resolution, the 16.2MP sensor may seem somewhat behind the times when it comes to resolving detail, but while it can’t quite compete with 24 and 36MP sensors, it will still deliver images that can be happily printed out at A3 .

Shooting at 5.5fps and the Df is capable of an impressive continuous burst of 30 raw files with a Sandisk Class 10 card before the buffer slows up. The Df is also a strong performer when it comes to JPEGs, rattling off 100 files before the buffer needed a breather.


March 23, 2014, 12:25 pm

I admit the retro design has its charm, but (much as with Leica's digital offerings) it seems to be targeting people who place far too much value on style nostalgia for my liking. I'll take a D800 and pocket the healthy chunk of change, thanks all the same.


March 23, 2014, 9:52 pm

Here is a hypothetical interview with Nikon:

Q: I see this camera uses a 16MP sensor, from the D4, so this must be a flagship sensor too.
A: No actually the sensors of the D610 and D800 are much better according to DxO
Q: Ah but this low res must allow this camera to shoot very fast, 10fps or better.
A: No, actually it shoots at 5.5fps slower than our D610
Q: Hmm, but it must have class leading shutter speed, 1/16000
A: No, actually it same as our entry level cameras at 1/4000
Q: Ummm, err, oh yeah, well it must have the flagship AF system right
A: No, actually it has same AF as D5300 and D610, middle of the road
Q: Ah, but it must have old school battery life and run forever out in the wilds
A: No, actually it has a very small battery with below average number of shots
Q: Well it must be very cheap then, cheaper than D610?
A: No, actually it is much dearer.
Q: Ok, then what is the point of this camera?
A: To get old farts to part with a lot of money to relive old time memories.


May 6, 2014, 11:31 pm

That must be me you are referring to. Someone who would prefer a Stradivarius to a Yamaha electric keyboard. Sadly Nikon have completely failed on every count and clearly do not understand the draw of classic camera controls over button covered electronic toys. On top of that there is the insulting price, must think we are fools.

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